Picture this: You made it out of pregnancy, and your little one is a few months old. You’re finally starting to like yourself as your old body is coming back. Your confidence is on the rise again and you’re out for a spot of shopping, minding your own business when you run into an old acquaintance who asks the dreaded question: “When are you due?” If you’ve ever experienced anything like this before you know it can be like a kick to the guts, and it’s an unfortunate part of motherhood that we all have to live with.
Although our bellies do such amazing things for us like holding our little ones for nine months while they grow, they can be stubborn as anything when it comes time to shift the weight. The rest of your body might be feeling fine, but you could also look 4 months pregnant many months after you’ve had your baby. So how do you get rid of that pesky belly fat?
Why Do We Hold Onto Belly Fat?
If it makes you feel any better, you’re not alone with your tummy’s burning desire to hang onto every centimetre of fat that it can. According to the experts, two kinds of fat hang around the stomach, and both of them work together to make you feel less than good about yourself in a bikini.
The first is visceral fat which is the fat that surrounds your internal organs, and this is the most dangerous kind. The second type is subcutaneous fat which is the fat that’s just underneath the surface of your skin. Add both of these types together, and the addition of a recently protruding pregnancy belly, and you can see why it’s hard to shift.
There are a few different factors that come into play with belly fat, and although poor diet and lack of exercise are contributors, they are not always to blame. Belly fat can come from hormones, stress, genetic makeup, and food intolerances and allergies. Therefore, looking at all of these might be the key you need to start melting it away.
How to Lose The Pesky Belly Fat
When you’re a new mother, you likely don’t have a lot of time to plan nutritious and delicious food for every meal of the day, but you should be careful not to indulge too much. In addition to a healthy diet, there are some other things new mums can do to reduce their belly fat:
For nursing mums, you’re already doing a lot of work at naturally burning fat as breastfeeding can burn an additional 300 – 500 calories a day, provided you are eating a balanced diet with it.
Avoid Fizzy Drinks
It can be tempting to reach for some soft drink when you’re feeling hungry or looking for something sweet, but carbonated and fizzy drinks (including alcohol) can be major culprits when it comes to belly fat.
Exercise Your Whole Body
Rather than focusing just on sit-ups or crunches, it’s best to work out your entire body with a good mix of cardio and strength training. Take the pram for a 30-minute walk each day and throw some running in if you’re able, and do a range of strength exercises in front of the TV like squats, sit-ups, and lunges.
Check Your Diet
Sometimes, larger bellies can be a sign of bloating which comes from eating the wrong foods. If you suspect dairy might be causing your stomach to extend, try cutting it out for a few days and see if it makes a difference.
Be Patient With Yourself
Although we all want to have a miraculous bounce back after having a baby the way some celebrity mothers do, it’s just not reality for most of us. You might need to remind yourself again that not too long ago your stomach housed a human being in it, so it might need a while until it gets back to normal.
Within the first few months, your uterus is still shrinking back down to its normal size and your belly might need even longer to catch up. Don’t expect everything to look and feel the same straight away, but do have faith that it will get there eventually.
You don’t want to push yourself too hard with exercise or restrict your diet too much, especially while breastfeeding and in the early postpartum stages. You need adequate calories and a balanced diet to fuel yourself and your baby, so make this your first priority. This is a time of recovery for you and not only about caring for your child, so try to avoid the pressure of looking like a supermodel just after having your baby.
Here at Peachymama, we’re always looking for ways to help our mums feel good on the inside and out. We know that our clothing range will flatter your post-baby body, and hope that our other other blog posts give you inspiration in so many ways as your motherhood journey progresses.