Your sweet bundle of joy has arrived, life with a baby has slowly become normal, and now you can’t stop thinking about your after baby body. Namely? Those abs. You worked hard to stay fit during your pregnancy, but things have not bounced back with your body like you’d envisioned. The great news is that staying fit during pregnancy is a great start to getting those abs back. The not-so-great news is that it’s still going to require a good bit of time and effort post delivery.
Breastfeed if You Can
There are numerous benefits to breastfeeding for mom and baby. Granted, breastfeeding isn’t right for everyone, but if you are able to do it, you’ve at some point weighed out this decision. One of the major benefits for mom is that it’s one of the quickest ways to lose baby weight because of all of the calories your body burns producing milk. If you breastfeed, you’ll burn calories while you sleep equivalent to what you would burn during a little exercise session, and burning calories will be key to re-developing those abs.
Work Your Core with the Plank
If you’d like to get your abs back, it goes unspoken that you need to be doing exercises to intentionally develop and work your core. Post delivery, though, you need to be careful. Depending on how you delivered, you need to treat your core gently and ease into it. One of the best exercises you can do to work those muscles while gradually increasing your endurance and stamina is the plank. The plank requires a resistant full body workout but focuses on your core. Make sure your form is correct, and start with 3-30 second planks every day.
Don’t Forget Cardio
Cardio is often the piece of the puzzle that people want to ignore, but you will not find your abs again if you ignore this. As we stated, burning calories is imperative to getting your abs back. It’s important that your cardio workout, no matter what you do, includes at least 30 minutes of an elevated heart rate at least 5 days a week.
Don’t assume that if you exercise and breastfeed that you can eat what you want and still lose any belly fat. You need to be healthy for you and for your baby (if you are breastfeeding), but you also need to do it for your body. A carb, sugar or fat loaded diet diet will definitely keep you from your pre-baby abs.
Give it Time
Keep in mind for some women it takes years to get their abs back, so don’t work yourself too hard. In fact, working yourself too hard may work against you. First and foremost, get the rest, nutrients and exercise you need, and show yourself grace by allowing your body time to bounce back.
Having a baby doesn’t have to mean you’ll lose those killer abs forever, but it does require some post-baby discipline to really get them back.