My tummy is really embarrassing me ooo. It is still so big even though I gave birth about 3 months ago. When can I sign up to your class abeg? My baby dedication is just around the corner.
I get messages like this quite frequently. As a mom of two boys, helping other moms excites me, especially when it involves getting rid of post-pregnancy tummy.
N.B This post was first published on this blog in October 2019.
The post-pregnancy tummy is usually more shocking and uncomfortable in the weeks right after delivery. Just the other day, a friend of mine said to me:
“How come nobody tells you that having a baby can change your life in the negative too, and that I won’t feel only joyful emotions all the time?”
It got me thinking: No amount of warning can adequately prepare a pregnant woman for the changes her body and emotions will undertake. Some of these things are best experienced.
For instance, in the first few weeks of pregnancy, emotions climb, and emotions often go with eating. After all, they both begin with the letter ‘E’.
Babies, tiny and cute as they are, demand a whole lot of attention. This naturally leads the moms to the point of exhaustion. One way to reduce stress induced emotional eating is to prepare your meals ahead of time. However, time tends to be a luxury for many new mums. The implication is watching your weight and tummy stay big even two months after delivery. I have two things to say to every new mom who fits this profile:
- Honey, take a chill pill. You DESERVE it
I have gotten emails from moms who want to sign up for my work-out program three days after delivery. Sometimes these moms delivered through a CS. My advice is this: Give yourself at least two weeks to breathe before attempting any kind of exercise. Eat well – without losing control of course. Sleep, put your feet up, rock (what is left of) your bump, and just celebrate yourself and your body.
Think about it. You just popped out a whole baby, you deserve a WHOLE vacation. And please, lose that scale! Don’t go checking how much you have lost or gained YET.
- Plan Ahead
Once you have your two-week break, you will need a plan and a form of motivation to get back on track. What do I mean? Have your realistic bounce back plan in place. What do you intend to do to get back your original tummy?
Think about a weight-loss class. Make a commitment by paying before you even have the baby. Or at least a mental plan to. Follow a meal plan. Then make sure you have the plan already taped to your kitchen walls. If possible, prepare your meals ahead and store/freeze in batches. Or you can have recipes and items handy for anyone helping you with cooking in that season
I personally created my own meal plan and tried out many recipes in the final weeks of my second pregnancy. This came in handy later and educated my mom on what I would be and not be having.
Per example, I stopped taking the usual ‘pap’ most new moms in Nigeria take because unlike some lucky ladies, pap didn’t make my breastmilk flow, it just made me fat. Then I signed up in advance to join the gym at 6weeks post-partum.
Don’t feel guilty about your desire to bounce back. If it makes you happy, and your expectations are not unrealistic, by all means: Go for it!
Oh, incase you wondered, can we really get rid of the tummy post-baby?
Personally, twice now, I have gotten rid of it.
I have also coached HUNDREDS of moms through it and even though it is hardly an easy or straight forward journey, starting and then staying CONSISTENT and PATIENT will ultimately bring us the results we so desire. And while the belly can go back to looking flat in clothes, getting rid of the loose skin and stretch marks is a WHOLE NODA STORY. Hey, we earned those scars, baby.
Let’s rock it proudly.
Your Health Coach,