How do I get a Flat Tummy post baby?
After having a baby many women have distended stomach muscles for years afterwards making them feel that they will never get flat abs again. Why??
Let me explain, I’ll try not to get to technical.
The stomach muscles go through a stretching and lengthening process during pregnancy. As the fetus grows, there’s more of a stretch on the abdominal (stomach) wall from the inside and it causes them to separate. This is normal and painless part of pregnancy. The technical term is diastasis.
After the baby is born, this stretch starts to go back so the muscles of the stomach wall return to their normal length.
However if the woman becomes pregnant again quite quickly the chances pf the stretch naturally reducing are less. If the postural changes that happen are not restored or if a female gains excess weight or has a cesarean the stretch may stay and not reduce. Multiple births or repeated pregnancies also increase the risk of the stomach wall remaining separated and becoming dysfunctional.
I’ve noticed with experience that mums who have had two children within a two year period are more likely to have dysfunctional abs.
What happens is the stomach muscles ‘switch off’ - the body and muscles forget what they should be like and how to function.
This results in the muscular imbalances and an impaired movement plus increases the chances of back pain. You can feel ‘de-conditioned’ and often discouraged about ever getting flat abs!
The wrong type of stomach exercises can exuberate the problem and give the stomach a ‘domed’ appearance or ridging.
A poor diet – (sometimes pregnancy is an excuse to eat everything and anything!) or ‘disordered’ eating will worsen this too as your stomach doesn’t know the difference between stretch from a fetus and stretch from fat – either will cause a stretch force, keeping the muscles long.
Traditional sit-ups and crunches will make the problem worse.
The good news is – you can get flat abs, post pregnancy!
To get your abs back, take these steps:
1. Eat ‘quality’ food – real food with good balance
2. Drink water
3. Perform some core function tests (the rec test) and corrective core work. Core work such as the plank is more effective.
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