The Mummy Wellness Guide – Get that pre-baby belly back

Welcome to another instalment of Simply Wellness with Carla. As a stay at home mummy to a very busy little boy, I know the challenges of trying to follow a healthy diet, stay energised and fit in the time to exercise. I will be sharing my wellness secrets from energy and mood enhancing delicious recipes to guilt–free dessert (because who can say no to dessert), with lots of exercises that will bring your sexy back and get you firm and toned. This week’s article is all about getting that pre-baby belly back! The next few installments we will be focusing on getting that booty back this Winter!

Being a mom means that your body went through some serious, “ginormous” changes to ensure that your precious bundle got all the much needed growth, nutrients and comfort they needed. And we are left wondering if we will ever get that pre-baby belly back.

I always imagined a mummy kangaroo with her little joey’s head sticking out when I heard the word pouch. Let’s be honest, it doesn’t matter how much pregnancy weight you gained, once that gorgeous bundle emerged from that beautiful baby bump it deflated to nothing more than an empty pouch! This is the part that I really wished someone was honest enough to tell me. After giving birth I felt so empty literally, like the air had been deflated out of a giant balloon! Add some new mum baby blues and staring at the bathroom mirror could leave many of us in tears.

The good news is that your body has something amazing called “muscle memory”, which means that it remembers what that pooch/pouch used to be before it became a little bump. With the right amount of core training, patience (this is the important one), and perseverance you can work your way back to your firmer, toned pre-baby belly! You are probably thinking that’s great, but add a new born baby and many sleepless nights into the mix. These exercises will increase your metabolism and boost your mood and energy levels! Make sure that you are eating well and if you need that energy kick try the delicious energising Smoothie or Energy mix from the Mummy Survival Series here.

Breakfast Smoothie (1)Energy mix (1)Start slowly with these 5 core-training, belly-firming exercises that you can do with your health care practitioner’s permission.  It’s best to start any form of exercise only after your six week check-up, this is when any much needed healing would have taken place from normal birth or C-section. Don’t forget that a C-section is a major surgical procedure that involves a lot of internal healing from your uterus to your abdominal muscles, so don’t feel discouraged if you are advised to wait a little longer. Exercising too soon can cause tearing or serious damage to your abdominal cavity.

Get your pre-baby belly back insert

Start slowly, only performing the exercises once a week increase as you feel stronger to eventually 4 times a week. Add walking while pushing baby in the stroller for extra resistance for 15-25 minutes each day the fresh air will lift your spirits and hopefully put your little angel to sleep with ease.

First exercise can be done lying in bed, yay!
Step 1: Lying on your back with your knees slightly bent
Step 2: Slowly breathe in from tummy, slowly sucking your belly button in towards your spine
Step 3: Hold the position for 3 counts and slowly as your exhale relax your tummy muscles
Perform 1-3 sets of 10 repetitions, provided the exercise is pain free.

You will be surprised how this exercise connects your body once again, it will take some time but you will eventually be able to hold the position for longer 10seconds to eventually 30seconds and suck your tummy in tighter using your abdominal muscles over time. Remember those muscles have not had much exercise in a while. Pregnancy separates your tummy muscles to make space for the growing baby.

Get the pre-baby belly back 4
Step: 1 Lie on your back with your legs straight and arms extended above your head
Step: 2 Bring arms forward, tilt your chin down on your chest, and slowly curl your upper body up, reaching hands to toes.
Perform 1-3 sets of 10 repetitions, provided the exercise is pain free.

Get that pre-baby belly back 2
Step: 1 Lie on your back, your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Keep your arms at your sides.
Step: 2 Take a deep breath in and tighten your abs and glutes. Breathe out as you tilt your pelvis upwards (towards your head) and hold for 10 seconds.
Step: 3 gently tilt your pelvis back.
Perform 1-3 sets of 10 repetitions, provided the exercise is pain free.

Get that pre-baby belly back 3
Step: 1 Start in a push-up position on your knees, bend your elbows and lower yourself down until you can shift your weight from your hands to your forearms.
Step: 2 your body should form a straight line.  Suck your navel in towards your spine and hold for 60 seconds. If you can’t make it to 60 seconds, hold for 5 to 10 seconds and rest for 5 seconds, continuing for 1 minute. Focus on form: Don’t drop your hips or raise your bottom.
Perform 1-3 sets of 10 repetitions, provided the exercise is pain free.

Get that pre-baby belly back 1
Step: 1 Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor
Step: 2 Place baby on your lap making sure that baby’s head and neck is well supported
Step: 3 Pull your tummy tight and keep your chin on your chest while holding baby
using your tummy muscles gently lift your shoulders off the floor.
Step: 4 Try kiss or tickle baby as you gently reach up.
Perform 1-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions, provided the exercise is pain free.

Enjoy! We will be focusing on more ways to get that booty back in the next installment of Simply Wellness with Carla!

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Do you have any additional mummy wellness survival tips for us?

If you have a question or suggestion that you would love Carla to cover on anything health, wellness or fitness related; drop us a mail at editor@tums2totsonline.co.za with the subject Simply Wellness with Carla.

*For more from Carla, go here!

Carla Smith

Carla Smith

Carla Smith is a wellness expert and mom to a gorgeous little boy. She has 9 years of experience in the fitness and wellness industry, as a fitness trainer. She is passionate about helping moms and tots live a healthier life through healthy eating and simple mommy-friendly exercise. When she isn’t creating personalised exercise and nutrition plans for clients, she is sharing her endless knowledge and ideas on her mom and baby wellness blog, Diary of a Wellness Mummy. Simply Wellness with Carla will share fitness tips, mommy wellness and pregnancy tips, as well as healthy recipes and exercises for moms.

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