Undeniably your body changes after having a baby. There were some things I expected like stretch marks. One thing I never expected and never even heard of is Mummy Tummy.
What is Mummy Tummy? You know the part of your lower abdomen. Right where your stomach meets your pelvis. Well since having a baby I have a little......flap there. It's just this stretch of skin between my hip bones that just kind of folds over itself.
At first I thought it would go away on its own as my stomach went down and my body resumed the shape of someone no longer carrying a human being inside of them.
As I've lost weight over the last few months my Mummy Tummy has stuck around.
Then I learned that Mummy Tummy is a result of the rapid growth of the baby and your stomach over the last two months of pregnancy. Your little one drops to the lower part of your uterus in preparation to exit the womb. Then they go through the most rapid growth in the entire pregnancy.
Therefore the muscles in that part of your stomach right between the hip bones get stretched out rapidly and then contact all at once. So they end up being a little floppy.
Luckily there are some easy exercises you can do at home to work this specific muscle and make Mummy Tummy no more! Here are a few I've been doing with good results.
Lie on your back with your legs in the ‘table top’ position with your hips and knees at 90 degrees. Find your neutral spine. Using your lower abs slowly lower one leg at a time as if you are dipping your toe in a puddle of water. Return it to table top and repeat with the opposite leg.
Lying on your back with your legs raised and feet flat on the floor, place either a 10-12 lb. exercise sandbag on your hip area or 2 small dumbbells on each upper leg. (Weights are optional) Keep your shoulders flat on the floor, but scoot them in towards each other to achieve maximum rotation, much like you would do with a standard bridge pose in yoga, and raise your weighted hips into the air, exhaling as you do. Inhale as you release and repeat, making sure you engage your transverse abs as you do each rep.
Lie on your stomach with your knees locked and your toes tucked under your heels. Rest your hands on your chin, and gently lift your shoulders and chest off the ground. Lift and lower to the count of up for 2 seconds hold for 1 second and down for 2. Breath. Work for 30 seconds then relax.
Start in a four point kneeling position. Hands under shoulders and knees under hips. Pull your belly button into your spine and stabilise your torso. Slowly extend your right arm out in front and your left leg behind you. Focus on using your abdominal, back and bottom muscles to keep steady and balanced. (ie pull your belly button into your spine, squeeze your butt muscles.) Hold for 20-30 seconds then swap and do the other side.
Start on your stomach. Zip up your pelvic floor and activate your core by pulling in your tummy button to your spine – as if you have been punched in the tummy. Dig your toes in and lift your hip and stomach off the floor. Make a straight line from your head to your toes.Pull your belly button into your spine, squeeze your butt. Hold for 30 seconds. If you experience back pain or find your form deteriorating then stop or come down and go back up with improved form. You can also complete this exercise on your knees. Lower down slowly and with control. If your having a busy day but still want to get some exercise in here are some you can do why out & about or playing with the kids.
Sit on a swing with a sturdy seat, feet firmly on the ground. Hold on to the chains. Lean back slightly and tighten your abs. Bring your knees to your chest as you exhale. Inhale as you straighten your legs. Repeat five times.
Keep at it for ten minutes and you'll get a cardio workout, strengthen your abs and improve your core body strength, much like a Pilates workout.
Put baby in the baby carrier across your chest facing either in or out. Stand up straight, with your legs hip-width apart. Contract your abdominal muscles to engage your core. Be sure to keep your shoulders down and relaxed. Swivel at your waist to the left. Hold this position for 3 seconds. Swivel back to your center. Swivel to your right, holding the position for 3 seconds. Then come back to the center. Do 2 to 3 sets of 5 to 10 repetitions.
Superbaby (Leo's Personal Favorite!)
Lie on your back with your baby on your chest. Bend your knees, bringing them in to your chest. Rest your baby on your shins, holding her hands and then lift them up so that your shins and your baby are parallel to the ground. Your thighs should be at a 90-degree angle to your torso. Contract and engage your abs and lower your shins (and your baby) so that your feet are slightly off the ground. Hold for a moment, then lift your shins up so that they (and the baby) are parallel to the ground again. Repeat 10 to 15 times. Your baby will like flying through the air while you tone up!
Babies asleep in the stroller and starts waking before nap time is over. Use this time to get some lunges in. Engage your core and push the stroller away from you with both arms. Step forward with one leg into a lunge. Draw your leg and stroller back towards you and repeat until baby drifts back to sleep.