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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

How to Flatten Your Tummy After Having A Baby

How to Flatten Your Tummy After Having A Baby
By cplavoukos

The birth of a new baby brings joy and excitement, but it can leave behind stretch marks and a flabby tummy. This article will show you how to flatten your tummy and re-gain your pre-pregnancy shape.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
· motivation
· your doctor's approval
· your baby
· a comfortable mat or rug
· a chair
· sneakers
· sports bra
· stroller
· front carrier

Step 1

Nurse Not only is your milk best for baby, but nursing will help get you back in shape more quickly. Sucking stimulates the release of the hormone oxytocin, which contracts your uterus and helps it to shrink more quickly to (nearly) its pre-pregnant size. And you naturally burn calories to make breast milk every time you nurse. If you are unable to nurse, there are also a number of structured lower body exercises you can begin gradually to help strengthen the muscles most directly affected by pregnancy and childbirth.

Step 2

Get a move on No matter how exhausted you are as a new mom, exercise is still important. It will help build up your stamina and return the muscle tone you lost during the pregnancy. As soon as you have you have clearance from your doctor, begin to walk. It’s low impact, safe, and you can take baby with you. Walk as often and as long as you can without overdoing it- around the block, to the grocery store, to the corner and back, whatever is most comfortable for you. Carry baby in a sling while you walk or hike or enjoy stroller walks and jogs.

Step 3

Pelvic Tilt To strengthen abdominal and lower back muscles and improve posture, lie on your back with knees bent together and feet flat. Slowly breath in deeply, let your abdomen rise, then while exhaling pull your abdomen in tightly and push the small of your back flat against the floor. Hold for five seconds. Release and repeat ten to fifteen times.

Step 4

Head Lift To strengthen
abdominal muscles and stabilize the posture by flattening the back, lie on your back with your knees bent. Place one or both hands on your tummy to remind you to keep your backbone flat to the floor. Take a deep breath and raise your head slowly while exhaling. Then lower your head slowly while inhaling. Raise your head a little higher each time. Keep your eyes toward the ceiling. As your abdominal muscle tone gradually improves, you can do the head lift exercise along with the pelvic tilt.

Step 5

Leg Lifts To strengthen abdominal and lower back muscles, lie on your back with knees bent. Flex one leg up toward your chest and then extend it as far as you can overhead while keeping the opposite leg bent and your lower back pressed into the floor. You can also try raising and lowering one leg at a time while keeping it straight.

Step 6

Straighten up The weight of your baby and uterus naturally pushing your abdomen forward during pregnancy can cause poor posture. To correct your posture and look taller and leaner, stand with your back against the wall and heels about four inches from the wall. Flatten the small of your back against the wall by pulling in your abdominal muscles and tucking in your buttock muscles. Raise your chest so that your upper back is flat against the wall. Walk away from the wall and try to maintain this posture throughout the day.

Step 7

Abdominal Contractions This exercise - done standing or sitting in a chair- works the deepest lying abdominal muscles, the transverse abdominals. Imagine your abdomen is an elevator with five floors, with your belly button as the focal point. First floor is when your abdomen is in a relaxed position. Fifth floor is when your belly button “touches” your spine. Slowly raise the elevator (contract the stomach muscles) from the first floor to the fifth, holding for ten counts on each floor, squeezing harder as you progress to the top. When you get to the fifth floor, squeeze as hard as possible, and imagine your belly button going out the back of the spine, or to the sixth floor, and hold for a count of twenty. Bring the elevator back down, slowly relaxing your muscles from top to bottom, back to the first floor. Remember to keep your back straight. Do not sag! Do these several times a day. Working up to as many repetitions as you can and holding for as long as comfortably possible on each floor. You can also train your tummy to skip floors, i.e. go from the third floor to the fifth floor and back again, or from the second to the fourth, and so on. The emphasis is on the backward, squeezing movement. Kind of like kegels for your tummy!

Step 8
Eat right Manage weight during and after pregnancy by eating a well-balanced diet, drinking plenty of water, and avoiding high fat, high sugar, and empty calorie foods. Eat nutrient-rich foods from the five basic food groups: *whole grains, bread, cereal, rice, and pasta *vegetables *fruit *fish, meat, poultry, dry beans, eggs, and nuts *milk, yogurt, and cheese Each day consume foods from each of these groups, proportioned for balance nutrition into three basic calorie groups: *Carbohydrates in the form of healthy sugars- like pasta, grains, and fruit- should supply around 50-55% of your total daily calories *healthy fats- such as salmon, flax oil, avocados, and vegetable oils- should supply around 30% of your total daily calories *proteins- such as cottage cheese, soybeans, tofu, lentils, meat, and poultry- should make up about 15-20 % of your daily calories


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Jenny said...

Love this post... thanks

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