5 Ways To Lose the Postpartum Belly Pooch Fast

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After having a baby it is common for your postpartum belly to still look pregnant. But how do you get rid of the pooch and have your stomach return to normal post pregnancy? Learn 5 secrets from a physical therapist all moms should know on how to lose the postpartum belly, heal your body, and lose the baby weight for good. 

This is a guest article by Dr. Jena Bradley, DPT from Live Core Strong.

You just had a baby, and even though a few weeks went by, you still look exactly the same; you still look pregnant. It’s completely normal. That mommy pooch sticks around for quite some time.

But there are ways to speed up the process and ultimately get rid of the baby weight faster.

I’m a mom of 4 and a physical therapist; with my experiences and medical training I have found that losing the postpartum belly pooch can be done easily by following these 5 tips.

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{Disclosure: This post contains affiliate or referral links. Read more about that here.} 

1 – Engage the correct core muscles early on during postpartum recovery

Just to get it out in the open and in the clear, I recommend that you get approval by your doctor at the 6 week postpartum check-up before you begin any core exercises postpartum.

Once you were given the clearance to begin, I highly recommend starting right away. So this should be around the 6 week postpartum time frame.

The sooner you start doing your postpartum ab exercises, the more you are setting yourself up for success.

Your body is still going through hormonal changes, and you can use that to your advantage. It’s much harder to lose the postpartum belly weight 1 year postpartum compared to 2 months postpartum. 

So for your first postpartum core exercise, I want you to get down on the floor and lie on your back.

Bend both knees and keep your feet flat on the floor.

To perform abdominal bracing, which is the exercise that contracts your transverse abdominis muscle (the corset muscle around your belly), you need to breath in and draw your belly button down into your belly.

Hold this for 8 seconds but remember to keep breathing.

Your pelvis should flatten along with your back so that your hand cannot fit underneath you.

If you arch your back the opposite way, your hand can fit under your back. This is the incorrect way to do this exercise.

After holding for 8 seconds, relax and repeat for 10 reps. 

This is the most important ab exercise to do early on postpartum. You should not be doing any crunches or planks, because you may hurt yourself.

Start slow and gentle, and in time you’ll be ready for more postpartum ab exercises.

Just a quick side note – Dr Jena has an awesome ebook that she has put together that shows you exactly step-by-step how to heal your abs and core after having a baby. If you’re ready to lose the baby weight, get your copy of Postpartum Ab Rehab HERE. 

2 – Invest in a good postpartum belly wrap

I highly recommend postpartum belly wraps to assist the uterus in shrinking back down to its normal size early on during postpartum recovery. It’s recommended to wear one the first 4 months postpartum.

There are many different varieties of postpartum belly wraps; some work well, and some don’t help at all. I would hate for you to buy one, thinking it’s helping with abdominal compression, but in reality it’s just a piece of cloth wrapped around your torso acting as an unsightly undergarment.

There are products on the market that really do work, and you’ll see amazing results quicker than you would any other way. You can learn more about my top postpartum belly wrap recommendations here. 

3 – Breastfeeding

If you are breastfeeding, then you are off to a great start with postpartum weight loss. This is just one of several amazing benefits to breastfeeding.

It’s absolutely amazing how our bodies work as women, but the one thing that I was actually shocked to learn when I first became pregnant was understanding how breastfeeding actually helps to shrink down our uterus. 

When we breastfeed, the hormone oxytocin is released from our brain. This release of the hormone also causes your uterus to shrink down after childbirth, and these contractions can feel like period cramps. They can be known as “after-pains” because they can be rather painful after childbirth.

As time goes by, the pain lessens but you still continue to get the benefit of uterine contractions far into postpartum recovery while breastfeeding.

Check out our guide to learn more about what to eat when breastfeeding.

4 – Eat a healthy diet

If you are breastfeeding, or even if you’re not, eating healthy is extremely important for any new mom. You need energy to take care of your baby, and the whole point of eating is to gain energy.

The word calories means energy, but you want to make sure you are putting healthy calories, healthy energy, into your body so that you can lose the baby weight safely. 

If you are breastfeeding, it’s important that you eat foods that are rich in protein, vitamins and calcium to help your baby get the added benefits from those nutrients.

Make meals choices that have lots of fruits and vegetables, and remember to avoid junk food as much as possible.

Drink a lot of water, especially if you are pregnant, and avoid drinking sugary drinks.

Making simple diet changes that are not too restrictive but are manageable as mom to a newborn will help you see small weight loss goals reached each passing month. 

Not sure what to eat? Check out this Breastfeeding Meal Plan for Healthy Mom + Baby (FREE PDF)

5 – Make a lifestyle change

Commit to your workout routine, commit to your healthy eating habits and commit towards making healthy lifestyle changes throughout your every day routine.

There is no way you can lose that postpartum belly if you are constantly binge watching Netflix shows each night. But if you make the decision to get to bed early, catch up on your sleep and get good rest so you are energized for the next day, you’ll find it’s easier to do all the other things on this list.

Just 5 minutes of abs exercises and 5 minutes of gluteus maximus exercises can make a big difference when you do them consistently.

Exercising will be easier to incorporate into your routine because you are less tired, you’ll have more energy to cook healthier meals and you’ll feel more relaxed during breastfeeding time, which will help with increased milk supply for your baby. 

These are some of the best Foods that Increase Milk Supply (QUICKLY)

Find a routine that works for you. Routines are a great way to remember to make a healthy lifestyle choice. It can easily be forgotten to do your 5 minute postpartum ab exercises each day, but if you remember to always do them at 9 am when your baby is doing tummy time, then it will be easier to remember.

I want to give you something that I think will help jumpstart your postpartum weight loss goals. If you are really serious about getting rid of the mommy pooch, I recommend you take my 30-Day Postpartum Ab Challenge.

It’s super quick and simple to do, it only takes 3 minutes a day to start and it includes my favorite postpartum ab exercises that I recommend as a physical therapist to postpartum moms. You can easily sign up for the 30-Day Postpartum Challenge here.  

About the Author

Jena is a mom of 4 darling little girls, a physical therapist and founder of Live Core Strong, a blog focusing on motivating moms to live a life that incorporates fitness and fun throughout their motherhood journey.  She aims to be the friend you always wanted to have who could guide you through the “fog” when faced with an “I don’t know what to do” mommy moment. At the most inconvenient time of her life, she embarked on a journey of sharing her story and expertise to inspire the next generation of healthy moms. You can learn more about Jena by visiting her blog, Live Core Strong.

More from Birth Eat Love

Here are some more of our best postpartum resources for you!

Essentials for Natural Postpartum Recovery

Best Foods To Eat After Birth For A Strong Postpartum Recovery

Lactation Recipes for Making More Breast Milk

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2 thoughts on “5 Ways To Lose the Postpartum Belly Pooch Fast

  1. Oh God. It’s already 3 years and I still look like I have a post-partum belly. lol. I breastfeed, too but there are times when I cheat (and eat too much). I’ll keep this as an inspiration. Thanks so much for sharing.

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