Stuck with a Beach Ball

Though you enjoyed your pregnancy, you did, on occasion, fantasize about getting your body back, and this was never truer than when you'd see some pretty young thing strutting through the mall. You looked at her flat tummy and thought, "That used to be me."

So, you consoled yourself with the idea that your belly would one day be flat again—as soon as the baby was born. Yet, here you are, the baby's been born, and to be frank, you still look as though you've swallowed a beach ball. You feel dismay and not a little disappointment. You're thrilled about the baby, but now you want your body back!

The main thing you need to know is that these things take time. Your main mistake, perhaps, was in thinking that as soon as the baby was born, your stomach would deflate. Slow down those emotions and think: it took nine months for your stomach to get so big; it's not going to disappear overnight. But you can take heart: it may not take nine months to get a flat belly back and it will be a steady process.

Hormones do part of the trick, causing your uterus to shrink back to the size of a small pear within about 4 weeks. At the same time, your cells start to secrete the fluids they imbibed during your pregnancy, outing themselves through your urine, your sweat, and your vaginal secretions. Your metabolism will begin to speed up, as well, allowing you to begin burning off those extra calories you took on during the pregnancy.

How Long?

The question you want to ask, but don't quite dare is: "So, how long does it take to get back my flat tummy?"

The answer is that it varies from woman to woman. Most women will feel back to normal within a few months, while some women never really lose their pregnant tummy pouches. Which group you settle into depends upon a lot of factors including your normal body size, how much weight you gained during pregnancy, if you're an active person, and much also depends on your genes. The best scenario for a woman to return to her normal body after pregnancy is if she gained less than 30 pounds during pregnancy, exercised on a regular basis during pregnancy, breastfeeds her new baby, and has had only one child.

If you've opted to bottle feed, a reduction diet is a good idea if you want to lop off that belly. Besides, you're no longer eating for two. If you are breastfeeding, wait at least 6 months before going on a diet. Otherwise, you'll be robbing your body of nutrients to make milk and you'll feel fatigued.

Nice Tight Abs

If you decide to diet, don't be drastic. Try cutting back by about 500 calories a day.  And don't count on diet alone—you need to become more active or add some exercise to your routine if you want to make a significant change in the status of your post pregnant belly. Slowly but surely is the phrase you'll want to keep in mind as the best way to get back those nice, tight abs.

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