A.S. asks from Atlanta, GA on August 14, 2008
Getting Rid of Mommy Tummy
I am a mother of two, both were 10 pounds + babies, so they were both delivered c-section. I was able to get my stomach back after the first, but my second child just turned one and I still have this stretched out extra skin hanging around my mid-section. Has anyone else experienced anything similar that can give me hints on how to make it go away or at least tone it a little bit?
6 moms found this helpful
T.S. answers from Chicago on August 14, 2008
I am an Exercise Physiologist specializing in prenatal and postpartum fitness and the owner of Big Belly Fitness. i have developed a workout that is designed to help get the abdominals back in shape after baby(ies). The issues that cause the "mommy tummy bulge" relate to the entire body. You need to make sure you're doing abdominal work properly as well as stretching the chest, strengthening the upper back, stretching the lower back and hamstrings. This combination will improve your posture which will in turn get everything back where it should be.
It looks like you might be located in the city and unfortunately the classes I teach on the topic are mostly in the Western Suburbs. A good place to start is to get a large resistance ball and sit on it as much as you can. While you're sitting on it, tighten your abs and release them back and forth. Make sure to keep your head up and imagine your belly button pulling in to your lower back. This exercise will start building the transverse muscles that are needed as the foundation to rebuild your midsection.
If you want to e-mail me directly I can give you some more exercises to build on from there. You'll really want to make sure you work the area the correct way because doing ab exercises improperly can actually make the situation worse. Good Luck and don't hesitate to drop me a line.
6 moms found this helpful
S.C. answers from Chicago on August 14, 2008
Sometimes it's a muscular problem and sometimes not. Even if your muscles are back in shape, nice and tight underneath, there can still be that loose skin that hangs. As the other poster mentioned, exercice is a big help. I personally prefer Pilates. However, that doesn't corret problems with loose skin. Sometime skin just won't go back no matter what you do. There are 2 things to try. First, surgery - the good old tummy tuck. It's expensive and the down time stinks. Or there are non-invasive treatments you can do through medical spas. More and more OB/GYNs are starting to offer the services right in their offices because of the need for it. One I'm very familiar to is called VelaShape by Syneron. They have an entire program called Body After Baby specifically for these reasons. Google Velashape and you'll get all kinds of info on it. I'm a director at a medical spa so if you want to know anything else, just let me know!
S.B. answers from Chicago on August 15, 2008
I agree with Karen - Pilates are the bomb! Also do yoga... Pilates will strengthen and yoga will calm - best of both worlds if you ask me! Yoga also reach muscles Pilates does not because it's more fluid. Pilates is a series of positions you hold and while yoga is positions as well, yoga moves quicker so it is more of a dance than get into this pretzel position and hold, now switch to this pretzel position and hold. =)
You also might want to make sure your abdominal muscles are not snapped. If you lie on your back and cannot get into a sitting position using your tummy alone, go to the doctor. You may need your muscles sewn back together. My sis-in-law needed that done after having her two kids. As I understand it, the muscle rips apart (for lack of a better term!).
B.A. answers from Chicago on August 17, 2008
Since this is my specialty I thought I would chime in. I am an instructor for the "mommy tummy" class.
There are definitely some things you can do! Its called the Tupler Technique.
Postpartum women be aware that crunches where your shoulders come off the ground can make a diastisis worse (split in your rectus abdominus you get from being pregnant - also called "mommy tummy" - the vertical muscle on either side of your belly button that stretch from the top of the pelvis to the bottom six ribs)
"Crunches" were not designed for pp women - at all! Sidelying pilates exercises are great in terms in pilates.
Rule of thumb for pp women - if you CANT hold your transverse muscle in (the ab muscle that is like a corset around your midsection - covers everything - you feel it move in and out when you breathe) then you shouldn't be doing that exercise.
Having said that you can adapt many exercises to be suitable for pp and help tone the muscles, and close the diastisis.
Good posture is FANTASTIC for toning the muscles when sitting, driving, etc. This is actually called "The elevator" in the THE TUPLER TECHNIQUE - along with a few squeezes ALL the way back from time to time.
There are many specific exercises you can do. "Lose your Mummy Tummy" is a great book you can get from Amazone. If you prefer a group or personal instruction, I am a certified PErsonal Trainer and Tupler Technique (mommy tummy) specialist.
In terms of flabby loose skin, it depends on AGE and GENETICS. Althought two things we have found in our classes that work well for people is contouring cream and a supplement enzyme that helps your body digest protein faster, AND drinking lots of water.
One last thing we tell our clients - AVOID THE FIVE WHITES!!!
Email me if you have questions - np.
PS I just had my 3rd baby 12 weeks ago, and I have been able to go from a 32 inch waist to a 25 1/2 inch waist after birth with all 3 kids thanks to the The Tupler Technique + good nutrition for this mom's mommy tummy :)
You can do the exercises within 24 hours of giving birth - not bad!
K. answers from Chicago on August 14, 2008
I have had really good luck with Pilates for toning your mid-section. Even just doing it 1-2x/week (I have a DVD do taht I do during my son's nap or after he goes to sleep) you can really see a difference after a few weeks. If you can make it out for a "real" class, even better.
L.Q. answers from Chicago on August 19, 2008
I would be willing to bet you may have diastasis recti. It is where your abdominal muscles pull apart and basically there is nothing seperating your organs from the inside of your skin. I have it, as well as many other women. It is very common, but alot of people have never heard of it. Its crazy- I am 5'3, 119 lbs, and have a tummy that sags regardless of the fact I work out two hours a day, 5x a week. There are only two ways to really fix this. One is by doing proper excersizes (alot of excersizes like crunches actually make it worse). This is obviously the best option, but the other option is corrective surgery (AKA tummy tuck).
Google diastasis recti. You will find out alot of information. It is insane how many PP women suffer from this and it is not diagnosed. It really effects my life. xxoo
P.W. answers from Rockford on August 18, 2008
I love my exercise ball!! It works my whole body while working the core muscles too!
They even have a video for these now too--