Not a day goes by that I don't see a woman lamenting her stomach following childbirth. It really is a cause of much angst and upset amongst us women. It's a huge shock to see your stomach emerge post labour, especially if you've been fit and active before and if you've had a rather large baby!
It takes time, quite a lot of time, to get back to anything near what your stomach did look like before you had children. Your skin has stretched to accommodate a baby. A whole person. It's no surprise that it is not the same. It might upset you when looking at your stomach in the mirror. You may hide your tummy behind big pants or wear longer tops that don't ride up when you bend over to wipe a nose or pick a child up off the floor. I see lots of women almost disappear behind these big clothes when they become a mum, almost ashamed somehow, of what they have become. Let's talk about what can be done, realistically.
Accept that your stomach will NEVER be the same. It can be better but it will never be the stomach of your youth. Ever again.
Accept that you have to change the way you eat and move in order for you to get into shape and feel yourself again.
Start appreciating what you have got. Focus on the positives.
Start to make changes in your nutrition and really think about what you are eating and drinking on a DAILY basis.
Get some help from a professional post natal expert. Now is not the time for belly busting bootcamps at 6 weeks post natal!
Post birth, you will experience a rise in stress hormones. These can cause you to store fat. It's only when you start to get more sleep and relax more, that you can begin to tackle these hormones.
Learn to breathe properly again. Deep breathing is proven to reduce stress. Try yoga or meditation.
Enjoy your baby and try and get out with him or her as often as possible. Increase your exposure to sunlight and embrace that Vitamin D!
The best piece of advice that I was given is to give everything enough time to heal. You've been through a lot, give yourself time to heal properly and then let the work begin. More on that in my next blog.