One of our followers on Facebook asked me this: “Is it possible to get my abs back after childbirth?” The short answer is YES, you can regain your abs after pregnancy! Keep reading if you want a more detailed answer.
I’ve decided to write this article instead of answering her because I think there are more women interested in this topic. So let’s find out how to regain your abs after pregnancy.
What happens when you’re pregnant is that as the belly grows to accommodate your growing child, the central abdominal muscle will separate and after pregnancy, it leaves you with a “weak spot”. This separation of the central ab muscle is called diastasis and most women have this during their pregnancy.
There’s a couple of things that you can do to support this muscle growing back and to regain your abs after pregnancy:
- Support the healing process with rest and easy and gentle exercises.
- Support the strengthening process by eating the right foods.
5 Tips To Regain Your Abs After Pregnancy
Here are 5 tips that you should do to regain your abs after pregnancy:
1. Rest A Lot
During rest and sleep your body actually heals. So when we are super active the body can not heal. What you need to do is to take it easy, don’t rush into things like exercises and work, just take some time to lie down and let your body heal.
2. Eat Plant-Based Proteins
While you’re resting make sure you have healthy foods close by for a snack. Really important for the healing process is proteins which are the building blocks of our body. A good option is plant-based proteins because they don’t put a high level of acidity in our bodies.
So you can cook a big pot of lentils and add a stick of kombu which is seaweed with tones of proteins and minerals. You can also cook some beans, eat nuts and seeds as a snack, basically all kind of vegetables rich in proteins.
3. Eat Silica Rich Foods
Silica is a nutrient which supports the building of collagen in our bodies. Collagen is important for flexible, healthy, strong skin and also for healing joints and muscle tissue. For example, oats are really high in silica, as well as millet and barley. I recommend you to eat these 3 grains if you want to regain your abs after pregnancy.
4. Do Gentle Yoga
Once you feel like you’ve rested and your body feels good again to move, you can introduce slow and easygoing movement into your routine. For example, you could start with some gentle yoga moves at home after about 2 weeks from delivery and then, after a month or two you could take a yoga class. These yoga moves create a great foundation for the abdominal workouts you’re gonna be doing later on.
5. Work The External Ab Muscle
After 6-8 weeks you can work on your external ab muscles by doing some gentle side bends. This exercise helps your abdominal muscles to close the diastasis so that you will be able to do crunches and other core workouts. You should wait about 3-4 months before starting to work your central abdominal muscle.
It may take 3, 4 or even 5 months for your abdominal muscles to reconnect. Everybody is different, so this period of rest is relative. The thing is to start doing your crunches only after the diastasis is closed. You can check this easy:
- Get into a crunch position;
- Squeeze your abs;
- Tap your abs with your fingers and feel if there’s a spot in the center;
- When the spot is really small, like a finger-width, then you’re ready to do core workouts.
So first, there is a lot of rest, a lot of gentle yoga and strength building foods before the diastasis closes and you can start your core workouts again. It is not easy, but it’s totally achievable: you can regain your abs after pregnancy.