If there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that it’s going to take a while for your post-partum belly to return to its pre-pregnancy state (and let’s be real, odds are it’ll never go back to quite the way it was before giving birth).
Most women gain around 10-12 kilograms while pregnant, and with the average baby weighing around 3 kilograms after birth, odds are there’s going to be some excess weight leftover after you give birth.
It’s important to give yourself some patience and grace as your body adapts after birth. By eating a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water, and making time for regular exercise you can work to embrace your new post-partum belly.
With all that said, here’s what to expect when it comes to your post-partum belly.
Why does my post-partum belly make me look like I’m still pregnant?
It takes quite a bit of time for your body to recover from pregnancy. During pregnancy, as your baby grows, the muscles, ligaments and skin around your belly have to stretch considerably to accommodate your baby.
After giving birth, you may find that you still have a round, squishy midsection as your uterus slowly returns to its pre-pregnancy state. It can take six to eight weeks for your uterus to return to its regular size, and for some women it can take even longer for their post-partum belly to return to its normal shape. For some women, the belly may permanently take on a new shape post-birth.
What about the stretch marks?
The skin on your post-partum belly is likely to have changed as well. Many women have stretch marks on their post-partum tummy. Stretch marks are tiny scars that are caused by your stomach skin having to stretch excessively.
If you have a c-section delivery you will have a scar where the incision was made. However this will usually lighten and fade over time.
Many women also have a dark line down their abdomen. This line is called a linea nigra. This line will usually fade and disappear around 12 months after giving birth (although it may not disappear entirely).
As for the stretch marks, they too will gradually be less noticeable over time. Stretch mark creams can also help to reduce their visibility. It’s also worth noting that stretch mark cream won’t help with the linea nigra line, as this is caused by hormonal changes.
What can I do to get my post-partum belly back to normal faster?
Patience is key here, after all, it took your body nine months to grow a baby, so it makes sense that it would take around the same amount of time for your body to return back to normal.
That being said, there are a few things you can do to help your body along a bit as it heals. For starters, make sure you're eating a nutrient dense diet, staying hydrated and getting regular exercise.
Whether it’s a stroll around the park or a gentle yoga class, exercise can help you to burn off some extra calories while strengthening your muscles. Focusing on core workouts can do wonders for your post-partum belly, however you need to make sure your body is ready to undertake that kind of workout. Always check with your primary care provider before you start doing a new workout program.
Many women hold the belief that breastfeeding can help you to drop your baby weight faster, however there is no scientific data or studies that support this theory.
What about a post-partum belly wrap?
Belly wraps have been recommended by health professionals and thousands of mothers as a great way to help with shrinking your post-partum belly or to help with diastasis recti (when the abdominal muscles separate during and after pregnancy).
Recommended for use after vaginal or cesarean delivery, belly bands assist the uterus to return to its normal size sooner.
Belly bands also protect a c-section incision, ease back pain, provide posture support and more.
Choose our 3 in 1 belly band to support your post-partum belly
Our 3 in1 Belly band has been designed to grow and shrink with your changing body during pregnancy, postpartum and c-section recovery.
Our unique elastic fabric is split by hand, so it can contour to your individual body shape. The velcro fasteners can be attached anywhere on the garment offering flexible sizing and adjustable compression.
Being locally made-in-Australia, we can custom-make a bespoke or plus sizes belly band to suit all body shapes.
- TGA Registered Medical Device
- Private Health Rebates
- 70% Cotton, 25% Spandex, 5% Polyester (Latex Free)
To find out more about our 3 in 1 belly band and place an order, check out this page here.