Health Magazine

What is a Mommy Belly?

Posted on the 02 March 2016 by Dave Nevue

Mummy tummy, mommy belly, baby pooch, baby belly...there are many different names for the stomach many moms are stuck with after having a baby. But what is it? The name refers to a state which often occurs in women after pregnancy. When you think about it, the women of previous generations often (almost always) have huge droopy bellies even if they aren't carrying a lot of extra weight, just look at your own mother, perhaps she has that constant belly she is trying to tuck in without being overweight. I think it's fair to state that the majority of women who have given birth to more than one child have experienced some kind of post-pregnancy belly related problem - often that stubborn baby pooch - which will eventually develop into a constant huge droopy belly which many women learn to live with and accept as a natural part of their mommy body. And I am not trying to say that it's bad to be comfortable in that new body. Our mothers and grandmothers didn't know better, since women's health has never been a priority...But the postpartum pooch has other consequences than being an obstacle to obtaining a flat stomach, it often causes a poor posture, it may cause back pain and have a negative impact on the pelvic floor. So getting rid of the baby pooch is necessary for so many reasons. The mummy tummy occurs after pregnancy when the abdominal muscles and tissue have been separated and stretched during the pregnancy - in order to make room for the baby. It's not only the abdominal muscles split (the diastasis recti) that is causing the problem, it is also often damaged tissue, tissue that lacks elasticity and needs recovery before being exposed to challenging movements, that is causing the pooch. For some women, healing and recovery will come naturally, but for many women the natural healing process will not be enough. Besides treating your postpartum belly right by, for example, avoiding heavy lifting and doing rehabilitating exercises, it's also important to be aware of the fact that you can in fact hurt your postpartum stomach by exercising too much or too heavy too soon. Recovering the strength and stability in your postpartum stomach is key to getting back to fit, strong and healthy. In my opinion new moms should be more focused on healing and recovering their postpartum bellies than on losing the pregnancy weight.

What is a Mommy Belly?

My mom (with C when he was a baby) has had her mommy tummy for almost 40 years. She always hides it in pictures (here by help form her arm). She had never heard of the abdominal muscles separating during pregnancy to make room for the baby, or how it's necessary to reactivate and heal the inner abdominal muscles after a pregnancy.

Check out my Post-Pregnancy Belly Guide to recover strength and stability in your post-pregnancy belly before starting regular exercise.

//Nicole Hellgren

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