Castle Personal Training is a Corstorphine, Edinburgh based company who specialise in weightloss/toning and Pre and Post Natal exercise.
One of the big benefits for offering every mommy in Edinburgh a free exercise manual and run through (with no sales tagged on. This is not just a free taster/transformation session designed to get you to sign up to anything!) is that I get a boatload of ideas for writing. I always give people a chance to ask whatever questions they might have to make sure they get as much out of the run through as they can. This alone makes me giving up a few hours every week worth it as I don’t have to struggle with writer’s block anymore. The law of unintended consequences is a wonderful thing.
One of the ladies who came to me this week had given birth only 3 months ago. One of the questions she asked was “When will that extra fat at the bottom of my belly be gone?” and I get asked that a lot.
There are two things actually happening when you have that little pouch.
1; Diastasis recti, depending on the level of separation, means your belly is rounder than it usually is. I have written about this many times before so am not going to go into that again. Have a look through the old blogs, such as this one, and you’ll find plenty info about it.
2; You gained a bit of weight when you were pregnant and there is a little bit more fat. Because your belly is much smaller after giving birth the excess skin, and that bit of fat, is showing below your belly button.
What women often get told is that “The weight will just fall off after you’ve given birth” or “You’ll be back to normal in no time if you’re breastfeeding” and, unfortunately, this is simply not always true and it’s definitely not the way it goes for everyone.
Yes you will lose weight by giving birth but there is no “back to normal“ as the new normal is different from the old one. You’re a mommy now, your body has done something amazing, but it also means that your body will be different. For one, you will have a little bit extra fat below your bellybutton for a little while. This is completely normal but women are told that they should get their pre-baby body back ASAP after giving birth and this little pouch is not something most of them are comfortable with.
One of the best things you can do after giving birth is stop focussing on how you think you should look and focus instead on taking care of yourself and strengthening up. I know it seems that society seems to push the “6-pack after baby” but that really is only Instagram and Facebook and they don’t count as that’s not the real world.
However your belly also won’t go back to it’s pre-natal shape if you don’t do any strength training for your core muscles.
That little bit of fat and that little pouch? Depending on how much it is that pouch takes about 9 months to be gone completely. Diastasis Recti can take about 3 months to fix if you start early enough after giving birth, though some of my clients have fixed it much faster than that, and the fat part of the pouch will go if you stick to eating right. The extra skin takes a while to tighten up, moisturising like crazy helps with that, but a lot of it depends on how big you were during your pregnancy and your age.
And if you’ve done all the hard work and you still find that you have a tiny bit of excess skin below your belly button a couple of years after giving birth? Congratulations, you’re a mom and get to thank your kids for that by tormenting them later on in life 🙂