If you've recently had a baby, and you're hiding your apron belly in your yoga pants, but wishing it would go away, I have a great exercise and nutrition plan that is so simple to follow, and worked for me after 4 babies! I know exactly how you feel, tucking the extra skin and fat into your high-waisted workout pants. You feel great about your body every where else, but the skin and belly fat just seems to be lingering and lingering! It seems like no matter how much you workout, and no matter how little you eat, you can't seem to get it to go away!
I've been helping breastfeeding mamas lose weight while breastfeeding (without losing milk supply!), and healing their core and pelvic floor after pregnancy and birth for years. I created a program years ago called The Postpartum Cure, and thousands of mamas have healed their tummies after babies!
Since then, I created Milk Dust protein powder to help balance blood sugar, stop sugar cravings, and increase milk supply. Milk Dust is a great tool to help you speed up your metabolism and burn belly fat! I was a Pilates Instructor before kids, so I used my Pilates background with my expertise as a Pre/Post Natal Fitness Specialist to develop the easiest, yet most effective workout plan you can get!
You might be wondering why you've lost weight everywhere, BUT your belly.
Why you still have an apron belly, after losing lots weight:
I also consolidated my program into an at-home exercise plan that is simple to follow, and takes you on an easy journey to healing your abdominals and strengthening your abs. You can cinch that apron belly back in, burn the belly fat and actually see your abs again by following this progroam!
What is the apron belly (mommy belly) exactly?
Apron belly, also known as pannus or postpartum belly, is a common physical change that many women experience after pregnancy. It refers to the excess skin and fat that hangs down over the lower abdomen, resembling an apron. This condition is really hard emotionally to deal with than physically, and it can cause a lot of stress for new mamas!
After pregnancy, the body undergoes significant changes to accommodate the growing baby. The abdominal muscles stretch and separate to make room for the expanding uterus, and the skin stretches to accommodate the weight gain. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can also contribute to the accumulation of fat in the abdominal area. Additionally, genetic factors, the number of pregnancies, and the size of the baby can all play a role in the development of an apron belly.
Why do some mamas have an apron belly, and others don't?
There are many factors that go into play here. Number one is going to be how much weight you gain during your pregnancy. The more extra weight you gain, the more your skin is going to have to stretch, and the extra fat can accumulate more on your belly due to the hormonal changes during pregnancy. Some women, even after their 4th or 5th baby don't have an apron belly because they gained very little extra weight, so their body is able to recover easier. Other women, when the skin stretches and the abdominal muscles separate, they need more therapy and exercises to get those muscles to return to normal.
Can you get rid of apron belly with exercises?
Exercises can play a large role in helping to get rid of your apron belly. The abdominal muscles need help to come back together after separating during pregnancy. The more your abdominal muscles need to stretch, the more help they are going to need to come back together. The exercises that I used to get rid of my mommy tummy are ones that anyone can use, and if you follow my 8-week program you can definitely start to actually see your abs again! If you don't do the healing exercises, you can lose the extra fat and skin, but your stomach muslces will always stick out and look like you are still pregnant.
5 exercises to start healing your apron belly:
Most women with apron belly, or hanging low belly have Diastasis Recti in some form. Diastasis recti is a condition where the abdominal muscles separate, commonly occurring during pregnancy or as a result of improper abdominal exercises. Pilates can be an effective form of exercise to help strengthen the core muscles and potentially improve diastasis recti. However, it's crucial to consult with a healthcare professional or a certified Pilates instructor who can provide specific exercises and modifications tailored to your individual needs. Here are five Pilates exercises that are often recommended for addressing diastasis recti:
Transverse Abdominal Engagement: This exercise focuses on activating the deep core muscles, including the transverse abdominis, which can help support the rectus abdominis and reduce the separation. Begin by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your hands on your lower abdomen, just inside the hip bones. As you exhale, draw your belly button towards your spine, engaging the deep abdominal muscles. Hold for a few seconds, then release. Repeat this engagement for 10 to 15 repetitions.
Pelvic Tilt: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Inhale to prepare, and as you exhale, gently tilt your pelvis by pressing your lower back into the mat. Maintain engagement in your deep core muscles as you tilt your pelvis back and forth. Start with small movements and gradually increase the range of motion. Perform 10 to 15 repetitions.
Modified Toe Taps: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Engage your deep core muscles by drawing your belly button towards your spine. Slowly lower one foot down towards the floor while maintaining the engagement in your core. Return the foot back to the starting position, and repeat with the opposite leg. Start with a small range of motion and progress as you feel comfortable. Aim for 10 to 15 repetitions on each leg.
Side-Lying Leg Lifts: Lie on your side with your bottom arm extended straight out and your head supported by your hand. Keep your top leg straight and in line with your body. Engage your core and lift your top leg towards the ceiling, maintaining control and stability. Lower the leg back down to the starting position. Perform 10 to 15 repetitions on each side.
Modified Plank: Start on all fours with your hands directly beneath your shoulders and your knees beneath your hips. Engage your core by drawing your belly button towards your spine. Extend one leg straight back, followed by the opposite leg, so you are in a modified plank position with your knees on the ground. Hold this position for a few seconds while maintaining a neutral spine and engaging your core. Gradually increase the duration as you build strength.
Remember, it is essential to work with a professional who can guide you through these exercises and provide modifications based on your specific condition. They can assess your diastasis recti and provide a personalized exercise program to help you strengthen the deep core muscles and promote healing.
Can you get rid of apron belly without surgery?
You can heal your core muscles and lose all the fat on your belly after pregnancy, but you may not be able to lose all the extra skin. The body, when in fat-burning mode, will actually burn excess skin with fat to get nutrients, BUT you may not be able to stay in a fat-burning zone long enough to burn off much of the skin. Intermittent fasting has been known to help reduce excess skin without surgery, but if you are breastfeeding still, or living a normal life, fasting for 24-48 hours at a time may not be feasible for you! Fasting for that amount of time is completely safe, and very beneficial for your body, but it isn't for everyone. Do your research on intermittent fasting, talk to your doctor, and see if it is something you think you can do. You may be able to do enough intermittent fasting to dramatically reduce your apron belly and loose skin without needing surgery at all.
What diet plan will get rid of the hanging apron belly?
You can not completely get rid of your apron belly without a proper diet and fat loss plan. If there is still fat on your abdominals, then you will still have some sort of belly. Unfortunately, pregnancy can cause women to gain more fat than usual on their tummy, so it takes longer than usual to burn it off.
Eating a clean, lower carbohydrate diet full of nutrients for lactation is the best way to burn the belly fat while breastfeeding.
I have a full blog post on exactly how to burn belly fat while breastfeeding, as well as a breastfeeding and weight loss fitness pack that will have your metabolism back in action, your body burning fat, and your milk supply safe!
If you need some great recipes to get you on a lower carb, higher protein diet plan, this recipe pack is amazing! It has calorie counts and a nutrition guide too, so you can get started slowly.
My 8-week mommy pooch challenge also has a nutrition guide to pair with your exercises. You won't be able to see a difference from the exercise plan without following a healthy diet as well.
Milk Dust will help you burn belly fat and stop cravings:
In my years of helping thousands of mamas lose weight while breastfeeding, sugar cravings were one of the most common reasons breastfeeding mamas could not stick to a healthy diet. I personally LOVED chocolate after every meal while breastfeeding (which is why I HAD to create Milk Dust Fudge Brownie!), so I formulated Milk Dust to target sugar cravings by balancing blood sugar and filling in nutrient deficiencies that cause cravings. Milk Dust also increases your milk supply through a lactation blend, while also supplying specific amounts of protien and super foods to boost metabolism.
Milk Dust tastes amazing, helps you feel full on less calories, promotes metabolic rate and lean muscle mass through protein, as well as supporting lactation. There are no other formulas on the market as in depth and hand-picked, and it is a great tool when it comes to just increasing milk supply, or getting back in shape again after baby.