The Best Tips for A Flat Tummy After Pregnancy From A Mom of 4

The Best Tips for A Flat Tummy After Pregnancy From A Mom of 4

Tips for A Flat Tummy After Pregnancy

Since I've had my four babies, I've been helping new mamas for years to heal their core and repair their pelvic floor after pregancy. It sounds overwhelming, but there are actually some very simple exercises you can do at home, which can make a huge impact on healing your abdominal muscles postpartum. I put all of these exercises together in a simple program that takes 8 weeks at home. You can follow the exercise plan and actually build your core strength back up. You can get your abs back again after baby, and if you also take advantage of the nutrition guides and products I've created at Milk Dust, you can burn the belly fat while breastfeeding too! 

Achieving a flat tummy after baby isn't just about how your stomach looks, but a lot of it is the strength of your core after pregnancy. It is really important to rehabilitate your core afer pregnancy, so you can move on in your fitness journey, get back in shape, and feel good again! Navigating postpartum changes can feel overwhelming, yet with the right tips and tricks, this goal becomes not only achievable but also a rewarding endeavor. In this guide, we unfold a treasure trove of actionable strategies designed to guide you towards reclaiming your abdominal strength and aesthetics while ensuring your health remains a top priority. 

Key Takeaways: 

  • Nutrition plays a pivotal role: Embrace a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. 
  • Targeted exercises are key: Incorporate pelvic tilts, bicycle crunches, and leg raises into your routine. 
  • Patience and self-care matter: Set realistic goals and manage stress for a holistic approach to well-being. 

Understanding Your Postpartum Tummy:

Understanding the monumental shifts your body endures during and after pregnancy is crucial. The stretching and thinning of the abdominal muscles, a condition known as diastasis recti, happens in every mama. How you recover from diastasis recti depends on a few factors like genetics, how much extra weight you gained during pregnancy, your fitness level during pregnancy, and the core work you do after. Hormonal fluctuations and the loosening of connective tissue further complicate the journey back to pre-pregnancy body structure. These changes, triggered by pregnancy hormones, affect not just the belly button area but the entire abdominal wall. For many, the appearance of stretch marks and loose skin signal significant physical transformations. 

Postpartum changes in the core can vary from person to person and depend on factors such as pre-pregnancy fitness level, the type of delivery (vaginal birth or cesarean section), and individual genetics. However, there are some common experiences and changes that many women may notice in their core muscles after giving birth:

  1. Abdominal Separation (Diastasis Recti): Diastasis recti is a condition where the two large parallel bands of abdominal muscles (rectus abdominis) separate along the midline of the abdomen during pregnancy. This can result in a visible bulge or "pooch" in the belly area postpartum. Diastasis recti may lead to weakened abdominal muscles and affect core stability.

  2. Weakness and Instability: Pregnancy and childbirth can weaken the muscles of the core, including the abdominals, pelvic floor, and back muscles. This weakness can lead to reduced stability and support for the spine and pelvis, potentially contributing to issues like lower back pain and pelvic floor dysfunction.

  3. Pelvic Floor Dysfunction: The pelvic floor muscles, which support the bladder, uterus, and rectum, can become weakened or damaged during pregnancy and childbirth. This may result in symptoms such as urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, and difficulty controlling bowel movements.

  4. Changes in Posture: The changes in weight distribution and muscle strength during pregnancy, along with the demands of caring for a newborn, can affect posture. Many women may experience postpartum changes in posture, including increased rounding of the shoulders and an exaggerated curve in the lower back (swayback posture).

  5. Recovery from Cesarean Section: Women who undergo a cesarean section may experience additional challenges in their postpartum core recovery. The surgery involves cutting through abdominal muscles, which can result in abdominal weakness, scar tissue formation, and altered movement patterns during the early postpartum period.

It's important for postpartum women to focus on rebuilding core strength and stability gradually and safely. This often involves exercises and activities specifically targeted at strengthening the deep core muscles, including pelvic floor exercises (Kegels), transverse abdominis activation, and gentle core exercises such as pelvic tilts and modified planks. However, it's essential to consult with a healthcare provider or a qualified postnatal fitness specialist before starting any exercise program to ensure it's appropriate for your individual needs and recovery timeline.

Nutrition: Fueling Your Recovery

A balanced diet has stood the test of time as your ally in shedding extra weight post-pregnancy. You've paced the floor at midnight, soothed tears, and marveled at your new baby. Now, it's time to focus on you. Lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables must become your new best friends. They are the architects of your recovery, constructing a foundation for energy and health. 

Protein is particularly helpful for a flat tummy after pregnancy:

Protein plays a crucial role in repairing muscle tissue through a process called muscle protein synthesis. When you engage in physical activity, especially resistance training or strength training exercises, you create small tears or damage in your muscle fibers. This damage stimulates your body to repair and rebuild the muscle tissue, ultimately leading to muscle growth and adaptation.

Here's how protein helps in the repair process:

  1. Amino Acids: Proteins are made up of amino acids, which are often referred to as the building blocks of muscle. When you consume protein-rich foods or supplements, your body breaks down the protein into amino acids during digestion. These amino acids are then transported to the muscles via the bloodstream.

  2. Essential Amino Acids: Certain amino acids are essential, meaning your body cannot produce them on its own and must obtain them from dietary sources. These essential amino acids, such as leucine, isoleucine, and valine (known as branched-chain amino acids or BCAAs), are particularly important for muscle repair and growth.

  3. Stimulating Muscle Protein Synthesis: After exercise-induced muscle damage, your body responds by increasing muscle protein synthesis to repair the damaged muscle fibers. This process involves incorporating amino acids into the muscle tissue, leading to muscle repair and growth over time.

  4. Leucine: Among the essential amino acids, leucine plays a critical role in stimulating muscle protein synthesis. Leucine activates signaling pathways within muscle cells that promote protein synthesis, ultimately leading to muscle repair and growth.

  5. Timing and Quantity: Consuming an adequate amount of protein after exercise, especially within the first few hours, can optimize muscle protein synthesis and enhance muscle recovery. The amount of protein needed varies depending on factors such as body weight, activity level, and fitness goals.

  6. Combination with Carbohydrates: Consuming protein alongside carbohydrates after exercise can further enhance muscle protein synthesis and glycogen replenishment, promoting faster recovery and muscle adaptation.

Overall, protein provides the essential building blocks necessary for repairing and rebuilding muscle tissue after exercise-induced damage. Incorporating protein-rich foods or supplements into your diet, especially after workouts, can support muscle recovery, repair, and growth, ultimately helping you achieve your fitness and performance goals.

I have a lot of resources for weight loss here on the Milk Dust site, and adding in a supplement like Milk Dust Lactation Protein Powder is a great step to ensuring your diet is on track and your milk supply is safe. From there, following a Macro Diet Plan or Clean-Eating Plan is really helpful to burning the belly fat and losing the mommy tummy all together. 


Seriously, a lactation smoothie made with a high-quality, milk-boosting protein like Milk Dust, and low-sugar berries like blueberries, strawberries or raspberries, is the magic potion breastfeeding mamas need to lose the belly fat. By keeping the protein high, sugar low, and nutrients off the charts, Milk Dust lactation smoothies are pure gold to nourishing lactating mamas. The herb-blend in Milk Dust for milk supply also ensures that milk production stays strong while belly fat is falling off. Protein powder is often a realistic, quick way for breastfeeding mamas to get their needed protein in. You can shake it up with one hand, or make one of our tasty recipes with just one-hand and a blender. Easy clean up, and no major cooking and prepping required! Our protein powder tastes amazing with just ice and milk too, so if you are short on groceries, you literally have all you need!

Effective Exercises for Strengthening Core

Abdominal muscles and lower back strength are pivotal after you've welcomed a new baby. Pelvic tilts, leg raises, and bicycle crunches could be your go-to exercises. They effectively target the core, which includes the stubborn belly fat that many new moms are eager to shed. These moves not only help in returning to your pre-pregnancy shape but also enhance your overall well-being. I was a Pilates Instructor prior to having kids, so I am a big fan of Pilates ot strengthen your core and heal your pelvic floor. There are other exercises you can do to strengthen your core, but I of course have what worked for me after all of my four births!



Every mother who wants to heal their core, regain their abdominal strength and flatten their tummy again after pregnancy needs to do this program! This 8-week program will also give you nutrition guidance, so you can burn belly fat, heal your diastasis recti and regain your confidence again. Here's what's included::

Lose the mommy pooch from the inside out (inner core strength!).

  • 2-week plan to heal your diastasis recti and inner core muscles
  • Progressive ab-strengthening plan to build strength again
  • Nutrition guidance to burn belly fat while breaestfeeding
  • Key nutritional information on macros to ensure you can burn fat safely



It is very difficult to see the abdominals and diagnose diastasis recti with extra belly fat. Our protein shake helps with weight loss and milk supply, so you can heal your diastasis recti, while also losing some of the pooch!

Before you embark on this journey, remember the path to regaining your original size involves patience. A gradual start ensures your body adapts without undue strain. Consistency in performing these effective exercises is the best way to see results. Be it the challenge of tightening loose skin or bidding farewell to the extra weight, persistence is key. For severe cases, like diastasis recti, consulting a physical therapist can provide tailored exercises that ensure safety and effectiveness. They guide you through the right exercises, considering any abdominal separation, and help maintain energy levels for taking care of your new baby. 


It is very important to practice these vacuum breaths while standing because standing is a functional position. Starting position is standing with feet shoulder-width apart, pelvis in a neutral position and relaxed shoulders. Take a deep breath in, and as you exhale pull your abs in as far as you can and hold. Hold as long as you before taking another inhale. Relax on the inhale, pull your abs in on the exhale. Make sure you are filling your lungs in your rib cage with air when you inhale. Perform 10-20 of these every morning. You can do them in the shower or while watching TV.


Pelvic tilts are very helpful to retraining the abdominal muscles to come back together. Start by lying on your back with knees bent and feet hip-width apart and neutral spine. Let your arms lie next to your sides. Take a deep breath in, then as you exhale, pull your abs in and tuck your pelvis in. Think of zipping up your abs and hold. Then relax your pelvis back down as you inhale again. The key is to contract your abs as you exhale on all the moves. Do 10-20 of these every morning. This will improve your core strength overall, and you can start this exercises just 1-2 weeks postpartum.


After your pelvic tilts, while still lying on your back, slide one heel out, so your right leg is in a straight line. This is done on the exhale. Inhale as you bring your heel back in. While you exhale and extend the other heel, pull your abs in and control your pelvis. You can use a towel or wear socks to make the heel slide easier. Do 10 slides on each leg.


Continuing on your back, after your heel slides, you can go right into bridges. Start exactly as you are doing a pelvic tilt, but as you tilt bridge your hips up into the air and hold there. You can take deep breaths at the top, keeping your hips up, then exhale, pull your abs in and slowly bring your body back down, one vertebrae at a time. Moving slowly back down allows you to practice controlling the movement with your abs. This is reinforcing the mind-muscle connection that is essential for repair.


For this exercise, you want to go back to standing and use a wall to help. Learning proper posture and good form again after baby arrives is really important to strengthening the abs. When standing against the wall, slide your heels back so they are touching the wall, Roll your shoulders back to touch the wall as well. Pull your upper abdominal muscles in, but do not tuck your pelvis under. There should be a small gap between the wall and your lower back where there is a natural arch. Practice your vacuum breaths in this position. Make sure the back of your head is back touching the wall as well. During pregnancy and holding a new baby tends to pull our necks and shoulders forward and encourage a slouch and pooch. This helps correct that.

The Importance of Hydration

Staying hydrated had proven essential for new moms aiming for a post-pregnancy flat tummy. It emerges as a critical component not only for weight loss but for overall vitality. Drinking adequate water has been shown to boost metabolism, a key player in the battle against stubborn belly fat. Experts often recommend that new mothers should aim for at least eight glasses of water daily. 

Incorporating water-rich foods into your diet can also play a pivotal role. Fruits like watermelon and cucumber, alongside vegetables such as spinach and tomatoes, offer a dual benefit. They not only contribute to your daily water intake but also provide essential nutrients that support your energy levels through the exhausting journey of motherhood. This holistic approach fosters not just the achievement of your pre-pregnancy weight but also enhances your overall well-being by maintaining optimal hydration levels. 

Breastfeeding and Belly Fat

Breastfeeding has long been hailed as a critical postpartum phase for new moms who are aiming to shed the extra baby weight. It may surprise you, but nursing your new baby can play a significant role in bouncing back to your pre-pregnancy shape. The process aids in burning calories, leveraging your body's natural mechanisms to support postpartum weight loss. Yet, this alone might not usher you back to your original size or ensure a flat tummy. 

Healthy diet choices and regular exercise remain paramount companions in your journey. Consuming nutrient-rich foods bolsters your energy levels, crucial for caring for your new baby and for supporting effective exercises targeted at your abdominal muscles and overall core strength. While breastfeeding can be an effective way to utilize extra fat stored during pregnancy, it is essential to recognize that experiences vary greatly among new mothers. For some, it might not be a feasible option due to various reasons, making it imperative not to solely rely on it for postpartum weight loss. 

Managing Stress: A Key Factor

Embarking on a journey to regain your pre-pregnancy shape, managing stress levels emerges as a pivotal factor. It's well-documented that high stress can thwart weight loss efforts, making you cling to stubborn belly fat. But good news awaits: effective stress management might just be the key to unlocking your flat tummy ambitions. 

Mindfulness practices have been shown to significantly dial down stress. Through mindful breathing or meditation, you could see a drastic reduction in the stress-induced urge to eat. Similarly, yoga, which harmonizes body and mind, can not only assist you in shedding extra fat but also in strengthening your core muscles. These gentle exercises ensure you bounce back stronger. 

Adequate sleep cannot be overlooked. Sleep deprivation wreaks havoc on your hormonal balance, pushing your body to store more fat. Striving for 7-8 hours of quality sleep nightly could therefore pave the way towards not just a flatter belly but a healthier overall well-being. Implementing these strategies diligently promises a lesser likelihood of weight gain and propels you towards a restored energy level and mental health. 

Healthy Snacking Options

After the arrival of a new baby, focused attention toward nourishment can become a secondary concern for many new moms. Smart snacking emerges as a pivotal strategy to regain pre-pregnancy shape, drawing the line between hunger and satiety. Foods rich in protein, fiber, and healthy fats have proven pivotal. 

Consider integrating snacks such as Greek yogurt topped with a selection of berries or perhaps a batch of hummus paired with crisp vegetables. These choices will not only satisfy hunger but also propel you toward your post-pregnancy belly fat goals. They serve as the ultimate belly fat cutter by ensuring you stay full longer, thus preventing the temptation to indulge in less nutritious options. 

Incorporating these delectable yet healthy snacks provides the energy boost necessary for keeping up with the new baby while simultaneously supporting your journey back to your original shape. By prioritizing nutrient density over caloric volume, you set the stage for a more effective postpartum recovery, both physically and in terms of energy levels. 

Realistic Expectations and Patience

After carrying a growing baby for months, new mums often yearn to return to their pre-pregnancy shape. Yet, the journey back involves more than just losing the extra weight. A blend of genetics, lifestyle changes, and hormonal shifts intricately influences the pace at which your body reclaims its original size. It's essential to set goals grounded in the reality of your unique situation; not all new moms will see their belly button return to its usual spot, or abdominal muscles tighten, within weeks postpartum. 

Most experts suggest a timeline where significant post-pregnancy belly fat reduction becomes noticeable might stretch up to a year. This duration can extend for cases involving severe diastasis recti or stubborn belly fat that resists regular exercise. Remember, the connective tissue and stretch marks slowly fade, but this transformation will not happen overnight. Moreover, adopting a balanced diet and engaging in effective exercises tailored to your needs will facilitate this transition. Yet, the best way forward involves patience and consistency. 

Highlighting progress over perfection plays a critical role in this journey. With each passing week, you'll likely discover more energy levels to play with your new baby and a strengthening core that supports your upper body. Let these milestones, rather than the quest for a flat tummy, guide your postpartum recovery. Every small step, whether it's opting for healthy snacks or finding joy in gentle exercises, accumulates into the ultimate bounce-back. Embrace this time with your body; it has accomplished something truly remarkable. 


I want to go into more detail on how new moms can eat clean, without counting calories for fast and safe postpartum weight loss. Losing weight while breastfeeding is trickier because of milk supply issues, but eating clean is really a simple trick to lose weight, but keep your milk supply. When new mothers reduce excess calories, that have low-nutrient content, and replace those foods with nutrient-dense foods, it signals to the body that there are plenty of nutrients to support lactation. If you struggle with eating clean, and knowing what to eat, we have a fabulous 28-day Breastfeeding Diet Plan that is full of recipes (with calorie counts!), and grocery lists, so you can follow the meal plan and watch your weight go down. Eating a clean diet also balances your blood sugar, which is really important to targeting belly fat. Usually, by reducing simple carbohydrates and unhealthy food, that results in eating more protein and nutrients This is the magic combination to increasing your metabolism and shedding extra weight.