We'd been given exercised from the OB physio at the antenatal classes, but they are the same exercises you do in pilates to draw in and hold your core muscles. The idea is to bring the stomach muscles back together again that parted to make room for the baby. (If you do a sit up just now you should see a sort of cone shape pop out in the top end of your stomach, that is where there is a gap in the muscles just now!)
She said to be very careful about doing anything other than that exercise for your core as there is a slight risk of strengthening the musles before they draw back together again and then you'd never get the tone back properly...
You can probably find a better example, but the first 2 minutes of this video kind of show what she was talking about:
Breastfeeding helps contract the uterus. Your uterus should be about the size of a lime about 6 weeks after. The shape of your abs is another story and is entirely based on how much weight you gained, the size of your baby, how big your tummy was stretched, and the elasticity of your skin. About 6 months after I gave birth to a 9lbs 10oz baby boy (gained 90lbs) I was back to my prepregnancy size 12....with a little extra loose skin that never went away no matter what.
My nan has told me that she used a pillow under her tummy whilst laying on her front. My mum and cousins have both tried this after having their babies and it has seemed to work quickly for them.
I believe that in some countries they bind their waists, but I dont know if this works.
I remember lying in my bed the day my daughter was born BFing her thinking - OMG why am i still getting contractions ... BF really does work. The health visitors were surprised at how everything felt after just a few days ! x
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