So how old is Joshua now? Just about 15 months, right? So I’ve been “postpartum” for 15 months. I’d say that since about September, life got uncrazy enough to make me feel like I’d have time and energy to do some exercising and get my body back to where I’d like it to be. So I started out doing some crunches to tighten up that loose tummy skin, but that was entirely unsuccessful – just seemed to make it worse. Those of you who saw me pregnant probably remember that my tummy went straight out about 10 feet (well maybe not quite that far, but it felt like it when I was trying to wash my hands and couldn’t reach the faucet). Anyway, I’m back at my pre-pregnancy weight and don’t have much to complain about, I’m not saying that, but my tummy still looks funny – loose and very stretch-marky.
So now I am motivated to do something about it again (yes, yes, about 8 months after I gave up the crunches, but better late than never), and I started looking online for advice on what to do. At first I just came across all sorts of articles about how that loose skin will never go away and you just have to wait until you are done having babies and then have surgery. That was very discouraging…but then I finally found some information about what happens to your abdominal muscles when that baby is in there, and which muscles will help (or harm) the process of getting rid of that extra stuff. So basically what you need to focus on is your Transverse Abdominus, and not with the typical crunches or other ab exercises that you regularly hear about, which only exercise the surface muscles and so push your tummy out even further.
Nope, to strengthen these muscles, the main exercise that I found is called the “vacuum” (or a variation is called the “cross”, which is just the vacuum with your arms extended straight out). All there is to it is that you stand straight with good posture and your spine straight and suck in your stomach like you’re pulling your belly button towards your spine. With a lot of repetition, this will help pull the muscles on the sides of your waist inward. This is also a really good exercise just to get your waist a bit skinnier – not only to get rid of post-pregnancy looseness. Here are a couple of links if you’re interested:
So today (6/23) I’m starting, and I hope to see some results. If I can feel comfortable in a bathing suit, I’ll be happy! If it doesn’t do much, that’s fine, too – I’ll know that I tried, and I’ll be ok with my “mommy tummy.” Any other suggestions from moms who’ve been successful would be appreciated, too!