Beating The "Baby Belly"

Beating The
After pregnancy, one of the biggest concerns for women is that dreaded 'baby belly'. But there are a number of exercises women can do to squash that belly permanently.

How much exercise a new mother can do depends on how much exercise she undertook during pregnancy and if she had any delivery complications. Women should listen to their bodies and be willing to adapt their routines to suit both good days and days when they might be feeling under the weather from the demands of motherhood.

Abdominal and pelvic floor muscle exercises are a good starting point for most women. To help with toning the abdominal muscles, all abdominal and postural exercises will help. However, those women who have had a C-section should avoid these exercises for a while. A woman can actually start exercising within hours after delivery with a simple "pulling in" of the abdominal muscles. This type of exercise can help bring the uterus back to its original size and expel residual blood.

A good overall postpartum exercise and diet plan will help women lose the extra pounds, which should include the fat stores around the midsection. While light exercise is fine, aggressive dieting and exercising is not recommended while breast-feeding.

- Annemarie Failla