Your body after birth: the mummy tummy

As soon as you've given birth your stomach muscles begin the gradual process of regaining tone and strength. Read how you can help them along...

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To accommodate your growing baby, your stomach muscles will have stretched by around 60cm during pregnancy. Whilst this will have gone down considerably by the time you’ve given birth, your muscles still have a lot of work to do to regain their tone and strength.

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Your uterus will start to shrink

As soon as you give birth your uterus (womb) begins to shrink. This can sometimes be painful, but should subside within a few days. Your uterus should be back to it’s normal size by the time you have your six-week check.

Lose weight breastfeeding

Breastfeeding helps to shift your baby bulge by burning extra fat that you gain in pregnancy. Some women find the effects are evident very quickly, for others it can take a little longer. A realistic weight loss goal is nine months. Dieting whilst breastfeeding is not advised, especially as you’ll need around 500 extra calories a day to make sure your baby get all of the essential nutrients they need from your milk. And to keep your energy levels up!

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Build your muscles back up

Your tummy muscles will have separated down the middle during pregnancy under the pressure of your uterus. They will need time to knit back together, normally up to six months, but sometimes even longer. Pelvic floor exercises can help, but don’t overdo it. Wait until your muscles are properly healed and wait for at least ten weeks after a caesarean before exercising.

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