While some women seem to spring right back into their pre-pregnancies bodies, the majority of us are happy...and resentful of them while we wonder if we'll ever reduce the pooch and start to look slim and fit again. It's one thing to have to live with the stretch marks and the droopier breasts, but the squishiness around the middle makes it difficult to think that flat abs will ever be a part of our lives again.
So what is the answer to the question? Can every mom actually get her pre-pregnancy abs back after having had a baby or two? Is it actually possible for every woman who has ever had a child to return to the shape she'd been in before having been pregnant, in terms of her core muscles?
While there are certain factors that do play a role, such as the fitness level you'd achieved before getting pregnant, and your genes, some women actually do gain a bit of a belly after having had a baby, and it may never entirely go away. The number of women who can actually return to the exact type of abs that they'd had before having a baby is actually quite small. For the rest of women, it could take quite a long time to return to that condition, or it may never completely happen.
The key is to be patient and easy on yourself. Remind yourself that it did take nine months to bring your belly to the largest size that it reached while you were carrying your baby, so it only makes sense that recovery from stretching out, and losing all of the added baby fat will take some time, as well.
This is as long as only the recommended 25 to 30 additional pounds of pregnancy weight have been gained. Should any more than that have been gained while carrying the baby, then the added weight could easily have been stored as visceral (belly) fat, which is among the toughest types to reduce.
As you get back into a healthy eating and more active lifestyle, remind yourself that the fat and squishiness that you feel in front of your abdominal muscles may not actually have anything to do with the actual abs underneath. If you have been careful to keep up your abs and you have been gently working them after having had a baby, then the bit of jiggle that is there could be the result of lost elasticity in the skin, and not necessarily because there is added fat in that area.
Don't be discouraged by any of this news. If you are concerned, speak with your doctor. Focus more on treating your body well and staying in shape, instead of trying to achieve those chiseled, rock-solid pre-pregnancy abs that you may once have had (or that you were hoping to have for the first time after having had your baby). By focusing on health and fitness as a whole you'll be sure to achieve your best possible shape, which will allow you to continually improve the way you look and feel.