As women our bodies are incredible. The very fact we have the ability to create and carry life for 40 weeks is magical. Not only this but we can also produce the very best food for our little ones by feeding them the breast milk our bodies create.
This in its own right sounds like a miraculous task and women often relish the process of being pregnant and bringing life into the world.
But what happens after the birth? How does mom feel?
Our bodies have just gone through the most rigorous shape-changing experience they will ever endure, but why are women in such a rush to get back to our pre parental figure? What is wrong with embracing our new shape?
In this article, we will look into exactly what an apron belly is and how to get rid of an apron belly without surgery.
In this article
What Is An Apron Belly?
Apron belly is something many moms discover postpartum. Also known as a pannus stomach. It is essentially a stomach overhang that is made up of a combination of visceral and subcutaneous fat.
It happens especially after pregnancy due to the weight that the vast majority of women gain during those 9 months. It results in fat deposits in the omentum, which is a flap that is under your abdominal muscles just in front of your intestines.
The apron belly is responsible for our change in shape during pregnancy.
It can leave many new moms feeling as if they have lost their identity, attractiveness and can contribute to depression and anxiety in some extreme cases.
So is it risky?
Health Risks Associated With Apron Belly
Fat known as subcutaneous fat can be grabbed from the outside of the body. It builds up inside your body in between your organs and can release toxins and affect the way our organs work.
Physically the apron belly is known to have links with certain types of cancer including ovarian and type two diabetes.
It can also often be linked to depression and anxiety in new moms, making them feel as if they have lost their identity after childbirth.
How can we help moms become physically fit and regain their identity after the miraculous journey of pregnancy and childbirth?
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Ways To Combat Apron Belly
The pressure to feel and look great after having a child can be overwhelming as you are still adjusting to motherhood and your new skin.
There is no shame in waiting until you are ready to combat this new belly however the benefits of tackling the issue can be immense for both your physical and mental health.
So what are some of the best ways to get rid of your apron belly without resorting to invasive surgery?
Being active and physical during the day can help shed the excess pounds your bodies stored during pregnancy. Making small changes like taking the stairs instead of the elevator can have an improved benefit to your health.
Exercise can help your body regain its shape postpartum however it is important to understand that one exercise cannot target a specific area therefore it is always a good idea to maintain a full-body workout. A focus on cardio can aid fitness levels when completing full-body workouts.
You would not be the first person to think ‘I have got a newborn baby, when do I have the time to work out?’. Maybe you just had a c-section and have a hanging belly. Or perhaps you have stomach crease lines from all the extra bed rest you’ve had.
This is a fair and accurate thought of many new moms, however, it is important that whilst you are still embracing your new role you take some time for yourself.
Exercise can be completed at home as well as out and about with the stroller, so if you are struggling for a little time opt to work out when you can. Remember little and often is better than not at all!
It will also benefit your mental health as your body is adjusting to the missing hormones it has been relying on for the past nine months. The release of Endorphins will help you feel better and confident in your own skin once more.
Now it is important not to feel that you have to live your new mom life as a rabbit on fruits and salads. But it is essential to take your eating habits into consideration.
After having my first little one, I felt as if I needed sugar. With the sleepless nights and a healing body to contend with it was all too easy to reach for the biscuit barrel rather than eating a substantial meal.
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The sooner you can get a handle on your diet postpartum, the better. Forming new eating habits will enable your body to heal and lose the excess weight gained during pregnancy.
You should aim to eat a low-fat lean diet as this will help your body use the stored fat as energy and in time you will find that the fatty apron belly will shrink back.
Snacks such as nuts and fruit will help your body absorb what it needs and not leave you with cravings for unhealthy snacks.
Please remember though, momma!
Your body has undergone a massive transformation and it will take time for you to adjust both physically and mentally.
By looking at your diet it is important not to feel as if the ‘deemed’ unhealthy snacks and meals cannot be eaten, they only become unhealthy when eaten in excessive amounts. Allow yourself to have a treat girl! You blinking deserve it now and again!
Although these garments are not scientifically proven to give amazing results, waist training products that put pressure on your abdomen can help towards flattening the belly surface.
The tight elastic compresses the loose skin and aids the body shape. Probably helpful if you want to get rid of lumps and bumps under clothes but this method would have to be accompanied by diet and exercise to have any lasting benefits.
Check for Diastasis Recti
Diastasis Recti formally known as DR is when the abdominal muscles separate from each other. It is very common in postpartum women and up to 60% find that they have it.
You may find that if you have DR the mommy pouch is visible, and you have lower back pain. Sounds like every pregnant woman right?!
It is important to determine if you have DR after childbirth as many exercises could weaken the muscles and the end result could mean your mommy pouch gets worse.
You can test for DR yourself at home:
- Lie down with your feet flat and knees bent.
- Place two fingers just under your belly button.
- Lift your head off the floor to contract the stomach.
- If you can feel the stomach muscles then great but if it feels a bit squishy then you may have DR.
After carrying a baby for nine months it is 100% normal for things to feel a bit squishy in the belly area, but if you have any doubts or concerns it is important you consult your physician before trying out any exercises.
These pesky things again! You can’t live with them and you can’t live without them. For the past 9 months, they may have brought you the most nauseating symptoms ever.
Getting a handle on these will help your body regain its shape. Your body has been surging with hormones for 40 whole weeks so it is no wonder that they will still be buzzing around your body postpartum.
Many hormones can create fat-building cells and produce insulin which the body likes to store. An imbalance in these types of hormones can create fat in the belly area and hence creating the mommy apron.
Regulate these hormones by following a healthy balanced diet, watch your caffeine intake, and sleep when you can, (very hard when nursing a newborn at 3 am.)
Eat less, burn more
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This sounds obvious, right? However, you wouldn’t expect to put $10 worth of gas in the car and expect it to travel the same distance as if you were to put $20, would you?
This is important. It is obvious that the body will start using stored fats if it feels it isn’t getting enough fuel from the foods we eat. However, it can be a dangerous and unpleasant experience if this isn’t done in a controlled safe way.
We spoke about eating healthy in the diet section and confirmed that treats are ok in moderation, after all, you have just birthed a whole human, I think you can celebrate with a bar of chocolate!
But it is important that you get the balance right when tracking your calories. In order to lose weight, you need to ensure that there is a deficit between the amount you eat and the amount that you burn, but this needs to be done safely.
If it is not it could lead to a huge drop in energy levels leaving you feeling even more exhausted and defeated. This may not only lead to you binging but it could also leave you feeling faint and dehydrated.
This is a procedure in itself but less invasive than surgery. It involves freezing the fat cells in unwanted areas so the body can get rid of them as waste. It is a technique many people use to help get noticeable results.
The procedure is around 60 minutes long for each target area and it has been known to show results in three weeks.
How many sessions you need will depend on the individual and obviously come at a cost.
Pro Protein and Fiber
These two nutrients found in foods aid a balanced diet. Protein found in many types of meat and fish, can help your body mend tissues and help you feel full hence reduce snacking.
Fiber aids digestion and encourages the body to feel fuller for longer by slowing down food absorption. Ensuring you add these two beauties to your diet will not only help the way you feel but also help to combat the overhang issues in your belly.
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Opposite to the cool sculpt, this procedure is about melting the fat cells under the skin then a doctor can suck out the fat through a small incision. Slightly more invasive than cool sculpting but results tend to be noticeable quicker.
At first, you may feel bigger as it can produce swelling but once this has reduced you will start to feel the benefits.
You may have heard an older relative shout “sit upright.” It is important to understand that they would only have said this to help you and your body. They are not just shouting for no reason!
Sitting with the correct posture is invaluable for our core muscles and stability. It also reduces back pain and can help the belly seem smaller.
As you work your core from just sitting correctly it will help your apron reduce in size as your body will be burning essential fat stored in this area.
Will my belly overhang go away?
It will not go away on its own. You will have to actively work on getting rid of it through healthy eating and exercise. This is not just about the way you look but also about your health as excess abdominal fat has been linked to major diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
How can I get rid of my apron belly naturally?
It is important to remember that overall health is your priority especially as you have another human who relies on you completely. It is impossible to spot treat certain areas of your body so the only way to reduce one area is through healthy eating and exercise.
How much does it cost to get rid of an apron belly?
Surgical costs can range from $8000 to $15000 for this type of procedure. But before you go down the road of an invasive surgical procedure ensure that you have exhausted all non-invasive options first.
The Final Thought
After having a baby it is no surprise that you feel like a stranger in your own body. The body you knew before has just housed a human and pressure for it to snap back to its former glory could be a long and hard process.
There is a lot of pressure in the media for us women to look great after labor but let me tell you, momma. Every woman who has been pregnant and gone through labor is in your boat!
Our self-image can get pummeled whilst everyone coos over this beautiful human you have made. You may start to feel empty and look at your body in disgust. Please remember what you have done!
Give yourself credit and allow your stretch marks and belly time to heal. They won’t be there forever, especially if you take on some of the tips above and follow a clean healthy lifestyle. I can promise you, you will soon miss the bump.