There's a lot a pregnant woman can count on following the birth of a long-awaited baby, including sleepless nights and visitors flocking to her home for a viewing. But the zinger is the postbaby bulge.
That round bump that was so cute during the final months of your pregnancy becomes a balloon of bothersome flab that bulges over your waistband. People tell you it will eventually shrink back (you hope). But if you feel like dialing your ob-gyn to ask, "Are you sure I didn't have twins and you left the other little guy in there?" you're not alone.
Of all the common changes to our postpartum bodies, which can include stretch marks, varicose veins, and even new birth marks, the bulging belly is the one that seems to bother us the most, according to a Circle of Moms" target="_blank" class="ga-track" data-ga-category="internal click" data-ga-label="http://www.circleofmoms.com/survey_results.php?survey_id=87178" data-ga-action="body text link">survey of Circle of Mom members.
Forty-three percent of moms say in the survey that pregnancy left them with a fat, flabby belly, while 16 percent say it all settled in their hips, and five percent say their feet have grown and their shoes don’t fit. Around 29 percent share that they feel like their whole body has changed.
"My son is 4.5 months old and my body is definitely not what it was," says Jessica C. "[While I] lost all the weight I gained while pregnant plus 10 more pounds, [I have] the pudge belly. I need my body back."
Is there anything moms can do to slim down, tighten their abs, and reclaim their prebaby bodies? Moms share their tips, here.
A mom of four, Erica D., says, "I was a freak about my belly. It takes about a year for it to go back to normal, but some women don't get their tight belly back at all. Be patient," she advises.
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Kimlin also recommends babying your belly while pregnant. "For future reference, as soon as you know you are pregnant, rub your entire body with lots of baby oil and take lots of baths, which helps the skin to stretch and relax back to normal. It helped me avoid stretch marks," she says.
Krystin B., who had a baby in 2008, is one of the 16 percent of the moms who say the postbaby weight settled in their hips. But she eventually slimmed back down. "Breastfeeding really helps," she shares. "After my first baby, I bounced back really quickly, second baby not as quickly. It's amazing what our bodies go through."
What postpartum body changes have you experienced?
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.