The Right Way to Re-Tighten Your Abs After Having a Baby

Babies are awesome. I can say this with absolute certainty since I have a six month old at home. They’re cute; they’re cuddly (especially when they’re tired); and their precious smiles and squeals are enough to make even anybody’s face light up.

But babies also wreak havoc on their moms’ bodies. I can say this with absolute certainty since I have a six month old at home. Those first few weeks, when your belly is still shrinking, feel endless (like, why can’t you just fit into your pre-baby jeans already?!), and even after that, it can take months or longer for you to feel like you’re back to your old self.  

For many women, the things that can take the longest to heal are the ab muscles. That’s because many postpartum women find that they’ve been blessed (har har) with a condition called diastasis recti, in which the left and right abdominal muscles separate to make room for the expanding belly. It all sounds pretty neat and scientific until you realize that after you give birth, the ab muscles take a LOOOONG time to come back together (for some women, a year or more), leaving you with dreaded belly “pooch” as the front of the abdomen is no longer properly supported.

The tricky thing is, doing a bunch of crunches (i.e. exercises that sort of jack-knife your body, pivoting from the hips) can make matters worse, further exacerbating the split. Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to usher along the healing process by strengthening the other muscles of the core.

As a diastasis recti sufferer myself (Not sure if you have it? Here’s a way you check yourself.), I was personally pretty psyched when Gavin over at Unite Fitness sent along the video below with a few simple moves (breathing included!) to help you repair and rehab your post-baby belly.

Check it out below.

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