Dr. Erika Schwartz, M.D., is a leading national expert in wellness, disease prevention, and bioidentical hormone therapies. Dr. Schwartz has written four best-selling books, testified before Congress, hosted her own PBS special on bioidentical hormones, and is a frequent guest on network TV shows.

Dr. Erika Schwartz, M.D

Get Rid of That Baby Bump

Thursday, 30 Jan 2014 03:50 PM

By Erika Schwartz, M.D

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Those of us who are mothers know that after months of attention from our healthcare provider, once we deliver the baby and have our six-week post-partum doctor’s visit, we are left to fend for ourselves. Unless you are a celebrity or movie star who can afford to have a personal trainer and a chef, you are facing a floating belly in the bathtub. Why?

To accommodate the baby’s growth, our abdominal muscles and skin stretch. Even if we are able to lose all the pregnancy weight, we are often left with a belly. I know from personal experience — I have two kids.

What can you do about it?

Exercise.
There is no such thing as too many sit-ups. When you do them, protect your neck and don’t forget form. Watch yourself in the mirror and see how you look. Do a plank and hold for the count of 1 minute. Do push-ups while kneeling. Start with 10 and work your way up to 50. Run or just walk fast and do interval training 20 minutes a day.

Eat better. Decrease the amount of coffee, soda, and prepared foods you consume. When you stop breastfeeding, stop eating dairy. Increase your intake of dark leafy green vegetables and beans. (They may bloat you initially but will help you lose the belly in the long run). Eat other veggies and a little fruit. For protein, eat more fish and chicken than red meat. Drink tons of alkaline water (pH level > 8.5).

Consider surgical help. I find that as soon as we decide to go under the knife or laser, we immediately follow the diet, exercise more, do whatever it takes to lose the weight and get the flat stomach again. If you must get liposuction or a tummy tuck, make sure you go to experts who have been doing the same procedure on at least 100 women a year for decades. Experience trumps credentials and medical pedigrees.  

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Erika Schwartz, M.D., is a leading national expert in wellness, disease prevention, and bioidentical hormone therapies. She is author of Dr. Erika’s Healthy Balance newsletter.
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