We hear so much from our peers, the media and the internet about ‘shifting the baby weight’ and ‘post-baby bodies’. There’s a lot of pressure on women to bounce back after pregnancy but realistically, after carrying a baby and going through childbirth, things are always going to be different with your body.
For many, the ‘mum tum’ or ‘mummy pouch’ is a reminder of the incredible journey that their body went through and the proud stamp of a mother. For others, it’s a source of insecurity and negative body image. The trouble is, it can be pretty difficult to shift – even through healthy eating and exercise.
What is a ‘mum tum’ and why does it happen?
Widely known as a ‘mum tum’, this is the little pouch of fat around the belly button that often sticks around post-pregnancy. After childbirth, your stomach muscles are compromised and much weaker and therefore, less taut. In some cases, the abdominal muscles can actually separate during pregnancy, leaving the core unsupported.
This is called diastasis recti. Not only does it result in the pouch-like appearance of the mum tum, but with less strength and muscle mass, the body doesn’t burn as many calories or fat. It’s completely normal, and necessary, to gain weight during pregnancy but diastasis recti coupled with the busy and exhausting lifestyle of a mum can easily lead to unwanted fat that the body is going to struggle to burn off.
In addition, our stomachs generally have a high alpha to beta ratio, which basically means that it’s hard to shed fat from this area. Beta receptors respond well and accelerate the fat burning process whereas alpha receptors don’t respond well.
Can diastasis recti be fixed with fat freezing?
No, it cannot. To build your abdominal muscles back up, you should do regular stomach exercises and the first priority should always be healthy eating and exercising. Simple changes such as cutting right down on caffeine and sugar can make a big difference, and of course doing plenty of cardio to burn fat. Try doing 30-40 minutes of cardio three times a week – fast walking is good if you struggle to find the time and energy to spend in the gym. But remember, new mums should always get the go ahead from a professional before beginning to exercise again.
What fat freezing can fix, however, is the stubborn fat that sits around this weakened area that you might be finding difficult to shift. Fat freezing is a non-invasive treatment designed to kill fat cells by suctioning the skin with paddles which crystallize fat cells laying underneath. Once crystallized and in turn destroyed, the body will naturally flush out the dead fat cells over a period of around 12 weeks.
How soon after pregnancy can I have a fat freezing treatment?
It’s definitely not something that you should rush into. For one, as mentioned, always try and shed the fat the old fashioned way – with a healthy lifestyle. If the fat is still persisting then it might be time to look to fat freezing.
The general rule of thumb is to wait around six to nine months post-birth to undertake a fat freezing treatment to give your body the chance to settle down. Think about it – it takes nine months to grow and carry a baby so it’ll probably take a similar amount of time for your body to go back to it’s new normal state. The length of time it takes will depend on your size and shape pre-baby, your personal weight gain in pregnancy, your activity levels and your genes.
It’s always best to air on the side of caution when it comes to your post-pregnancy body. You don’t want to put it through anything that it’s not quite ready for. Our Nu You team would love to meet you for a consultation to discuss your possible fat freezing treatment. For more information, please feel free to contact us via our online form or give us a call on 0207 315 4384.