We've all heard stories of new moms whose tummies are tight and flat immediately after giving birth. Although this does happen, it's rare. For most women it takes months to get rid of the "pregnancy pouch" and sometimes it never goes away entirely.
Patience is key. It took nine months for your abdomen to stretch to accommodate a full-term baby, so it makes sense that it would take at least that long to tighten back up.
The speed and degree of this transition depends largely on your normal body size, how much weight you gained during pregnancy, how active you are, and your genes. Women who gained less than 30 pounds and exercised regularly during pregnancy, who breastfeed, and who have had only one child are more likely to slim down quickly.
If you're not breastfeeding, you'll need to watch how much you're eating in order to lose pregnancy weight. You need fewer calories now that you're not pregnant.
Exercise also helps. Whether it's a stroll around the block or a postpartum yoga class, physical activity tones stomach muscles and burns calories. A rigorous exercise regimen that includes an aerobic workout and movements that focus on the abdomen can work wonders. (But before starting an exercise routine, make sure your body is ready.)
Don't go on a severe diet rapid weight loss affects your ability to breastfeed. Extreme dieting puts your body in starvation mode, and the stress and fatigue reduces the amount of milk you produce. Also, when you diet too much, you may not eat enough nutrient-rich foods, which means your baby may not get all the fat and vitamins she needs from your breast milk.