A kangaroo pouch on a kangaroo is all kinds of cute. But a kangaroo pouch on a woman is less so. If you have mommy tummy and you’ve gone to your postpartum checkup, it’s time to start shaking that off with mommy pooch exercises plus other healthy methods to make it disappear.
But I have to warn you…you need to do the work. That baby pouch isn’t just going to disappear.
Some women may claim that it does. And indeed, it can happen, but that is a tiny percentage of the population. I only know of one person out of thousands and thousands of friends, family, acquaintances, and former coworkers that had that pregnancy pouch disappear on its own.
She was a very svelte woman, to begin with. But she also had a notable distinction…she treated her body like a temple and worshipped it with good food, exercise, stress-busting, and sleep.
No magic pill will get rid of the pouch under the belly button. It takes mommy pooch exercises to lose that kangaroo pouch fast. It also takes willpower to eat what’s right and care for your health.
Really, that’s the most challenging part for the mommy pooch. That kangaroo stomach isn’t going away without you working for it.
What is a kangaroo pouch?
A kangaroo pouch is an affectionate term bestowed upon the flab of fat on the front of your lower abs. You can’t just diet and expect it to fall off. You can’t just exercise the abs and think that spot training will help. It won’t. It takes a combination of healthy habits to lose that pouch for good.
Does the tummy pooch ever go away?
Yes, mommy tummy will go away. But like I said, it’s not happening on its own. You see my photos and think, “Wow, Leslie doesn’t even look like she had any children! I wish I had that body!”
Well, let me tell you something. Leslie worked her butt off, quite literally, to make that happen.
And I sat there lamenting for a long time too. Why do I still have this kangaroo pouch? It’s not fair!
But when I really looked at myself honestly, I found out why.
I wasn’t tracking what I was eating. I’d think about what I ate in a day and forget I had a handful of chips. Or I accidentally poured a wee bit more olive oil into the pan when making dinner. I forgot I took a couple of bites of cookies the kids gave me. And that I broke down and ate 3 cookies of my own.
You get the idea.
Oh, and I was “too tired” to work out after taking care of the kids when they were small. I get that. I know. But the law of kinetic energy states that objects at rest stay in a resting state while objects in motion keep moving. I had to put myself in a state of motion, and once I did, things improved.
But it wasn’t all overnight. It takes time, and know that you are beautiful all this time, no matter what.
Aesthetics aside, even if our husbands still swoon over us with that mom tummy mess hanging around. Even if you can overlook it. One thing that is intensely important here is why you should get rid of your kangaroo pouch.
You will lower your risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes, not to mention other diseases. Excess visceral fat, which is the stuff you see there on the mom tummy, is the common link to these illnesses.
Your kangaroo pouch is the product of abdominal wall separation and fat. The first step is correcting this, known as diastasis recti. You can do exercises to fix this, and you should focus on those and general fitness to improve your belly area.
Got an apron belly? Here’s how to get rid of that without surgery.
Why can’t I get rid of my stomach pouch?
There are quite a few reasons why your kangaroo tummy is still around. See if any of these apply, so you can get to the root cause and work to get rid of that baby belly.
- Blame your hormones
Your hormones may still fluctuate after having your baby. Even after things have leveled off, those hormones and your age could make it harder for you to bust that belly.
You might be predisposed, but don’t use this as an excuse. You can certainly reach your goal of banishing that kangaroo belly back to the Outback, where it came from!
Check with your doctor about your hormones. If they’re wonky, you can balance those insulin levels by using resistance training methods. Try weightlifting or using stretch bands. Even joining a reformer Pilates class can help you build your needed strength. And in doing so, your body will continue to use energy to recover, another bonus in your corner.
One more thing about hormones:
If you start eating right, exercising, sleeping enough, and managing stressors and you’re still not losing weight, chat with your doctor. It could be PCOS or polycystic ovary syndrome, which may keep you fat. Your doctor can help you get it under control.
- Be honest about what you’re eating
Hey, I’ve been there too. It’s easy to forget you downed a donut hiding in your laundry room to get a break from all the ruckus. I feel you.
When I started keeping a food journal, I found it much easier to see where I was going wrong. I could also see where my emotions (like stress and anxiety) would get the best of me and cause me to lunge for something sweet or salty.
This is important:
Junk food makes anything you do negate. Meaning you can work out every day, and you’ll still have trouble moving that fat. Not all calories are the same, so if you eat a 100-calorie candy bar, you will STILL be hungry. And you will likely eat 10 more of those candy bars if someone lets you. Whereas if you ate 100 calories of broccoli, you’d feel full.
Sure, broccoli pales compared to candy bars, but if you want to bid adieu to mommy tummy, it’s time to bring balance to those meals. Eat lean proteins, plenty of fresh produce, complex carbs, and healthy fats while keeping active. Oh, and drink that water! Water is life, for it flushes toxins, helps your circulation, and gives your organs all the things they need to thrive.
- Watch your alcohol intake
I remember how happy I was to have a pint of beer after my eldest was born. We went to dinner to celebrate in China, and I downed my fair share while my in-laws fed her the milk I had expressed before my consumption.
In moderation, alcohol is fine. But alcoholic beverages have calories too. So you’re drinking more calories than you need. If you’re breastfeeding, you burn those calories too, but it’s not enough to erase your big night of drinking. Cut down on the alcohol, and you should start seeing results with your pregnancy pooch going away.
- Too much stress or exercise
Yup. You can exercise too much. My friend Kara did this and couldn’t understand why she wasn’t losing weight. That’s when I told her there is such a thing as too much exercise.
The same goes for stress too.
The stress hormone known as cortisol affects fat storage. It happens when you over-exhaust your adrenal glands leading to excess fat in that kangaroo pooch area.
This can happen from stressing out over those things we stress about. The kids. The house. The husband. Work. Money. You name it. It can also happen from exercising too much.
Cut down on the coffee and try some simple relaxing stretches. Aromatherapy can help here too. Perhaps meditate with your diffuser on and balance your hormones.
- There’s no such thing as spot reduction
Ignore those advertisements you see about spot reduction. It’s a shame. You cannot, I repeat, cannot get rid of that mom tummy pooch with a million crunches a day.
Weight loss must happen all over your body. You can tighten specific muscles, but if you have fat, you must lose it. Full-body exercises that build your core and abs will help. I like HIIT (high-intensity interval training) for just this purpose. Full-body workouts are your most effective weapon against that kangaroo pouch.
Here’s how Linda made a significant weight loss after her c-section.
How to get rid of a kangaroo pooch after a baby (c-section or otherwise)?
Yup, you can get rid of it. But you’ve got to work for it. I’ve always carried with me that nothing in this world worth having is ever easy to obtain.
That lower belly bulge is from fat, a mixture of subcutaneous fat like soft pinchy fat and visceral fat, which is dangerous and can weave around your internal organs. You want to get rid of it not so you can look how you want to but for your health. You’ll have a longer, richer life when you aim at that belly.
So, here’s your plan:
Eat clean and unprocessed foods if you want to say goodbye to mummy tummy. Look for hidden sugars. They lurk in sauces and dressings and lots of other places. I like to make my own for these reasons, so I know what’s going into it.
Stop drinking calories. If you have coffee, switch to drinking it sans sugar and cream. Skip the sweets, at least for a little while. A treat here or there isn’t going to do you in, however, keeping that food journal will ensure you don’t reward yourself too much.
Meals should revolve around lean proteins like tofu, prime flank steak, or skinless poultry items. Get whole grains into your meals and make plant-based portions like green veggies the star of your plate.
Instead of junk, swap it out with fresh fruit for a snack. I can’t think of anything more rewarding than cool slices of watermelon on a hot day. It satisfies my need for sweetness while quenching my thirst and giving me tons of vitamins.
You don’t have to make all these healthy food changes in one day, but do aim to incorporate a new change each week to get your health on track and that belly back to flat.
Again, there is NO way to spot a train. You’re only toning and strengthening those muscles, which is good, but it isn’t making that baby belly disappear. Make a comprehensive workout plan to attack the fat.
You want to get a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate cardio per week. This is an excellent place to start if you’ve never really exercised. Once you build up this habit, you can move to 250 minutes weekly. You should do total-body strength-training sessions twice weekly.
Other exercises to do to help you reach your dreams of getting rid of the kangaroo pouch include:
You want to use weights that will leave you exhausted after completing 8 to 12 reps. Only do one set to start and add more as it becomes easier. You’ll gain muscle, making your body burn off calories and fat more efficiently.
I know it is hard with kids in the house, especially newborns, but sleep is important for your body. Your cortisol levels will be crazy if you don’t take the time to rest. Have your spouse take care of things so you can nap. If they can’t help, ask family or friends to help.
Sleep is when our bodies restore themselves and muscles recuperate, so get it while you can!
And finally, focus on reducing stress. Take a walk with the baby and kids. Meet a friend at the park. Read a book. Soak in the tub. Fill your cup to replenish yourself.
When you do these 4 things, you will more easily lose that belly bulge and get your body back to where you want it. Work it, Mama!
Leslie Berry lives with her husband and two young daughters in Los Altos, California, where she loves helping other moms get comfortable with motherhood and embracing the insanity with facts peppered with laughs.
She loves eating too much sushi, exercising, and jamming out on her Fender. Read more about Leslie here.