Even though you are doing everything right — eating healthy, doing exercise every day, and drinking tons of water. And yet your stomach is always round and bloated as if you are expecting. People still look down at your tummy and even ask when are you due.
That question really gets you. It’s really weird when your stomach makes you look pregnant even when you are not. There are many women out there who complain about having a tummy that makes them look pregnant even after months of delivering a baby. Some of the causes of looking pregnant include, Diastasis Recti, belly fat, undigested carbs, constipation, endo belly, hormonal issues, celiac disease, and more. If you are also one of those women and wondering “Why Do I Look Pregnant” then this article will be a helpful read for you.
Do You Have Diastasis Recti?
Diastasis Recti is probably one of the biggest contributors to the ‘mummy tummy’. This is a condition when your abdominal muscles (also known as ab muscles) split apart. This is totally normal and happens when you are pregnant and is usually necessary for your body to make room for the baby.
Generally, when you deliver a baby, the muscles gradually grow back together in about 6 weeks. But sometimes muscles don’t actually grow back on their own. When this happens you might have back pain, core instability, and a big pooch.
So, if you are wondering why do you still look pregnant — Diastasis Recti could be the reason.
How to Treat Diastasis Recti?
Essentially, to treat the Diastasis Recti, you need to perform some specific exercises. However, there are certain exercises that can worsen the condition. You need to avoid traditional abdominal exercises such as crunches, planks, and situps as these exercises can put excessive load on abs muscles.
Try out exercises that don’t pull apart abdominal muscles, in fact, bring them together. You need to try out simple exercises. You can try out the belly dancing and hula hoop to get your muscles closer.
A diastasis recti can have a huge impact on your overall health so if you suspect that you have diastasis recti, find a pelvic therapist. It is best to treat the condition while it is in the early stage only.
If you are wondering why do you look pregnant, sometimes there’s no other reason than the fact that you have belly fat.
Women carry weight in their abdominal muscles and therefore even after months of delivering a baby, it could make you look pregnant. And to lose the mummy tummy, you just need to lose some weight.
There are so many things you need to keep in mind to lose belly fat including your stress level, eating habits, sleep pattern, nutrition, and activity levels.
Remember that is completely NORMAL to gain weight during pregnancy. However, reducing pregnancy weight can take a little longer.
Another reason why you may have a pregnant-looking belly is due to undigested carbs. For some people, digesting specific kinds of carbohydrates which are referred to as FODMAPS is a slow and difficult process.
FODMAPS are present in specific fruits, vegetables, dairy, insulin fiber, and wheat. These carbs are harder to break down during digestion. And in case they are partially broken down or undigested, they can lead to several problems including bloating. So, in short, these carbs can make you look pregnant even though you are not.
To avoid this, it is recommended to avoid intaking such carbs that are a little harder to digest. Choose food items that are not part of the FODMAPS group. Achieve a balance of gut bacteria to avoid looking pregnant while you are not.
Do you Suffer From Constipation?
This might sound a little funny but constipation can make you look like you are pregnant. Infrequent bowel movements can result in constipation. To avoid getting constipated, you need to make these dietary changes:
- Include vegetables and fruits in the diet.
- Add whole grains to the diet
- Start your day with a cup of hot water and a slice of lemon in it.
- Drink prune juice, cranberry juice, and lemon ice tea.
- Drink 10-12 glasses of water every day.
- Move your move for at least 30 minutes a day. Go for walk, jog, or swim.
Endo belly refers to severe bloating that is a condition in which tissues that are similar to the ones that are inside the uterus, called the endometrium are found inside the uterus where it does not belong.
Fluid retention and bloating are the symptoms of endometriosis. Some other symptoms of endometriosis include-
- Gas Pain
How to Treat Endo Belly at Home?
- Avoid processed foods, alcohol, red meat, dairy, and caffeine
- Avoid FODMAP foods such as wheat, legumes, dairy, and certain fruits and vegetables.
- Increase fiber intake
- Drink peppermint or ginger tea to avoid constipation.
Celiac disease that is often triggered by gluten can result in bloating and make you look pregnant. It is often caused by food like baked goods, pasta, bread, and beer and normally attacks the small intestine.
The symptoms of celiac disease are nausea, vomiting, bloating, or stomach pain. Some other symptoms include weight loss, anxiety, and fatigue.
Those suffering from Celiac disease should avoid intaking food items that have gluten.
Hormones — just like terrorists — mess up the whole system. You may have a lower tummy due to hormonal changes especially after pregnancy, menopause, or after taking the birth control pills.
The biggest role is played by the Estrogen hormone. This hormone helps in water retention. As estrogen hormone decreases after menopause in women, it decreases the functioning of the digestive system. This leads to a bloated stomach and makes you look pregnant.
Even Stress can Make you Look Pregnant
Another reason that you may look pregnant is due to excessive stress. Excessive stress can give you a big tummy and cause your body to break down. In addition to bloating problems, stress can result in chest pain, headaches, muscle tension, and high blood pressure.
To avoid stress, keep things cool and calm. Do regular exercise and go for a walk. Eat a balanced diet, breathe fresh air, and spend time with your loved ones.
It is quite common to have a big belly months after delivering a baby. Your body goes through many changes during and after pregnancy.
Go find the best solutions to deal with your belly fat. But always remember even with a mummy tummy, you are no less beautiful. So stand tall with confidence even with your mommy pooch.