In this article, you are going to learn how to get rid of a kangaroo pouch after having a baby.
Specifically, it will cover:
- What a kangaroo pouch is
- How to get rid of it, and
- Tips on how to get a flat stomach postpartum.
Are you ready?
Let’s get started.
Although I am a doctor, I am not your doctor. This information is for informational purposes only and should not substitute the advice from your healthcare professional. All kinds of exercise and dietary changes are potentially dangerous, and those who do not seek counsel from the appropriate health care authority assume the liability of any injury which may occur. Please read my full Disclaimer for more information. Also, this post may contain affiliate links: meaning I may receive a commission if you use them.
Ok, moving on.
What is a kangaroo pouch?
A kangaroo pouch is a bulge in the middle of your abdomen that can appear soon after childbirth.
It is commonly referred to as the “mommy tummy,” “mommy pouch” or “belly pooch.”
The kangaroo pouch is often due to a separation of your abdominal muscles, which allows tissue to protrude out and bulge.
More on that later.
In addition, carrying excess fat on your body can also worsen the condition.
Is it possible to get rid of the Kangaroo Pouch?
Getting rid of the kangaroo pouch/ mommy tummy requires a multidisciplinary approach.
Unfortunately, doing hundreds of situps a day is not the answer.
Instead, you need to
- decrease your body fat percentage, and
- strengthen and rebuild your core muscles
Let’s go over some strategies.
Tips to get a flat tummy after pregnancy
To get a flat tummy after pregnancy you will need to do a few things.
1. You must lose fat by following a nutrition plan
The only way to lose weight is to improve your nutrition and consume fewer calories than your body is burning.
As simple as that sounds, there are many intricacies that go with it.
First of all, this does not mean that you need to starve yourself!
It also doesn’t mean that you should start a fad diet, or become keto or vegan.
The most important thing is that you find a sustainable way to improve the nutrients you put into your body, which will inevitably decrease the number of calories your body is taking in.
It would also help if you cut out nutrient poor foods like:
- white bread
- fast food
- artificial juice
- doughnuts, pastries, etc
These foods provide zero nutrition to your recovering postpartum body.
Instead, you should make an effort to include more nutrient-dense foods into your daily routine like:
- whole grains
- lean meats
- cruciferous vegetables
These foods are full of micro and macronutrients that your body is craving.
Plus they are low in calories!
For your convenence, I have created a nutrition guide for postpartum fat loss that gives you a step-by-step plan telling you exactly what to eat so that you could lose fat in a healthy and sustainable way- all without affecting your milk supply!
2. You must make sure you are hydrated
Hydration is so important for your body to function.
In addition, water can help control your appetite as it physically takes up space in your stomach.
Give this quick tip a try.
Drink a tall 16oz glass of water prior to eating.
You may notice that this can help curb your appetite and decrease the number of unnecessary calories you might otherwise have eaten.
To ensure you are drinking enough water just check the color of your urine.
It should be a pale yellow color.
If it is a dark yellow color, you are not well hydrated.
If the urine is colorless, you are drinking too much water and need to slow down.
3. You must check to make sure you don’t have diastasis recti
Diastasis recti is very common postpartum and is due to a separation of your rectus abdominis muscles.
During pregnancy, the rapid growth of the uterus that occurs throughout your gestational period forces the ab muscles to stretch, which weakens them.
To determine if you have diastasis recti there is a simple test you could do at home in the postpartum period.
The test could be performed from the modified curl-up position.
Here is what it looks like:
From this lying position, you will attempt to insert your fingers at the midline of your abdomen, either at your belly button or slightly above or below.
If you have abdominal separation and are able to insert 2-3 fingers and it feels squishy you probably have diastasis recti.
You could also learn more on how to tell if you have diastasis recti here.
So, if you have just figured out that you have diastasis recti possibly causing your kangaroo pouch, what should you do?
4. Strengthen your deep core muscles
Training your core is essential to redevelop the strength that was lost in your abdomen.
Your abs are made up of 3 different muscles.
- The transverse abdominis muscles (TVM)
- The rectus abdominis, and
- The obliques
The transverse abdominis muscles are located deep in your abdomen and wrap around your belly like a corset.
To strengthen the TVM you could try the following exercises:
Posterior Pelvic Tilts
The goal of this exercise is to posteriorly tilt the pelvis and flatten your low back completely against the ground. In doing so, you will activate the appropriate core muscles as well as the pelvic floor!
The dead bug is an amazing exercise to strengthen the core from a safe position. You can scale this exercise back by keeping your knee bent the entire time. Be sure to posteriorly tilt the pelvis prior to starting each dead bug.
Seated In and Outs
This movement can be done in a seated position or while lying on your back.
I go over 18 more Transverse Abdominis Exercises here.
The obliques are located on the sides of your abdomen and are often hidden by “love handles.”
To strengthen your obliques you could try performing the following exercises:
The Modified Side Plank
This is an isometric exercise that is held for time.
Side Plank Dips
The side plank dip is a great progression as you get stronger on the side plank exercise.
To do this exercise, you will need some external resistance such as a dumbbell, a kettlebell, or even a backpack.
For more exercises to strengthen your obliques you could check out my post on How To Get Rid of Your Love Handles.
The rectus abdominis are your “six pack” muscles. These are the muscles everyone thinks of when it comes to your core.
I suggest that you dont actively try to strengthen these muscles at first.
Instead focus on the transverse abdominis and the obliques, and the rectus will also get stronger as a result.
In fact, I have a complete step by step progression system you can find at:
100 Exercises For Diastasis Recti – which includes a beginner-friendly core workout.
5. Engage in regular physical activity
Exercise is a great way to further help you lose your mom pooch… after nutrition.
*Keep in mind – exercise alone won’t help you burn abdominal fat. The purpose of regular physical activity is to keep your metabolism high (among several other benefits)*
You could engage in low-intensity cardio activities like:
When that becomes easy you could try other activities that may increase your heart rate further like:
6. Staying Consistent
Consistency is the key to everything.
Without consistency and patience, you will not be able to get rid of your kangaroo pouch.
It is a long journey.
If it were easy, everyone would have a flat stomach.
Just know that we are all different and you should never compare your journey to someone else’s.
Do not get frustrated if you haven’t seen any changes after a few weeks, especially on the scale.
The best way to measure your progress is by taking photos.
Looking at photos of where you started can definitely help you stay motivated on your goal.
How do i get rid of a kangaroo pouch if i had a c-section?
Getting rid of a kangaroo pouch after a c-section follows all the same principles as if you had a vaginal delivery.
The main difference is that you will need more time to heal- as you’ve just had major abdominal surgery.
Make sure that you have received clearance from your doctor before attempting any exercise.
Otherwise, you will still need to:
- lose any excess body fat,
- check if you have diastasis recti, and
- strengthen your core muscles
After a c-section, typically you can begin exercising 6-12 weeks post-op.
As with all exercise, the most important thing you must do is listen to your body.
If something causes you pain or discomfort in the abdominal area, please avoid that exercise.
Kangaroo pouch vs FUPA
Kangaroo pouch and “FUPA” are similar but slightly different.
Let me briefly discuss.
A kangaroo pouch or mommy pouch is a bulge located in the midline of the abdomen that could be due to diastasis recti.
FUPA or fat upper pelvic area is essentially excess fat located in the lower abdomen that is not related to diastasis recti.
Final Words on Losing Belly Fat
Losing belly fat can be quite difficult.
Unfortunately, you cannot choose where you lose fat from and thus you must remain consistent and be patient.
With that being said if you have a proper plan in place, you can decrease your body fat percentage, strengthen your core muscles, and decrease your mommy tummy.
Now I want to hear from you.
Did you have a kangaroo pouch?
What did you do to get rid of it?
Comment below and let me know!
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Brittany N Robles, MD, MPH, CPT
Brittany Robles is a full-time OBGYN, a NASM certified personal trainer, and health & fitness, expert. She holds a Masters of Public Health degree in maternal health with a special interest in exercise and nutrition. She is also the co-author of The White Coat Trainer. Learn more about her here.
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