There’s a way to end the “mummy tummy” or “mommy pooch” so many women experience after giving birth, according to a doctor in New York and a fitness coach in San Francisco.
The method is a simple exercise: Sit on the floor cross-legged with your hands on your stomach and take a big breath. As you exhale, suck in your stomach muscles as far as you can and then take small breaths. As you exhale, push your stomach back farther and farther.
The exercise, created by fitness coach Leah Keller, is recommended to be repeated every day for at least 10 minutes, according to the NPR report.
The exercise is designed to remedy the pooch issue known scientifically as diastasis recti, which refers to a separation of the abdominal muscles.
An NPR journalist tried out the exercise after her post-birth belly was giving her back pain. After taking the fitness coach’s class, she said more than an inch was taken off her waist.
The exercise has had reported success. A small study conducted by Dr. Geeta Sharma, an OB-GYN at Weill Cornell Medical Center-New York Presbyterian Hospital, found that all 63 women who took part in this exercise for 12 weeks fixed their diastasis recti. Their results were reported in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology in 2014.