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Reshaping the “mummy tummy” after childbirth

Besides the sleepless nights and endless diaper changes, “mummy tummy” is a common post-natal downer for many new mothers. The good news is yes, it is possible to shed it — and it’s easier than you think, says Sylvia Ho, our principal physiotherapist who sub-specialises in women’s health and spinal treatment.

iStock_000003007928MediumCongratulations on being a mother! New or seasoned, many mothers are plagued with the same problem: the dreaded “mummy tummy”, and how difficult it is to shed it after delivery.

Add to that the other physical post-natal symptoms, such weak mobility and lower back pain, which many women face during this time.

But what if we told you that these symptoms are connected to one another,and that there is an easy yet effective solution to treat them together?

What causes “mummy tummy”?

Contrary to popular belief, a woman’s enlarged belly developed during pregnancy is not necessarily a result of fat build-up from eating for two or bloating from water retention, but the expansion of the Transverse Abdominal muscle.

The transverse abdominal muscle is just that: the muscle in the abdominal area that is shaped (and moves) in a lateral or horizontal direction. Much like a corset, this muscle wraps the waist from the back and around the sides towards the front.

As a woman’s pregnancy advances, the transverse abdominal muscle expands or stretches outwards, in tandem with the growth of the foetus, and is later engaged to assist in delivery.

Understanding the Transverse Abdominal Muscle

The transverse abdominal muscle, an essential component of the core commonly emphasised by fitness instructors, is connected to pelvic floor muscles. Together, they provide the body with much-needed stability.

An expanded transverse abdominal muscle corresponds with a weak pelvic floor, which results in lower back pains frequently experienced by new mothers.

Therefore, the key is to tone up the transverse abdominal muscle, an endurance muscle that can be reshaped with the correct exercises. Working the transverse abdominal muscle means giving you a stronger pelvic floor, and that equates to improved stability — plus, a trimmer waistline.

Engaging the Transverse Abdominal Muscle

It’s common for many women seeking to shed “mummy tummy” to dive into ab exercises. Unfortunately, these only target the rectus abdominus (the front abdominal muscles).

According to Sylvia, there are specific exercises that target the transverse abdominal muscle that are simple, yet get the job done. With the right guidance, these exercises can be added to anyone’s daily routine.

A good physiotherapist will first guide you in identifying the muscles that you need to engage, and then, how precisely to engage them. Once you do, you’ll realise that the exercises are quite different from regular ab-shaping routines as they muscles themselves are unique from one another.

Compared to other abdominal muscles, the transverse abdominal muscle moves laterally, so transverse abdominal muscle-specific exercises have been developed to aid the horizontal contraction of this muscle, resulting in a trimmer waist.

Goodbye “mummy tummy”, Hello waistline

Transverse abdominal muscle-targeted exercises, which a new mother can start as early as four weeks after delivery, start out simple, but Sylvia gradually “ups the endurance” by throwing in additional coordination movements to increase conditioning levels, depending on individual progress and capability.

There is no fixed period for optimum results to appear as it would depend on factors, such as commitment level, frequency, and individual reception. However, women have reported a trimmer waistline and a stronger back after six weeks of regular training, Sylvia says.

Additionally, these exercises don’t just apply to new mums — anyone can do them, especially those with lower back pain. As the transverse abdominal muscle is a significant component of core, engaging it through the correct exercises will significantly reduce pain and strengthen your pelvic floor — a solid, protected foundation on which everything rests.

Who would’ve thought a trimmer waistline would give us more benefits than we knew?

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Very professional and caring Therapists. My left foot has been hurting for a month. After 3 sessions, 80% of the pain is gone. I just need one more session and I think I should be fine. Thank you very much.
Theressa Lim
Theressa Lim
I had an excellent sports massage by Wan Ling, which was very different from the usual massage I've tried elsewhere. Wan Ling skillfully and systematically loosened every muscle in my upper back and neck over the course of an hour. If anyone is seeking relief from tense muscles, I would highly recommend making an appointment with Wan Ling.
Rebecca Lim
Rebecca Lim
Came to see Xue Ting with a broken shoulder for the last 6 weeks and was impressed with her attentiveness and ability to make me feel me feel comforted in my condition . Very dedicated and good therapist indeed .
Janet Koh
Janet Koh
They adopt a scientific and personal approach. The therapists put in a lot of effort to diagnose the issue before attending to it. Overall, I would strongly recommend their professionalism and methods.
Varun Sharma
Varun Sharma
Really good sports massage! Booking process was efficient too :)
Charmaine Miranda
Charmaine Miranda
Friendly and really professional service! I immediately felt welcomed the moment I stepped into the clinic! The physio offered me great advice beyond what I had asked, which allowed me to have a deeper understanding as to why I had my issue in the first place. With this kind of service, I would honestly recommend this physio if you are serious about getting better.
Jimmy Allen Poh
Jimmy Allen Poh
Thoughtful and sincere service. Highly recommended!
Benedict Koh
Benedict Koh
My mum received her first Apos treatment. We intend to continue until her hip muscles become strong. We believe in the treatment as we saw how amazing it was. The idea was simple. Really love that she can be herself again, for long term. The hip and knee cap operations offers 15yrs. Hence we reject the cost and short-life. My wish is that the treatment cost can be lowered and more are aware of this treatment. God bless and thank you team.
Victoria Soh
Victoria Soh
Look for Soo, he is a great physiotherapist . Always communicating and always asking for my feedback. I’m on the right path to recovery all thanks to Soo. Two thumbs up.
Daniel Wang
Daniel Wang
Xue Ting has been working on my troublesome QL, hip girdle - basically the whole left lower kinetic chain! She has been patient, strong and cerebral in her approach to my 48 year old compensatory mechanisms. Her strong massage will finish with an assessment of muscle imbalance and poor activation with finally a retraining back to healthy movement.I’m impressed! Thanks Core Concepts!
Brett McLaren
Brett McLaren
I went from barely understanding physical therapy for injuries, to highly recommending Core Concepts to friends and family for their aches and pains. Ken was knowledgeable, patient and explained symptoms and consequences in a simple, relatable manner. I hope more people will come to understand how physio is a much better alternative to short-term painkillers.
Manda Misso
Manda Misso
Ken is really amazing!
Terry Tan
Terry Tan
The physiotherapist here explained the problem very well and provided me with exercises that helped improved my condition.
Ferdinand Mar
Ferdinand Mar
I have been experiencing great pain on my shoulder coupled with occasional numbness on my arm. Thanks to Ken Liew, I felt so much relieved after my first session. He was very patient and knowledgeable and had definitely made my 1st visit to a physiotherapy clinic a very memorable one. Thank you so much Ken
Bee Choo Gian
Bee Choo Gian
I have been experiencing knee pains lately especially walking up and down the stairs. The pain was so bad that I was very concern. I chanced upon CoreConcept on FB and book an appointment with them at Camden Medical Centre. My therapist was Ken Liew, he is very professional and knowledgeable. He did a thorough job to assess my condition. To my surprise I felt immediate relieved on my knee after the first session with him! Amazing! Looking forward to my next session. 😊
Sandy Toh CH
Sandy Toh CH
Hi I am Sally and I am in my late sixties. I have endured a year of thigh(joint) pains and thought that it must be due to old age. Visited Core Concepts at Novena and after only 2 sessions, my condition improved so much that I was able to climb stairs easily again. THANKS to my Physiotherapist Samuel Ong who is extremely polite, professional and knowledgeable.
Shino Tutu
Shino Tutu
I have had several sports related injuries and Core Concepts has saved me and put me "back to new" each times! The therapists are excellent - knowledgeable and professional, and the receptionists (Carol, Adiqah and Rin) are always friendly and helpful. They even give me oreo cookies for my children! :)
Paola Venturini Hubert
Paola Venturini Hubert
Highly recommended for sports massage
Simon Ray
Simon Ray
Extremely friendly staff and therapists! Folks Novena Square are just simply smiley and happy. Coming here towards the end of the work day always brings up my mood. Therapist and coach are fabulous. My condition improve so much that I can even start to train up some of my predominately unrealized problems. Highly recommended!
Von Ling Wei Hao
Von Ling Wei Hao
I go to Novena and Cheryl is my therapist. She was upfront from the get go about my neck condition. I liked her honesty and said we'll give it a try. I was better after 4 weekly sessions and continued to go to her every 2 weeks. With her help I am in a better condition, had to put in effort on the exercises she taught me as well.
Tania Chevrez
Tania Chevrez
Li Hoong is a very dedicated sports massage therapist and functional trainer. Her ultimate goal is the client's holistic well-being. Highly recommend.
Pei Yee Wong
Pei Yee Wong
i have tried different physiotherapy sessions with almost 10 physiotherapists in india and in Singapore, my back pain was treated well by CHERYLL, with God's grace , i was pain free only after Cheryll attended to me. Thank you Cheryll and core concepts for the great experience.
Madiha Sadiq
Madiha Sadiq
I am working with Yiren on my knee after my ACL/MCL reconstruction and recovery has been good! He does a thorough job to assess my progress each session and challenges me to push myself to get to various milestones. He's extremely friendly and helpful despite my many questions. Thanks!
Yingling Huang
Yingling Huang
After many different physio and massage sessions in different places, my experience with the core concepts team has been the best. I started seeing them for sports massage, and now for my knee rehab. The level of care and attention makes me want to do more for myself. Isn't this most important when one tend to slack off with the prescribed exercises?
YitKoon Gan
YitKoon Gan
Very friendly and professional physiotherapist as well as receptionists within the clinic. Dr. Issac Wong is easy to approach and came up with alternative ways for me to strengthen my weak thigh muscles and it really helped in reducing my knee pain! Thanks :)
Sam Costanza
Sam Costanza
The best physiotherapist ever. Cheryl is really good. Doesn't shortchange me of time and make sure I feel better before she lets me go. The front desk staff are great too. Very accomodating and friendly. Thank you Carol and Farrah. Only thing if they can give instructions to how to go to their place will be great. Usually only unit number but do give some details like mrt exits and directions to lift and such will be excellent. Coz I almost got lost in 2 different places. Overall still love core concept because of Cheryl! Thank you Cheryl!!
Jeanette Goh
Jeanette Goh
Found out about Core Concepts last year through social media and made an appointment as i was experiencing some neck and shoulder discomfort after a traffic accident. My therapist was evidently experienced and was able to pinpoint the cause of my aches. The one thing i loved about my experience at Core Concepts is that they are not like typical physiotherapists who simply prescribe take home exercises, instead my therapist was extremely hands on, helping me to massage my neck at the right spots to relief the stiffness - best massage ever! Would highly recommend Core Concepts!!
Claire Chia
Claire Chia
Easily the best physio clinic I've been to.
Natarajan Baradwaj
Natarajan Baradwaj
The only physio clinic i trust! A unique approach to treating pains, you simply have to try it out for yourself. Have recommended many friends and family and core concepts has not disappointed. Thumbs up!!!
Claire Chia
Claire Chia
From the reception to the therapist, they are friendly and nice. I was taught on a 2 steps stretching to strengthen my leg muscles that I can do it myself daily and It did help :) Will recommend to anyone who wish to have therapy sessions.
Jaz
Jaz
Knowledgeable and brilliant!
Brenda Chong
Brenda Chong
-emails with advertisement and birthday wishes came, but they didn't think that their customer (with 4/10 sessions remaining in his package) would have expected a reminder of ANY kind if his package was already expiring. I asked the clerk from my last visit how many sessions I had remaining, and she told me 4, with no update on the expiry at all. -assumed I wanted a physiotherapy (PT) appointment when my past SMS have always been for sports massage (SM); whenever I asked for "available slots", they would give me the slots for SM. yet they suddenly gave me the list of available slots for PT ytd. I'm also to blame for not verifying and reading their long SMS carefully.-their masseuse is very good though, skilful and respectful. They ask important questions to understand their client before starting on the SM. I'd still return even though the administrative process is lacking.
Beale Liu JieXiong
Beale Liu JieXiong
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