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“Mom butt” is the term used to describe buttocks that have become larger, saggier, or flatter than before. Often this occurs during or after pregnancy due to changes in your body.

The good news is that you can get your butt back or build an even stronger one. You may be motivated by health reasons, the opportunity to improve your fitness level, or the desire to wear your favorite clothing. Whatever your reason, a beautiful booty is within reach.

Read on to learn more about the causes of mom butt, possible health concerns of a bigger butt, and how to attain a strong, shapely booty.

Many people refer to a bum that’s larger, flatter, or flabbier as a mom butt. After pregnancy, it’s possible that your formerly pert backside feels deflated and your pants fit more loosely in the bum. Your abdominals, glutes, and upper legs may feel softer and weaker as well.

Pregnant women tend to tuck their butts under, jut their hips forward, and sway their upper back backward to accommodate their growing belly. This results in muscular and postural imbalances that can contribute to mom butt.

Several factors cause your butt to get bigger during pregnancy, including weight gain and belly expansion. Skeletal, postural, and alignment changes also play a part.

A small 2018 study found that pregnant women in the third trimester had increased electromyography (EMG) activation of the lumbar spine and pelvic extensor muscles compared to postpartum or nulliparous women.

This means that the trunk extensor muscles adapt in response to increased abdominal volume. There were no significant differences in the lumbar spine or pelvis position between either of the groups. More in-depth studies are required to expand upon these findings.

During pregnancy, you may overstretch your muscles that support your posture, which causes short, tight anterior (front) muscles. Plus, you may practice improper posture or spend more time seated. This can lead to less activation of your upper back, abdominal, and glute muscles, which causes muscle loss and weakness.

Hormonal changes can also affect your body. During pregnancy, your body releases more relaxin. This prepares you for birth by relaxing the muscles, tendons, and ligaments near your pelvis. However, this can also cause your muscles in this area to stretch and widen, potentially changing the shape of your butt.

Your body will certainly change in many ways during pregnancy. Exactly how much and in what ways your body changes will depend on several factors, including your body weight, body type, and fitness level. The shape and muscle tone of your bum may be more noticeable if the curves of your body are more well-defined.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), women within a moderate weight range who are pregnant with one baby can expect to gain 25 to 35 pounds (11.3 to 15.9 kilograms) during pregnancy.

If you were within a moderate weight range before pregnancy and gained the recommended amount of pregnancy weight, there is no cause for concern. However, you may still likely have a mom butt to some degree.

Research surrounding the potential health risks of larger butts is mixed. An older 2010 research review showed that losing fat in your hips, buttocks, and thighs may increase your risk of developing metabolic conditions and heart disease.

According to a more recent 2018 study, losing gluteal and leg fat had a positive effect on markers related to the risk of cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease is only one inflammatory disease influenced by excess fat in the body.

If you were above the moderate weight range initially or gained more than the recommended amount of pregnancy weight, you risk holding onto the baby weight. This can put you at risk for obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. According to the CDC, if you have gestational diabetes, this can also increase your chances of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

If you want to maintain a moderate weight or lose baby weight to help tone your bum, create a plan of action.

Nutrition tips

Follow a balanced diet that provides adequate nutrition and calories, especially if you’re breastfeeding.

Healthy food options include:

  • whole grains
  • vegetables
  • fruits
  • low fat dairy
  • lean protein
  • high fiber foods
  • eggs
  • nuts and seeds

It may also help to avoid or limit:

  • sugary drinks and foods
  • solid fats
  • whole milk
  • refined carbs
  • highly processed foods
  • alcohol

Exercise tips

Try to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week to boost your cardio fitness level, build strength, and lose butt fat.

You can also stay active with cardio activities such as hill climbing, swimming, or elliptical training. On low-energy days, go for a casual stroll, do gentle stretches, or do a relaxing yoga sequence. Once you feel up to it, you can add in interval training.

Strength-training exercises can be used to target your abdominals, glutes, and leg muscles. Add in dumbbells to amp up the intensity. Check out these butt, thigh, and hip exercises that are safe during pregnancy.

Example exercises include:

Talk with a healthcare professional before starting any new diet or exercise plan, especially if you are new to fitness, take medications, or have medical concerns. For additional guidance and support, talk with a nutritionist or fitness expert.

It’s definitely possible to transform your mom butt into a sculpted, toned bum. You can start by following a healthy eating plan, staying active, and doing exercises to target your bum.

Building a stronger booty can be part of your self-care routine as you stay devoted to your motherhood journey. Getting your butt in shape will improve your posture, mobility, and strength. These benefits enhance your overall well-being as you traverse life with your little one.

Most importantly, be gentle and loving toward yourself. Take each day as it comes and celebrate gradual improvements instead of expecting drastic overnight changes. Remember that a healthy lifestyle that makes you feel good is more important than how you look.