6 Postpartum Body Problems--And How to Fix Them

Stomach flab

Even if you've dropped most of your baby weight and you religiously do stomach crunches, that bulge around your belly doesn't seem to budge. That's because it's mostly stretched-out skin and muscle, says Lisa Masterson, M.D., an ob-gyn at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, in Los Angeles.

What works: Moves that target the transverse muscles -- those that wrap around the abdominals horizontally. (Regular crunches focus on lengthwise muscles.) Try the slide: On a slippery floor, like wood or linoleum, get into a push-up position, balancing on your forearms. Place a folded towel under your toes, and as you pull your abs in, slide your knees toward your chest. Do two sets of five to eight reps, three times a week; work up to three sets. "Regular cardiovascular exercise will also help reduce overall body fat," Barroll says.

What doesn't: Electronic abdominal exercise belts. You've seen them on infomercials, but they're ineffective and painful, says a study by the American Council on Exercise. And the Federal Trade Commission has charged one of the top-selling brands with making false claims.

Quickest fix: Body-shaping underwear. Not your grandma's corset -- the latest tummy-toning undergarments are made of breathable, nonbinding fabric and are comfy enough to wear every day. Our favorites: Barely There Seamless Brief ($10), Maidenform's Flexees Underwonder Bare-Control Brief ($23), and Spanx Pantyhose Power Panties ($25).

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