Doing abdominal exercises after delivering a baby is not just about "getting skinny"; it is a matter of feeling strong after 9+ months of growing a baby in your belly and relieving back pain from those months of the abs separating as baby grows. For women who had a vaginal delivery, you can typically begin abdominal work at 6 weeks post-pregnancy (with doctor's approval, of course), although very subtle inner work can begin immediately (more on that another day).
The key to postpartum abdominal exercises is to start slow and pick a number of reps that you can sustain without losing proper form.
More is not always Better!
Quality wins over Quantity!
Utilize your BREATH!! ---> With each Exhalation draw the navel toward the spine and visualize the entire midsection as a corset drawing in toward the center. For postpartum work specifically, think of drawing each "side" of your abs IN toward the midline of the body...closing the gap where your abs separated during pregnancy.
In this video, plank abs can be done on their own or in your regular yoga practice. The drawing in of the knee is done on the exhale and the abdominals do ALL of the work. Inhale to lengthen out into full plank (or half-plank) and exhale to scoop the belly in (there will be a natural rounding in the spine) to pull the knee as close as possible. Keep the shoulders and upper body quiet during this work.
Listen to your body and don't overdo it. ***Modification: Lower to the knees for added lower back support***
*contact me for questions!* --> Lots more postpartum videos and articles coming soon!