There is no such thing as spot reducing, and you’ll only see significant results in your trouble area once you’ve lost fat and built muscle overall. Once you’ve had a baby, however, you need to pay special attention to the innermost abdominal layer – the transverse abdominal muscle. This muscle is often referred to as the body’s corset, as it creates tension by wrapping horizontally around the midsection of the body. This tension is responsible for the ‘corset’ effect of pulling in the abdomen, where it would otherwise stick out. This is perhaps the muscle most affected by pregnancy and childbirth, yet many new mums focus too much on their rectus abdomini or ‘six-pack muscles’. Practise exercises that draw your belly button to your spine – in the early weeks after pregnancy, these can be as simple as sitting upright, exhaling slowly, and pulling in your stomach tightly, holding for a moment, inhaling again, then repeating. If you’re practising other abdominal exercises, always make sure you are sucking your stomach in, not letting the muscles push out. This has a direct effect of the shape of your belly.