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Bye-Bye, Baby Belly!

If you really want to get rid of your pregnancy paunch, you need to strengthen the innermost layer of abs, the transverse muscles, says Julie Tupler, R.N., author of Maternal Fitness. Her new DVD, Lose Your Mummy Tummy (available at,) features exercises designed to close up a diastasis -- a separation in the central abdominal muscle that can occur when your belly expands during pregnancy. Here's one exercise to get you started:

The move: Sit on the floor in a cross-legged position with your back supported against a wall. Place one hand under your breasts and the other on your navel. Inhale as you expand your belly, then exhale slowly, while bringing your belly button inward toward the spine. Pretend there's a train whose first stop is at your navel and whose fifth stop is at your spine. Count off stops until you reach the fifth. Hold and count out loud to 30. Then imagine your navel going out the back of your spine to a sixth stop for five counts. Relax and inhale. Work up to ten times daily.

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