As long as I can remember, I’ve sucked in my gut.

Before I had babies, when I was 18% body fat and deep in the throes of disordered eating and self-judgment, I sucked my belly in and threw my ribs in the air to flatten what little belly fat I had.

After my first babies were born, I sucked in my belly and “braced” my abs in that way every trainer told every client to do 10 years ago…and which we all now facepalm and regret. ??‍♀️

Since my third was born, I’ve been on a constant mission to relax my pelvic floor and ab muscles. To get comfortable with letting everything hang out.

When you relax your core, you look different in the mirror. The way you’re meant to.

Your clothes sit a bit differently on your frame. The way they’re meant to.

The truth is, sucking in your belly is holding you back on your journey to loving yourself and accepting your body as it TRULY is, in this moment, on this day. But not just that…

Sucking in your postpartum belly is wreaking havoc on your pelvic floor, posture and overall health.

Chana Ross, mama of four and owner of Vital Physiotherapy in downtown Toronto, breaks it down for us:

  • why you might have started sucking in your belly in the first place;

  • what happens to your body when you suck in;

  • how to stop sucking in;

  • how to start accepting your belly as it is, in all its lovely softness.



Find Chana and the Vital Physiotherapy team at @vitalphysiotherapyandwellness on social media and on the web for Toronto physiotherapy, massage and events.