NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – If you’re a mother, or mother-to-be, you’re probably familiar with “mommy belly,” or the “post-pregnancy pooch.”

Diets and exercise can help get rid of it, but research shows the battle against it should begin while the baby is your belly, CBS 2’s Emily Smith reported.

While there are many perks of being a mother, there’s one thing most everyone can agree isn’t one of them:

“Mommy belly, the pooch, there’s a ton of nicknames,” one mother said.

“It’s skin flab just hanging, you try to get rid of it,” another said.

Fitness expert Danielle Phillips says to win the fight against the pooch, start while you’re pregnant like mothers and mothers-to-be at Fit4Mom.

“Most moms think because they’re pregnant they can’t work out their core, when in reality, it’s one of the more important areas because it’s stretching,” Phillips said.

As Smith reported, keep a walking routine going if possible, but don’t forget about your abdominals just because you can’t see them anymore.

It’s not about crunches or planks, Smith reported, you can do something called abdominal bracing which can be done anytime, anywhere.

As you get further into the pregnancy, New York Health and Racquet Clubs’ Diane Giresi suggests ab exercises using a rope, which involves minimal movement but can be extremely effective.

“You’ll feel the pull, you can just stand here and do it,” Giresi said.

For some mothers, however, a condition may develop during pregnancy that can make it nearly impossible to lose the “mommy belly,” in which the muscles come apart and take longer to heal.

But as Smith reported, with a routine that involves working out and healthy eating, mothers can fight the pooch and work wonders for their overall health.

Always consult your doctor before starting any fitness routine, CBS 2 reported.

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