How Do You Know if You Have a Hernia After Pregnancy?

Hi, I have 3 children all who were big babies (my son was 9lbs 11 oz!). During the c section for my son the dr. said that he was caught in my abdomen muscles and repaired them. I had another baby after that. I'm only 98 pounds with no fat other then my stomach. As the day goes on my stomach gets bloated and after dinner i look like i'm pregnant again! Someone told me it could be a hernia? Would i have any symptoms with this? And is a tummy tuck the only way to ever not look pregnant again?

Doctor Answers 6

Hernia Possible-- with Diastasis

Your history suggest the presence of a rectus diastasis and an umbilical hernia.Unfortunately it’s impossible to confirm this diagnosis without a physical examination.
During pregnancy the abdominal wall becomes stretched by the rapid expansion of the intra-abdominal contents. In many cases, this results in separation of the paired rectus muscles in the midline and the formation of a diastasis.This can also result in the formation of an umbilical hernia.This diastasis extends from the pubic bone to the rib cage and is especially noticeable when the abdominal muscles are flexed.Flexion typically results in a midline bulge that extends from the pubis to the rib cage.
Correction of a diastasis rectus involves suture repair of the gap between the pubic bone and the rib cage.At this time, it’s relatively easy to simultaneously perform an umbilical hernia repair.These maneuvers can easily be performed during an abdominoplasty procedure.
If you’re concerned about your abdominal contour it’s appropriate to consult a board certified plastic surgeon.This surgeon should be able to formulate a treatment plan that addresses your anatomic findings and achieves your aesthetic goals.

Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Loose distended belly after multiple large births

Your repeated pregnancies with large babies has resutled in a rectus diastasis (see video in link below) and possibly and associated umbilical hernia as well. Discuss this with a Plastic surgeon or general surgeon.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Hernia can be corrected with tummy tuck.


From your picture, it looks like you may well have a hernia that protrudes.  At the very least, you have a big separation of your abdominal muscles.  Either way, this can be easily fixed with surgery.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

A tummy tuck should fix it

Obviously without seeing you I can not state for sure;however, a tummy tuck will put the muscles that are widely separated and remove the excess skin. It looks as if it will work well for you.

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Post_Pregnancy Tummy Bloating

Your condition is extremely common and VERY correctable.

During pregnancy the normal uterus which is the size of a lime grows rapidly into the size of a long watermelon. In the process, it stretches the abdominal wall and (fortunately) splits the midline 6 pack rectus abdominis muscles (otherwise growth would not be possible) and emerges between them. After delivery(ies), the muscles do not magically shrink nor jump back together again. Instead they stay to the sides with a permanent split (Diastasis) which gives rise to "The Pooch".

The only way to flatten the post-pregnancy tummy is to take the slack out of the stretched out muscles AND put the muscles back together surgically. Once that is done, the excess skin is removed and, depending on the Tummy Tuck technique, it can be done with simultaneous lifting and smoothing of cellulite dimpling of the anterior thighs.

In your case you appear to have a small umbilical hernia which any well trained Plastic surgeon could fix at the time of a tummy tuck.

If you are done having children, a Tummy Tuck would give you a GREAT figure. If you look under Tummy Tuck testimonials / Memphis, TN on this website you would see a young lady I operated on who was worse than you. Her final AFTER pictures, not on this website are truly impressive.

The only thing you will regret is not having done it sooner.

Good Luck.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Hernia vs diastasis recti

Most women who have delivered children will have a diastasis recti, which isn't a hernia but a weakening of where the paired vertical "six pack" muscles join together. Your case sounds very much like this, by history, because as the day goes on, your abdominal muscles bulge because your intestines push out against the wall.  It is a normal consequence of having children and because it's a splaying of the fascia connecting the muscles, it can't be corrected by exercise alone. Abdominoplasty repairs this separation of the muscles, (from the rib cage to the pubis, if necessary), removes excess, stretch marked skin, reduces hip fat and occasionally requires creation of a new umbilicus.  This procedure is considered "cosmetic" and therefore isn't covered by insurance. Good luck.

Lavinia K. Chong, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.