Is It Inevitable to Have Loose Skin and Muscle on the Tummy After Pregnancy?

Heres a good question and I'm sure the BEST person to ask would be a plastic surgeon/fitness expert.

Is it INEVITABLE to be left with a fat stomach and loose abdominal muscles after pregnancy, that can only be corrected through tummy tuck? I see many stars get pregnant and afterwards are seen with flat stomachs (BROOKE BURKE) but im wondering is this natural?

It can't possibly be a Tummy Tuck because these stars have NO scars and its easy to tell because of the clothing they wear. Anyway, if it is not inevitable how can it be prevented, and if it is inevitable how do they get Tummy Tucks without any scars?

Doctor Answers 10

Wrinkled abdomen after pregnancy

I have had this question myself.

First, to answer your question, it is not inevitable, but you must be blessed with good genes to avoid these problems after pregnancy.

Remember, the most important thing is to be healthy throughout your pregnancy and take vitamins, supplements, and good nutrition in accordance with your gynecologst and obstetrician's recommendations.

Now, having said that, consider during the last weeks of pregnancy the fetus can gain half a pound per week. Therefore, a child that is delayed or late can be considerably larger than if delivered early.This can aggravate and add to the damage of the abdominal wall stretching the skin and muscles apart.

Furthermore, if you pay closer attention to the media, it appears that many stars have their children delivered via C-section. Why? I am not sure, but to me it seems as if it is disproportionately higher than the general public. It is my feeling that this is being done to control the situation and to minimize late delivery (larger children), which may be subject to greater rates of birth trauma.

Do you remember the photos of Britney Spears C-section? Go ahead and Google it. But if you look at Britney in her current videos, you rarely see the scar and she has a phenomenal belly. I believe the early C-section is in large part responsible for this. Airbrushing doesn't hurt either and this can be deceptive. If you think about all the tattoos Angelina Jolie has in her public persona, you rarely see them in her movies. So the cinematographers do an excellent job of concealing tattoos and scars as well. Don't always believe your eyes when it comes to Adobe Photoshop.

In general, remaining fit and within the dietary guidelines of your obstetrician, avoiding excessive weight gain during pregnancy, combined with the blessing of good genes and skin elasticity, and an uncomplicated pregnancy are all factors that help to minimize the potential for stretch marks, loose muscles, and localized fat that is seen after pregnancy. However, even in the best of all circumstances, these do not guarantee a wrinkle free belly, so try not to beat yourself up over it. Que sera sera.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Impact of pregnancy varies from woman to woman.

Pregnancy can dramatically impact the appearance of a womens abdomen.The vast majority of patients develop redundant skin, excess fat, stretch marks and weakened abdominal muscles following this event.
But this isn’t inevitable, there are patients who bounce back nicely after pregnancy.This is especially true after the first pregnancy.With multiple pregnancies this appears to be far less likely, but we still occasionally see patients who have minimal changes following pregnancy.
A variety of factors may contribute to this phenomena including genetics, good skin tone, healthy lifestyle, and smaller babies.
It’s impossible to predict how any women will respond to pregnancy.For this reason, it’s important to follow your obstetricians directions especially regarding weight management.
Most patients will experience changes in their abdomens following pregnancy, but when these steps are taken the odds of returning to your pre-pregnancy form are increased.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Loose skin and muscle laxity after pregnancy

Whether or not you have undesirable abdominal contouring issues after pregnancy depends mostly on your genetic makeup. Many women have almost unchanged abdominal contours after many pregnancies. They are blessed with good genes. Skin laxity as result of pregnancy and be lessened by keeping within the recommended weight gain provided by your gynecologist. Is also helpful to keep well hydrated and to maintain a healthy diet. It is not possible to get a tummy tuck with no scars.

My simple and illustrated video may help you--learn more about tummy tucks and other body contouring procedures.

John J. Edney, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 112 reviews

Abdominal laxity after pregnancy

Thank you for your question.  Response of the body to pregnancy and childbirth is widely variable from one person to the next, and even from one pregnancy to the next in the same person.  No, loose abdominal muscles, excess skin, and stretch marks are not inevitable - but they are extremely common.  Abdominoplasty is indeed an extremely effective means of correcting these problems, but cannot be performed scarlessly - despite what celebrity photographs may lead you to believe.

Joshua D. Zuckerman, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Loose skin after tummy tuck

Generally weight gain more than 30 pounds will result in some loose skin.  There is always a scar with a tummy tuck but they are positioned low at or under the bikini line so it is less visible,  

Generally creams and exercise do not remove loose skin. Non-surgical modalities are available however not very effective since they do not remove loose skin and only provide some tightening. Most often, patients need skin removal after significant weight loss or pregnancy. Best of luck. Dr. Michael Omidi.

An in-person exam with a board-certified plastic surgeon is the best way to assess your needs and provide true medical advice.

Michael M. Omidi, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 91 reviews

Loose skin and weakened muscles after pregnancy

It's not 100% guaranteed that a woman will be left with loose skin, excess fat and separated muscles after pregnancy. Those who don't tend to have better skin quality. Having a child while you're younger can also help. You can improve your chances by leading a healthy lifestyle which includes a balanced diet, exercise regimen and good lifestyle habits. 

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

Are loose skin and flabby separated muscle inevitable after pregnancy?

Luck and good genes control much of our lives. Why is it that some people do great on exams without studying while others are natural born athletes? Why are some people extremely attractive while others are not? It appears to be random and unfair.

Commonly, in pregnancy, a uterus enlarges from the size of a lime to that of a large watermelon. To allow such growth the midline six pack Rectus muscles must stretch, split and move to the sides and the skin must stretch out. After pregnancy the muscle return to the center but are NOT together; there is a permanent separation between them (Diastasis) that cannot be repaired "naturally, organically" or by any of the 1000's of bogus aids promoted in the backs of women's magazines.

While exercise will be more beneficial that not exercising, exercising cannot physically bring and keep these stretched out and separated muscles together. This can only be done with a well-done Tummy Tuck.

Finally as regards those whose livelihood depends on their continued presence on newspaper and magazines, they are human and scar just like you.

Good Luck.

Dr. Aldea

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

Loose skin and muscle after pregnancy depends on your own skin quality

Although it is common for women to experience loose skin and muscle after a pregnancy, not all women do. The reason is the woman's own genetic makeup. Some women will unfortunately experience a great deal of stretch marks and skin damage after a pregnancy. Other women, can show almost no signs of the expansion of their skin.

To learn more about tummy tucks, see photos, and help you decide which one is best for you, please visit us at the link below:

Pat Pazmino, MD, FACS
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

Stars and their stomachs

First, there is a genetic component to the way the abdomen appears after pregnancy. Second if you work out regularly and have good abdominal tone than more than likely you will bounce back better. Third, if you gain a moderate amount of weight like 30 lbs and not 50-80, you probably will look better.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Pregnancy and childbirth cause permanent changes to the abdomen - Tummy tuck correction

Most women have permanent changes to their bodies after pregnancy.

These changes can include:

Stretch marks
Loose lower abdominal skin
"Rectus diastasis" - separation of the rectus abdominis muscles
Loss of abdominal muscle tone
Excess fat in the abdomen and flanks
Multiple pregnancies and having twins or multiple babies born at one time can magnify the effects of pregnancy on the abdomen.

Although some women are blessed with genetics that enable their bodies to bounce back quickly after pregnancy, most moms have at least some of these changes after having children.

There is really no good way to prevent these natural changes of pregnancy. Topical "lotions and potions" do not work, unfortunately.

Maintaining physical fitness, a healthy weight before and during pregnancy, and good muscle tone can all promote speedy recovery from pregnancy but are not a guarantee that your abdomen won't change after you are a Mom.

For Moms who have finished having children and are at least 6 months out from their last birth, a tummy tuck ("abdominoplasty") can help to correct excess abdominal skin, permanently remove stretch marks, tighten muscle tone and recreate the firm, toned abdomen most women would love to show off!

Get physically fit and do as much as you can to achieve your personal goals regarding your weight and muscle tone before considering any surgery.

You should be in optimal shape both physically and mentally/emotionally, with support from your partner if you are going to undergo any procedure.

Visit a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon with a great deal of experience in "mommy makeovers" for evaluation of whether you are a candidate for surgery.

Karen M. Horton, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 10 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.