I am 7 weeks post-partum and have basically lost all my baby weight. However, my stomach looks out-of-proportion (soft, formless, and slightly flabby) with the rest of my body. My doctor said that my uterus has shrunken back to its normal size and the abdominal swelling is gone. At 7 wks post-partum, is what I see now an accurate portrayal of what my post-partum stomach will permanently look like? Or do I still have hope that my abdominal area will naturally shrink down more over time?
How Many Weeks or Months Post-partum is an Accurate Portrayal of What my Post-partum Stomach Will Look Like?
Doctor Answers 8
After the baby - when do you know your tummy has it's "final" appearance
Having been through this myself three times, and watching many many patients go through it as well, give it one year, at least. One full year. The skin, the muscle, and the fascia all have to retract and shrink and it takes a lot of time. Right after, wearing a garment like spanx helps your abdominal muscles get the support they need to shrink. In additional, careful core exercises are key. I don't mean sit ups. Holding plank position, plank jacks (look em up), lifting your legs with your upper body fixed, and learning how to support your pelvic floor again (Kegels) are all critical to getting your abdominal tone back. The earlier you start, the better. Make sure that no exercise that you do EVER makes your rectus diastasis stick out more, ie, causes your abs to split vertically in the middle. So at 7 weeks, you are not even close!!! Don't get depressed yet!
Natural restoration of abdominal contour after pregnancy
Your body undergoes many changes during pregnancy. For many women these changes are temporary for others the skin and fascia of the abdomen become stretched out and will never return to their pre-pregnancy shape or contour. Seven weeks is too early to make this decision or to have an educated guess where you will end up. Continue with your diet and exercise plan and re-evaluate at 6 months.
Muscles will continue to improve. Skin????.
I have seen a tummy return to its pre-baby tone up to 2 years later. It all depends on when you want to invest the time on a good exercise program. The two aspects that will not be helped by diet and exercise are the Skin (stretch marks/ wrinkling and excess) and any separation of the muscles that occurred during the pregnancy. These two factors are the focus of a tummy tuck. Correcting the separation or diastasis and removing excess inelastic skin. For most patients i recommend at least 4 months but you may benefit from a longer "recovery".
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I usually tell prospective patients that what they see isn't what they get for around three months after delivery. The same is true for the appearance of breasts after the end of breast feeding. I hope this helps.
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Thank you for your question about when to have a tummy tuck after your baby.
- Yes, your tummy can and will improve. Wait 6 months for a tummy tuck.
- Your abs are stretched. Start by getting generally fit.
- Then add ab exercises.
- Best ab exercise I know - lie on back. Lift legs off floor, arms reaching out to knees, raise back 30 degrees and hold x 30 seconds. Keep shoulders relaxed. Repeat with legs bent at knees, arms straight over head.
- It can hurt but it works! Hope this helps. Best wishes!
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I would give yourself a few more months to see how the skin and muscles respond with time and exercise. If your tummy after six months is not where you would like it to be, you could consider surgery. Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA
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.