Top 12 Concerns Women Have About their Tummy After Pregnancy and How to Treat it

Many new mothers can relate to this woman’s story:

”I’ve been considering cosmetic surgery for the past five to six years after realising that my mummy pouch was determined to stay, regardless of diet and exercise. I have two beautiful children. […] My body has changed from having my children and that’s okay. I don’t have any concerns with any other part of my body, but my mommy pouch bothers me. […] It’s always just there, when I walk or play sports. I have to fit my pouch into my clothes, often having to go up in sizing pants so that I can be comfortable, but then the pants don’t fit properly. I would love to have my pouch removed so I can feel sexy again and boost my self esteem. I want to feel good in my skin again”.

That’s a very common sentiment Doctor Bernard hears from mommies that come to see him for tummy tuck surgery. Pregnancy changes the body a lot, but there is something you can do to get your body after baby. Keep reading for 12 ways the tummy changes after pregnancy, and how to fix it.

Loose skin

Loose abdominal skin that hangs on the tummy is the #1 reason women come in for a tummy tuck after pregnancy. The skin stretches as the belly grows. Once the belly shrinks down after giving birth, sagging skin is left behind. Skin continues to shrink up to two years after childbirth. Any hanging skin folds that remain at the two-year mark are likely permanent — unless you have a tummy tuck.

Also known as abdominoplasty, a tummy tuck removes excess skin and tightens everything up. The result is a nice, flat tummy that looks great in clothes. Getting rid of skin folds after pregnancy can also make life more comfortable. There’s no more skin chafing, skin fold rashes, or poorly fitting trousers after tummy tuck surgery. A tummy tuck gives you the freedom to wear what you want.

Saggy mons pubis

What is mons pubis? The mons is a mound of fatty tissue on the lower pelvic area. It is the area that is covered by pubic hair in adult women. Mons sagging after pregnancy is a common problem. The skin stretches and the area can store added fat. It creates a lower belly pooch that doesn’t look good in clothes, swimsuits or underwear.

A tummy tuck is the only way to fix a mons pubis that is distorted after pregnancy. This can be done with a mini tummy tuck to pull the mons up and tighten it. A full tummy tuck or extended tummy tuck can do this as well. Mons liposuction can also be done to remove the fatty tissue on the mons area.

Stretch marks

Stretch marks from pregnancy are a struggle many women face. Some women don’t get stretch marks, others have tons of large stretch marks. It’s different with everyone. The best treatment for stretch marks is prevention. Keeping skin hydrated with lotion makes the skin elastic so it stretches without creating tears in the skin. Stretch marks are visible tears. Silicone sheets for stretch marks may also help prevent stretch marks from getting worse. They work by keeping skin hydrated, too.

Once the stretch marks are there, it’s hard to make them go away. Dark brown or red stretch marks can fade with time. However, they can lose pigment over time (like other scars that have matured), as well as have a different skin texture than the skin surrounding them.Doctor Bernard offers LED light therapy LINK and Laser Genesis LINK to help fade scars and stretch marks.

But the best way to get rid of stretch marks is a tummy tuck, in Doctor Bernard’s opinion. Some stretch marks on the lower abdomen are removed if they are located on the sagging skin that your surgeon cuts away. Stretch marks on the upper abdomen, however, are harder to remove with tummy tuck surgery. A tummy tuck can tighten upper abdominal skin, but the tummy tuck incision is placed low on the tummy so that the tummy tuck scar is hidden in the underwear line where you don’t see it. Those upper belly stretch marks may require laser treatment for stretch marks to lighten them up. This is an excellent complement to fine tune the results of a tummy tuck procedure.

Muscle separation

Do your abdominal muscles look strange after pregnancy? It’s a common problem. The ab muscles separate or tear along the midline as the belly stretches during pregnancy. This condition is known as diastasis recti. It’s most common in the second and third trimester.

Separated ab muscles don’t look good. It can even cause an unsightly belly bulge. While core exercise programs such as the MUTU System can help, sometimes surgery is needed to fix abdominal muscle separation. A tummy tuck with Doctor Beldholm does just that.

If the ab muscles haven’t gone back to normal two years after pregnancy, that means they probably never will without a tummy tuck with ab muscle repair. During surgery, Doctor Bernard stitches the muscles back together, in what’s known as abdominal muscle plication.

Weak abdominal muscles

Pregnancy stretches the abdominal muscles. Abdominal weakness is common. But weak core muscles also happen due to no exercise during pregnancy. Understandably, it’s hard to stay fit when you’re carrying a big belly. It gets in the way of doing normal physical activities such as exercise — especially in the last trimester of pregnancy.

Pregnancy causes discomfort, back pain and poor sleeping in some women. It’s no wonder you don’t want to hit the gym. So abdominal weakness is going to happen. To strengthen core ab muscles, then core muscle exercises are what you need after recovering from childbirth.

Weak ab muscles can be fixed with exercise. However, if you have separated abdominal muscles, it can be hard to do core exercises. In this case, a tummy tuck may be needed to fix the muscle separation before you can start core muscle toning exercises.

Give yourself two years to fix separated abdominal muscles with exercise before coming in for a tummy tuck. However, you might come see Doctor Bernard sooner if the visible ab muscle separation is severe, and totally prevents exercise. Once the muscle repair during a tummy tuck is complete and you have fully recovered from surgery, you can start doing muscle toning exercises. Most women get back in the gym after tummy tuck surgery in just 6 to 8 weeks, with your doctor’s permission.

Still looking pregnant

There’s nothing worse than a stranger asking when your due date is…when you’re not even pregnant anymore. Ab muscle separation can leave a belly bulge or belly pooch that sticks out, just like a pregnant belly.

It’s normal to look a bit pregnant still a few months after giving birth. The tummy doesn’t flatten right away once the baby comes out, although your belly will look a lot smaller. It takes time for the uterus to shrink down to a normal size.

However, some women still look pregnant one or two years after pregnancy. That is when you should consider a tummy tuck. If you’ve done all the core exercises and still look pregnant, a tummy tuck is the main solution for that.

Weight gain

Everyone’s favorite topic: weight gain. Pregnant women are going to gain weight. Most women Doctor Bernard sees have put on 10 to 20 kilos during pregnancy and struggle to shed the kilos. A tummy tuck isn’t a weight loss surgery. It isn’t a substitute for diet or exercise. If you have stubborn fat rolls on the abdomen two years after giving birth, despite proper diet and exercise, a tummy tuck with liposuction may be what you need. Doctor Bernard’s Sculpt Tummy Tuck includes the latest VASER lipo technology.

Bad c-section scars

Cesarean births mean you’ll have a c-section scar on the lower abdomen. The problem is, the doctor that delivers the baby by c-section is there to make sure you have a safe childbirth. They are not cosmetic surgeons. They close the c-section incision as best as they can. A tummy tuck specialist like Doctor Bernard can make c-section scars look better.

Some women have had one c-section. Others have had multiple c-section births. This can lead to multiple scars. The scar can feel hard, or it can overhang on the lower abdomen, creating a flap of hanging skin. In a tummy tuck, Doctor Bernard revises the c-section cut, leaving you with a flat tummy. Some women get a mini tummy tuck for c-section loose skin, but any tummy tuck can accomplish this.

Stretched skin around belly button

Frowny belly buttons are a common pet peeve for women. Sagging belly button skin can make a woman look older. Tummy tucks are great for this. Your surgeon tightens loose skin so it looks flat and smooth. If you only have sagging skin around the belly button, but the rest of the tummy looks fine, you can have a simple umbilicoplasty procedure to fix it. However, most women have sagging skin elsewhere on the tummy as well, thus requiring a tummy tuck.

Back pain and bad posture

Backache after pregnancy is common. It can lead to bad posture as you shift your weight to ease back pain. A lot of times in pregnant women, new back pain is caused by core muscle separation in the abdomen. Of course, there are many other causes of back pain. But if you are a new mum with visible ab muscle separation, or your tummy tuck surgeon notices separated ab muscles, that could be the source of the discomfort. A tummy tuck is not meant to relieve back pain. But strengthening core ab muscles may, in theory, help with poor posture after pregnancy caused by weak body core muscles.

Incontinence

Leaking urine when you laugh, sneeze or cough is embarrassing. Post-pregnant women experience this a lot. Vaginal rejuvenation and pelvic exercises for incontinence may help. It takes time for the pelvic structures to recover after childbirth.

However, weak core muscles may be related to incontinence. As we know, weak ab muscles after pregnancy affect many women. While a tummy tuck is not designed to repair structures of the female reproductive system, surgically tightening the surface abdominal muscles with a tummy tuck makes it easier to do core exercises and pelvic exercises that may reduce urine leaking.

Umbilical hernia

Do you have an outtie belly button after pregnancy? It may be an umbilical hernia. Pressure on the uterus from the baby and stretched ab muscles are possible causes of umbilical hernia. You can fix umbilical hernia with hernia repair surgery, or Doctor Bernard can perform umbilical repair during a tummy tuck with hernia repair in one surgery.

If you’re considering a tummy tuck, it’s best to have the umbilical hernia repaired during the tummy tuck surgery. There are many umbilical hernia repair techniques that can cause problems moving the belly button during a tummy tuck. Yes, for most women getting a tummy tuck, the navel needs to be moved so it’s in a natural position after the surgeon cuts away and then tightens the loose belly skin. So instead of having a separate hernia surgery with another doctor, just have your tummy tuck surgeon repair the hernia for the best cosmetic result.

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A tummy tuck is not just about vanity

It’s about feeling good about yourself. It’s about improving discomfort. It’s about fitting better in clothes so you can get dressed easier and enjoy shopping once again. It’s about feeling confident, whether you are wearing modest clothing or a sexy swimsuit. As a body contouring surgeon, Doctor Bernard wants you to have a flat tummy, similar to how it looked before you had children, so you aren’t held back in life by loose hanging skin and other cosmetic problems after pregnancy.

Fix your tummy with a Sculpt Tummy Tuck

Those are the top 12 tummy problems women face after pregnancy changes the body. Many of these problems can be fixed with a tummy tuck. To get the most out of a tummy tuck, Doctor Bernard offers a specialised procedure known as the Sculpt Tummy Tuck. This skin removal surgery gets rid of loose skin, repairs abdominal muscles, and uses the latest VASER lipo technology to smooth fat rolls to restore your mid-section after pregnancy.

With this life-changing procedure, patients can tighten loose abdominal skin so they fit better in clothes and feel great about their looks.

The Sculpt Tummy Tuck includes:

  • Removal of loose abdominal skin
  • Fat reduction with VASER
  • Defining and toning the abdomen
  • Ab muscle repair
  • No drains
  • Minimal bruising
  • Fast recovery time

To learn if you are a good candidate for a mini tummy tuck, full Sculpt Tummy Tuck, or extended tummy tuck, schedule a private consultation with Doctor Bernard Beldholm, FRACS today.