You vs Your C-Section Pooch. How To Learn To Love And Heal Your New Body
Are you wondering about your abs after a c-section? Maybe you noticed that your body looks a little different and that your skin seems a little looser. No one warned you that you might still look pregnant months after having your baby. And your skin above your scar might make a shelf or overhang in way it didn’t before.
If you are wondering about this, you are not alone. This has been dubbed a “c-section pooch.”
This article will help you understand why you have a c-section pooch, what you can do to invite healing and how you can learn how to love your body the way it is.
I am also excited to share with you the exercise program I recommend to help you heal your c-section pooch the most. Thi is also the same program Dutchess Kate uses according to the DailyMail.
Around 1 in 3 births in the US are C-sections. While it is a very common procedure, it is still major abdominal surgery. Cesarean delivery isn’t always planned. Sometimes there may be psychological as well as physiological trauma. This article is mainly focused on the long term physical trauma to your abdominals.
Watch for upcoming articles about how to take care of your scar and tips for c-section recovery as well.
How A C-Section Results In a Pooch
You may be wondering why exactly your section resulted in a c-section pooch. The answer may surprise you. It may not be 100% caused by your section alone. A c-section pooch is caused by a combination of things.
Scar tissue that is stuck to muscle
A layer of fat that overhangs where the scar is
Separated abs which are also known as diastasis recti
If you want to know how to get rid of a c-section overhang then you need to look at all three of these and take a multi-faceted approach. I will show you exactly how to do that. But first, let’s clear up a little bit of confusion about your abs after a c-section.
Are Your Abdominal Muscles Cut During A C-Section?
No! Muscles are not cut during a c-section. Multiple layers of connective skin, tissue and fascia are cut or drawn apart during your surgery.
This means you will likely experience a ‘disconnect’, a lack of feeling or sensitivity, possibly even nerve damage, as well as a build-up of scar tissue around your surgical site. This lack of connection can last for weeks, months or even years post-birth if not addressed.
This video goes over exactly what does or does not get cut during a c-section. I bet you never know you had so many layers to go through. Am I right?
Does A C-Section Pooch Go Away On It’s Own?
Yes, it is possible for a c-section pooch to go away on its own. However, for many women, it does not. The good news is that if you begin actively supporting your body to heal, you can often fully recover to the point that the only remnant of your c-section is a faint scar.
If you look at yourself and you think ‘I still look pregnant!” it’s likely that you have diastasis recti. This is when your abs separate during pregnancy and don’t come back together.
Yes, You absolutely can get a flat stomach after a c-section. However, it is important to start gently and at the very beginning. What I mean by this is that you need to first focus on reconnecting with your body and learn how to move functionally again.
If you have diastasis recti, which is very common after pregnancy, most core exercises will actually do more harm than good.
Your c-section scar and ab separation both need healing. You can rebuild the lost connections and nerve pathways through movement, touch, great nutrition, and hydration.
If your c-section pooch won’t go away, and you’ve been eating well and exercising, it’s likely because of diastasis recti.
Diastasis recti is the widening of the space between the 2 sections of the rectus abdominis (or 6-pack) abdominal muscle. The split occurs at the mid-line collagen tissue at the front of the abdomen. It’s a very common and perfectly normal occurrence during the final trimester. In many cases, the abdominal muscles will come back together in the weeks following birth, but most of us need some targeted exercises to help this process along.
How Will Movement and Massage Help Me Heal My C-Section Pooch?
The scar tissue and adhesions at your scar site are where the collagen (connective tissue) is laying down and binding as it heals. The process can result in tightness or a pulling sensation around your scar.
Movement and proper alignment will help your body to heal by allowing muscles systems to work smoothly and efficiently. When the ‘mechanics’ of your body are correctly aligned, youare better able to heal and strengthen.
Massage will help relieve tightness and aid comfort and healing. Massage the skin gently between your fingers around the scar to encourage oxygen flow in, and toxin flow out of, the area. You don’t need a processed or manufactured oil marketed for scars. A pure organic oil such as almond or avocado oil will work beautifully on its own.
The practice of actually touching your body, touching the scars, can also help with trauma healing and emotional re-connection.
How Can Nutrition Help Fix My C-Section Pooch?
What you eat plays a big role in your body’s ability to heal. There are certain foods that will help your recovery greatly and others that will hinder it.
Clean protein, lots of green and deep-colored vegetables, berries, good fats and fibrous vegetables and fruits are all good for recovering your c-section pooch. Include anti-inflammatory foods in your diet, turmeric, ginger, garlic, and green tea. All these foods will help your body to recover in the early days and many months or years post-birth.
Drink LOTS of water. Staying hydrated is really important for healing. Water, herbal teas and water-rich foods are a must.
Alcohol, sugary drinks, and processed sugary foods will hinder your recovery. They are generally inflammatory and don’t hold a lot of nutritional value or benefit, so pick your treats carefully!
In Summary, How Do You Reduce A C-Section Pooch?
Connection is key to healing diastasis, and also to regaining feeling and strength after c-section. Emotional, psychological and physical self-care including gentle movement massage, nourishment and hydration will all help. Give yourself time, as well as plenty of rest. Your body is amazing and it will heal, be kind to yourself ❤️
My Favorite Program For Healing Diastasis Recti
Because healing diastasis recti is at the heart of healing a c-section pooch, I want to share my favorite diastasis recti recovery program with you. MUTU is a medically tested system that helps moms rebuild a connection to their abs and heal diastasis recti. It offers education and support as well as a daily exercise routine and nutrition guide that will help you address your diastasis recti symptoms and ultimately recover your c-section pooch.