You vs Your C-Section Pooch. How 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 a way it didn’t before.
If you are worried about this condition, 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 and what you can do to invite healing.
Additionally, I will provide you with my best recommendation for an exercise program that can help you restore your abdomen and make you feel perfect again. (I’ve tried dozens of different programs, so when I say this one works I mean it. And if you like details and science, you will love the information below.)
This exercise program is a recommended way to heal your c-section pooch fast, strengthen your abdomen, and return beauty to your tummy. It’s worth noting that this is the same exercise program the Dutchess Kate uses after her pregnancies, according to the DailyMail.
You may be wondering why exactly your surgery resulted in a c-section pooch. The answer may surprise you. What causes a c-section pooch? First of all, your surgery on its own is not 100% responsible. A c-section pooch is caused by a combination of things:
Scar tissue that is stuck to muscle
A layer of fat that overhangs near the scar
Separated abs and damaged fascia, 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.
Does A C-Section Pooch Go Away On It’s Own?
Yes! A c-section pooch can leave on it’s own. Your body is designed to heal!
Unfortunately, some women (including myself) don’t enjoy this luxury and have to give their body a little help.
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. This results in a pooch or continued look of being pregnant.
Can You Get A Flat Stomach After A C-Section?
Yes, You absolutely can get a flat stomach after a c-section. Your pooch can completely go away.
However, it is important to start gently and with very carefully chosen exercises. In other words, first, focus on reconnecting with your body. Learn how to move functionally before trying to get into the complex movements found in the typical workout program.
*Note: If you have diastasis recti, which is very common after pregnancy, most core exercises will actually do more harm than good.
Both your c-section scar and ab separation need healing. You can rebuild the lost connections and nerve pathways through movement, touch, excellent nutrition, and hydration.
If your c-section pooch won’t go away, and you’ve been eating well and exercising regularly, it’s likely because of diastasis recti.
Diastasis recti is when the fascia (connective tissue) that connects the left and right side of your abs becomes stretched out and damaged.
This means your 6 pack muscles will be further apart than normal, and not work as well as they should. It is very normal for this to happen during the third trimester of pregnancy.
In many cases, the abdominal muscles will come back together in the weeks following birth, but most women need some targeted exercises to help this process along.
Testing yourself for Diastasis Recti is very simple and something you can do from home.
Does A C-Section Cause Diastasis Recti
Some women wonder if their abs are cut during a c-section and if this could be the cause of separated or damaged abdominal muscles after birth.
Muscles are not cut during a c-section. However, 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. It is also the cause of your scar itching months or years after surgery as well.
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?
It is important to note that during your surgery, it is likely that your abs had to be pushed to the side and the fascia connecting your abdominals was cut.
This is why more women recovering from c-sections have diastasis recti than women recovering from vaginal birth. It is also why almost every woman experiences some kind of c-section pooch after her surgery.
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 the 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.
After your surgery, your body has to create a deep layer of scar tissue to hold everything together. The collagen in this tissue has a different structure than your normal tissues.
This can result in your skin being pulled differently, and, your skin overhanging over your scar. Hello c-section pooch! This scar tissue can be a really small, but stubborn part of your c-section pooch.
When you massage your scar, the tissue reorganies itself and normalizes into tissue like you had before.
Even better, massage helps reduce adhesions. An adhesion is when the scar tissue attaches to other nearby organs or skin and reduces blood flow, nerve connections and can cause quite a bit of pain.
If you are feeling unsure about massaging your scar, or you had your section in the last 6 weeks, you may just want to do a gentle massage to get used to touching your body again.
However, proper massage of your scar tissue, that will help you resolve your c-section pooch, goes a little deeper and is not as gentle. This is a great little video to help you see exactly what massage movements are most helpful.
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 get in your way.
For example, 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. Additionally, including anti-inflammatory foods like turmeric, ginger, garlic, and green tea in your diet provides multiple benefits as well.
Ultimately, these foods will help your body to recover in the early day, months, or years post-birth.
Remember to drink LOTS of water because staying hydrated is an essential factor for healing. Water, herbal teas, and water-rich foods are a must.
Ensure to avoid Alcohol, sugary drinks, and processed sugary foods since they can hinder your recovery. They are generally inflammatory and don’t hold a lot of nutritional value or benefit. Pick your treats carefully!
In Summary, How Do You Reduce A C-Section Pooch?
To reduce your c-section pooch, you need to address the damage done to your body during this intense surgery.
Start by healing the fascia that connects your abdominals together. Continue with massage to break up scar tissue. And finally, eat well, to reduce the layers of fat that are sitting on top of your abdominals. (but really, love your new mom bod! it has done so much for you!)
Connection is key to healing diastasis, and also to regaining feeling and strength after c-section. Therefore, emotional, psychological, and physical self-care is a necessity for you.
Give yourself time, as well as plenty of rest. Your body is amazing and it will heal, be kind to yourself ❤️
I hope this article gave you clarity and confidence to move forward in healing your c-section pooch!