Recovery from a cesarean section is far from easy. The process is painful and uncomfortable as your body goes through some serious changes. Often left behind is an overhang right above your C-section scar and it can take a real toll on a woman’s confidence. Because of that, many moms start to wonder how to lose their “pooch.”
Good news, mama, your C-section scar overhang won’t be there forever! A few changes in your lifestyle and your diet will speed up your recovery. These things will help you get rid of the pooch that’s been annoying you every time you look in the mirror.
Still, it’s important to know that this is completely normal. You brought a little human into this world and your body needs some time to get back to its usual after the surgery. Most of the changes you see aren’t permanent, and you shouldn’t worry about them. Think of them as proof of your strength.
To make your recovery easier, you need to stay calm and get as much rest as possible. Use this time to enjoy these magical moments with your little one, because one day you’re going to miss them.
However, I understand how difficult it can be to stay confident. You don’t recognize your body anymore and that can be hard on your mental health. Because of that, I’m sure you’re desperately looking for ways to lose your C-section overhang.
Luckily, there’s a way, and I’m here to help you understand the changes you should make.
What is a C-section scar overhang?
The first thing to remember is that a C-section scar overhang is completely normal after the birth of your little one. Your little “pooch” is simply a consequence of the surgery you just went through.
Most of the time, this extra skin on your belly is a result of pregnancy weight gain. When you give birth by C-section, you go through a major surgery where several layers of fat and tissue are cut to remove your baby. Because of that, it’s no surprise that scaring is quite major, too.
Some excess, stretched skin on your belly is usually the result of pregnancy and many new moms complain about it. With a C-section birth, however, the skin hangs right over your scar, resulting in a belly “pooch.” On top of that, your body goes through big hormonal changes, which can also contribute to a hanging belly.
Don’t worry, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with you. Even women who don’t give birth by C-section can experience an overhanging tummy during their postpartum recovery. It’s just a part of the process even though I know you’re not a fan of it.
However, if you’re worried about your scar, you can always visit your doctor for a regular check-up and ask if everything’s okay. At least it can help you ease your mind a bit.
How long does it take to lose a C-section overhang?
The time it takes to lose a C-section overhang depends on your personal experiences and the kind of lifestyle you live. Here are some main factors that influence the loss of your belly pooch:
- Diet: Your diet should include fruits, veggies, lean protein, and you should stay away from processed foods as much as possible. Maintaining a healthy diet is the first step in reducing the appearance of your C-section overhang.
- Starting weight: What you weighed pre-pregnancy also plays a big role. If you were overweight even before your pregnancy, it might take you a bit more time to lose the pooch.
- Hormonal changes: The process of losing your hanging belly might be slowed down by the postpartum hormonal changes your body experiences. So don’t rush your body, it’s already doing its best job.
- Exercise: If you don’t have a very active lifestyle, you also might struggle with losing your C-section belly. In case you’re new to exercising, start lightly. Sometimes, simply walking a few miles a day can make a huge difference.
No matter what, it’s still hard to predict how long it might take you to lose your C-section belly naturally. An active lifestyle and a good diet will do little for your stomach if you don’t rest during your postpartum recovery. Stay hydrated, don’t stress too much, and get plenty of rest. You deserve it, mama!
Preventing a hanging belly after a C-section
In case you’re scheduled for a C-section and you’re worried about ending up with an overhang after birth, I’ve got some good news for you. There are some things you can do to help you prevent it!
There are certain light exercises that women can do as soon as they’re able to work out after giving birth. For example, pelvic tilts and modified planks are great ways to strengthen the muscles in your tummy and prevent your skin from stretching.
Also, you won’t believe the benefits proper posture can have on your postpartum body. Focus on your body mechanics and don’t put too much stress on your abs if you want to avoid having a saggy belly after surgery.
Also, make sure to eat healthy food during your pregnancy. I know how hard it can be to resist the cravings, but try to stick to a well-balanced diet with enough protein and fiber, which will support your belly muscles. Trust me, your body will thank you for it.
How to lose a C-section overhang
There are a few things you can do to speed up the process of losing a C-section overhang. Still, if you’re not sure where to start, talk to your doctor. They’ll help you understand the changes in your body, and how you can get back to your starting weight.
The most important thing you can do, however, is to avoid comparison. Don’t compare your experience with other women’s. Every single one of us is unique, with unique bodies, unique pregnancies, and unique postpartum experiences. This means that we all have different outcomes and paces of recovery.
That being said, here are some things you can do to gain your confidence back.
1. Regular exercise and maintaining a healthy diet
As I’ve already mentioned, keeping a healthy diet and staying active is the first step in reducing your postpartum belly pooch. Of course, you should stick to light and gentle exercises. If you’re not sure which ones are safe for you after your C-section, talk to your doctor.
They’ll give you the best advice considering your body and postpartum experience. If anything, you can start with light walking every day, and work your way up from there. No matter how small it may seem, walking has incredible benefits for the body, especially after giving birth.
Make sure you eat well-balanced meals, including fiber, proteins, vitamins, and minerals that your body needs. Not only will this help with your belly, but it’s also good for balancing your hormones, and it’s especially important for moms who breastfeed.
3. Massage the scar
First off, you should never do anything to your scar without first consulting with your doctor. If they say it’s okay, you can try scar mobilization, or massaging the tissue around it.
Your scar can take up to 2 years to heal fully, and gentle massaging of the tissue can help with the healing process. Doing so around the scar tissue does wonders for circulation, which is crucial when it comes to smoothing out the skin on your belly.
Plus, I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy this process, too. I mean, who doesn’t like a nice massage? Talk to your doctor, ask about the best technique, do it every day, and have patience. This doesn’t work overnight.
4. Get enough rest
There’s a reason everyone talks about how important it is to rest during your postpartum recovery. Although I know how hard it can be to get some rest when you have a newborn to take care of, you should use every moment you can get.
And don’t hesitate to ask for help when you need it. You’ve just gone through a major surgery, so don’t push yourself to do things your body is still not ready for. There’s no better way to help your body heal than to give it enough time to rest.
When you’re sleeping, your body focuses on healing, and it prioritizes restoration and tissue growth. It also produces more white blood cells, which are crucial in fighting bacteria and viruses, and generally speed up the healing process.
5. Wear a belly wrap
Although they’re mainly used to reduce discomfort, a belly wrap can help you deal with a C-section scar overhang, too. Wearing one helps you protect your scar so that your underwear and pants don’t rub against it, which could only slow down the healing.
On top of that, if you struggle with confidence because of your belly, a wrap will help you hide it until you work on reducing the appearance of the excess skin.
6. Cosmetic surgery
And, lastly, if nothing else works and you really want to get rid of your postpartum “pooch” as fast as possible, you can opt for cosmetic surgery.
A tummy tuck is becoming quite popular among moms who struggle with postpartum bellies. It’s often used by people who have lost a lot of weight and now struggle with excess skin.
Just note that a tummy tuck is considered major surgery as well.