Congratulations on becoming a mother! The experience of pregnancy and childbirth is undeniably beautiful. But for many women, it can leave lasting changes on your body—like a saggy postpartum belly. If you’re hoping to regain your pre-pregnancy figure and feel confident in your own skin again, I can help. Here are some tried-and-true strategies to help you achieve your goals.
Why Do I Still Look Pregnant After Having a Baby?
Pregnancy forces the abdominal muscles and skin to undergo significant stretching to accommodate the growing baby. After delivery, the uterus takes several weeks to contract back to its usual size. However, the affected stomach skin and muscles are another story. It’s common for the abdominal muscles to separate (a condition commonly called diastasis recti) and the skin to stretch beyond repair. These, combined with the additional belly fat that accumulates during pregnancy, can cause a protruding belly that still looks pregnant postpartum. That’s where I come in.
Work on Your Exercise and Diet
Like any good doctor, my first recommendation to you is to evaluate your lifestyle. Are daily exercise and a healthy diet part of your routine? If not, it’s time for you to adopt new habits.
A balanced and nutritious diet is critical throughout postpartum recovery and beyond, and it plays a vital role in achieving a flatter belly. Focus on consuming whole foods, including lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Avoid processed foods, sugary snacks, and excessive salt intake, as they can contribute to bloating and water retention.
Regular exercise is crucial for toning the abdominal muscles and reducing excess fat. Of course, you will need some time for your body to recover from labor and delivery before you jump into strenuous exercises. But once your obstetrician says you are ready, you should incorporate exercises that target the core, such as planks, pelvic tilts, and abdominal crunches.
Consider a Tummy Tuck and/or Mommy Makeover
Unfortunately for many women, despite the best of efforts, exercise and diet alone may not be sufficient to achieve the desired results. If this is the case for you, there are a few procedures that can help. These procedures are best used in combination with a healthy diet and daily exercise so that you can maintain your results long term.
The first is a standalone procedure called a tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty. This surgical procedure involves removing excess skin and fat from the abdominal area while tightening the underlying muscles. This flattens and firms the abdomen so that you no longer look pregnant or postpartum, but more like you never had a baby in the first place.
The other option is a combination procedure called a Mommy Makeover. The Mommy Makeover procedure combines multiple surgeries, including a tummy tuck, to provide a more dramatic full body transformation. You can get a tummy tuck with a breast augmentation, breast lift, liposuction, and/or other procedures tailored to your specific needs. A Mommy Makeover can offer you complete rejuvenation and restore your whole figure after childbirth.
Flattening your postpartum belly is a personal journey that requires a combination of healthy lifestyle choices and, in some cases, surgical intervention. Regular exercise and a nutritious diet are essential for strengthening your core and shedding excess weight, while procedures like a tummy tuck or Mommy Makeover can provide the extra help you need to achieve your goals. If you’re interested in learning more, I’d be happy to discuss these strategies with you and recommend a personalized health and treatment plan for you.
To book a consultation with Dr. Aycock, call (720) 634-7400 or fill out our online contact form today.