Does Mom Pooch Go Away?

A video is circling the internet of a very relatable new mama bear. After sending her five cubs up a tree to play, she spends several minutes examining her wrinkly, loose tummy as if she’s thinking, what happened to my body?? As all moms know, pregnancy can do a number on your stomach. In addition to loose skin, there’s also the stubborn mom pooch, the rounded-looking belly that seems to stay put no matter what you do. If your stomach has you dreading heading out to Lake Monona in your swimsuit, you might be wondering, does mom pooch go away? If you are, first know that you’re in good company–very few women feel great about their bodies after they’ve given birth! Now, let’s take a look at what mom pooch is, what causes it, and how it can be fixed.

  • Why Do I Still Look Pregnant?
  • What Causes Diastasis Recti?
  • Does Mom Pooch Go Away?

Why Do I Still Look Pregnant?

Postpartum moms often deal with a stubbornly soft tummy that can give the impression that they are still pregnant. This rounded belly is called mom pooch or diastasis recti. Diastasis recti occurs when the right and left side of the rectus abdominis–the muscles that create a six-pack–separates. 

Besides making your tummy look pouchy, this separation can cause other trouble like lower back pain since your core now has less support. When the abdominal muscles separate, it can create a gap that typically can be up to two inches wide. This gap can result in your stomach, internal organs, and tissue bulging out of this area.

What Causes Diastasis Recti?

Your kids! (Feel free to remind them before major gift-giving holidays.)

During pregnancy, the abdomen stretches to accommodate your growing baby. After pregnancy, the muscles should return to their original position. Sometimes, however, the muscles don’t completely go back into place. The gap between the muscles allows the internal organs to push forward, creating the poochy tummy.

Does Mom Pooch Go Away?

Generally, if the muscles are going to heal on their own, they will within three months of birth. If you are several months postpartum, it’s likely that your diastasis recti is here to stay. 

Some women have had success using targeted exercises to help the muscles move closer together. Before you start any postpartum exercise routine, however, it’s essential that you first check with your doctor. Certain exercises, including crunches and sit-ups, may actually make the separation worse. 

Tummy Tuck in Madison, Wisconsin

But not all women experience success in healing their mom pooch through exercise alone. Additionally, diet and exercise will do nothing to eliminate any loose, excess skin from pregnancy. 

For further reading: Does Loose Skin After Weight Loss Go Away?

To correct these issues, a tummy tuck is necessary. Tummy tuck surgery, technically known as abdominoplasty, removes excess skin, including c-section scars, and fat from the abdomen. Your doctor will also repair the diastasis recti by reconnecting the abdominal muscles. The procedure results in a flatter abdomen, a strong core, and no excess skin. 

Schedule Your Consultation Today with Dr. Thomas Bartell

Dr. Thomas Bartell is Madison, Wisconsin’s only board-certified plastic surgeon that focuses solely on below-the-neck procedures. With his dedicated, specially selected surgical team and fully accredited surgical suite, Dr. Bartell provides care that’s highly personalized, safe, and private.

If you think a tummy tuck might be right for you, schedule your consultation today with Dr. Thomas Bartell. At this consultation, you’ll be able to see before-and-after photos of real patients and learn more about the kinds of results Dr. Bartell can achieve for you.

Does Mom Pooch Go Away? brought to you by Dr. Thomas Bartell