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Post Pregnancy Belly - how long does it last?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
so, I had my beautiful baby girl 8 days ago and am loving every minute of motherhood. However, I do not care for my post-pregnancy belly. I knew I was going to still have a belly for a while, but wasn't expecting it to be this big.

Does anyone know how long before things flatten out a little more? I still look 5-6 months pregnant.

Also I had a c-section if this makes a difference.
post #2 of 14

I think it's a little different for everyone of course, but I've heard it can take up to the full six weeks to get back to close to your pre-pregnancy size. I had my baby a day before yours, but a vaginal delivery, and I'm nearly back to my typical size. I think I could pass for about three months pregnant at this point, as a basis of comparison. I'm not sure if it takes a little longer if you have a C-section. 


Are you breastfeeding your baby? I've read/heard this it really helps shrink the uterus down to size with the mild contracting that happens when you nurse the baby. 

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Yes, I am Breastfeeding. I an hoping I see some faster progress I the weeks to come.
post #4 of 14

This is my 4th baby, I don't expect to be bumpless ever again, quite frankly.  horrors.gifWith my first baby, (a c section) maybe 2 months and I looked good again.  2nd baby, my skin was a bit saggy, but could be hidden...I just couldn't wear a bikini anymore.  3rd baby, my muscles never went all the way back together so I could have passed for 2-3 months pg even when I wasn't pg.  By the time I ACTUALLY got pg (had two miscarriages in the 5 months prior to this pg as well) was showing very early and got super huge by the end.  Plus, I'm sure it didn't help that my baby was only 4 oz shy of being 10 pounds.  I literally have a fold of skin that hangs on my belly at this point.  I don't really look pg anymore, but my skin is shot.  And my little one is 2 weeks and 1 day old.  :)

Edited by Earthylady - 9/25/11 at 10:48pm
post #5 of 14
I had a c-section with my first and a VBAC this time. I think there's more swelling after a c-section, and I was mortified at how big I was. By the end of the 6-8 weeks I felt I could hide it better, but I wore maternity jeans for about 3 months. By 4 months I felt comfortable wearing a modest bikini. I bought some cheap larger jeans for the transition at that point and was back in my old jeans by about 6 months, I get a lot of hip spreading so it's actually less about stomach. Eventually, thanks to nursing, I was smaller than I was prepregnancy. This time my stomach is less swollen and just sticks out a bit, I've also been less self-conscious of it, since I knew to expect it. I'm 4 weeks pp and it's still a little bit out there. I use my full band maternity jeans and a folded over belly band to help suck it in a bit. A lot more loose skin this time too, but I also have severe eczema on my stomach right now so I'm not paying much attention to how it looks.

Just hang in there, it'll be gone before you know it. Nursing helps tons!
post #6 of 14

Keep breast feeding, drink 3 cups a day of red raspberry tea a day for your uterus and wear your baby in a wrap like a Moby or Rebozo that wraps around your belly and tightens it. The rest is really just time. Everyone is different as well and it also depends on how well your taking care of yourself. My first took me two years to lose the weight and the belly!!! My second 4 months. Go figure?! Good luck and patients to you. :-)

post #7 of 14

I'm at 4 weeks (almost) and am already looking much better... it's nice to be able to feel my stomach muscles when I flex them. The first two weeks I would flex my muscles and feel nothing! Just squishy!!

post #8 of 14

I never really lost my belly after my first, but got pregnant 7 months pp. My skin is very damaged and stretched. I had a really hard time with that for a long time. I breastfed too and it didn't seem to help me lose baby weight. I still got major stretch marks with my second after gaining less weight (!) but lost the baby weight much faster that time. With focused exercise around 10 months pp I was able to lose all the baby weight from both babies plus a little more, but my belly will never be smooth and flat again. The skin is so stretched and damaged and even though the stretch marks aren't red anymore and have faded, they are still there and always will be. I am totally ok with it now. I just won't be like those mommas who have a baby and look thin and flat in 6 months or less. I use a bella band more after baby just to help my clothes fit a little better. I just take it as a badge of motherhood. :) I wasn't a bikini type before I got pregnant so why don't expect to be afterward. :)

post #9 of 14

I was wondering the same thing and went back to pictures that were taken shortly after DS1 was born. In two months I was back in my jeans (well my fat ones). It took about 9 months before I actually lost all of the baby weight. I'm still less than a week postpartum now and I've noticed my belly shrink. Remember you haven't really used your abs in a while and it takes a bit of getting used to for your body to figure out how to use them again. I had several days of back pain and I know it was from my body figuring out how to use my abs to support my spine.

That being said, yesterday I went to pick up a prescription for DH and the pharmacist thought I was still pregnant! When I told her I had the baby last Wednesday, she said something along the lines of ... actually your belly does look a lot smaller.

It takes time. I've heard laying on your belly can help too. The idea is getting everything the baby rearranged while you were pregnant back into place.

post #10 of 14

I have heard that it's harder after a c-section, and I believe it.  They separate your stomach muscles during the surgery, and as well, there is a lot of swelling.  My belly has gone down quite a bit in 9 days, I think belly binding has really helped (plus it feels really good.)  I have a band made by Jolly Jumper, and then another smaller one that still doesn't fit.  I'd highly suggest looking into some sort of belly band, or even something like Spanx, as it has made a big difference for me. 


With my first, I lost the weight quite quickly, and was under pre-pregnancy weight by about 3 months.  It took a bit longer with #2, but both times it was just breastfeeding that helped me lose the weight.  I'm hoping this time will be quick too!  I hate this in-between phase where maternity clothes are too big (and you are so sick of wearing them,) but your regular clothes don't quite fit...

post #11 of 14

My midwife is big on binding and even mentioned it to me last night at my birth. I did it last time just by using a thick, 6 ft long Ace bandage and I loved it. Not only did it feel really supportive but it made my belly go flat in such a short time. The main reason she is for it though is to help provide stability so your organs and muscles can return to their original positions. So I imagine that I will start wearing the Ace bandage in another day or two.

post #12 of 14

Gracecody...how wide is the ACE? 6 inches?

post #13 of 14

Belly Binding and the book Lose the Mummy Tummy are both fabulous.  (ok, the book title is the corniest thing ever, but it's a very simple exercise program designed specifically to correct diastasis recti, the "opening" between the ab muscles that often doesn't close completely after birth and which causes that "saggy belly" look... there's a website here http://www.diastasisrehab.com/ ).


After my first birth (via c/s) I have pictures at 14 weeks pp where I'm wearing totally normal, non-maternity jeans.  After my second birth (vbac) I was wearing non-maternity pants when I went back to work at 12 weeks pp.  And after my third birth/second vbac I have pictures of me in non-maternity pants at about 12 weeks pp.  So for me, with breastfeeding, it seems like I don't lose the belly till after the fourth trimester.  In terms of the scale, I usually lose all but the final 10 lbs of pregnancy weight without trying over the course of about 9 months.  Around then I start to focus more on diet/exercise as a means to a weightloss ends rather than just good health... I generally drop those final ten pounds along with a few pounds more by the babe's first birthday.  I take a very laid back approach, eat healthy and stay active but don't stress for at least 9 months.


It takes roughly 6 weeks for the uterus to return to pre-pregnancy size and for the internal organs to shift back into place (that's why most practices have a 6week checkup) so most women have at least some belly till then.  After the uterus and other organs are back in place some women look fine, others still have a belly due either to actual weight gained in the pregnancy that is now "visible" or because of a diastasis recti where the ab muscles simply don't have the oomph to hold things up/in as they did before (NOTE- many traditional ab exercises as well as some yoga and pilates positions can make diastasis worse so it's a good idea to check for diastasis BEFORE trying to get rid of the belly with intense core workouts).

Edited by wombatclay - 9/27/11 at 1:49pm
post #14 of 14

Anyone used the postpartum support belts from Motherhood Maternity? Any luck with them?

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