How do you get rid of that postpregancy "pooch"? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 38 Old 10-19-2003, 11:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Have any of you gotten "rid" of your postpregnancy belly pouch? I gained - then lost - 70 lbs. during each of my two pregnancies and now I have the torso of an 87 year old woman. At the age of 24.
Any recommendations? Exercise, like crunches, only build some muscle and doesn't tighten the loose skin, right???
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#2 of 38 Old 10-19-2003, 11:25 PM
 
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I hear you! I started out 108, gained 65 pounds in pg. So you can imagine the stretch marks. Lost almost all of it by 9 mos. postpartum. I exercised but the pooch remained. Skin is elastic and most of the time it will go back *mostly* to where it should be. Before I got pg with #2 I just had a little bit of loose skin left, it would somewhat hang over my undies. Now I'll never be able to wear a bikini again, too many stretch marks.

I made sure to wear a support belt under my clothes for the first few months postpartum when it was at its heaviest. I figured if it's good to wear a supportive bra we should support other loose skin too. My boobs went from A to D cup with dd, and I always, always wore a bra even to bed when I was lactating. I believe it helped. When I got pg with #2 my boobs were not perky like they used to be, but nor were they that saggy and I'm sure it's because I always made sure to support them.

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#3 of 38 Old 10-20-2003, 12:20 AM
 
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moving this to the Birth and Beyond forum
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#4 of 38 Old 10-20-2003, 04:22 AM
 
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You mean women actually *get rid* of the pooch?!

LOL Seriously, I'm still trying. I was about 120 prepg, I gained 40 lbs, but it was all in my stomach, so I had a pretty serious pooch. I've found that it has gotten a lot better over time, without any help from me, but it's still not completely gone. Also, I was back down to approx. my pre pg weight, and my stomach really looked awful. I've found that it actually looks better... smoother and less saggy, if I carry about five extra pounds.
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#5 of 38 Old 10-20-2003, 07:45 AM
 
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I think Darshani's point is an excellent one. I didn't support my lower abdomen after ds's birth, and this time, I am going out after the baby comes and buying some supportive girdle-type garments. Nothing meant to do the muscle-work, just to help the skin against gravity. All my ILs in N Africa tie up their bellies after birth, to help decrease the sag.
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#6 of 38 Old 10-20-2003, 06:11 PM
 
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In terms of exercise-pilates and yogic breathing exercises. I had particularly good results from the kapalabhati (sp?) breathing technique. which is the breath that works like a bellows. It creates such intense internal energy in the abdomen that I find it tones externally far better than crunches.
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#7 of 38 Old 10-21-2003, 07:12 PM
 
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Quote:
You mean women actually *get rid* of the pooch?!
LOL..I was thinking the same thing!!

I've never gotten rid of mine.
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#8 of 38 Old 10-23-2003, 04:38 AM
 
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I was feeling great for months after my DD- I was like my jeans fit!!! But the last 3 weeks- YUCK! I feel your pain mama! I have this huge belly it is so nasty- I was not a supper thin chick to start but I gained 60lbs and toped the 199 mark! I an now down to what I was but man the sag! I am so glad you have made this post I will be watching- I will go get myself some yoga classes!

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#9 of 38 Old 10-24-2003, 12:24 AM
 
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Ugh... I have the same problem.

The momma I babysat for as a teen swore that her stomach went in better the second time around because she wore a girdle type thing.

I never got around to it and now I'm wishing I had. I bet just wearing it for the few couple of weeks makes a big difference.
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#10 of 38 Old 10-24-2003, 10:26 PM
 
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I had a pooch to start with and now it's worse. The funny thing is that I like my body better now, stretch marks and pooch and flab and all.
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#11 of 38 Old 10-25-2003, 04:23 PM
 
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It doesn't matter how loose the skin is, MUSCLE will make a difference! Now, I do have to tell the truth here, some of the "pootch" will most likely stay..because after all some of it is skin. But loose, stretched out, toneless muscle and extra fat can appear to be "only skin". I highly recommend Joyce Vedral's book Weight Training Made easy. It is adaptable to ANY level of fitness and schedule. It, with extra aerobic excercise and a normal diet will make certain you get to your best shape ever. I'm 26 and have gained and lost over 250lbs between 4 pregnancies. Until I got pregnant this most recent time (i'm about 4 mo), I had the BEST abs of my life Yeah, I will admit there was a slight lower belly skin pootch, but some loose skin is nothing compared to tight, strong body. I have been assured that only *I* could see the Pootch

You can loose MOST of it. you don't need to look like an 87yr old.

Carrie
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#12 of 38 Old 10-26-2003, 03:39 AM
 
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It took almost a year to get rid of the 'extra' pooch from Fiona (though for at least 5 years before her there was a fat roll or two there anyhow). But just as it was starting to look a lot better (probably because I'd been working out for the month before) I got pregnant with the guys.

I look at this weird drape of skin on me now and I don't see how it's possibly going to go back to normal. I'm concentrating on keeping fat OUT of it. ;> At first I was disgusted, but now I'm starting to think it's kind of neat. It's not really fat, just lots of extra skin and it feels kind of neat and skwooshy to play with. I think if someone were to lop it off, I'd go down another pants size, but the thought of a tummy tuck really makes me queasy.

I have heard other twin moms say that they never lose the twinskin, but I also know one who certainly LOOKS like she has (though maybe she's wearing a girdle? I've not seen her with a bare midriff or anything).

I think you can lose it eventually if your skin is nice and elastic, which probably yours is since you're young! It just might take awhile to go back.
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#13 of 38 Old 10-26-2003, 08:30 PM
 
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I have twins too and "twinskin' with fat in it. Tigerchild is right. My kids LOVE to squoosh and squeeze and hug my belly. At first, I was disgusted but now, I am content with my beauty and my bag. (Ha ha) Udderly silly, I am.

I have no suggestions for you other than to rest in your beauty.

Peace and jiggles,
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#14 of 38 Old 10-27-2003, 03:58 AM
 
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Another huge weight-gainer here....60lbs. I was about 160 prepregnancy. You do the math! After dd came out, I had a huge droopy belly.

I wore a support panty after I had dd...after I got my staples out of my belly, that is...not only do I think it helped, but it felt *really* good. I got some of those stretchy medium-weight microfiber ones, and it was soooo nice!

I sometimes still wear the micro-fiber undies. Dang, they are comfy, and hold the pooch in all the right ways!
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#15 of 38 Old 11-09-2003, 11:35 PM
 
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ok, i'm really ignorant... always been more of a bikini/thong-wearing kinda gal, so all this talk about girdles and support panties has me feeling lost.

would any of you be so kind as to recommend your favorite tummy-supporting panties? i mean, tell me the brand and the name if you can, cuz i just looked at the hanes website out of curiousity and was overwhelmed by the dizzying array of "shapers"...

sounds like y'all are saying i should plan to start wearing them right after delivery, and then for how long? i don't want a permanent change in my underwear drawer, but i am feeling the logic about supporting droopy body parts.

speaking of which, does it really make a big difference to wear a bra at night? i've never considered doing this. i hate bras. but if it makes a big difference...
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#16 of 38 Old 11-10-2003, 01:14 AM
 
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My favorite-

Brand: Victoria's Secret
Fabric: Microfiber
Cost: around $20...worth every penny.
Shaped: like regular panties, only made of seamless thick microfiber! Soooo comfy and doesn't leave pantylines! They also have them shaped like boy-cut underwear, thongs, and bikinis. But I like the full-cut ones so I get support up to my belly button post-partum! Plus, it's easier to attach the pp pads to brief undies!
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#17 of 38 Old 09-13-2007, 12:01 AM
 
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I still have my pooch and even doing pilates doesn't seem to work.
It's just getting harder but not flat.
How in the world do all these models and super starts get rid of it in matter of weeks? (plastic surgery)
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#18 of 38 Old 09-13-2007, 03:55 AM
 
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photo shop.
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#19 of 38 Old 09-13-2007, 09:33 AM
 
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I have to agree with Carrieanders, muscle helps tremendously. I used to be a personal trainer and a woman in her late 40's came in to be trained after she had lost over 100 pounds on her own. She had HUGE amounts of hanging skin all over her body (the kind you see the doctors on tv cut off in major surgeries). She had never worked out in her life but really wanted to tighten up the skin without surgery because it leaves awful scars all over the body when they cut it off. I trained her for a while and then showed her how to keep it up on her own since I was moving away (it was just a basic total body weightlifting routine). I saw her 6-8 months later and she looked AMAZING. I was actually shocked because even though I knew the added muscle would help the sagging skin, I had never seen such drastic results in person. You would never have known she had ever been overweight. She got into it so much that she decided to start competing in bodybuilding competitions.

The muscle definitely gives the skin support and something to 'stick to', plus the more muscle you gain, automatically the less fat your body will store because the muscle burns more calories. If there is even a small amount of fat in the belly area and not much muscle, it's just going to push the skin out. A pound of fat is about the size of a large jar of mayonnaise and has the texture of cottage cheese. A pound of muscle is the size of a deck of cards and is almost that firm. So one pound of muscle takes up much less room in your body than a pound of fat. Just getting that layer of fat that lies between the skin and the muscle (that everyone has) a bit thinner will help keep the skin in closer to your body. You don't have to go to gym to gain muscle either, you can get those hand weights or bands to use at home for your upper body and do lunges and squats for the lower. Yoga and pilates are also really good because they use your core muscles, so just by balancing you are building muscle. I used to work out every day at the gym but then I met my dh who never works out (he's naturally thin), so for the first couple years of our relationship I didn't do much either and gained about 15 pounds. I finally decided I wanted my old body back but wasn't really into the gym scene anymore. So I got some hand weights and a yoga dvd and have been doing that about 2-3 times a week. I try to walk for 30-45 minutes whenever I can, and although it took me a bit longer (6 months), I lost the 15 pounds without even putting much effort into it. Now let's hope I can keep it up throughout this pregnancy.

I also have a friend who wore the 'support shorts' after she had both kids and her stomach went right back to being flat, so I will probably get those as well to help!

HBACing, co-sleeping, breastfeeding, babywearing, d/s vaccinating, food and fitness-loving single mommy to two little monsters.
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#20 of 38 Old 09-13-2007, 09:39 AM
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there are three reasons for the 'pooch':

1. muscle tone and connective tissue concerns

to this, you might be interested in the article linked in my sig line, written by one of our MDC mamas who is also a yoga teacher.

and this is what pilates, yoga, etc helps to fix.

2. subcutaneous fat

that is, fat between the skin and the muscle. if this is the concern, then a healthy diet and plenty of cardio--as well as weight bearing exercise--will help boost metabolism and burn away that fat.

3. loose skin

it is sometimes difficult to get skin to heal after being overly stretched. the best process is actually prevention--using a great deal of oils while pregnant to prevent problems. coconut oil, coco butter, and shea butter are three of the best. i would not buy these in finished, lotion forms, but rather buy raw oils/butters for this purpose.

but, even post partum, oiling can help as can belly binding (for skin support) and massage. these can help the skin 'firm up.' again, use real oils/butters, and not lotions that contain these oils/butters. i can provide sources for these oil/butters if you need them--sources that are organic, fair trade, and all natural. it's amazing what it does for skin! truly amazing!

if you've done everything that you can to get the skin to "snap back" to it's original places, then there's not much else you can do short of plastic surgery.

but all in all, i think of it this way:

you earned that pooch. you know how a lot of guys go to the gym and get big muscles? that's scar tissue. they work hard for that.

didn't you work hard for this? TTCing, Pregnancy, Labor and Birth--isn't that hard work? and aren't the scars of that worth bearing?

you earned it, so go ahead and feel free to be proud of it!
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#21 of 38 Old 09-13-2007, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Carrieanders View Post
It doesn't matter how loose the skin is, MUSCLE will make a difference! Now, I do have to tell the truth here, some of the "pootch" will most likely stay..because after all some of it is skin. But loose, stretched out, toneless muscle and extra fat can appear to be "only skin". I highly recommend Joyce Vedral's book Weight Training Made easy. It is adaptable to ANY level of fitness and schedule. It, with extra aerobic excercise and a normal diet will make certain you get to your best shape ever. I'm 26 and have gained and lost over 250lbs between 4 pregnancies. Until I got pregnant this most recent time (i'm about 4 mo), I had the BEST abs of my life Yeah, I will admit there was a slight lower belly skin pootch, but some loose skin is nothing compared to tight, strong body. I have been assured that only *I* could see the Pootch

You can loose MOST of it. you don't need to look like an 87yr old.

Carrie
I love Joyce Vedral. I had a book of her's as a teenager, and still do most of the same workout to this day!
I recommend looking up excercises to work your transverse abdominals. I did some research, and its the oly ab group recommended pp. I can tell a huge difference almost imediately after working this group of muscles. One way I've been getting a small workout in is to do them standing, arch my back over like a halloween cat, hands on knees, and suck tummy back towards spine as hard as posible. hold.and you can feel the flex/contraction in the sides of your stomach, like a girdle..this has helped alot of what looked like loose skin. I' m one month pp and just about back to normal.
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#22 of 38 Old 09-13-2007, 02:29 PM
 
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I'm of the belief that the only way to get rid of it is through a tummy tuck.
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#23 of 38 Old 09-13-2007, 03:10 PM
 
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I still have mine. I gained 40+ with both kids and lost most of it immediately after birth. Weight loss and regular stomach crunches made it look smaller. Too bad I didn't keep them up

But I know what you all mean about that "drape" of skin. I'm very self-conscious about it and feel disfigured, but not enough to undergo major surgery for it. DH assures me that it doesn't bother him, and says "eh, it's just leftover baby cocoon".

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#24 of 38 Old 09-13-2007, 03:26 PM
 
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Seems to me that everyone is a little different and will get various results. I've wondered about the same thing. I gained 40lbs during pregnancy and lost all but 5lbs of it by the time my son was maybe a year and half old. I think for me it is poorly toned muscles and I'd like to try some of the ideas here to tighten it up before my next preg.

I know I will wear a support belt after the next babe because when I got out of bed the first time after ds was born it felt like I had bricks in my stomach. It just sagged terribly. I think it would just feel so much better with some support!

Married to wonderful DH 10 yrs DS 9yrs self-weaned @ 3 1/2 yrs  TTC 3 yrs got preg 4 months after HSG with DS 4yrs self-weaned at 3 1/2 yrs  Hope to have more little ones but have secondary infertility issues so we'll just have to see what the future brings Enjoying homeschooling and farming
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#25 of 38 Old 09-13-2007, 03:33 PM
 
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we're supposed to get rid of that? I use mine as a good shelf carrying our toddler.... It's been 13 years since I birthed a baby, though. I think I weigh the same now as I did when I delivered her.
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#26 of 38 Old 09-14-2007, 10:45 AM
 
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You can lose MOST of it.
I woudnt have believed this last year but this year I believe.
I started a simple exercise routine of my own, with wrist and ankle weights and various arm and leg movements while lying on my back, sides and flat on my tummy. There is no jumping, or impact on feet / knees. I love it. It takes 15-20 min / day and has made all the difference.

relaxed-unschooler mama to dd (2003). hoping for second one. love being a mama!!
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#27 of 38 Old 09-14-2007, 11:55 PM
 
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I LOVED the results I got from Pilates and Yoga, but honestly the absolute best way I've found to get rid of that pouch was to get pregnant again.
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#28 of 38 Old 09-15-2007, 12:39 AM
 
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I gained 40-40+ lbs. with each of my pregnancies and I got back into bikini shape. I had to lose all of the weight and do 200 lower and upper ab exercises along with 60-75 oblique ones to get my tummy back in shape---4 or 5 times a week. I got back to a size 0. With each baby it gets worse though. With baby #1, I was able to bounce back within 6 mos. However, after the second baby, I went to put on a pair of old pants that were always big on me and nearly cried...I think I actually did. I didn't realize that while I was growing that baby I was growing my a$$ like a well fed house plant. It took a few years for the skin to look normal after baby #2 and by the time he was five people couldn't tell I had children. I know it seems like a he!!ish long wait and it was. I wore bras to bed when my breast size increased and used underwire nursing bras. Definitely, support the tummy skin, too. I think it helps to support the skin, as well as make you feel better. Make sure you get panties and pants that go up to the waist until it is under control though. When I didn't it looked like I had a muffin top hanging out of my pants. When I wasn't wearing support while trying to get in shape, I felt fat/gross and would fall off the exercise ban wagon and wallow in pity..usually with chocolate to keep me company. I hope that gives you hope. Exercise/diet really helps with the pooch. It was a horribly grueling mission for me to get back in shape, because I really don't like structured exercise although I know some enjoy it.
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#29 of 38 Old 09-15-2007, 01:25 AM
 
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beats me!

No matter how much weight I lost or how toned I got, I never could loose that little bit of loose skin.

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#30 of 38 Old 09-15-2007, 11:30 AM
 
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I agree with all the posts recommending exercise & building/strengthening muscle underneath. There's one thing that hasn't been mentioned, though. Be sure you don't have an abdominal diastasis. During pregnancy, especially one where there was a big weight gain or if you carried far out front, the abdominal muscles above & around your belly button can separate. After pregnancy, they do not go back together on their own, and it causes a pooch. Doing normal crunches or other abdominal work will make the separation worse; you have to do modified abdominal exercises until the separation is closed (or at least lessened).
Here's a link explaining it better.
http://www.mommymuscleblog.com/2005/...sis_do_yo.html
It shows you how to tell if you have the separation, and how to fix it.
I went from 114 to 170 with my 1st baby and also carried him way out front--lo and behold, I had a bad separation afterwards. My midwife checked for & found it at one of my post-partum visits and told me what I needed to do. I did the modified exercises, along with my regular cardio routine and diet, and I eventually lost it all--the separation, the fat, AND almost all of the excess skin--it took about a year of regular, dedicated exercise & diet, though. But I can proudly say that I did end up with a nice 6-pack, AFTER having had a baby and after having had a very flabby, poochy, skin-sagging tummy!
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