"When Will I Get My Body Back After the Baby?"
Posted Aug. 13, 2009, 4:20 p.m.
Posted previously on the Berkeley Parents Network in response to the paraphrased question above.
At one month postpartum, it is very early to be worrying that
the shape of your postpartum belly is permanent. It is really
true that your belly developed the big ripe shape of a term
pregnancy over 9 months, and you should wait at least that long
for nature to take its course and pull you back into shape
before deciding that your 'pot belly' will never go away.
That having been said, the separation of your muscles is called
rectus diastasis, and is often permanent. The muscles
themselves shorten over time from their stretched position
during pregnancy, but the connective tissue between them, called
fascia, does not have the same elasticity that muscles have, so
once stretched, it will never return to its pre pregnancy size.
However, if your skin is in good shape, your little 'pot belly'
will get better than it is now, and you have a good chance of
regaining that flatter shape that you miss. But you have had a
baby, and if you wore tight jeans before the pregnancy, you
might not get back into them, because your body has changed.
My advice as a plastic surgeon is just wait awhile. In 9
months, if you still don't like what you see, you can be
evaluated for a tummy tuck procedure which tightens up that
stretched fascia and removes extra skin in your lower abdomen.
Until then, enjoy your baby, do your aerobic exercise as you
have time, make sure you have at least one outfit that fits you
now that you feel good in so you are not always aware of your 'pot belly' and relax. Your body is likely to continue to get better on its own.