Have just given birth to D3 and was rather concerned to not have normal jelly belly but fully fledged 6 month stomach a few days after birth. Various family members commented on my very convex tummy and I started to panic because it all felt so hard and round still- quite unlike normally when I had been able to fit back into normal clothes (albeit a bigger size) more or less straight away. Anyway, rang hospital in state of panic in end convinced that I had retained afterbirth or something more sinister. They sent round mid-wife the next day who said that my stomach muscles have divided so everything is poking through rather than being contained- apparently can happen with 2nd or 3rd babies. She has advised me not to have anymore...no danger of that. Anyway would be good to hear from anyone in same situation. To be honest, I am finding it rather embarrassing and depressing- I usually snap back pretty quickly, and it is no fun still not being able to lie on my tummy or bend over properly. Midwife said it would go back but just take a lot longer and she would give me some gentle exercises to do. Any other advise much appreciated!
Yes, I thought this was common in most pregnancies. I'm surprised your midwife was not more reassuring. I looked 5 months preg for about 3 months after birth of DD1 but did have a section. Your abs will recover with the right kind of exercise, and it's important to work on this,otherwise you leave yourself open to lower back problems. Pilates is great or join a general post natal exercise class if you can, the instructor should be knowledgeable on this and be able to check the condition of your muscles and advise what to do.