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C section shelf/ overhang/ saggy bit - how to deal with it?

(20 Posts)
Whenisitmysleepytime Fri 03-Jun-11 17:39:27

dd is 6 weeks old and I'm back in last years shorts ( not terribly stylish but practical) the jeans are only a little bit away. So well done me. grin

However I have the c section shelf/ over hang/ saggy bit. Bleurgh!
How do you shift it?

Without surgery please as I have no desire to be sliced and diced again! wink

TantePiste Fri 03-Jun-11 18:48:53

I found pilates helpful. Over time it went away. then I had another by c-section (now 6.5 months) and it is baack.

ageingdisgracefully Fri 03-Jun-11 20:15:45

I've never properly got rid of mine, although I had a completely flat stomach before. Exercise will help, but as they cut through the muscle (I think), it will probably never be quite the same...

Good on you for getting back into your shorts just iin time for the summer!!

TattyDevine Fri 03-Jun-11 20:22:03

They don't cut through muscle when performing a c-section. They sort of shove them aside apparently. There was a bit of a debate about this on AIBU last weekend. Links were produced, illustrations happened. Gah.

The muscle lays under the fat. They do cut through the fatty layer, and it is fat that is overhanging (and skin of course). But not as much "skin" as you'd think.

Bear in mind skin is about 7 or 8 layers thick (depending where on your body it is, obviously eyelids are thinner than bum skin) if there were "no" fat to overhang (i.e you were very very lean) then there wouldn't be enough of a skin mass, unles ou had very very loose skin from a massive weight loss, to overhang in any major way.

That said, the belly fat that many women carry after having children can be very stubborn, so its the last thing to go, sometimes, and you have to be realistic about just how lean you want to be and to maintain just to get rid of an overhang.

But a lot of people with loose skin following weight loss still have a reasonable fat percentage and if they were to reduce their body fat percentage more (without actually losing weight - but by gaining muscle) then they would have a hell of a lot less "wobble".

Gotta be realistic though...

wasabipeanut Fri 03-Jun-11 20:24:07

Well done you indeed. Have to agree that it will never shift 100% - sorry. However, I have taken mine down around 80% with a good low carb diet (seems to reduce bloatiness to flatten stomach more than a general low calories diet). I'm sure if I got off my arse and did proper stomach exercises rather than relied on walking every at speed with a buggy and toddler on a buggy board I could lose another 10% but I'm resigned to a bit of a pouch.
It looks flat in clothes. I could never care enough to even think about surgery - yuck. Mine will be 4 years ago in Septemeber.

Hopefully Fri 03-Jun-11 21:06:05

No idea if this is true, but a MW told me that as the skin is so tight on the scar, it creates a kind of artificial overhang because the scar skin is tighter than the skin above. She said daily massage with a bit of oil once it's all healed and not sore to touch (around 5weeks for me, I think) helps reduce chance of adhesions and loosen that scar tissue.

I've been doing it and have no overhang, but equally it could be complete fluke and bugger all to do with massage!

Have also been told that there's no need to wait 3+ months to do abdominal exercises (as some consultants apparently advise). If it's pain free to do sit ups, then it probably isn't harming you (equally, if it hurts, obviously don't do them). DS is 9 weeks and I have been doing ab exercises for over a week now with no pain whatsoever.

toastandmarmiterocks Fri 03-Jun-11 22:44:07

I've got the overhang but no c-section!! Whats that all about?? Tell you what, my babies RUINED my body, but worth it grin

eeky Sat 04-Jun-11 00:03:43

Overhang without CS her too! It's because ds was a huge baby so even after a normal delivery, there is only so much that the stretched abdominal skin will shrink to immediately.

I am an obstetrician and can assure you we do not cut through the abdominal muscles. We cut through the skin, the underlying small fat layer, then separate the recti muscles which lie either side of the midline (like opening a pair of curtains?) to get to the uterus.

I'm hoping gradual weight loss, pilates and lots of abdo skin massage with creams/oils will help.

Having seen so many postnatal tummies, the overhang degree varies a lot from woman to woman. It will improve with some work, even if it doesn't disappear.

mosschops30 Sat 04-Jun-11 08:29:29

Sorry todissapoint but i dont think it has anything to do with weight loss.
3rd dc was a whopper (for me), and a section (other two were vaginal dels).
I have the overhang.
It varies in severiry, im now excercising 4 times a week, a size 6-8 and weight just under 8 stone,but the overhang remains. Although it looks better than when im not training or eating well.

BulletWithAName Sat 04-Jun-11 09:18:26

I have it, even though I'm slim and exercise regularly. It will be going though when I have my tummy tuck in the next couple of years!

Meglet Sat 04-Jun-11 10:06:11

I think it just takes ages for the excess fat and stretched skin to burn off.

I'm dead skinny and have a flat stomach but there is still a little bit of over-hang (2 cs's and a hysterectomy within a 3 yr period are the culprits). Although only I know it's there IYSWIM, it wouldn't even be obvious in a bikni as the pants cover the scar.

It seems to be flattening down in time, I've upped my gym vists lately to try and sort it out.

Hopefully Sat 04-Jun-11 10:15:17

LOL at 'opening a pair of curtains'! I will never think of my CS in quite the same way again grin

biryani Sat 04-Jun-11 10:19:49

Love the "curtains" description too!! I thought it was cut muscle causing it and didn't see the thread - back to the gym!!

Whenisitmysleepytime Sat 04-Jun-11 10:26:51

Where is your overhang? If that's not TMI? blush

I have a teeny one on scar line but the one I was talking about is across the top of my knicker line (where the elastic sits)

Does that make a difference?

Meglet Sat 04-Jun-11 12:56:54

Mine is on the scar line, which is my knicker line.

I also have a big dimple to the side of it from the drain after my EMCS.

The scar has almost faded, funnily enough I'm going to miss it.

Hopefully Sat 04-Jun-11 13:14:10

Mine is on the scar line too (as if the scar skin is slightly more taut than skin above). I have fat above that, but it doesn't overhang too, iykwim.

poorbuthappy Sat 04-Jun-11 13:17:19

Mine is on the scar line too, when I'm trying to lose a bit of weight or doing the shred I always know its working because when I get out of the shower I can see the scar in the mirror, rather than the overhang!
And the whole street normally knows too, cos I scream very very loudly and happily!

Naetha Sat 04-Jun-11 13:29:28

Google stomach vacuums - they're good exercises to help your stomach muscles re-knit after pregnancy and help give you a flatter stomach.

Other than that, it's pretty much what tatty devine said about body fat percentage.

Just remember that if you lose weight too fast you'll have the whole crepey skin to deal with - I'm currently trying aloe vera gel to tighten my skin up. Seems to be working a little.

Whenisitmysleepytime Sat 04-Jun-11 14:20:42

Hmm maybe it's not an overhang then. smile
Maybe it's leftover cake. blush

Perhaps I should be heading to a postnatal exercise class after all...

Whenisitmysleepytime Sat 04-Jun-11 14:22:03

And so far the weight loss has all been down to bf dd. So no effort yet! smile

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