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Old 02-21-2007, 12:14 PM   #1
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Default Protruding Abs

Since giving birth, my stomach is way larger than it has ever been and I still looked pregnant months afterward. I've usually carried my weight in my lower half, so this is unusual for me. Yesterday my doctor told me the cause of my protruding abdomen is stretched stomach muscles (my abs separated while pregnant), rather than mostly excess fat.

My stomach is pretty hard when I stand but pretty squishy when seated or laying down. It HAS gone down a lot during my weightloss, but its still way bigger than usual. Then again I've never been this high so I dont know if I would've gotten a stomach anyway at this weight even without the pregnancy.

Anyway, he said this can only fixed with a full tummy tuck. How discouraged and surprised I was!

Any ideas? I'm not sure I believe him that this is not mostly fat.

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Old 02-21-2007, 12:36 PM   #2
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Sorry, but I think that doc is full of crap. http://www.fitstep.com/Advanced/Anatomy/Abs.htm shows how the abs are put together, during pregnancy they seperate and allow the uterus to come forward and up. Unless you've had some sort of abdominal injury which prevented that from happening, I can't see how the muscles are that stretched out. I have a huge lower belly, most of its fat, some of its scar tissue, but under all of that is muscle. Lay on your back, feel around until you can find the actual muscles, sometimes, I have to start under my ribs to find it and follow it, then follow the muscle until you reach your hip.

The best thing you can do, is to keep training those muscles, just like every other muscle, while consistently losing weight. Other than surgery there is no magic machine to get rid of just that one are. On me, it'll be the last to go, but it IS going. I've had OB specialists and surgeons at UCLA look at my abs due to a cellulitis infection after my last c-section, I was hospitalized for 10 days, 3 of which was in the ICU, because the infection was completely out of control. It ate away fat cells, thankfully, no muscle which an MRI proved to be in good shape, after a twin pregnancy, followed by 2 more pregnancies all within 4 yrs of each other. I know everyone's different, but if mine are in good shape after 3 back to back pregnacies, and I've been told over n over, lose weight, then we'll see, I can't imagine why any doc would tell you the only way to get rid of it is with a tummy tuck, unless of course, he does tummy tucks. Also, did you have an MRI? IS that how he got the info? Just looking at someone's outer covering is not an adequate way to make that determination, UNLESS you have lost all the excess weight and it's still there. I'll still have a small pooch and fold of skin, which is fine, for now, as long as I know I'm as healthy as I can be.

If you are considering a tummy tuck, make sure to visit several surgeons.

I wanted to add this link that further explains seperated ab muscles during pregnancy and how to help them. http://womenshealth.suite101.com/art...ominal_muscles

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Old 02-21-2007, 01:09 PM   #3
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I was told the same that my muscles seperated a bit (2 kids 1 year apart) I know I still have fat over them. Anyways my doc said that with exercise I could minimize the damage, now 9 years later and 2 more kids( 17 months apart )I am hoping it is not too late even thought will need to have skin removed.

Sorry I am no help but I do hope someone has some medical proof one way or the other.
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Old 02-21-2007, 01:35 PM   #4
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First step would be to do some core exercises and some ab toning exercises. It's really important to do these the right way so you don't stress your lower back or do too much too soon for your abs. Once you've gotten those muscles good and strong, you can re-evaluate whether a "tummy tuck" is worthwhile. I just hate it when drs. immediately want to go to a surgical solution, but what can you expect? That's how they are trained.

Lots of good exercise books are around--maybe even at your local library--or you can consult with a fitness trainer.

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Old 02-21-2007, 01:40 PM   #5
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There is such a thing-the separation of abdominal muscles called diastisis recti abdominus.

If it's true this happened to you, you will not likely to ever get your stomach back to where it was. But properly done core/abdominal exercise should help you get back to something reasonable.
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Old 02-21-2007, 01:57 PM   #6
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The best post pregnancy exercise for the abdominals is like tummy kegels. Contract to a point where you can still breathe. Hold. Repeat as often as possible. Start thinking of little reminders like...contract when you nurse, contract when you change a diaper, contract when you give a pacifier...what ever, after several months of that, it will start to pull in on its own.

You are far enough post pg that regular abdominal work may help too, but tummy kegels will help the muscles knit back together. If they are still separated or overstretched they cant strengthen as well.

And yes, quite often there is a small pooch that just can not be removed the natural way.
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Old 02-21-2007, 02:18 PM   #7
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Look, I have never been pregnant and am only 22, but apparently my abs were sufficiently apart enough for my surgeon to sew 'em up together during my tt surgery. It makes for a better "look."
(And I trust my surgeon 100%, because not only is he a great guy but he is consistenly rated by his peers as a top doc in the ny metro area.)
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Old 02-22-2007, 08:57 AM   #8
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mami~ I found a link to how to check for seperation and if the seperation is more than 1 finger wide DO NOT do sit up, crunched etc... there are certain exercise that have to be done if you do sit ups it will make it worse here is the link if it gets removed pm me and I will send it to u.

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