Find out if you will ever get rid of your C-section pouch after having your newborn baby and what you can do to help speed up your recovery.


how long should I wear a postpartum belly wrap

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.



You just had a baby, and all you want to know is how do you get rid of the C-section pouch.

This was completely unexpected: a pouch plus a scar.

You were fully prepared for the scar and some pain that goes with it, but not the saggy tummy. It doesn’t feel right, it doesn’t look right and it’s just an extra thing you have to worry about on top of all the other body changes and baby changes that take place day to day.

All you want to know is if this pouch will ever go away, and how do you get it gone, for good. In this article we will be discussing why there is a postpartum C-section pouch, or pooch as some like to call it, and what you can do to get rid of it.


C-Section 101: The Basics Behind The Surgery During Childbirth

Before we get into how to get a flat stomach after having a C-section, let’s understand the basics of what takes place during this procedure.

During the C-section procedure, the surgeon will cut into multiple layers. These layers consists of skin, subcutaneous fatty tissue and fascia (the layer that covers the organs and muscles).

When your doctor closes you up after having a baby, the fascia is priority number one.

“From a medical point of view, the fascia is the single most important layer regarding the recovery and safety of the mother.” -Iffath Hoskins, M.D.

First, they close the uterus, then the fascia and lastly they bring the rest of the body together. They make sure the fascia is closed safely and properly using their best techniques. This is their main focus for the mom after childbirth. But after that the healing is up to the mom. The surgeon did his part, and it’s your part to do the rest.

Their focus as doctors is not on how well you heal but on how well they suture you up. The healing is up to the mom.


Something interesting to consider is that each woman who experiences a C-section may have a different procedure that takes place. One woman may have their fatty subcutaneous layer sutured while others may not. It all depends on how much fatty tissue you have.

The more fatty tissue you have, the more likely you are to have it sewn up. But in some circumstances, the fatty tissue is left to heal on its own without it being sutured.

Some women have staples to close the incision while others have sutures. Remember, every mom experiences different surgeries, and each body is unique in its own way.

Scar Tissue Causes The Postpartum Pooch After C-Section

The reason why new moms who just had a C-section get the postpartum pooch is because of the subcutaneous tissue. Whether sutures are being used or not for the fatty subcutaneous tissue, there will always be scar tissue that will form. This is inevitable simply by the fact that there was cutting that took place.  When you get cut during surgery, you will automatically develop scar tissue.

To determine what scar tissue feels like and to know how much you have, you simply need to push over your incision to feel for firmness. As you move away from your scar, you’ll feel your skin get softer as you push. The firmness that you feel in the incision is the scar tissue. 

So it’s great to focus on diet and exercise, but the scar tissue will not be affected by it. But don’t worry, because scar tissue can soften over time, and this will eventually make it less pronounced. The best way to remove scar tissue is using a physical therapy technique called scar mobilization.

How To Do Scar Tissue Mobilizations and Massage After C-Section

Scar mobilizations are a technique commonly used by physical therapists that help break down the scar tissue beneath your skin. It’s a technique that you can perform on yourself. Or if you don’t feel comfortable, you can have your spouse do it for you.

This video can help explain how to perform scar mobilizations after your incision has been completely healed. 

Skin Elasticity and The Postpartum Pooch

Another cause of the postpartum pooch after a C-section is from the elasticity of your skin. What I mean by this is that your skin is stretchy. Every woman has different elasticity.

Some women’s skin will bounce back to normal while other’s skin will continue to be loose and saggy. Unfortunately, this is not under your control and is mostly related to genetics. 

If the loose skin is the main reason for your postpartum pooch, there are some tips on how to remedy this. Healthline suggests these 6 tips to tighten loose belly skin. 


How To Get A Flat Tummy After Having A C-Section


Something that you can control, unlike your skin genetics and the amount of scar tissue build up after C-section, is fat. Having a healthy, balanced diet in an effort to lose weight can help you reduce the amount of fat distribution on your body. This will help flatten your belly and reduce the appearance of the pooch.

Always remember not to diet while breastfeeding, and put more effort into weight loss after you stop breastfeeding.

The other main way to reduce the appearance of your postpartum C-section pouch is through exercise.

Doing the correct abdominal exercises that are specifically geared towards postpartum core recovery after a C-section are crucial to success of your recovery. I recommend starting with this exercise for your abdominal muscles because it is safe to do after having a C-section. As a physical therapist, I always recommend abdominal bracing first. 


How To Get Rid Of The Postpartum Pouch

So, is it really possible to get rid of the C-section pooch? Yes it is, but each woman’s recovery journey is unique to them. It’s important to keep that in mind when you go through postpartum recovery after having a C-section.

Every woman heals differently, has different layers of fat tissue and scar tissue, has varying skin elasticity and experiences a surgery that is performed in its own unique way.

It’s important to realize that the main focus of the surgeon who performed the C-section is on the baby, not on how pretty your scar turns out.

Your surgeon is not performing plastic surgery, nor is it their priority to make sure your incision produces the smallest, most perfectly cut scar ever seen. 

With this scar comes scar tissue that can cause the postpartum pooch after a C-section. Even with diet and exercise, the amount of scar tissue and excess skin can leave you hanging with a pooch.

But if you are determined, and you put effort into your postpartum recovery, you can lose the C-section pouch. Just like the doctor said, the healing is up to you.

Following healthy eating habits and proper exercise is ultimately the best way to get rid of the postpartum pooch.

One more quick tip that is an absolute game-changer for getting rid of the postpartum pooch after having a C-section is wearing a postpartum belly wrap.

Postpartum belly wraps act as an assistant to the natural contractions that take place in your uterus. The wrap speeds up the healing process and will help reduce the appearance of a C-section pooch. Learn more about postpartum belly wraps here. 


This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

*It is important to always consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program and get medical clearance. Always warm up thoroughly and stretch after all workouts. and Jena Bradley will be not be responsible or liable for any injury sustained while exercising at home, gym or elsewhere. Perform exercises at your own risk.

how long should I wear a postpartum belly wrap

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