Best Exercise for C-section Flab??

Updated on April 27, 2012
R.S. asks from Chicago, IL
13 answers

Hi there,

Any tips on how to strengthen the muscles in that area? I'm 6 months post-partum and probably thanks to nursing 'round the clock, I'm back down to my pre-pregnancy weight; however, my body has changed and the flab in the area where they did the c-section is just awful. Any ideas on really great ways to tighten it? Thanks,

4 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?


As a side, I already do yoga and pilates and eat (what I consider) super healthfully. Yes, I would like to start trying again around April....and I do intend to continue yoga and tai chi throughout the next pregnancy...I was just looking for some ways to help strengthen that area now but I guess I'm doing the best I can right now and there's no magic solution. Thanks.

Featured Answers



answers from Tampa on

Haha... GREAT question! I'm dying to see everyone's responses. I too am 7 months post-partum and lost all the weight. However, I still have that little flap by my c-section scar. I'm so sick of it!! Thanks for posting :)

More Answers



answers from Chicago on

Two words...personal trainer. Even if you can pay for one session and ask them to focus on the exercises for that area. I had a trainer who made my tummy flat again (3 years after my C-section...couldn't really call it "baby weight" anymore!). All the exercises we did were using my own body weight so I could do them anywhere. There are specific exercises and they are not crunches. You need to strengthen your whole core which is considered the body's natural "girdle". There are gladiators, up-and-overs and other exercises as previously mentioned by the personal trainer, all which strengthen the core and help tighten the "girdle". My little one is 5 months and I am starting back up on my exercise routine - I did one day of the tummy exercises and the next day my Mother saw me and asked what I did to make my tummy go down so much in one day! If you can afford at least one day with a personal trainer, it will be the best thing you ever did! They have to go through education to learn the body and how it works as well as the exercises to help so they definitely know exactly how to target that area.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Hi R.,
As a personal trainer, I recommend planks and excercises on a balance ball. If you go to
WebMd, there is a section that demonstrates how to do exercises correctly. You can probably find a book at the library that will show you how to do the ball exercises.
Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Tallahassee on

Hello R.,

I have a 4 1/2 year old - who was born by c-section. I can tell you that for the entire first year after I felt like a morphing cartoon character. Like you, I lost the pounds, but my body kept shifting shapes, it was really bizarre. Nothing fit right that year and I can't tell you how much clothing I threw away in frustration. I found no "magic bullet" but time and a healthy lifestyle. Eat right (not dieting!) just healthy and balanced. Get physical activity when you can. This can be as simple as walking or as intentional as attending a class at a local gym. It doesn't have to be anything special - just get your heart rate up everyday. Things will "shift" back to normal. :) I will warn you to stay away from gimmicks that sound too good to be true. They are dangerous and won't help you (or anybody).

Good luck to you and as hard as it is - be patient, that's the best thing. :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Since this is my specialty I thought I would chime in. I am a personal trainer and am the only person in the state that is "Tupler Technique" and "Diastasis Rehab" certified.

It sounds to me like you may have what is called "The mummy tummy" or a split in your stomach muscles from pregnancy.

The mommy tummy, can create a look that does not look like the pre-pregnancy abs you once had. Depending on how far your recti are split, will determine how pronounced the cosmetic look of the abdominal area is.

Also, with a C Section, women get prone to the “muffin top syndrome” – even the skinniest of women I train have that problem. Scar mobilization is great resource to smooth out the layers of scar tissue and create a smoothness to the look and feel of the skin.

There are definitely some things you can do!
Postpartum women be aware that crunches where your shoulders come off the ground can make a diastisis worse (split in your rectus abdominus you get from being pregnant - also called "mummy tummy" - the vertical muscle on either side of your belly button that stretch from the top of the pelvis to the bottom six ribs)

There are many specific exercises you can do. "Lose your Mummy Tummy" is a great book you can get from If you prefer a group or personal instruction, I am a certified PErsonal Trainer and Tupler Technique/Diastasis Rehab specialist.
I teach classes in 3 locations and can do personal or group sessions in the home if you want more information.

One last thing I tell my clients for great abs - AVOID THE FIVE WHITES!!!
White Flour
White Sugar
White Potatoes
White Pasta
White Rice

Feel free to call me with any questions. My cell is ###-###-####

B. Wayne



answers from Reno on

After using them, I decided to sell them because they worked so well. I lost 10 inches from my belly with just three wraps. I promise it’s not some weird scam, because I thought the same thing. It’s a detox wrap that helps shrink fat cells. Anyway, they work great and yes, I do sell them, but I haven’t had a customer who tried a pack not buy more :) check out my facebook page or my website, I promise you, you will love this product! I’ve had two c-sections myself and found it harder to lose after the second one!



answers from Chicago on

Dear R., I have had 2 c-sections and because of a very bad back and torn muscles and a hystroecomy (sp) the Dr. said my muscles have been cut to many times. The last time he went in he tried to tighten them for me but I can't tell the difference and not I have lost about 85# since all of that and have this flab just hanging there and just can't stand it and if I had the money I would just have it sucked all out! I know it sounds weird but I have tried it all from eating right to exercise at the gym where I didnt hurt my back and just fed up with it. Iam now going to have back surgery so all excercise is just out for me. I went from a size 22/24 to a size 16/18 depending on who makes the jeans. And if it wasn't for that left over from the 2 c-sections I would probably be in a much lower size jeans, but I guess Iam stuck with it till the back surgery and hopefully then I can work on it alittle bit more, so I am feeling your pain and every other mothers pain that can't get rid of it. And not every mom can afford a personal trainer! But good luck to you hun!!



answers from Chicago on

If I recall correctly, didn't you post earlier about wanting to get pregnant here soon? If so, then you might wish to read Julie Tupler's book "Lose Your Mummy Tummy". It will not only help get you accustomed to doing healthy exercises for pregnancy/delivery but will also prepare you for postpartum. The book talks about all of the muscles that make up your core and gives you exercises for tightening the area.

Always remember you cannot spot-reduce - in other words, there is no magic food or exercise that will take the weight off in one area only. The best approach is to adopt a sensible eating plan and incorporate cardiovascular training daily. You can do sit ups until the cows come home but if you're eating too many calories and/or not doing anything to burn off the excess, all that you are left with are awesome abs with great insulation (I tell my students that everyone has a six pack underneath but some people's are just better protected).

Don't waste your time on pills, shakes, meal replacements or other 'miracle cures'. Remember that it took 9+ months to put on the weight and it will take time for it to come off. Most of those products are band-aid approaches. Of course you might see a change using them but as soon as you go off the pill, the product, or the goofy diet, all the weight comes back on. Don't waste your money or time on something that will eventually backfire.



answers from Chicago on

Check with your Yoga or Pilates instructor for some 'extra ab' homework. I'm training to be a Yoga instructor and their are some very good, yet gentle core poses that are beneficial post partum. You want to work the entire core, not just that isolated area. You need a strong lower back to go with strong abs. Also, have you done the physical test to see if your abs are split? I cannot remember the medical term, but I believe if you were to call your Dr he/she may be able to assist you with it to determine if that is a problem as well. There is a lot of information on line as well. I'm sorry I have no links to offer.



answers from Chicago on

I'd like to know that myself. I've had three c-sections.. The first two not by choice....Oh well. I agree that a personal trainer will help the appearance of the c-section flab but it won't go away. I was advised to get a tummy tuck once I've reached my ideal weight...At least with a personal trainer they can target those areas and help more then we could on our own. Keep us posted...This is something I am considering too while on maternity leave.



answers from Chicago on

I just got done with physical therapy because of sciatic nerve pain. They blamed it on weakened muscles likely due in large part to my c-sections (those c-section babies are now 4 and 5 years old). MUCH better muscle tightness now, though that's several hundred dollars in co-pays later. Pilates are great as you are already doing of course, physical therapy is just another option.



answers from Seattle on

Irhink you just have to give your body time to heal, with time it should shrink back up little by little.



answers from Providence on

I've got to tell you I totally feel your pain. My daughter will be 3 in March & I still have a pouch. Before I got pregno I had a pretty flat belly that I didn't have to do anything for but now bottom of my stomach is ridiculousy stretched out. You might of torn your abdomen muscles apart & if that is the case your belly will never be flat again without surgery. That is what happend to me & it sucks. No matter how many situps/crunches you do if the muscle is too stretched it will never go back into place. I am back at my pre-pregnancy weight and I still have a pouch compliments of my daughter. I wish you luck, hopefully you can get your stomach back.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions