Exercise Can’t Shrink Excess Stomach Skin After Pregnancy

A mother exercises to complement the results of her tummy tuck

Earlier, one of the most popular blogs on parenting, Scary Mommy, featured a post that told the unvarnished truth about post-baby bodies. The topic echoed what we’ve heard countless times from tummy tuck patients at our Eugene, Oregon, plastic surgery practice.

“Let me break it down for you,” the blog post’s author wrote. “In addition to a healthy diet, I work out at least four times a week, burning 600-plus calories per session. I’ve done cardio, strength training, Pilates, HIIT and everything in between. No matter how many hours and how many reps, the war zone that once carried a 22-inch, 8-pound child won’t budge. It turns out that my 5-foot frame wasn’t meant to carry a linebacker without some consequences, and I’ve got a problem even Jillian Michaels can’t fix.”

How Pregnancy Changes Your Body

This is a familiar sentiment to any women who’s given birth. Pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding can change women’s bodies in a number of ways, and one of the most frustrating is leftover excess abdominal skin and stomach pooch. You can sweat all you want, but for most moms, exercise and healthy eating won’t shrink their stomachs back to their before baby contours. It’s not that exercise doesn’t provide incredible benefits, and we encourage our patients to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. But to get the flatter stomach you want requires abdominoplasty—commonly called a tummy tuck.

What to Expect

During a tummy tuck, Dr. Mark Jewell makes a horizontal incision just about the pubic area. The incision can be easily concealed by bikini bottoms. In addition to removing excess skin during the procedure, Dr. Jewell will repair abdominal muscles separated during pregnancy (a condition called diastasis recti). It’s also common to combine a tummy tuck with liposuction to remove pockets of fat that create unwanted bulges. This is called the lipo-abdominoplasty where VASER liposuction can be safely combined with an abdominoplasty.

During the surgery, Dr. Jewell will also reposition the belly button and make sure it’s aesthetically pleasing. In a few cases, patients can benefit from a mini tummy tuck, which involves a shorter incision and is limited to the area below the belly button. A tummy tuck has a few surprising benefits, too, as we wrote in an earlier blog post.

Tummy Tuck Considerations

Women considering tummy tuck surgery should be finished having children because a future pregnancy will almost certainly undo the benefits of the procedure. A tummy tuck creates dramatic results and can restore confidence in your body. Some patients choose to combine the body contouring surgery with a breast lift or breast augmentation as part of a Mommy Makeover.

You can see results Dr. Jewell created for some of his previous patients by looking at our gallery of before-and-after photos. As one of the most accomplished tummy tuck surgeons in the Northwest, Dr. Jewell provides tummy tuck surgery to women who travel from Salem and throughout the region to our Eugene practice.

You can contact us using the online form to request a private consultation with Dr. Jewell or call us at (541) 204-3540 to schedule an appointment.

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