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TOPIC: Abdominal Separation

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August 7, 2012 4:37 PM
Have any of you had to deal with abdominal separation before?? Any tips to fix it?? How effective have you been with it?? I recently had a baby.. well I'm 5 days postpartum and I have a massive separation of my abdominal muscles. There's at least a 1 and half inch gap at my belly button.. maybe closer to 2 inches though. :/ I'm afraid my tummy will never look normal again. I don't so much mind the stretch marks.. it's the way my tummy bulges and then sinks in at my belly button in a line up and down. Looks bad. :/
August 8, 2012 9:05 AM
August 8, 2012 9:07 AM
It's only been 5 days. You need to give yourself time to heal.
August 8, 2012 9:07 AM
give your body time to heal. most separations go somewhat back together while others require surgery. but seriously you had a baby 5 days ago, give it atleast 3 months before you panic
August 8, 2012 9:09 AM
Lose the bodyfat then reassess.

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August 8, 2012 9:13 AM
Thanks!! I just don't wanna wait too long and not be able to fix it. :/
August 8, 2012 9:16 AM
Instead of worrying yourself, talk to your doctor about it. In reality, none of us have medical experience. Your best bet is call the doctor (OBGYN) and ask for an appointment and find out what to expect and when to expect it and the proper dates to follow based on whether you'd need a surgical intervention. Right now you're probably overwhelmed so don't fret too much. I'm assuming docs probably set up followup appointments but if you don't have one - give them a ring and tell the nurse what you're worried about and whether you can set up a followup with the doc to get your questions answered.
August 8, 2012 9:20 AM

Thanks!! I just don't wanna wait too long and not be able to fix it. :/

The sooner you start doing sit ups post partum the more likely it will be that the separation will become a tear. This is normal, give your body 6 weeks to heal before exercise, and stay away from sit ups until the separation gets down to a thumb's width.
August 8, 2012 9:21 AM
I gave birth to 6 kids and had abdominal separation at each pragnancies. First you have to let your body heal. Things will get better on their own, then if it still need help you can do planks.
August 8, 2012 9:25 AM
My abs separated with both pregnancies, they will heal, it takes time.
August 8, 2012 9:27 AM
wait al least 6 week if you start doing stuff to early then it may stop them going back
August 8, 2012 9:28 AM
Once your doctor clears you for exercise then start a plan of action. I also have the same issue. I gave birth nearly 7 months ago and my abs are still separated. I had thought they had healed but I noticed the bulge come back about a month or so ago, and realized that I had made it worse with some of my workouts. I highly recommend a compression girdle. I personally have used the bellefit and notice a huge difference when I"ve been diligent wearing it. Also, there are plenty of reputable websites that provide exercises to help bring your abs back together. I think I found some good ones on Livestrong. A month ago I had close to a 3 finger gap, now my gap is only about 1 finger and I don't have that bulge anymore. I'm still very careful about avoiding exercises that cause me to push out my stomach and I"ve been trying to diligent in doing the corrective exercises. I also ordered a smaller compression girdle as well. FYI I've heard that it can take up to a full year for our bodies to recover after childbirth so you will definately need to give yourself plenty of time.
August 8, 2012 9:29 AM
Five days postpartum?!?! I'm surprised you are even posting on here! Congrats on the baby! Your body took nine months to get to where it is and will take time to get back to where it was. You are not supposed to do anything but rest until you have your postpartum appt with your doc at 6 weeks. If you try to do anything now you WILL make it worse! Remember, you just created a human life. I would pay more attention to that than your belly for now until you are cleared to exercise.

The above is a good place to start when you are cleared for exercise. In the meantime, just let your body start to heal itself, eat nutritious foods and get plenty of rest to care for that baby. The rest will fall into place! Good luck!
August 8, 2012 9:30 AM
Mine hasn't healed and I am 6.5 years post partum, but I had a full term twin pregnancy.
Alot of women on here who have had a tummy tuck also mention that they had their abdo muscles sewn back together.

Realistically you are only 5 days PP, you need alot more time to heal, then reassess.

Everyone is different.
August 8, 2012 9:32 AM


Thanks!! I just don't wanna wait too long and not be able to fix it. :/

The sooner you start doing sit ups post partum the more likely it will be that the separation will become a tear. This is normal, give your body 6 weeks to heal before exercise, and stay away from sit ups until the separation gets down to a thumb's width.

This, and don't do any situps if you have a separation, they make it worse. Planks, ab vacuums, and non-isolation ab work (like lunges, squats, deadlifts, etc) work well for this issue.

Since you can't exercise yet, you should try wearing a girdle - my friend used one and was wearing a bikini 6 weeks after she had her 9 pound baby boy. They work! I wish I had known about it.

Are you breastfeeding? Either way, make sure you're eating healthy, as we all know diet is the best way to keep your tummy tight! Obviously just watch your calorie intake if you're breastfeeding.

And enjoy that new baby!
August 8, 2012 9:34 AM
Always remember it took nine months for your baby to grow... Nine months your belly has been growing to accommodate that little thing :) Give your body nine months get back to what it should be... It will :)
August 8, 2012 9:44 AM
I think you can see that the overall tone here from everyone is too heal up first and take care of your new baby. Instead of thinking about your abs spend this healing time trying to clean up any bad eating habits you might have picked up during pregnancy, so by the time you heal you will have your nutrition together and everything else will come.

Oh yeah like someone else mentioned the GIRDLE or belly binding is the best I actually bought one and had the nurse put it on me right after I had the baby!!!! I wore it the entire time in the hospital when I got home I wore a girdle with the binder, it works great!! Also when you do start exercising again still where the girdle and one of those stomach exercise things that make you sweat. Try this and clean eating while healing. Don't stress nine months up nine months down!!
Edited by isis2triple0 On August 8, 2012 9:49 AM
August 8, 2012 12:47 PM
At 5 days pp, you're probably not going to get an accurate assessment when you do the test for abdominal separation. But there are gentle exercises that you can do now that will help close the gap and begin to re-tone your abs.
Start with abdominal compressions, either side-lying, seated, or standing. Do several sets of these daily. This will strengthen your deepest abdominal muscle, your Transverse Abdominis, or TvA.
After you TvA has gotten stronger (you should be able to significantly narrow your torso/shrink your tummy when the TvA contracts) then add on a pelvic tilt. These are done either supine (on the back) or standing. Pull your tummy inward, and make a concave shape in your tummy (Belly Scooping). Make sure that you don't hold your breathe. You don't want to engage your diaphragm.
After you can to a belly scoop, then progress to basic postpartum exercises like Heel Slides, Single Leg Stretch, and Toe Taps, while maintaining the concave shape of your tummy.
Do these exercises until about 6 weeks postpartum, then retest for abdominal separation.
August 8, 2012 12:55 PM
You need to wait until at least 6 weeks pp before you do anything with your core. I am now almost 8 weeks pp (baby #5) and have only been doing strenuous workouts for 2 weeks. You can always start by going on walks with baby to help with your healing process. Once you get the green light from your doctor then you can start the more strenuous workouts. I know how hard it is to see your post-pregnancy body and how you want it back to "normal" NOW. But it's going to take some time. It takes at least 6 weeks for your uterus to go back to normal and that will help with your stomach not sticking out so much. Also are you breastfeeding? If you are breastfeeding you are going to want to wait until your supply is established before doing any kind of exercise. Take it a day at a time and enjoy your baby. You will get back to what you were before as long as you remain focused and work at it. =)
August 8, 2012 12:59 PM
My friend had BAD abdominal separation after her C-section. It took a few months but they eventually did heal better. As far as doing abdominal exercises? HELL NO. Heal first.
August 8, 2012 12:59 PM
Hi , you should wait till your 6 weeks post or you will do more damage than good . It usually will get a tad better but is usually a surgical fix . If you start to do sit ups and such you can drop your bladder or uterus causing more issues , pregnancy is hard on the body !! My little one is about to turn 1 !!!
September 16, 2012 12:27 PM
Hi, I've never been pregnant, but I am in the process of getting in shape in preparation to "trying." All these ladies are correct...give it TIME! Also, worst thing to do is go crazy with ab workouts. They can make that worse. Look up "Heel Slide with Belly Scoop.." It's a workout to work your Transverse Abdominal. It's your natural girdle BENEATH your other ab muscles. Work from inside muscles to the outside muscles. Without strengthening the core muscles of your CORE, that separation could actually get worse. Good luck!
September 16, 2012 12:31 PM
Every woman's abdominals seperate during pregnancy to make room to grow for that baby. Your stomach will go back to normal, but you might have to work at it. It is too soon for you to jump into a workout routine unless you were doing one throughout your pregnancy. Your body needs time to heal. After abou 6 weeks get yourself a good exercise routine that includes pleanty of abdominal exercises and a mixture of cardio and weights. Good Luck :)
September 16, 2012 1:58 PM
Oh my, you've got to give it awhile! Mine is still between 1-2 inches and my baby is 15 months old! It's gotten MUCH better since I started doing heavy weight training though, lots of planks, push-ups, squats. No crunches. No rush, just focus on that little baby right now!

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