How to Fix That C-section Shelf After Pregnancy
Feeling confident about your body after pregnancy can be a struggle, especially with what’s called a c-section shelf — or the skin that hangs over your c-section scar. While the scar itself will diminish over time, the shelf won’t go away on its own. The leftover tissue from your cesarean section may leave you feeling insecure. If you’re considering a Tummy Tuck, Liposuction, or other procedure, here’s what you need to know.
How Soon Can I get My C-Section Shelf Fixed?
Every woman’s body is different. As a board-certified female plastic surgeon, I usually determine your wait time for your Tummy Tuck by your breastfeeding and general recovery after childbirth. We recommend you wait between 6 months to a year after you finish breastfeeding and after your c-section to undergo surgery. Now, when it comes to your plastic surgery recovery time, that is a bit different. Early healing can take about one to five weeks, and it can take longer to get back to your usual strength level, often a few months depending on the type of surgery we do.
This means that you must allow yourself this time out of your schedule, which can be challenging when children are young. We will go over your needs during recovery so you can start to plan for help in the early period with the little ones. Trust me, as a fellow mom, I know all the things you are juggling as CEO of the house!
Is it Safe to Get Pregnant after my Procedure?
If you are planning to have more children in the near future, we often recommend that you do your Tummy Tuck after that. That gives you the most lasting result in treating a c-section shelf. However, sometimes circumstances dictate otherwise. For example, the single mother who is looking to feel confident about her body, and is open to trying for more kids with a new partner in the distant future. She has a unique situation. So does the woman who underwent a gastric bypass surgery and is looking to be rid of the extra skin after her weight loss.
At Tannan Plastic Surgery, we sit down and listen to your goals and work with that. If you are planning more kids after your Tummy Tuck, let’s chat about it! Your goals will allow us to set you up for success should you choose to have more kids in the future.
Is a Tummy Tuck Right for Me? The Pros and Cons of Fixing Your C-Section Shelf
Fixing your c-section shelf comes with many pros:
- Confidence – Feeling like your real self is critical, even if it’s something most people don’t see.
- Functional benefits – A Tummy Tuck may improve your urinary incontinence and lower back pain after pregnancy because of the diastasis recti repair.
- Fewer stretch marks – Many women are thrilled to feel less self-conscious about stretch marks, especially during bathing suit season.
- Firmer tummy – No more extra skin, no more need for Spanx under all your clothes to hide that pooch that is visible through your clothing.
- Younger-looking body – Feel and look like your best self. Just because you are blessed to be a mother, does not mean your body has to be one you don’t recognize as your own.
Here are some things to consider with any surgery, including a Tummy Tuck.
- Recovery time – Plan on 1-2 weeks before you are back to light activities on your own. You should be back in the gym after another 6 weeks.
- Financial considerations – As cosmetic surgeries are typically not covered by medical insurance, we can help you estimate plastic surgery cost and explore financing options that work for your budget.
- Permanent scar – When treating a c-section shelf, there will be a scar that often ends up hidden in the bikini line.
- Medical considerations – During your consult, I will go over your medical history with you and discuss your particular risks, so you have confidence moving forward.
Women often reach out to us about their c-section shelf. Some women find a once unshakeable self-confidence now completely altered by the permanent body changes of pregnancy and childbirth. They change their entire wardrobe. They don’t go anywhere without Spanx. They feel guilty about this newfound lack of confidence in a body they don’t recognize. I am here to tell you it is not for lack of trying. Diet and exercise, while great for overall health, will not reverse the clock. Sometimes just a little bit of help goes a very long way — especially to the muscles, fat and sagging, loose skin around our midsection area.
In the words of my patient’s loving husband: “I didn’t know how much this bothered her until we came here. I still think she is beautiful, but she wants this Tummy Tuck to feel better about herself…and I support that. That’s why we are here.”
Don’t be afraid to ask for help! If you are thinking of getting a Tummy Tuck or learning more about how to fix your c-section shelf, contact us for a consultation. You will speak directly to me, a board certified female plastic surgeon and mom, and I will tell you very honestly what I can to do help you.
Schedule a consultation today so we can help you get rid of that c-section shelf!