I've had 2 kids, neither recently. My 2nd pregnancy caused extreme weight gain and severe stretch marks on the lowest part of my abdomen, between the belly button n the pubic bone and between both hips with the most severe ones closest to the bottom n the sides.

I lost the extra weight and my stomach never got back to looking normal.

I personally think it's because of the stretched skin even though some "fitness buff" friends of mine say it's not possible to not be able to get my stomach back to normal. Genetically I was predisposed to stretching and I've since learned that there were some deficiencies that probably attributed to it.

I have gained some weight and its filled out the saggy skin but I now have an extra roll under the more common bottom pouch. When I tighten my stomach muscles it lifts and pulls the fat and skin making it look better, not good just better and it's actually a noteworthy difference.

What can I do to get that to be permanent? Are there certain muscles that I could target?

Secondly, the extra roll, it's so close to my pubic area that it's very embarrassing. Even getting back to my prepregnancy weight didn't eliminate it so I'm wondering if the only option is going to be a tummy tuck for that?

I'd like to hear I could get rid of it on my own because I do not want to have plastic surgery. I wear Spanks on a regular basis but I'm too embarrassed to get in a bathing suit, even the tummy control ones don't work well enough.

Any advice on where I should start and what I can expect would be greatly appreciated!

  • Use a calculator online to estimate your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) and work on obtaining a consistent daily caloric deficit of 10%-20%. That's the best way you're going to lose the extra fat you have.
    – Alex L
    Aug 6, 2015 at 21:00
  • 5
    As a dad with two kids, my wife definitely hard a harder time recovering from our second and from the literature it seems like that's par for the course. I bet you'll get some good answers on here, and just remember it took 9 months to get that damage, so it might take a while to get it gone as well. And thanks for being a mom!
    – Eric
    Aug 6, 2015 at 22:33

1 Answer 1


You may find some helpful information in this post-partum/saggy belly q/a. Since you are able to improve the look with muscular contraction, you should consider specific exercises to target your abs and pelvic floor muscles before considering abdominoplasty.

There are several muscles that you want to address:

  • The Transverse Abdominus (TvA) - This is the deepest layer of abdominal muscles. To contract the TvA, you pull your bellybutton in toward your spine. Once you have good control of this in an easy position, such as lying on your back, progress to training its control in standing with movement. Starting with the TvA gives you more "core" stability. You can train your TvA while doing exercises like the plank, bird-dog and dying bug exercises that you find linked to in this abdominal exercise answer.

    - The Rectus Abdominus and Obliques - These are the muscles that exercises like crunches, side crunches and twists target. These types of exercises should not be done unless and until you have good TvA muscle control during dynamic activities. Otherwise, they overtake the TvA and you are less likely to achieve a flatter abdomen. Once you have good control with the TvA, you can activate this muscle to flatten your abdomen during your other exercises.

    - Pelvic Floor Muscles - These muscles act as the supportive floor of the abdomen. They help to provide a stable foundation for the pelvis. They are part of the "core" musculature. Kegels exercises target these muscles. Helene Byrne's site covers pelvic floor muscles well and will give you a better understanding. They give mental imagery instruction to improve your muscle contraction. The site also gives excellent post-partum information.

That addresses the muscles. If you also need to burn fat you can add cardio with HIIT, and resistance training. Diet and nutrition are key to balancing your weight. If after addressing each the above: TvA, pelvic floor, diet, cardio and resistance training you still have an extra roll, you have two options: 1. Enjoy the healthy lifestyle that you have now created or 2. Go for the abdominoplasty from a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.

  • Great answer. I'd like to highlight the importance of nutrition, which seems to be kind of an afterthought here though. I would highly recommend looking into your current diet and see what kind of issues may be there. Make sure you are getting enough protein (about 1g per lb of bodyweight), fat and carbs to sustain your body as well as build muscle. and provide energy for workouts. I'd recommend looking into body recomposition to loose fat while building muscle.
    – E.Aigle
    Jul 9, 2021 at 7:08

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