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ObGyn/Pregnancy issues/Losing belly fat after C-Section


Hi Helen!

This question is directly related to pregnancy and exercise, bear with me please. :)

I am 62 years old. I am 5 ft. short and weigh 107 and am slim/trim all over except for my belly. I had 2 C-sections, 11 months apart, in 1969 -- both with a vertical cut.

I've been trying to do exercises to reduce the belly fat that seems to have increased the past couple years (possibly due to hormones and going through menopause)BUT most tummy exercises hurt my stomach, as if the muscle is trying to tear.

I've read about diastasis recti but don't really understand the articles as they're not very explicit. If I have that, is it possible I will not ever lose this belly? Are there any exercise I CAN do to eliminate a portion of it?

Thank you,

It sounds like you have a functional imbalance between the outer layers of your abdominal wall, the Rectus Abdominis (six pack), Obliques, and your deepest abdominal muscle, your Transverse Abdominis, or TvA.
The TvA is our internal "girdle" and when contracted, compresses the abdomen. Most traditional abdominal exercise work only the external layers. When the external abs are much stronger than the TvA, or when the TvA is quiescent (does not engage) and/or is very weak, then the abdominal wall will bulge outward during exertion.
Even in systems like Pilates, which is generally good for the core, if your abs aren't functioning properly, then the abdominal wall will bulge outward, and your TvA will not strengthen.
In fitness, what you practice is what your get: muscle specificity theory. So to flatten your abs, you need to first build a foundation of strength in your TvA. Then secondly, you need to perform exercises where you train the muscle to function properly as a stabilizer.
It's possible that either or both your C's and a diastasis contributed to the development of this condition. Posture can play a big role in the shape and functioning of your abdominal wall too.
Even though you are not postpartum, my exercises will take you through these reconditioning steps. I've had many mature women successfully reshape their abdomens with my exercises. You can use either the book or the DVD, depending on your learning style. Lots of women get both to have more variety in their workouts.
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Helene Byrne


I can answer all questions regarding prenatal and postpartum fitness and exercise. I will not answer any questions that are not related to prenatal and postpartum fitness and exercise. I will not answer questions regarding getting pregnant, or signs or symtoms, only fitness and exercise during and after pregnancy. No due dates, medical problems during pregnancy, signs or symtpoms of pregnancy, pregnancy tests, vaginal problems/smells/discharge, periods or ovulation.


Pre-and-Postnatal Exercise Specialist ACE certified Personal Trainer Author: "Exercise After Pregnancy: How to Look and Feel Your Best" Book Author: "Bounce Back Fast! Post Natal Core Conditioning" DVD Founder: BeFit-Mom Teacher: Post Pregnancy Exercise Workshops

IDEA Health and Fitness Association

numerous regional parenting magazine

Dancing Thru Pregnancy, Pre/Post Natal Exercise Specialist Certification 2000 Resist-a-Ball Core Program, 1999 American Council on Exercise, Personal Trainer Certificate, 1999 Peak Performance, San Francisco, CA, Pilates Instructor Training Program, 1992 Health and Fitness Institute, Cal State Hayward, Personal Trainer Certificate, 1990 American College of Sports Medicine, Group Exercise Leader, 1989 Boston Conservatory, BFA/Dance, 1982

Awards and Honors
´┐ŻBounce Back Fast! Post Natal Core Conditioning´┐Ż, 2005. Winner of the Platinum Award from the Family Review Center, 2007.

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