Is It Normal For My Stomach To Look Like This?

by Stacey on June 14, 2010

create logoThis is an original post written by Rosanna. Thank you for listening to her story.

I was still young (24), slim (100lbs) and then I got pregnant.

At first I didn’t gain that much weight until my last 4 months when I gained a whole 63lbs. I gained most of it at the end. For the first few weeks after the birth of my son I looked like I was 5 months pregnant. My stomach has not gone down so much and now my son is 14 months old.

I get it every time I go out in public…

  • Oh when are you due?
  • When are you expecting?
  • Oh you’re having another one so soon
  • Blah blah blah

My stomach isn’t like most stomachs. It starts from right under my breasts and goes all the way down like an actual pregnant belly. It’s somewhat hard too (not squishy like a baby is in there).

Is anyone’s stomach like this or am I the only one? I have gotten blood tests and they can’t find anything yet. Does anyone know if its normal for my stomach to be like this?

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1 Jennifer August 7, 2010 at 7:53 am

I was a slender girl as well. I was about 120 before I was pregnant and gained 96 pounds when I gave birth to my daughter. I couldn’t lose all the weight, but the top of my stomach is still very swollen. I now have a son who is 4months old and my stomach is still the same. The doctors said after having both children that it’s just bad luck–i could never lose it and a tummy tuck wouldn’t help. I look at other women who are over weight and the tops of their stomachs doesn’t look like mine. I’m concerned because if I push on it, it hurts. I’m afraid there might be a problem that is getting over looked.

2 Mel September 1, 2010 at 11:23 am

My daughter is 10 months old, and I have the same problem. I have always been a solid body type, and my heaviest weight never went past 180lbs. But I never had a belly, just junk in the truck and thick thighs. Now I still look full term; belly starting right from under my breast just the same as you.

I have terrible heart burn and am always feeling full. My doctor continues to insist I need to exercise more – but I also feel there is an underlying problem.

Good luck to you!

3 Nicola Martin October 3, 2010 at 2:53 pm

good grief – i thought i was the only one! i’ve had 3 children in 3.5 years – baby no.3 is 12 weeks but unless i have him with me people continually ask me if i’m pregnant – my bump was huge with all three but i didn’t gain weight anywhere else – and thanks to a whole heap of stomach upsets since the birth i weigh less than i did before i fell pregnant (approx 130 lb at 5ft 6 inches) – so the protruding stomach looks even more ridiculous.

whilst its nice to know that its not just me i still absolutely hate it, i find it so upsetting particularly when i read that various doctor’s have said that there’s no way back. the only positive thing i’ve heard is a friend of a friend whose stomach apparently softened and became a normal squishy mummy tummy 6 menstrual cycles after the birth. I’m still breast feeding and don’t expect to menstruate for another few months at least but am holding onto that one tiny hope

4 takara October 11, 2010 at 11:53 am

hi i have a 9 month little boy an my stomach still pokes out. so glad to hear im not alone, but this realy sucks i was 125lbs before my pregnancy an gained 50lbs. my son was 10lbs 11 ounces i know what your thinking pretty big huh? i was scheduled to get a c- section because of his size and i’ve had a pouch ever since. but i just started working out consistantly so ill c if this works for me.

5 Tonya November 3, 2010 at 1:45 pm

OMG this is exactly what I’m going thru I weighed 143 before I got pregnant with my now 2 year old daughter now I’m 163. This is my second child 10 years apart after my first child my styomach went back flat within weeks now I still have the pregnant belly that starts right underneath my breast on down and everyone asks me if I’m expecting ( its so embarassing). I don’t know what to do to get it back flat and it looks rediculous becasue I’m small and porportioned everywhere else I’m so glad that I’m not the only one but also feel bad for you ladies because I know exactly what you’re going thru. I want to seek help of doctors as well but I’m so afraid they’ll say nothing is wrong and I just need to exercise. My diet has not changed and I eat the same way that I did before I had my 2 kids. Good luck to all of you and if you find alternate ways to lose the baby belly please keep me posted!

6 Cynthia November 12, 2010 at 2:27 am

My post natal stomach has refused to go down after having 3 lovely children. I used to be very skinny everywhere except the stomach area but I used to tuck it in very very well. After my first, second and third babies, it has refused to go down at all but keeps growing at an enermous size. Meanwhile, my baby just turned 10 months old and my stomach keeps growing as my baby grows.

In as much as I have read about what other women with same problems are going through, I don’t feel good about myself anymore and I want to find a lasting solution to it. I wark out, eat less, rest well but the stomach has refused to go down at all.

I can go on and on complaining but what I say again? I really really need some help and fast !!!!!


7 kiera December 4, 2010 at 8:53 am

hi i’m the same, my little boy is 14 months now. my tummy is solid from my breast down to my belly button, then it goes flabby. the doctors say its muscles that need strengthening. Ive starting doing pilates to work on my core muscles and posture and im hoping this will work. I want more children but im scared my stomach will be even bigger after my next preg… time will tell?? i get so jelous of people who go flat straight after. ive also had strangers asking when am i due, plus ive found my digestive system is really dodgy and i fing myelf boated all the time. Also i still get pelvic pains, i wonder if its all linked to my stomach, who knows??

8 Theresa February 27, 2011 at 10:44 am

Hi All,

I had my last baby almost 3.5 years ago (one is 6 the other is 3.5) and I am still fighting the roundness of my belly. It starts out just under my breast and goes down and toward the bottom and then it sags (had a regular birth and a c-section). First do NOT do sit ups. Core exercises yes and cardiovascular stuff will help some. I think that the muscles and tendons may have stretched (did I just say may? HA) and until you can bring your muscles back in towards your spine more situps will only build those muscles out! I found out the hard way. Swimming 1/2 mile 3 times a week. Keeping my belly to my spine was not possible while swimming. I had a rock hard belly but it was 32 inches wide!!!! I had a choice..breathe or swim…Last year I swam on my back and side and it seemed to help. It is important that as you sit or walk or anything that you try keep your belly button back towards your spine. Listen I am no expert. I am just a mom with a problem with self esteem. So far my belly still is the size 31.5. I figure I am reminded every day with my girls that I had a child, but I don’t want my body to do that to me every day! I would love it if for once my breasts stuck out further than my belly. Someone once said that it might be a hernia, so if you do sports make sure you get the ok from your doctor else you could make that hernia bigger. I do have a hernia, but I haven’t been told to stop exercises…yet. My digestive system is also out of wack. If your core is week this may happen because the muscle strength is not there to help move things along. Also, I think it has to do with the amount of fiber you eat or dont, and the amount of water intake. (you do need alot) My current weight trainer suggested that I eat more protein and get my carbs from fruit and vegetables. See what happens when half of your plate is vegetables each meal. (This I will try and will give results in a few weeks) Talk to your doctor about your belly and the issues that are going along with it. If he/she doesn’t know, ask him/her to refer you to someone that would know. As strong, beautiful women, we owe it to ourselves to take charge of our body and with some help, get on a track that can afford us at least some help. I am 42……… I need to say more? Again I am no expert, I am trying like everyone here to figure out how to bring “me” back.

9 Laura March 14, 2011 at 10:30 pm

Until my first child 8 years ago, I was a thin healthy size 2/4. Since then, I have had one more child, now 6 and I am facing the age of 37 in a few months. I have noticed my stomach looking exactly like described by the other posts on this page. Both my kids have asked me when the baby will be born which has made me even more insecure of how my stomach looks. What is weird is the “bloated” look has become distended within the last 4-6 months. I decided I couldn’t take it anymore and scheduled a consultation for lipo on my upper abdomin (did that today). I thought my stomach “issue” could be fixed quickly this way…well, the answer I got was not what I was expecting and broke my spirits.
Long story short, after having a baby the muscles in the ab area for most women stretches and can detach. All the working out in the world isn’t going to make it go back to how it looked pre-baby. :-( Neither will lipo. The only thing really one can do is get a tummy tuck. If you intend on having more children then that is really a silly option. As for me, I don’t think having a huge scar across my pelvic area or tubes hanging out for a week or so or being off of work for a week+ is worth it (for now). :-( For now, I invested in the old fashioned “girdle” and it seems to pull it in and not make the 6 month preggo belly bulge as bad.
Hope this gives you something to think about…

10 Amber June 23, 2011 at 2:27 pm

I had the same problem both times I was pregnant. It really bothered me because I noticed my husband didn’t really like it. But I did get back to shape almost a year after their births, only to get pregnant again. I breastfeed my babies but did not have the results everyone else did. I am 31 weeks now and I do not want to go through it all over again. (scared) I think this time I will try a belly wrap because I always get the remark did they leave one in….haha.

11 Kalindi June 24, 2011 at 1:21 pm

I am 5’6″ and 110lbs and I look 3-6 months pregnant almost all the time. I KNOW it’s not fat, cus I’m only 110lbs (15 lbs lighter than before I got pregnant). I actually have had this problem on and off throughout my life. When I was a kid my sister used to say I looked like those poor children in the Nationa Geographic magazines who are starving and have severely distended bellies. However, the problem was always periodic. Sometimes my belly stuck out, but most of the time it was pretty flat and I could wear a shirt that might show some of my belly when I moved around and not worry about it. After having two babies, the distension is CONSTANT, and I only buy loose or maternity shaped shirts that hide my belly. I wouldn’t even mind having extra fat on my body, but it’s so embarrasing to be rail thin and have my stomach stick out; it looks so prominent and out of proportion with the rest of my body. And it doesn’t seem to help if I change my diet. Some days I eat 3 bowls of cereal at midnight, and wake up with a flat stomach; some days I eat salad at 5:00pm and wake up bloated or vice versa. I attribute some of the pooch to stretched muscles and stretched skin from pregnancy, but my stomach fluctuates so much throughout the day that I wake up and put a pair of pants on, then eat one morself food, e.g. 1 grape, and blow up like a pregnant woman and have to unbutton and unzip my pants all the way down to be comfortable. I don’t eat gluten or dairy and haven’t for a long time, yet I still have this problem. If I eat practically nothing, that helps, but I would rather get to the root of the problem than practically stop eating food (I’m already under weight). While I really don’t know the solution, my best guess right now is that I have digestion problems as a result of a clogged colon. When I have a good bowel movement, the distension is better. I am just waiting until my second child is done nursing so I can do a colon cleanse and see if it helps (they say not to do a cleanse while nursing). Another reason i really want to understand this issue is that I’ve noticed my six year old has a tendancy toward constipation (doesn’t poo every day) and periodically has a distended belly. Why does this happen!!??? Thanks for sharing.

12 Margie July 4, 2011 at 10:38 am

I had 3 children all c-sections, my youngest is now 13 years old and I am 48 years old. My belly never goes away and when I work out to get my abs tighter they get harder, but they protrude even more starting from right below the chest. From the profile it is almost a squared look. I make sure I am pulling in my ab muscles when I do my crunches, but it doesn’t seem to help. I see little furrows running down both sides of my abs, so I know my muscles are getting harder, but they still protrude from right below my chest. I’m starting to think that floor workouts might push out your stomach muscles more, so I am going to try to start doing the hip hop abs workout which works out your abdominal muscles from an upright position. I will let y’all know if this helps. I am glad to see that there are other women out there that have this problem–not that I am glad they have it, but glad that it is not just me! I thought I was some sort of freak or something! LOL!

13 Giselle September 14, 2011 at 1:25 pm

I’m 29 and I have 2 kids. 3 year old and a 7 month old. I have the same issue with the touch abs puffing from under my boobs and a slight split in my ab area near my belly button. I can feel a small gap above the belly button area, but it’s not the obvious. All I can say is that I’m trying to exercise and I do believe it’s weak ab muscles. There is one work out I’ve seen where you lie on your back and put a towel around your back and crossing around the belly while doing crunches (and keep your legs together, but in the air a bit). I don’t know what to do, but if you can strengthen your tummy muscles, it should be a good start. Check your posture in the mirror because I always have to correct myself because my butt keeps going back out to they way I was before pregnancy. Flex your abs and you will see your tummy go back in and your belly button will be where it’s suppose to be – lol! Also try doing planks when you’re bored to strengthen your core. REMEMBER – muscle has memory, so it is possible for it to go back to it’s original state.

14 Sasha September 18, 2011 at 9:13 pm

My stomach is the same way! Starts right from under my breasts…. Looks like I am several months pregnant! It is more flat in the morning but by mid afternoon it is a mess! I try to hide it with body shaper stuff etc… I am a few pounds lighter than I was before I got pregnant. I am 5″10 and 138lbs. I fit into all of my clothes, I just have this beer gut looking belly! I think that it may be genetics or age! I had my third child at 43 five weeks before I turned 44! So I just have no clue as to why our bodies do this stuff. I get mad when I see all these women having babies and then right back into tight fitting clothes and looking fabulous! I had always hoped that I would be one of them! I have tried different exercises but nothing really tightens the sagging muscles! I am too afraid to have a tummy tuck!

15 Janice January 6, 2012 at 8:25 pm

Hi there, i know the post hasn’t been active for a while.. I just wanna say i have the same problem. I was 114 lbs pre pregnancy and i gained a total of 27 lbs during my pregnancy however my waist has stretch from 24 inches to 46 inches. Most of my weight gain goes to my belly, bottom and thigh. On a side note, my feet also grow in size, its not bloated but it grew. I went from size 5 to size 7.. I didn’t know that could happen.

Anyway, my baby is only 6.6 lbs and my belly only shrink to 39 inches after i gave birth. I look so pregnant and i am asked all the time when i am due. I just smile and tell them “soon”… Be proud of your body girls.. I am very determined to lose the post pregnancy belly fat but at the same time i know i have to be positive about my body image. Don’t let people get you down..

So this is what i did..

1) I bought pure ginger massage oil, and rub them on my stomach at least 3 times a day. It is embarrassing to do this in the public as i will fart like nobody’s business after each massage. Take caution to do this in privacy of your home..
2) I use tummy wrap or simply bandage clothing to tie my tummy in as tight as possible after each massage
3) I drank alot of warm water. I MEANT ALOT, REALLY ALOT of warm water. Don’t drink icey drink or anything cold as it doesn’t help in shrinking the stomach
4) I have a web of stretch mark that is reddish in color initially, but after applying ginger cream on them vigorously they have now lighten to brown..
5) I don’t have time to exercise but i take care of my baby myself..
6) Even though i did not watch what i eat but i guess you are what you eat. Try more fiber n less meat.. Protein from vege is really good now..
7) Everybody said breast feeding helps.. i did not breast feed though..

My stomach shrink to 30 inches in 2 months time. I will continue what i did above and i guess you girls can try it too.. Stay positive :)

16 DMO June 10, 2012 at 8:11 pm

I struggled with my delivery and after I have struggled with my image from weight gain. I HATE my body image. At times feel so UGLY because like some women above, i look 6 months pregnant…no exaggeration. Everyone thinks i am pregnant and i am not and i cant handle it. I cant go along with it either. I gained 30 pounds while pregnant and have not lost one pound and 20 pounds are in my stomach alone. I cant afford surgery… please help….

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19 Amy August 26, 2012 at 4:06 am

Thank god I thought I was the only one… I was 98 lbs and skinny prior my two kids. First kid is 11 and I didnt loose all the weight or have a flat tummy but after my second kid, now 6 I look like I am permanently six months pregnant. It starts under my breast and have never gone away. Nine years later and divorced after be degraded by my ex. I am ashamed of my stomach and I cant afford a tummy tuck or can barely make my bills. I need help… I am so self conscious I am now 155lbs and look like I am pregnant and everywhere I go I get ask if when is the baby due? Please someone help!!!!

20 Sierra November 23, 2012 at 1:18 am

I’m actually 18 years of age (well will be in 2 weeks), and since I had my 7lbs 3.4oz baby girl, by csection, my stomach looks like sand paper, from all the stretch marks, and I look like i’m still pregnant. My baby is now 9 months, and I still have my stomach stickin out there.

21 vet November 24, 2012 at 4:04 pm

DMO dont worry to much you’r body just did the most hard’s thing have a baby look at your self and love your self for what you brouhgt in this world our bodys go back when we have time witch would be when the baby are 1 years so we can work out and sleep good at night i was 135 when i hade my first kid and when i delivered i was at 185 it took me 1 year after she turned a year old to lose some wight then i was 145 when i hade my second one and wight 165 when i delivered lost that wight fast but now with my thered one i wight 185 and when i stared i was at 165 we gain and we lose just know if we can arry and have up to a 10 pound baby we can fix ore body rest and comfert is what we need the fist year for our selfs

22 vet November 24, 2012 at 4:07 pm

dont worry to much you’r body just did the most hard’s thing have a baby look at your self and love your self for what you brouhgt in this world our bodys go back when we have time witch would be when the baby are 1 years so we can work out and sleep good at night i was 135 when i hade my first kid and when i delivered i was at 185 it took me 1 year after she turned a year old to lose some wight then i was 145 when i hade my second one and wight 165 when i delivered lost that wight fast but now with my thered one i wight 185 and when i stared i was at 165 we gain and we lose just know if we can carry and have up to a 10 pound baby we can fix our body rest and comfert is what we need the fist year for our selfs

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24 Chavon May 2, 2013 at 7:42 pm

I had a c-section wit my daughter 3 years ago and my stomache looks like im still preggo I gained 30pounds help what can I do to makr it go away

25 Claire carter May 5, 2013 at 6:39 am

Right then ladies. I suffered from the same thing. I’m 5ft 7inch, 9 and a half stone , have always been naturally slim all over but since having my second child by csection 15 months ago, I’ve had this bulge that stick out as far as my boobs at the top of my stomach.

After reading this post 3 days I realised we all seem to have the same body shapes so all blessed with good metabolisms and probably never really exercised that much (just a bit before summer holidays etc) so are muscles probably are not as strong as people’s that have to work to stay slim.

First of all I’ve started sucking my stomach in all if the time, like I used to until I fell pregnant with my first son 6 years ago. I also googled core strength exercise and found some on Mayoclinic website, search core strength and its the build core strength slide show (there’s a man showing 13 exercises). I’ve done them morning and night for 3 days and pulled my stomach in too all day every day and the top of my stomach has shrunk by 2 inches already!

I’ve also notice my bowel movements have increased since doing this.

Hope this helps others x

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27 soontobemommyof4 August 31, 2013 at 3:56 pm

I have always been told that after having a baby itvtakes your body 3 years to heal. And if you have multiple children close.together rook my body that much longer to heal put it this way my son was 7 when i finaly got hack to.135 lb pre pregnant body with him good luck all and just remember everybody’s bodies are different.

28 sk October 11, 2013 at 2:16 pm

I had two kids, type two diabetes, insulin resistance with hypo thyroidism. Second kid was nine pounder too big for my size am hardly 5feet. I was also recently attacked by west Nile viral menanjitis which completely threw me off of what I was and my ability to do hardcore cardio like insanity. Since last October, I eat sugary breakfast / fruits for breakfast, carbs, proteins for lunch, vegetables and oats for dinner with lots a water. I have lost 21.2#, looks lot slimmer, just need to do 8.8# more. I don’t starve… I can eat whatever I want, but portion control is important. Healthier than before. Posture… Pull your navel towards spine. These results are achieved by diet alone. You can cheat up to two meals a week. Always try to confuse your body by varying calorie intake every day but stick to same amount of total calories per week. Importantly try not to think too much about what you eat have portion control. Good luck.

29 sk October 11, 2013 at 2:31 pm

Forget to post couple more tips… No white stuffs…. Means bare minimum on sugar, salt, white flour. Eat smaller portions throughout the day.drink minimum two cups water before you eat your meal. Drinking water also gives you clear skin.

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31 daisy April 29, 2014 at 12:14 pm

sounds like you have diastysis recti, your muscles seperate during pregnancy to make room for baby, after pregnancy, it doesnt close up on its own, you need to bind that belly up everyday and also work on the diastysis exercises, crunches, sit ups wont work, in fact they will seperate them even more, you need to try and close the muscles up.

32 amy January 12, 2015 at 11:55 pm

Hi, I am trying to figure this out. I had my baby 2 yrs ago. I followed up with an oBGYN after delivery. The birth was rough. A scheduled c-section. I lost a lot of blood and it took 2 days for anyone to notice the problem. Thankfully the nurse it. We were released and all was ok. But upon seeing my general dr he said my stomach is not attached. It is a little pregnant belly and it looks about 4 mo. My weight is 112. It is odd looking. Yet I am not sure if it normal. I have a much smaller appetite and I fear exercise bc of the hernia that could happen. Has anyone had this. It is not the lower area i is above the belly button to my breasts. I do not know who to see or if I am being nuts. Women I know that have had c-sect are shocked by this. Any ideas if so pls share.

33 Xiao Drew April 5, 2015 at 8:47 am

I’m not alone..thanks God..I was so worried w/my tummy.still look pregnant eventhough my Baby is 6mos now.

34 Donna-Marie Fearn May 9, 2015 at 2:28 pm

My baby is fifteen months and she my fourth… and this same thing has happened to me … im a size ten bottom half and fourteen top looks so silly … my stomach looks six month preg and as hard… it really does get me down as i can see ppl looking at me not knowing if im pregnant or not… hate it i havent got an ounce of confidence at all …

35 Melissa July 30, 2015 at 3:24 pm

i have 6 kids and my youngest just turned 1 and I still look 9 months pregnant I’m so tired of people asking me if I’m still pregnant it’s really getting to me I have no energy I just want to sleep sometimes I just feel like dying

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