C-Section Shelf and The Mommy Tummy Pooch

Holding that precious cargo in our bodies for around 9 months is an amazing and beautiful gift that God gave us.

But it’s ok to feel like you want your pre-baby body back.

I realized after having my first son via c-section that my body will never be the same. Then after my second, I noticed this even more, particularly where I had a fold of skin at my incision area.

In that same realization, an amazing thing happened. I felt like I now had this amazing opportunity to transform and start over and create a body that I love even more than the one before.

Oh don’t get me wrong, it’s a daily work in progress. I’ve embraced that not only are there going to be things to work on, but my body is more amazing than what it ever was before.

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I took some time to really focus on and find the right exercises to help reduce the appearance of my c-section “shelf”. After just 20 days I was blown away at what little it took to make a difference.

What is a c-section shelf?

That look of skin fold or skin hanging above your c-section incision due to the scar area.

The scar is strong skin that essentially has built a tight line and some under skin scar build up.

It’s like a dam at your bikini line.

The skin above is not as strong and thick so it looks as though it’s stopped right before the scar.

Factors to consider for your shelf’s appearance.

Your “shelf” may be even more prevalent due to how much excess skin you have on your tummy from being stretched to make room for baby.

Your weight loss postpartum can also impact the appearance of the shelf.

The “mom pooch”

This phrase, “mom pooch”, may be another way you hear “the shelf” referred to, but it is not.

The “pooch”, which is not the same as the “shelf”, but can also be an additional contributing factor to a more prevalent shelf.

The “pooch” is due to extra skin, and lack of strong and over stretched abdominal muscles.

How to minimize the appearance of your “shelf”

While there isn’t much that can be done to change the scar tissue with at home remedies, there are a few things you can do to help decrease the appearance.

Eating a healthy diet

If you aren’t eating a healthy diet, then I encourage you to include some small changes in your diet to help reduce your overall body fat and helping your stomach fat. Focus on consuming more nutrient dense foods. This also helps the appearance and firmness of the skin.


Another thing that will help the appearance of your shelf is exercise. Overall, general exercise can contribute to healthy weight management and decreased appearance of your shelf.

In addition to overall exercise, one specific area you can focus on is your core, abdominal strength. Doing the correct abdominal exercises can provide great results to decreasing the appearance of your shelf.

Lotion or Ointment

Lastly, lotion or ointment on the skin can help firm up the area and help tighten abs firm the skin around the scar area causing the shelf appearance.

What’s worked for me

While you can follow along on my Facebook and Instagram page as well as and grabbing one of my healthy meals from www.HintofHappy.com/healthy-lifestyle/, two techniques I swear by to help reduce the appearance of my csection shelf are my core exercises and an amazing lotion. Don’t believe me? Just check out my before and after pictures!!

My after is just 20 days into using the lotion I mentioned below 1-2 times a day and doing this workout 3x a week!


I used Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Firming Butter at least one time a day on my stomach and on and around my incision for 28 days.


For exercise I did my usual workouts each day and in addition included the below work out at least 3x/week for 20 days.

Get my workout programs HERE!

The key to these specific exercises and a postpartum mommy tummy has to do with the focus to all of the abdominal muscles, with a increased focus on the transverse abdominal’s.

Follow the link for each exercise to see them in action and get progressive modifications!

We know we can’t have that pre-baby tummy back, but you can do a few things to make it look amazing! I hope these ideas help you! 

Comment below and share your results!

About On Posts by Kylie Livingston

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