plus size woman sitting in jean with an apron belly

An Apron Belly: What Is It and What You Should Do About It in 2023

Ah, the apron belly. 

With most of us, we refer to it as “the belly”, “2nd tummy” or “mom pooch,” this is the extra belly that seems to magically appear over time and/or after having a baby (or two or three). And although it’s totally normal (and nothing to be ashamed of!), that doesn’t make it any less frustrating. 

It’s crazy how there’s so much talk nowadays about the “perfect” body. From celebs to us regular gals, it seems everyone is on a mission to achieve the elusive “thigh gap” or the perfect six-pack. But here’s a newsflash – not everyone is built that way! 

So, what’s an apron belly anyway?

Many women (especially plus-size moms) have what’s known as an “apron belly” – the excess skin and fat that hangs down from the abdomen, typically before or after pregnancy or major weight loss.

And guess what?

. . . That’s perfectly fine!

Image courtesy of @body.positive.mamma

What Causes an Apron Belly?

Honestly, every situation is so different, but you might have an apron belly for a few reasons:

1 – Due to a Pregnancy 

During pregnancy, the skin around your stomach stretches to accommodate your growing baby. This stretching causes the abdominal muscles to separate, which can lead to a bulge in the stomach area – a condition called diastasis recti. For some women, this skin never fully snaps back into place after they give birth. Some moms have said this can be painful. 

Also, during pregnancy, your body produces high levels of the hormone relaxin. Relaxin loosens the ligaments in your pelvis so your body can prepare for childbirth. Unfortunately, this process also affects the connective tissue in your abdominal area, leading to a separation of the muscles there. 

2 – Being Plus-Size 

Carrying extra weight sometimes means your stomach will stick out. For some women, being plus-size is something to be ashamed of.

Eventhough having a little extra weight can be seen as a sign of laziness or lack of self-control by some, there are several reasons why someone might be plus-size, and not all of them have to do with diet or exercise. For example, some medications can cause weight gain, stress, and certain medical conditions.

Having extra weight on you doesn’t have to be something negative. You don’t have to feel self-conscious or insecure.

Many beautiful and confident plus-size people are living their best lives (me included). Being a plus-size woman does not have to define who you are or what you can achieve in life. 

Sis, embrace your curves and love yourself for who you are!

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being plus-size. In fact, many people find confidence and beauty in women of all shapes and sizes.

Side note: Not sure about you but sometimes having a large tummy can make it challenging to find plus-size clothes that fit well and look flattering.

Image courtesy of @crowedneptune

3 – Maturing

As we age, our bodies go through a lot of changes. We lose muscle mass, our metabolism slows down, and our skin loses elasticity. All of these factors can contribute to the appearance of an “apron belly.” 

But there are ways to fight back against the effects of aging. 

  • Using products that contain retinol can help to boost collagen production and improve the elasticity of your skin. 
  • Regular exercise can help maintain muscle mass and prevent fat accumulation around the waist. Eating a healthy diet can also help to keep your metabolism running smoothly.

So don’t let aging stop you from looking the way you want to look – if that is what you really want.

Side note: It could also be due to a combination of these things. 

Common Symptoms for Having an Apron Belly 

Not always but an apron belly can cause physical and emotional discomfort. Some women find that their extra abdominal skin gets in the way of everyday activities like exercising or even bending down to pick up a toy for their little ones. 

Others feel self-conscious about their appearance and may avoid social situations or intimate moments with their partner. If you’re finding it hard to cope, it may be time to sit down and think about what you can do to change your situation. Look I get . . . I know it may be easier said than done but it is possible. 

Image courtesy of @sweatinmascara

What Can You Do About Having an Apron Belly?

Unfortunately, there’s no quick fix for an apron belly—it takes time and patience (two things that moms don’t always have in abundance!). 

Dietitians and fitness experts agree that spot reduction (losing weight in one specific area) is a myth. So even if you diet and exercise like crazy, you may never completely get rid of your apron belly, however, there are some things you can do to help improve your situation. 

1 – Don’t compare yourself to others. We all come in different shapes and sizes, and that’s what makes us unique. Instead of comparing yourself to others, focus on being the best version of yourself that you can be. 

2 – Find activities that make you feel good. Exercise is great for both your physical and mental health. When you find an activity you enjoy, it’ll be easier to stick with it long-term. And, be sure to start off small and work your way up.

3 – Dress for your body type. Wearing clothes that flatter your figure will help you feel more confident in your own skin. And don’t be afraid to experiment! You might be surprised by what styles you end up liking. 

4 – Love yourself, imperfections and all. You are perfectly imperfect, and there is no one else in the world quite like you. Accepting yourself the way you are is essential in learning to love your body.

Despite what society might tell you, having an apron belly is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, plenty of women out there are confidently rocking their apron bellies! 

Image courtesy of @clarissashareitall_

If you’re self-conscious about your apron belly, but you wanna get to a place of loving who you are (which means how you look) there are a few things you can do to help:

  • Give yourself grace – Life is short and we all make mistakes. None of us are perfect. Many of us have an apron belly that we are self-conscious about (at one point or another). If you are happy with yourself, then tell everyone else to kick rocks. If you’re unhappy . . . change it. Give yourself a break. You deserve it!
  • Wearing compression garments like girdles, Spanx®, and bodysuits–help hold everything in place and give you a little extra support throughout the day. Wearing them on the regular can help give you a more streamlined look and make your clothes fit better. Just be sure to take breaks every few hours so you don’t experience discomfort or pain. This option is great for those of us who want an easy way to manage an apron belly without committing to surgery or making lifestyle changes.  
  • Avoid tight-fitting clothing that emphasizes your stomach, and opt for loose, flowing fabrics that fit comfortably over your curves. You can feel confident and beautiful at any size with a few simple tweaks.
  • Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize – Keeping your skin well-moisturized can help prevent further stretching and sagging. Be sure to use a moisturizer that contains ingredients like glycerin or shea butter, which can help hydrate and plump the skin.  
  • Stay hydrated – staying hydrated is crucial for weight loss in general, but it’s also essential when it comes to getting rid of an apron belly. Drinking plenty of water helps to keep things moving through your digestive system so that excess fluid isn’t retained.

What Can You Do About Having an Apron Belly Due to a Pregnancy?

First, avoid any intensive abdominal exercises until your diastasis recti have healed—these can actually make things worse by putting too much strain on already weakened muscles and connective tissue. Instead, focus on strengthening your pelvic floor muscles with exercises like Kegels. 

@CurvyComfyandCute

Second, give yourself time to lose any excess weight gradually. Extreme dieting and crash-course cardio workouts may help you drop pounds quickly, but they can also lead to even more loose skin and muscle laxity—definitely not what you want! 

And finally, be mindful of your situation. Your body has been through a lot, and it’s going to take some time (and maybe even some professional help) to get everything back into tip-top shape. So be patient, be kind to yourself, and keep up with those Kegels! 

How can you get rid of an apron belly?

If you want to get rid of your apron belly, there are a few different things to consider: 

1 – Diet and exercise. Eating a healthy diet and exercising can help you lose weight and tone your abdominal muscles. This option may take longer to see results but has the added benefit of improving your overall health. 

2 – Cosmetic surgery. A plastic surgeon can remove excess skin and fat through surgery. This option is usually best for women with significant amounts of excess skin or who have failed to see results from other methods. 

3 – Topical treatments. While this option provides fewer results, topical treatments are available that can help improve the appearance of loose skin on the abdomen. These treatments typically contain ingredients like retinol or vitamin C, which can help tighten and firm the skin over time. I personally have never tried this however there are some plus-size ladies that have.

Final Thoughts

If you have an apron belly, don’t worry – you’re not alone! Many women (especially plus-size moms) have them. But no matter what the cause, remember that you should never be ashamed of your body. See the beauty in your imperfections, embrace your curves and confidently show off your apron belly!  

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