Perhaps you’re wondering what an apron belly is or how to get rid of one. Millions of mothers have an apron belly, which is why it’s often called a mother’s apron. This overhang of your belly could cause problems if you have a c-section, or it might just feel unsightly.
When you have a pannus stomach, it’s when an apron of excess skin, tissue, and fat hangs over your abdomen’s bottom. It’s a common problem for plus-size women or for those who have lost weight. It’s also an issue for women who have had many babies.
Please don’t be ashamed or embarrassed by it; it’s so common. However, I know that it might cause you to feel upset or affect your self-esteem. So, here’s what you need to know.
Table of Content
- What is An Apron Belly?
- Taking Care of Your Apron Belly
- How to Hide An Apron Belly
- How Do I Get Rid of My Overhang on My Stomach Without Surgery?
- How to Get Rid of an Apron Belly with Elective Procedures
- Final Thoughts
What is An Apron Belly?
Sometimes, this is called apron belly, but you also might hear the terms “stomach apron” or “mother’s apron.” The technical name is a pannus stomach, and it occurs when the belly and fat around internal organs expand, typically due to weight gain or pregnancy. That leads to extra fat deposits in this region.
The size of your apron belly can vary. Some women have a small belly that hangs to the top of their pubic area. Other women might have an apron belly that reaches to their knees.
It’s not exclusive to just women, despite the names, and women who haven’t had babies also can experience this. Men who have lost weight can experience this as well, or anyone who is overweight.
Unfortunately, it can be a bit uncomfortable! It can cause skin-to-skin contact, leading to a build-up of moisture and sweat. That leads to skin becoming irritated, chafed, and sore.
Another problem that you might have is healing from a c-section. If you have skin that hangs over your incision area, it can cause moisture to build up when your incision needs to stay dry. That can lead to bacterial or yeast infections, which could delay your healing.
Taking Care of Your Apron Belly
Because of the problems that it can cause, you need to keep this area clean. You could experience heat rashes, skin ulcers, yeast infections, skin tags, and more due to the constant dampness and moisture build-up. It’s not uncommon to find a large rash under the belly apron.
When you’re showering after c-section, pay extra attention to this area. A shower brush or a handheld showerhead can keep the area under your apron belly clean.
Moisture is also another serious concern. It needs to stay dry, and you can try after a shower to use a hairdryer on cool to get the area fully dry. You also can try to use pads and powders; anti-fungal powders are an ideal choice.
Here are some other suggestions for taking care of your belly.
- Anti-Fungal Powders
It’s not uncommon for a yeast rash to develop under a belly flap. Anti-fungal powders are recommended to chase yeast away while also keeping the area dry throughout the day.
One of the best brands of anti-fungal powders to try is the Coloplast Micro-Guard Anti-Fungal Powder. Mothers recommend it as a treatment for superficial fungal infections; it works fast for candida, jock itch, ringworm, and athlete’s foot.
- Anti-Chafing Cream
You can find some anti-chafing cream that you can apply to the underside of the skin that rubs or chafes. These creams can help stop any skin irritation or discomfort. Try this if you notice any rashes developing.
Chafing is horribly uncomfortable. One of the best products to stop chafing is Body Glide Original Anti-Chafe Balm. It looks like a deodorant stick, and you apply it the same, but you apply it wherever skin rubs against skin. Not only does it work for an apron belly during pregnancy, but it works between your thighs, under your arms, or anywhere else.
Another option to try is Monistat Care Chafing Relief Powder. Monistat designed it to relieve chafing and skin irritation anywhere on your body, and it’s easy to apply. It won’t leave a greasy residue either.
- Try a Surgical Scrub
If you’ve had a c-section before, chances are the hospital staff gave you a bottle of Hibiclens to use the shower before your surgery. Hibiclens is a surgeon’s soap that kills everything that would be on your skin for hours.
I wouldn’t use it each day, but it could be an option that you try once or twice a week.
- Wear Breathable Clothing
You must wear clothes that are breathable, such as yoga pants or tunics. Dresses or skirts are other options that help keep the air flowing and the skin underneath dry.
- Support Bands & Clothing
You can try using a support band or clothing that supports the abdominal area. These bands and clothing can help conceal your apron belly, and they also prevent more skin from sagging.
When you have extra weight hanging down, that can lead to back problems because of the excess weight pulling you forward. A support band reduces back problems.
Try a Maternity Belly Band. They’re made from stretchy material that works when you are pregnant or after pregnancy if you have a mother’s apron belly. It provides coverage and smooths your sagging skin, perfect for undershirts or leggings.
Relevant: B-belly vs. D-belly!
How to Hide An Apron Belly
Having a tummy apron drags down your self-esteem, and it takes time to get rid of a belly flap. Hanging bellies don’t disappear in a day or even weeks; it takes time. So, until all of your steps to reduce your belly flap work, here are some tricks for hiding it.
Wear Shapewear or Compression Garments
Abdominal compression garments flatten and smooth a belly flap. While they won’t eliminate it entirely, it helps with your self-confidence, especially if you want to wear form-fitting clothes.
One of the most popular choices by women for shapewear for apron belly is high waist underwear. Women love high-waist, full coverage briefs, such as these by Ummiss. The thick elastic band at the top reaches your belly-button, smoothing the belly flap comfortably.
Wear Loose Clothes
Wearing the right clothes hides an apron flap. Empire waist dresses and shirts that hug your bodice and flare out are flattering yet hide your belly. Full, high-rise skirts and leggings also hide a belly, especially when paired with an empire waisted shirt.
How Do I Get Rid of My Overhang on My Stomach Without Surgery?
For some women, they want to get rid of the apron belly. You can reduce or remove it entirely, but it does take time. Don’t expect it to disappear in a few days or weeks.
Getting rid of a mother’s apron requires eating healthy, drinking plenty of water, and exercising. The right workouts combined with losing weight and toning your stomach are the keys to success.
Here are some other dietary tips to get rid of an apron belly.
- Limit red meat and stay away from fried foods, bacon, ham, deli meat, and hot dogs.
- Eat more non-starchy vegetables, such as leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, mushrooms, and bell peppers.
- Increase your intake of protein. Eat more chicken, fish, eggs, seafood, cottage cheese, and Greek yogurt.
Drink More Water
Another trick to reducing hanging bellies is to increase your water intake. Most women need 10-12 cups of water per day, and men need upwards of 16 cups daily. Drinking two cups of water before each meal helps your body digest the food better.
Avoid drinks with high calories, such as soda. It’s safe to drink black coffee or unsweetened tea. If you want some sweetness, try adding fruit chunks to your water for a bit of flavor.
Eat Healthy Food
Since a mother’s apron is often due to an excess of fat deposits, eating healthy food and losing weight is the first step that you should try. Target foods that are low in calories.
Prepare whole-food meals at home. Fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, and lean proteins should be the foundation of your diet. Focus on eating appropriate portion sizes that won’t exceed your calorie needs. You’ll also want to eliminate extra calories from foods that are fried or contain sugar or refined grains. These types of foods contribute to your belly apron.
Exercise and Target Your Abs
Exercise is a good thing for everyone, but if you think that doing stomach crunches and sit-ups will solve the problem, you’d be wrong. These exercises can strengthen your abdominal muscles, but they won’t make the problem disappear.
There are two layers of fat in your abdominal region, making it one of the hardest areas to tone. It’s easier to tone areas with one layer of fat, such as your arms or legs.
Focus on adding daily abdominal exercises to your routine that can shrink your midsection and apron belly. Aim to complete apron belly workouts each day if possible. Here are some activities that can tighten your pannus region.
- Plank holds
- Plank Jacks
- Leg Raises
- Russian Twists
- Side Planks
So, if you want to use exercise as a way to target your problem area, you should look at trying activities that cause you to move in a multitude of ways and directions.
Boosting your cardiovascular exercise routines also helps with weight loss, making it an excellent apron belly workout for both men and women. All forms of aerobic exercise, such as biking, rowing, swimming, and stair climbing, help to reduce a belly flap.
Balance Your Hormones
Hormonal imbalances, such as high insulin levels, resulting in belly fat building up around your abdominal region. Regulating your hormones is a crucial step to get rid of a hanging belly without surgery.
Talk to your doctor, and consider bloodwork to determine which hormones are imbalanced. Your doctor might suggest specific supplements to help regulate them and try these suggestions to balance your hormones naturally.
- Get enough sleep – 8 hours per day is the recommendation.
- Limit your caffeine intake
- Drink more water each day
- Exercise five times per week for 30 minutes to one hour
- Try daily relaxation techniques, like yoga, journaling, or meditation.
How to Get Rid of an Apron Belly with Elective Procedures
If everything else fails to get rid of your belly flap, elective procedures are available to take care of the problem for you. Most doctors want to see you try to exercise and diet for a set timeframe before agreeing to perform surgery; ask for a consultation to determine the ins and outs.
CoolSculpting is an elective procedure that doesn’t involve surgery and less invasive. The process involves freezing the extra fat that causes the abdominal apron using a cooling applicator. When the fat cells freezer, your body processes them as waste.
CoolSculpting is a fast procedure that takes 30-60 minutes for each area of your body. Most women need several sessions depending on how much fat is in each area.
Understand that this method to remove hanging bellies takes time to see the result. It takes up to one month to notice a difference. Full results take up to three months.
Another option to try is a laser procedure that melts the fat under the skin. A small incision is made in the belly flap skin to allow entrance for the laser.
After the laser melts the falt, a small tube removes it, and the incision is stitched shut. Despite the incision, it’s considered a non-surgical option and far less invasive than other options.
Laser fat removal takes around one hour for each target area. The results are faster than CoolSculpting, but they still take time due to swelling.
This is the surgical procedure that removes the pannus. The difference between a tummy tuck and a panniculectomy is that it doesn’t tighten the abdominal muscles. It removes extra skin and fat.
Many insurance companies cover panniculectomies if you meet the criteria because it’s not cosmetic surgery.
Dealing with an apron belly can be hard, and getting rid of one is even harder. They can cause problems with skin irritations or healing problems after a c-section. If you feel self-conscious about your belly, take steps to get rid of it, or make it more comfortable. Remember that you are beautiful with or without this belly hang!
Hey, this is Linda. My biggest accomplishment in life is being a mother of four children. Their current ages range from almost ten years old down to 20 months old.
I’m passionate about writing parenting articles because I understand so well all of the problems and trials you face as a parent. From breastfeeding woes to budgeting problems and behavior problems, along with everything in between, chances are I’ve faced it over the last ten years.