Are you wondering what is an apron belly? A pannus stomach is commonly referred to as an apron belly or mothers apron. The apron hanging belly is a flap of excess skin, tissue, and fat that hangs at the bottom of the abdomen.

It’s not uncommon for people who are very plus size, have rapidly lost a lot of weight, or have had many babies to have a skin apron or hanging stomach. With this said, people who have never given birth or are thin can also have an apron belly. 

If you have an apron belly, you shouldn't feel ashamed! Know that having one often causes more emotional than physical distress.

We're going to talk about it and if you have an apron belly, please know that you are not alone! 

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What is an Apron Belly?

An apron belly occurs when the fat surrounding the internal organs expands due to pregnancy, resulting in an additional apron-like flap under your abdominal muscles and in front of your intestines.

When you Google “apron belly”, “stomach apron”, or “mothers apron” and you mainly get tips on how to get rid of apron belly – from weight loss (that often makes an apron belly hang lower but look more deflated) to surgery (that's not an option for many due to insurance or financial limitations).

This article isn't about changing your hanging stomach. It's about how to live with an apron belly and feel more comfortable on a daily basis!

Like a B Belly, an apron belly can be emotionally difficult for plus size people to have.

Yet, unlike a B Belly, an apron belly can be a great source of discomfort.

Anytime there is skin-to-skin contact, like underneath large breasts for example, you need to be cautious with any build-up of moisture and sweat because the skin there can become easily irritated.

It’s really important to keep a stomach apron clean because heat rashes, skin ulcers, and skin tags can occur due to the constant dampness in that area.

Related: Chub Rub Solutions for Thunder Thighs

One of the best ways to keep an apron belly clean is during your usual shower routine. The use of a shower brush or hand-held showerhead can be very helpful to thoroughly clean under the fold.

Following a shower, use extra time and care to make sure you get your skin completely dry. Using a hairdryer on cool can help an apron belly to get fully dry.

Then, depending upon the size of the apron, you might use pads or powders (anti-fungal powders are best and many plus size women recommend Micro-Guard Powder) to keep the area dry for the duration of your day.

Coconut oil is anti-fungal and can be soothing under an apron belly. Please note that cornstarch powder shouldn’t be used because it can cause yeast infections.

Some women have shared that an apron stomach girdle, like a plus size maternity support belt or band, can help to alleviate discomfort. 

When it comes to underwear recommendations for having an apron belly, the most popular options are plus size support underwear or plus size women's support boyshort briefs

5X apron belly support underwear

It's important to know that you're not alone if you have a mother's apron!

Below you'll read quotes from our community members sharing their tips for hygiene, clothing options, intimacy, and more! Many suggestions will have links provided to products and images you can click on.

Please note that it's a good idea to check with your care provider before using any products that are unfamiliar.

This group finally gave me a name to my apron belly never thought of it technically, just have had it for years due to being pleasantly plump! – Janice

I just always called it my FUPA lol – Heather

My personal experience with this started after having my first daughter. I had always been big but my skin was tight not a hanging flap until after I gave birth.

Then my body changed and I hated the way it looked now. I would wash under it every time I used the bathroom at home because sweat collected there. I began to no longer love myself.

Then I joined a mom's group in our area and there were only three bigger moms there. I felt so out of place until one day one of smaller moms started complaining about her hanging skin and about five other smaller moms chimed in saying they had the same issue.

That day I realized it wasn't from me being fat that I had the hanging skin it was from me bringing this beautiful life into this world and that I wasn't something that I suffered through alone.

That day I began to love myself again.

I don't choose to hide my body anymore, its the only one I have got and I'm going to be proud of it. I even rocked a “fatkini” like this black one below at the beach on summer vacation this year. – Trista

plus size maternity fatkini

It's a change I bear that reminds me of the daughter I bore. Unfortunately, it means I can't wear what I wore. – Beth

a woman with an apron belly

Helpful Hygiene Products & Suggestions For A Stomach Apron 

I've had an apron belly as far back as I can remember. It got worse after my first c-section. I started having problems with chaffing. I started using an invisible solid stick deodorant every day. – Rebecca

Hibiclens: this is soap surgeons use to scrub up before surgery. It kills EVERYTHING and it stays active on the skin for hours and hours.

Maxi pads are not just for periods, perfect for keeping post-c-section wounds dry and infection-free. I just folded a maxi pad in half and stuck that sucker under my hanging stomach and healed perfectly! – Daniella

Related: The Best Plus Size Maternity Underwear Options

Monistat puts out an anti-chafing gel-cream that is a lifesaver under the apron! – Candice

Monistat chafe gel for plus size women

Got a nasty rash? Get diaper rash cream (Desitin is the best)! Helps so much!!! – Lori


Goldbond is a lifesaver! – Audra

Gold Bond

Clothing Suggestions For A Mother's Apron

No jeans for this girl, my belly enjoys stretchy pants that kind of keeps my belly tight and I need them to be high wasted – Trudy

I wear plus size capri leggings, looser in the leg and have the tall waistband. Cowcow dresses, skater style and full skirt. – Olivia

Sizing up a 1-2 sizes of Spanx or similar support garments has offered me both support and shaping. It's uncomfortable to have my apron swing around when I walk even when I am not pregnant and this stops that. – Sarah

I had an apron belly before I got pregnant so gaining all the weight that I did really took a toll on me. The belly band was definitely great towards the end of my pregnancy and the first few weeks after my C-section. – Daniella

I've started wearing more plus size tunics and waist-less dresses or plus size empire dresses. I don't like the look of me in jeans or shorts anymore. Plus size leggings (Daily Ritual has leggings that go up to 5XL) and plus size compression leggings squish me down are ok, but only if the shirt is long enough to cover the strange shape – Beth

5xl plus size leggings

I continue to wear plus size maternity pants just to keep it tucked in. – Camille

I've had an apron literally since I was 4 years old, and right now I've been through two pregnancies and lots of weight fluctuations. The two things I hate the most are the way it claps against the tops of my thighs if I run or just move too quickly. It's a very strange noise that is very noticeable! Compression workout pants help with that. – Sarah

Plus Size Underwear For A Hanging Belly 

I wear my underwear under my belly and my pants over. I'm extremely particular about this. My underwear ALWAYS bunches up in the back because of all the extra fabric, or they fall down because they are too loose. – Ann

Related: The Best Plus Size Maternity Underwear Options

I gave up underwear mostly. I wear something like sleep shorts instead unless it's that time of the month, then it's plus size briefs. – Elizabeth

I'm totally about to embarrass the crap outta myself, but here goes: As I've lost weight and the belly hang is worst, I've noticed my butt is smaller and I'm in desperate need of new undies…. my solution? I bought a size up (these undies go to a size 6XL) and wear them backward! – Susie

Intimacy Tips When You Have A Mother's Apron 

Pillows! Use under your hips especially. – Jessica

I wear a plus size baby doll lingerie top (like this 6XL lingerie below) that puts a lot of emphasis on my boobs, straighten my hair, and full-on makeup so eyes are fixated on my upper half – Samantha

6XL lingerie

I have 3 kids…the clothes just come off. No time for special lingerie, lol! I have occasionally done no panties under a skirt if I have time to think ahead. Ha! The older I get I've learned to just embrace it, it's my body…if you don't like it then that's on you. There are plenty of guys that don't mind it. – Rebecca

Mother's Apron Additional Obstacles & Solutions

Omg and seat belts!! The seatbelt is supposed to lay “flat across the hips”. Yeah right. It sits right on top of my belly. – Breanna

Try a seatbelt extender if you're having this struggle. Safety is important and there's also no shame in asking for an extender when you're on a plane.

Wiping!? Gosh the belly makes it hard! – Jordan

wiping wand

(There are some options here too like using a wiping wand for longer reach as well as a bidet sprayer.)

Shaving is the worst… You want to be trimmed and sexy but to get that way you have to either master a belly hold and razor shave or plan some alone time so that you can lay on the bed and do this in privacy. – Natalie

I found Nair works a lot easier than razors! Not a perfect smooth but enough that if you don't feel like razoring, you can at least feel clean! They have a cream you can use in the shower now so a bit easier. – Becky

As a plus size mom with an apron belly (thanks kids!) using the standard peri bottle from the hospital and midwives was never easy but I made it work each time with 4 babies and 4 vaginal deliveries. Someone gave me the Fridababy Peri Bottle this pregnancy and it's amazing. It is easier to use because of the bent nozzle and the shape fits better in my hand. – Sarah

Long Peri Bottle

Apron Belly Surgery Options

I got a panniculectomy. I haven't had a c-section and my apron was from weight loss. My insurance covered 100% – if you have documentation of rashes it can be covered to be removed. I had a great plastic surgeon. –  Anna

My surgery with a tummy tuck, muscle repair, and lower body lift will be around $14,000. – Sue

As we shared above, for many people surgery isn't a possibility due to insurance and/or financial limitations. However, you can always talk to your care provider about options you may have.

Once again, please know that you're NOT alone if you have an apron belly! 


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