Reduce Stretch Marks After Pregnancy
If youve worked to reduce stretch marks during your pregnancy, youre well-prepared to combat loose skin postpartum. That said, you may still have to deal with small lines and skin discolorations after your baby is born.
Dont get disheartened, though. All the work that you put into minimizing stretch marks while you were pregnant will make your recovery a lot easier.
In the months after your baby is born, your hormones will change again like they did when you first got pregnant. The chemistry in your skin will change too. Because of these changes, what worked for you while you were pregnant might not work after you give birth.
Thats why you need a product like Mustela’s Stretch Marks Serum that is specially formulated to moisturize postpartum skin in order to help minimize the appearance of recently formed stretch marks, while also giving your skin a plump look and feel.
Ingredients like avocado peptides and Elastoregulator® will improve your skins elasticity and leave it feeling soft, supple, and comfortable.
Keep Your Cortisol In Check
Cortisol is the stress hormone. It primarily gets released whenever we are in a fight or flight situation.
Thankfully, we dont have to do much fighting or running away from predators these days, but we do experience other forms of stress.
You dont need any scientific data to prove to you that your body experiences interesting changes whenever you are highly stressed.
We also have direct evidence that high levels of cortisol can cause a thinning/weakening of the skin.
While it may be difficult to control the amount of stress you experience, you do have control over how you manage it.
And I have one great tip to help you manage.
Sleep is a great way to keep stress hormones in check while refreshing your body and mind.
As simple as this tip is please do not underestimate the importance of it. Sleep deprivation has been clinically proven to result in high cortisol levels throughout the day.
I know that this is easier said than done.
But try your best to improve the quantity AND/OR the quality of your sleep.
A few things you can try are:
- make your bedroom as dark as you possibly can
- keep your room cool
- avoid large meals within 2 hours of your bedtime
- dont ever use your phone while lying in bed
Massage Your Skin With Oils
A luxurious massage with oils will do you a lot of good. You can use castor oil to massage as it has strong emollient properties due to its high concentration of fatty acids. Not only that, but castor oil also promotes the synthesis of collagen and improves the elasticity of your skin, making it more rejuvenated and firmer . All you need to do is to warm a small amount of this oil in your palms, then gently massage your belly.
Olive oil is another miracle worker. You can use it to massage your belly or any other part of your body with loose skin. This oil is a powerful antioxidant as it contains vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids . It helps seal moisture in the skin cells and strengthens muscle tissue to tighten up the skin.
You can also use grapeseed oil to massage your belly and get rid of loose skin. Grapeseed is a carrier oil, and when used consistently over time, it helps tighten your skin. It has healthy fats and vitamin E, which are essential for your skins health. This combo helps hydrate your skin and boost collagen production .
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What Happens To Belly Skin After Pregnancy
Although you might think these changes are limited to your actual pregnancy, as your uterus are expanding, the area continues to transform even after you’ve given birth.
“After pregnancy, that skin starts to contract down, but often with stretch, there is a change in elasticity, and the belly does not always snap back into the shape it was before you had a baby,” explains Dr. Mariwalla, a mother of three.
This can translate to loose or sagging skin on the belly as your body shrinks in size. And while they will likely fade over time, any stretch marks that show up during pregnancy will remain after giving birth.
You may also have scars from the birth itself, especially if you had a C-section. “When you have a C-section, remember that those muscles are being cutso working out and the changes you can expect to see from working outare definitely different,” Dr. Mariwalla explains.
In fact, many of your once-trusty tricks for toning your stomach may not deliver the same results they previously did, as abdominal muscles can be functionally affected by pregnancy.”It is harder to tone the belly area, in general,” says Dr. Mariwalla. “Regardless of your delivery, the more children you have and the older you get, the harder it is to keep this area toned and firm.”
How Is Diastasis Recti Treated
The first step in treating diastasis recti is figuring out the extent of your abdominal separation. To measure the separation, your OB/GYN provider will see if two fingers fit in the space between your abdominal muscles. Treatment often includes physical therapy that focuses on exercises, core stability, and proper bracing. In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary.
Your physical therapy treatment plan may include:
- Gentle abdominal exercises
- Wearing an abdominal binder or a support belt that is worn around your belly
- Manual physical therapy techniques to loosen tight or tender abdominal muscles
- Taping for abdominal support and to cue core strengthening
- Learning to monitor abdominals during exercise and activities to prevent worsening the gap in the muscle
Because every womans body responds differently to physical therapy and each case of diastasis recti is different, the length of physical therapy treatment is different for everyone. Physical therapy can be especially beneficial for women with more minor abdominal separations and want to treat diastasis recti before becoming pregnant again.
If you have a more severe case of diastasis recti that doesnt respond to physical therapy, you may need surgical treatment. Talk with your OB/GYN about your treatment options.
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Does Everyone Have Loose Skin After Pregnancy
Its hard to give you any exact numbers, but most women will experience some degree of skin changes postpartum.
Some women will be able to get rid of their extra skin naturally, while others will need to follow the tips I have provided for you below.
Theres also a possibility that the strategies above wont help you lose the loose skin on your belly entirely. Either way, you should do as many of them as you can as they will help you to become the healthiest version of yourself!
The First One To Two Weeks After Birth
Limit your activity to caring for yourself and your baby.
If you had an exercise routine during pregnancy, ask your health care provider when you can begin again. You can start the gentle postpartum exercise routine described below the day after you give birth.
If you have concerns about your postpartum weight loss, talk with your health care provider.
If you had a Cesarean birth:
- Try not to lift anything heavier than your baby.
- If you have other children who want to be held, sit down and have them climb into your lap rather than lifting them.
- Limit your trips up and down stairs. Take the stairs slowly.
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How To Tighten Loose Skin After Pregnancy
Do you have loose skin after pregnancy?
You are not alone.
Saggy belly skin is a common issue, regardless of whether you had a vaginal delivery or a c-section.
In todays post, youre going to learn the truth about skin tightening after pregnancy.
Specifically, youll learn:
- If its possible to tighten loose skin,
- How to prevent loose skin in the first place, and
- What kind of results you can expect to see.
If youre ready, lets dive right in.
Although I am a doctor, I am not your doctor. This information is for informational purposes only and should not substitute the advice from your healthcare professional. All kinds of exercise and dietary changes are potentially dangerous, and those who do not seek counsel from the appropriate health care authority assume the liability of any injury which may occur. Please read my full Disclaimer for more information. Also, this post may contain affiliate links: meaning I may receive a commission if you use them.
Ok, moving on.
Add Strength Training To Your Exercise Routine
Losing weight slowly and repairing elasticity are great ways to reduce loose skin after pregnancy. But removing fat and tightening skin only go so far. You also need to add muscle mass to fill up the space in your skin.To maintain muscle tone while losing weight, we suggest incorporating weight training into your exercise routine.Dont worry, you wont bulk up like the boys do! For women, weight training has more of a tightening effect, which is exactly what youre looking for when dealing with loose skin.There are plenty of effective options for strength training including dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, and even bodyweight exercises so find a method that you enjoy and get to lifting.When youre first starting out, resist the urge to go heavy right away. Your body has been through a trauma of sorts and needs time to recover. Use light weights at first or even just your own body weight and increase gradually over several months.Its better to play it safe than to risk an injury that might prevent you from losing the weight you want and rejuvenating your loose skin after pregnancy.
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The 6 Core Exercises New Moms Need
Okay, now onto the core of the matter, pun intended. Isometric abdominal exercises will be your bread and butter for the first couple of months after the little darling arrives. These exercises are the most effective way to target the bulk of the abdomen while improving strength throughout your entire midsection.
You could rely solely on the lifts themselves to get you back into fighting shape, but I guarantee it will be a long haul and youll be lifting a lot lighter for a lot longer.
The American College of Sports Medicine used electromyography to determine which abdominal exercises most effectively activated the rectus abdominis and obliques. Researchers found the yoga boat, yoga dolphin plank on a ball, and the yoga side plank to be at the top of the list. Incorporate two to three sets of each of these exercises, holding each one for at least thirty seconds working your way up to one to two minutes, into your workout routine.
1. Belly Breathing
Belly breathing simply involves allowing your stomach to expand and contract as much as possible while you actively inhale and exhale as deeply as possible.
2. Abdominal Bracing
Begin by lying face-up on the floor. Brace your abdomen by contracting your entire abdomen as if you were preparing to get hit in the stomach. This is your starting position. From here, perform different movements such as raising one or both arms overhead or extending your legs while keeping your back flat against the floor.
3. Pelvic Tilt
4. Yoga Boat
Dealing With Diastasis Recti
Diastasis Recti is the partial or complete separation of the rectus abdominis. During pregnancy, your lower six pack ab area can separate to make way for your growing baby.
Up to 60% of women will experience some degree of ab separation after birth. Some of the symptoms are:
- Continued belly protrusion even after diet and exercise
- Lower back pain
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/76 Easy Steps To Lose Belly Fat After Delivering A Baby
Most women gain anything between 5 to 18 kilos during their pregnancy. Losing this weight post delivering the baby is not that easy. Juggling between the responsibilities of being a new mom and returning to your old body can be difficult. But researches show that starting exercise right after giving birth is not just good for overall health but also reduces the risk of postpartum depression. Not just this, there are many other small steps that can help you get back to your pre-pregnancy body.
As every pregnancy and delivery are different, do not forget to check with your doctor before to take up any exercise plan. If you experience any kind of discomfort in exercising or experience heavy bleeding, do consult your doctor immediately.
Here are six easy tips that will help you lose the postpartum belly fat easily.
Get A Postpartum Massage
Self-care post-pregnancy can go a long way for your mental and physical wellbeing. Consider going for a postpartum massage to help increase the blood-flow to the abdominal area to speed your postpartum recovery. Massages are also excellent for addressing saggy skin because massage oils nourish the skin and improves the overall elasticity.
This little self-indulgence may also boost your pleasure hormones, oxytocin, which helps the involution process shrinking the uterus back to its pre-pregnancy size.
Women who had c-sections will need to wait until their incisions fully recover before getting a massage. It’s a good idea to get the green light from your doctor before booking an appointment.
For more help on this, check out our guide to getting a professional postpartum massage.
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If Diastasis Is Present
While the exercises in this article are appropriate for diastasis recti, Women with severe diastasis recti are in the greatest need of starting an abdominal rehabilitation program as early as possible, warns Cram. Do not start abdominal or any other exercises until your client sees a physical therapist.
Avoid all spinal extension, deep spinal flexion and spinal rotation. Instead, opt for functional abdominal work like squats while cueing to engage the abs, suggests Wiebe.
Belly Scrub To Tighten Sagging Skin:
a. Take 1 tbsp of coffee powder in a bowl.
b. Add in 1 tbsp of brown sugar in a bowl.
c. Add in enough coconut oil to form a paste, mix well and use it as a scrub weekly once.
- Try to use the scrub weekly once without fail and apply the massage oil daily.
- For the belly skin tightening cream, use an aloe vera gel that is free of color and perfume.
- The massage oil will last well for weeks together at room temperature.
- The coffee scrub also will last well for 10 to 15 days at room temperature.
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What Is Diastasis Recti
Diastasis recti is a condition that arises when the rectus abdominis muscles separate. These muscles are visible in very fit people as the 6 pack.To visualize diastasis recti, imagine the vertical space between the muscles widening. Up to two-thirds of pregnant women experience diastasis recti. In the majority of cases, the condition treats itself in the weeks and months following childbirth. But for some, the condition doesnt go away on its own. Women with the condition often report looking pregnant even if they arent. Others describe a bulge or ridge protruding from the center of the abdomen.
Its important to note that diastasis recti is a unique condition that is different from the expected weight gain and loose skin that occurs as the result of pregnancy.
While diastasis recti is not typically painful, it can be associated with the following symptoms:
- Back pain
- Occasional urinary incontinence that will require Incontinence treatment.
In this blog post, Id like to explain why some women cant get back their pre-pregnancy bodies on their own and why exercise and diet will NOT help you overcome true diastasis recti completely. Let me emphasize, however, that diastasis recti is an unusual circumstance and that MOST women simply develop laxity of their abdominal wall after pregnancy. While this, too, can be frustrating, it is NOT the same entity as a diastasis recti.
What Causes Diastasis Recti
Your abdominal muscles usually meet in the middle of your abdomen. When youre pregnant, hormonal changes allow the connective tissue to thin and stretch so your belly can expand. As a result, your growing uterus causes your abdominal muscles to separate and move aside. In the case of diastasis recti, your abdominal muscles are so stretched that they dont fully come back together after pregnancy.
Although diastasis recti is common after pregnancy and affects about two-thirds of pregnant women, it also occurs in newborn babies and men. Men can develop diastasis recti from straining during exercises such as sit-ups or weightlifting, or other activities that cause abdominal strain.
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Deep Belly Breathing With Abdominal Contraction
Why Its Good for You: This exercise is so easy you can do it an hour after giving birth. It helps relax muscles, and it starts the process of strengthening and toning your abs and belly.
How Its Done: Sit upright and breathe deeply, drawing air from the diaphragm upward. Contract and hold your abs tight while inhaling and relax while exhaling. Gradually increase the amount of time you can contract and hold your abs.
Timeline For Losing The Postpartum Belly
You know how you got it now how do you lose it?
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists endorses the Institute of Medicine guidelines for weight gain in pregnancy.
Depending on your body mass index , you should gain between 11 and 40 pounds during a pregnancy with one baby and 2562 pounds when pregnant with twins. The good news is that youll lose some of that weight right after delivery.
Babys weight comes off first thats obvious. Youll also drop about another few pounds right away when you lose blood, fluids, and amniotic fluid.
For the first week after birth, you may find that youre running to the bathroom more often and that when you wake up in the night, your pajamas are soaked with sweat.
And if youre breastfeeding, know that breastfeeding isnt only about feeding and cuddling it may also help you lose weight.
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, breastfeeding moms use 400 to 500 calories daily to make the full amount of milk that most babies need from birth to 6 months.
And at least one study showed that moms who breastfeed exclusively for more than 3 months tend to lose more weight than those who dont.
Most doctors and physical therapists recommend waiting 6 weeks before starting a formal exercise program if you had an uncomplicated vaginal delivery or 8 weeks if you had a cesarean delivery.
So are you a couple of months postpartum and feeling stronger and more like your old self?
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