Every mama, at some point in her recovery journey has consciously or subconsciously wondered if the loose skin that appeared after delivery will ever go away. Well, there is no clear, cut and dry answer. Everyone’s body is different so what you notice on body will not be the same as seen on another mama. Also keep in mind that hormonal changes in the body play a major role in how the body looks after pregnancy and needs time to re-adjust to its pre-pregnancy state. Below are six tips on how to improve the loose skin you may be experiencing and wellness habits you can adopt.
- Move: it is important to keep the body active after having a baby. Most times, you are safe to exercise with direction from your doctor 6-8 weeks after baby. The timeline is heavily dependent on whether you had a vaginal or c-section delivery (also factoring in complications if any). Exercising makes the body feel good and well. Besides burning calories during a workout, targeted strength training & cardio exercises also help improve skin elasticity and toning the body.
- Drink water: drinking enough water not only prevents dehydration but helps burn calories and prevents bloating and water retention. Water also helps with skin elasticity and tightening of the skin.
- Breastfeeding: if you are still in the breastfeeding stage, congratulations. This simple act of nourishing your child helps you burn a few calories more a day. The breastfeeding process also gradually helps shrink the size of the uterus by contracting due to a decrease in the levels of oxytocin hormone.
- Engage in proper breathing: one of the most important ways to restore proper core and pelvic floor function after delivery is by engaging in core breathing exercises. This is equally as important during the pregnancy phase. When people hear breathing, they assume it involves chest breathing. However, core breathing takes it a step further. The act of core breathing involves engaging your core to breathe. Take a deep breath and fill the belly in with air. Gently release the air through exhalation and hold for a few seconds while still breathing. Repeat this exercise a few times a day and you will notice a difference in how your core area feels. Properly engaging these abdominal muscles, in turn helps reduce the amount of loose skin you notice over time.
- Eat well: stuffing your plate with a variety of fruits and vegetables goes a long way in keeping your body nourished as well as healing connective tissue that has stretched during pregnancy. Foods high in vitamin A & C such as pumpkin, squash, carrots, cantaloupe (vitamin A) and oranges, bell peppers, berries (vitamin C & antioxidants) should be included in your diet as much as possible. Eating a well-balanced meal that contains healthy fats, lean protein, fruits, vegetables, and complex carbs helps restore tightness to your skin. Other foods that aid in collagen production include tomatoes, spinach, kale, broccoli. Make your plate colorful and rich.
- Exfoliate: just like the way you exfoliate your face to remove dead skin, exfoliating around the belly area helps with the same. Keep it strong and healthy by exfoliating regularly and increase blood circulation and skin elasticity. You can use a chemical exfoliator or a DIY one by using ingredients in your kitchen like salt or sugar and your favorite carrier or essential oils.
At the end of the day, your post-pregnancy body will not be the same as your pre-pregnancy body so embrace your new self with good intentions and adopt healthy habits to change your life. Take care of your body so it can take care of you. Have you already started to adopt any of these tips?