One of the most common postpartum challenges women face is the leftover skin around their belly and waist. Specifically, the skin there tends to be looser compared to a woman’s pre-baby body. In most cases, loose skin will tighten over time as the body recovers from pregnancy and labor. However, there are still a few tricks that women can employ to speed things up a little bit and ensure that the skin tightens properly.
Non-Medical Methods to Tighten Loose Skin
Tightening skin without surgery is convenient, affordable, and makes sense as a first-step measure before resorting to any type of surgery. The only disadvantage is that results aren’t as immediate. A full-term pregnancy lasts for nine months, so it can take just as long to treat loose skin after pregnancy.
Exercise helps to promote weight loss, which has a natural shrinking effect on the waistline. It also builds and maintains muscle tone to make skin look tighter overall. Cardio exercise is recommended for burning fat, while strength training is more suited for building muscle. For best results, women should achieve a healthy balance of both. It helps to begin exercising before and during pregnancy to ensure a speedier recovery postpartum.
Breast milk contains all the nutrients a growing infant needs. When a mother breastfeeds her child, her body burns calories and fat to keep producing this nutritious milk. As a consequence, most women are likely to lose weight faster if they opt to breastfeed their babies. Not only is it good for the baby, but it’s also good for Mom’s self-confidence, too.
Follow a Skincare Regimen
Skincare isn’t just for the face. Simply put, healthy skin looks and feels tighter regardless of its location on the body. Moisturizers with ingredients like cocoa butter, shea butter, and vitamin E are commonly used by new mothers to soothe and soften stretch marks, restore moisture, and reduce inflammation.
Medical Methods to Tighten Loose Skin
In some women’s cases, exercise and diet may not be enough to return to their pre-baby bodies. Other women may want faster results than what’s possible with a non-medical approach to tightening their skin. Fortunately, there are several cosmetic procedures that can successfully address these issues.
In a tummy tuck, a section of loose skin and fat is surgically removed, and the remaining skin is stitched together. The result is an abdomen that is tighter and flatter compared to how it appeared before surgery. If the abdominal muscles have separated during pregnancy, a postpartum tummy tuck may also entail restoring muscles tone by pulling the separated muscles back together, which has a cinching effect on the waistline.
Cryolipolysis, or fat-freezing, entails the use of extreme cold to destroy and eliminate fat. The extreme cold is usually delivered through a specialized device, which damages fat cells lying under the skin. Then, those fat cells are broken down and “digested” away by the body’s natural metabolic processes.
For women who aren’t as concerned about losing weight as they are about tightening loose skin, laser resurfacing can be a great option. Laser therapy helps postpartum bodies by delivering powerful infrared rays directly under the skin. This stimulates collagen production and coaxes the surrounding skin into tightening and repairing itself. It usually takes several treatments to see visible results, but the procedure is noninvasive and requires very little recovery time.
Most women will have to face having some loose skin after carrying a baby for nine months. However, how they look after their bodies during pregnancy could determine the amount or severity of their postpartum abdominal skin. Tightening skin starts with skin health, and healthy skin begins with healthy habits. Some strategies for minimizing loose skin problems include the following:
- Losing post-baby weight slowly
- Drinking enough water
- Eating a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids
- Reducing stress levels
It’s a fact of life that a woman simply looks different after giving birth. Still, many new mothers are uncomfortable with how their bodies have stretched and sagged in unflattering places. As discouraging as this may be, it’s important to remember that change takes time. As long as the mother keeps a healthy mindset, there are many ways to treat loose, sagging skin from pregnancy.