How to Prevent Loose Skin Following Your Pregnancy?
There are no quick fixes or magical solutions that will bring results overnight, but with enough time, patience and effort, you could get your pre-baby body back and deal with that pesky loose skin that you have had to try to get used to after giving birth.
It can be frustrating for new mothers, as many may still feel like they don’t have their own body back just yet. For so long, you have shared your body with someone else, and now you don’t recognize what you are left with – its easy to see why some women are so affected by it.
Unfortunately, loose skin is unavoidable after carrying a baby for nine months. Your body has been stretched to the end of its limits in several places, and you’ll notice after giving birth that the difference could be a little more than you were expecting.
Will Loose Skin Ever Tighten After Giving Birth?
Not on its own. But the tightening of this skin comes with the changes you make to your lifestyle post-partum, such as adopting a light exercise routine and eating a much more nutritionally balanced diet.
You will see a reduction in the amount of loose skin around your stomach in the first few months after delivery, but it’s less of a ‘tightening’ and more of a ‘contracting’. The skin will still be very soft and somewhat ‘saggy’ and loose.
When skin is stretched, it loses some of its elasticity. Pregnancy does this to a more drastic degree, as the skin on your stomach is being stretched to its limits – given that you carry a baby for nine whole months in this way, its easy to see why your skin doesn’t just ‘snap back’ after you give birth.
Essentially, you really need to put the work in to get your post-baby body back, but only when you have given yourself plenty of time to recover from giving birth.
What Should I Eat To Help Tighten My Loose Skin?
First, it’s important to note that’s it is understandable to have started snacking or comfort eating after giving birth to a baby – having a newborn isn’t exactly conducive with regular sit-down mealtimes! However, if you really want to tighten that post-delivery stomach, then you need to get out of this habit and attempt to reign in your routine.
Adopting the right diet could go some way towards improving the look of your post-pregnancy stomach if you eat the correct balance of the right foods and avoid certain others.
It’s best to get back to your three regular mealtimes and attempt to remove heavily processed foods from your diet, replacing them with ‘clean’ foods, such as fruits and vegetables.
If you are going to attempt to mostly cut out any group of foods (not altogether, of course, it’s all about moderation), then heavy carbohydrates are certainly the most troublesome food when it comes to trying to get rid of your post-pregnancy loose skin. Try to avoid foods such as pasta, pizza, bread, cakes, etc. and other stodgy foods which tend to bloat those who consume them.
With the demand that taking care of a new baby takes on your body, it’s natural that you will probably want to snack. Just try to keep to fruit and vegetables wherever possible when you do, and don’t be tempted to reach for the cookies.
What Fruits Will Help Tighten My Skin?
We’ve already discussed the importance of having a lot of fruit in your diet when trying to tone up post-pregnancy, but there are actually some fruits which are more effective for this than others.
The protein in the skin which gives the skin its elasticity, collagen, starts to break down a little more in our bodies as we get older. It will also be produced in lower amounts in the time after giving birth.
For that reason, it’s best to choose fruits which contain vitamins that may actually boost the amount of collagen being produced within your body. These fruits are the ones which are high in vitamin C. Of course, when we think of vitamin C, orange is the first fruit that comes to mind, but it certainly isn’t the only one!
Other citrus fruits such as grapefruits and lemons and limes also contain a decent amount of vitamin C, ideal for those looking to tighten up loose skin. Of course, you aren’t likely to want to eat a whole lemon or lime, but you see a lot of benefits from simply dropping slices of lemon and lime into your drinking water and allowing it to infuse across the day.
Perhaps surprisingly to some, berries are also natural high in vitamin C. In fact, ounce for ounce, strawberries contain more vitamin C than an orange does!
Try adding these fruits to your daily food intake if you’d like to see your body producing a little more collagen. Perhaps try adding blueberries to your breakfast, or enjoying a sweet grapefruit after dinner!
Peaches are also a great fruit to try and eat a little more of, as they are rich in dietary fibre and encourage a kick-start in the metabolism, leading to better digestion and faster weight loss.
How Should I Exercise To Get Rid of Loose Skin After Pregnancy?
First of all, make sure that you have given yourself enough time to recover from giving birth before attempting any form of exercise, and ask your doctor for advice if you are unsure.
Once you have the go ahead, here are just a few of the best exercises to try in order to tighten up the skin around your stomach and to improve your core strength.
1. Pelvic Tilt
Take two scatter cushions and lie on your back with your legs bent. Place one of the cushions between your knees and another under your hips. Keeping your arms at your side and your feet flat on the floor, inhale deeply, then exhale, making sure to draw your abs in as you do. Tuck your pelvis in and squeeze your buttocks in, holding this position for five seconds. Release, then repeat ten times.
2. Flat Belly Fly
Lie on your back with your feet hip-width apart, then bend your legs and lift them (one after the other) so that your calves are at a 90° angle. Put a hand on your stomach and keep the other arm, palm down, by your side. Pull your stomach muscles in and you inhale and exhale, holding this position. Slowly open your legs as wide as you can, then slowly close them – use your hand to check your core remains engaged as you do this. Repeat this ten times, then slowly bring your legs down and relax.
3. Towel Pulses
Take a towel and lie on your back, with your knees bent. Wrap the towel at the front of your legs, so that you are holding both ends. Keeping your legs in place, use the towel to pull your upper body away from the ground, so that your shoulders are raised. Keep your core engaged as you do this, and be sure to keep check of how you are breathing. Rather than holding this position, pulse upwards for ten times, then release and relax your position.
Once you feel more comfortable, you may repeat the exercise a few more times per workout session, but be careful not to over-do it. This exercise is a little similar to a crunch, and could cause lingering aches and pains if you attempt to do too much, too quickly.
Remember to wait until you are fully recovered to even attempt exercises like this, and stop your workout routines if you begin to feel any great pain or discomfort. Remember that it will take a while for these changes to take effect, especially as you have to exercise so carefully, but it will happen – don’t lose hope!
Are There Any Products That Will Tighten Loose Skin?
If all the above sounds like it might be a bit too much for you just yet and you were wondering if there was some less exhausting solutions, then you’ll be glad to hear that there are a wide array of skin firming creams available on the market.
Many of these creams are designed to target slight stomach flab and cellulite, although some new mothers have taken to using them on their post-pregnancy bodies! It’s worth a try if you feel you have nothing to lose, but keep in mind that there is very little independent evidence to show how effective such products are.
These creams aren’t suitable for anyone who has delivered via C-section, too, as rubbing them into the stomach is more likely to lead to an infected scar.
All things considered, whilst we all like the to think there are quick or easy fixes available, the best way to tighten your loose skin after giving birth is to eat well and get more exercise! Be patient with yourself, stick to your routine and eventually it will come to you.