Having a baby is no mean feat! Yes, your body is quite amazing, it is capable of growing a whole new human being and that takes a lot of work. Every organ in your body works harder than ever before to cope with hormonal changes, your own physical needs and your baby’s too.
One of the organs that changes the most is your skin. It stretches to accommodate your growing womb and that’s why you might develop stretch marks during pregnancy (they do eventually fade post-pregnancy and in many cases disappear with the right treatment).
However, post-pregnancy, skin is often looser than before because of the changes that it’s gone through. Many women’s skin returns to almost the same as before but some women experience significantly looser skin.
Luckily, help is at hand and there are a number of things you can do to tighten up skin post-pregnancy.
Good old water is your best friend; well it certainly is your skin’s! Drinking two litres of water a day will go a long way to tightening up your skin and that’s because your body is made up of 90% water. When your body and your skin are dehydrated, it instantly looks saggier. It needs water to plump it up so drink lots and flush out the toxins and impurities in your system. Within just one month you’ll notice how much clearer, smoother, firmer and softer your skin is.
Breastfeeding helps you to lose your post-pregnancy weight which also contributes to tightening up loose skin. Once you start shifting those extra pounds, you’ll notice your skin begins to return back to its pre-pregnancy appearance, and although it might never be exactly the same, breastfeeding does help.
There’s no doubt that exercise helps tighten up skin and helps you to glow from the inside out. It builds muscle which in turn pumps up the skin too. If you have excess skin around your abdomen from pregnancy, sit ups or abdominal exercises go a long way to minimising it. Exercise promotes good circulation which pumps the blood effectively around the body and really transforms skin, so get outside with your baby in his or her buggy and get moving!
4. Healthy Eating
Those late nights up with baby might make you reach for sugary snacks but you’d be best advised to avoid anything that will pile on the calories. Instead, opt for a healthy eating regime, one that’s rich in greens, colourful fruit and lots of protein. Protein helps to build muscle and when you want to tighten up the skin, you’ll want to improve muscle tone because the two go hand-in-hand.
5. Don’t Crash Diet!
By the same token, it’s wise not to crash diet. Lots of mums are tempted back into their jeans by skipping meals or starting faddy diets. Yes they work, but not in the long run and you’ll end up putting on even more weight when you start to eat properly again. You need to eat well to keep your energy levels up too so follow a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Use a good quality exfoliator on your skin to get rid of dead skin cells and reveal plumper, new skin. Regular exfoliation will help your skin to really glow and it’s another way of promoting healthy circulation.
Massage is excellent for firming and toning the skin, it’s even better when you factor in a quality massage oil or cream that contains vital vitamins (A, E, C and K are all ideal). Bio-Oil is a great product to help reduce stretch marks and works as a wonderful massage treat. If you massage areas of concern twice a day rigorously, using upward strokes, you will improve circulation to the area and help to break down fatty deposits. Your lymphatic system will remove these toxins from your body via natural waste revealing a clearer, firmer and plumper skin.
8. Strength Training
As well as upping your cardio (whether it’s brisk walking, jogging, an aerobics class or swimming), strength training can really help to tighten up your skin. You might like to use light weights and repetitions or you could try Pilates and Yoga. Both exercise routines are excellent regimes that help keep a body nice and trim, tightening up and firming the skin too.
9. A Healthy Mind
Sometimes, it’s about feeling positive about yourself over and above all the tips mentioned here. You should also be mindful that tight skin won’t happen overnight, so, be patient. If you learn to love the skin you’re in, a little excess skin won’t worry you. Remember, you’ve created a miracle so your body is incredible! Be proud of it.