Creating a new human life isn’t a task for the fainthearted. You will go through numerous physiological and psychological changes. While some of these shifts may delight you, others, like sagging skin, can damage your self-esteem. How can you prevent loose skin after pregnancy? Here are 12 pre- and postpartum tips.
Before You Give Birth
It’s far more practical to prevent the problem than to try to address it after giving birth. To minimize your chances of loose skin after pregnancy, try to do the following while expecting:
1. Drink Plenty of Water
According to aesthetician Fini Leijissius, many clients complain that moisturizers aren’t doing their job when, in reality, they experience chronic dehydration. A lack of moisture from the inside will leave your skin saggy. Over time, thirst weakens the connective fibers that give your skin lift, further exacerbating the elephant-knee appearance.
Carry a refillable water bottle with you and sip throughout the day. Learn to recognize the signs of thirst. Besides cotton-mouth, you may also feel dizzy or nauseous. You should avoid alcohol while pregnant and go light on caffeine, which is a diuretic that may add to your need to use the restroom more frequently.
2. Get Lots of Vitamin C
Vitamin C does triple-duty for pregnant mamas. In today’s age of COVID-19, keeping a healthy immune system is more vital than ever, and this nutrient helps ready your body to fight pathogens.
When it comes to your skin, vitamin C helps stimulate collagen production, which fights skin-sagging. It helps you build a structure and might reduce stretch marks.
3. Try Vitamin B3
Research on niacinamide indicates that it might significantly reduce the risk of nonmelanoma skin cancer by 23%. UV radiation damages your skin, but it’s impossible to avoid — both indoor and outdoor light exposure produces it.
Expectant mamas need to up their B-vitamin intake anyway — so make your neonatal supplement do double duty. Find one that’s high in both essential folate and B-3 to reduce the risk of sagging skin.
4. Up Your Omega-3 Intake
You can find omega-3 fatty acids in fish, and sufficient intake may boost your mood and help you navigate pregnancy’s hormonal changes. Additionally, it can reduce your risk of sagging skin.
Omega-3s help keep the tissues of your body pliable. This property makes it ideal for heart health, but it also keeps your skin supple through the same mechanisms as it promotes vein and arterial flexibility.
5. Start an Exercise Program
You should consult with your doctor before starting an exercise program during pregnancy. Some conditions, such as preeclampsia, can render it dangerous.
However, the majority benefit from physical activity during pregnancy. Plus, regular exercise promotes healthy blood flow to your skin cells, bathing them in oxygen, and making them more pliant.
6. Follow Your Doctor’s Guidelines for Weight Gain
If you lost a significant amount of weight before getting pregnant, you know that it can result in sagging skin. However, if you look at your expectancy as a free ticket to indulge your every craving, you might have more sagging skin after birth.
Post-Delivery Firming Tips
Once you give birth, you can start working on regaining your pre-baby body. The following six tips can help you prevent loose skin after pregnancy:
7. Shed the Post-Pregnancy Pounds Wisely
Your skin is an organ, and it will eventually shrink. However, if you shed pounds more quickly than it can rebound, you’ll be left with droopiness.
Instead, try to lose no more than one to two pounds weekly. You won’t starve or feel grumpy. Plus, you’ll give your skin adequate time to rebound.
8. Exercise Right for Diastasis Recti
Diastasis recti occur when your left and right abdominal walls don’t knit back together postpartum, resulting in a “pooch.” Although the condition doesn’t cause sagging skin, it can make it appear worse.
Unfortunately, many of the moves, like planks, that you might try to correct the problem only further the separation. Avoid exercises like planks (hurray!) and instead focus on pulling your belly button inward. You can do this while standing in line at the grocery store — just suck in and tighten your tummy, and hold.
9. Switch to Castile Soap
Ordinary liquid and bar soaps contain sodium lauryl sulfate, a chemical that makes them foam. Unfortunately, it also strips away vital oils from your skin, increasing its sagging appearance.
Fortunately, castile soap can replace a host of products in your home, saving you money and cabinet space. Since it’s made from oils, it won’t dry your skin — it’s more like using a cleanser and moisturizer in one.
10. Try a Postpartum Massage
Massage feels fabulous, and it increases vital blood flow to your skin’s surface. The delivery of healing oxygen and nutrients can help restore your appearance.
Always exercise gentleness when massaging your abdominal area. Use a quality oil to make your hands glide over the surface and use a soft touch.
11. Reach for Essential Oils
Oils like jojoba and lavender have antioxidant properties that fight the free radicals that damage sagging skin. Use caution — you never want to apply these substances directly, as they may irritate. Instead, blend them with a carrier like argan or coconut oil and massage into sagging spots.
12. Consider Corrective Surgery
In severe cases, natural remedies don’t prevent all skin sagging post-pregnancy. If you experience psychological distress, you can consult with a qualified plastic surgeon. Most skin-reduction techniques are safe, although you may experience scarring.
Use the tips described above to prevent loose skin after pregnancy and minimize its appearance. Above all, take pride in your body — it just produced a new life!
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