Cellulite When Pregnant: Causes, Treatment & Prevention

Cellulite During Pregnancy – Causes, Treatment, and Prevention

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Rashmi Sriram (Dermatologist)
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If you are pregnant, be ready to witness the physical changes that your body will undergo. Of course, your weight will increase, but weight gain is common during pregnancy. However, if this weight gain is cellulite, then you need to pay attention to it. You must be wondering what’s cellulite. Read to know what it is, how it is caused, and what can be done to treat it.

What is Cellulite?

If you stand in front of a mirror, you will notice that certain portions of your body will have the deposits of fat around them. The major body parts where pockets of fat deposit are bum, hips, thighs, tummy, upper arms, and knees. These fat deposits are what are termed as cellulite. These deposits can sometimes stretch and break down, causing these regions to become dimpled. It’s important to remember that cellulite is a normal part of pregnancy; some women may gain weight and cellulite, while others may not.

What Causes Cellulite in Pregnancy

The reasons for increased cellulite in pregnancy tend to vary and may include anything from poor lifestyle choices to numerous internal body factors.

1. Lifestyle

Performing basic exercises during pregnancy is essential to keep your health in check and for the health of your baby too. Staying away from junk foods and managing your cravings is also necessary at this stage. However, failure to do all of these can cause cellulite to form in your body.

2. Water Retention

During pregnancy, a woman’s body has a higher tendency of storing an excessive volume of bodily fluids. This leads to water retention in various regions of the body. These indirectly work towards creating cellulite pockets, which can become visible later on.

3. Effects  of Hormones

Hormones play an important role in cellulite development. Estrogen, insulin, noradrenaline, thyroid hormones and prolactin are part of the cellulite production process.

 4. Increase in Weight

A healthy weight gain is expected in pregnant women with time. But excessive weight gain during pregnancy increases the chances of cellulite formation in later years.

5. Age

The elasticity of the skin reduces with age which increases the chance of cellulite.

Medical Treatment for Cellulite

Taking care of cellulite is possible by using certain medical treatments. These tend to reduce cellulite quickly, and you can get your pre-pregnancy body back sooner. But these treatments are not recommended for pregnant women and its best to stay away from them.

Cellulite Treatments That Pregnant Women Should Avoid

A bunch of cellulite treatment methods are considered harmful for the baby as well as the mother and can have long-term effects as well.

1. Oral Intake of Medicines

One of the potent ways to remove cellulite is to burn it by taking certain stimulants. This is how most oral medications for cellulite work, by making use of caffeine and other substances that help reduce the cellulite. However, taking these medicines during pregnancy are not recommended.

2. Laser or Thermal Treatment Techniques

Some of the most popular treatment techniques to reduce cellulite involve making use of laser beams or other methods that increase the temperature of the body region to get rid of cellulite. These might be quite effective, but risky during pregnancy.

Cellulite cream

How to Get Rid of Cellulite Naturally When Pregnant

There are a bunch of natural ways to take care of cellulite. These are safer than any other treatment techniques and pose minimal risk to the pregnancy. These measures can be tried at home to get rid of cellulite during pregnancy:

  • One of the best ways to take care of cellulite that has manifested in the body is by exercising regularly. It is the healthiest and the safest way to take care of it. However, it is usually recommended that pregnant women should not perform any strenuous exercise.
  • Following a healthy diet can also take care of cellulite during pregnancy.


Here are some tips that you can follow to avoid cellulite:

  • The presence of omega-3 fatty acids in the body helps bind cellulite effectively.  Include omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. You can include flax seeds in your meals.
  • Befriend carbohydrates during pregnancy. Eat as required, don’t overdo it.
  • Water retention is another problem that can make cellulite worse. Eating lots of vegetables, berries, and seafood can reduce the chances of that occurring cellulite.
  • Eat healthy foods and start exercising.

How Can You Prevent Cellulite

If you’re wondering how to prevent cellulite during pregnancy, there are several easy ways that you can try to stay fit and healthy.

1. Reduce Salt Intake

Avoid taking additional salt with your food since it is acidic and ends up dehydrating your body, making cellulite removal difficult.

2.Drink Water

Staying hydrated flushes toxins from the skin and keeps cellulite formation to a minimum.

A woman drinking water

3. Exercise

Light cardio exercises, like walking and low impact aerobics, can tone your body.  The sweat produced while exercising will flush out the toxins from your body and cleanse your skin. Exercising also tones the muscle tissues and reduces the cellulite.

4. Weight Control

It is a must to keep your weight in check whether pregnant or not. 

5. Eat Healthy Foods

Eat healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables. Eating healthy foods will flush out toxins from your body, which lead to cellulite formation.

 6.Avoid Fatty Foods

Junk food, meat, bakery products, cheese, etc. can increase cellulite content in your body. Avoid them as much as you can.

Reducing Cellulite Post Pregnancy

Once you recover from your delivery, you can start with cellulite treatment after a couple of weeks. Avoid topical creams since your baby would be breastfeeding. Follow a strict diet and exercise regularly to reduce cellulite.

The cellulite post-pregnancy can negatively impact your self-confidence, but if you switch to a healthy lifestyle, cellulite formation will reduce over time. You must also remember that cellulite during pregnancy is normal and quite common, and you must consult a dermatologist before taking any steps to deal with the cellulite formation in your body.

Also Read: Losing Weight in Pregnancy

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Aarohi Achwal holds a bachelor’s degree in Commerce and a master’s degree in English Literature. While working as an intern for an English daily, she realised that she likes writing above anything else. The idea of being heard without having to speak appeals to her. She likes to write research-based articles that are informative and relevant. She has written articles on pregnancy, parenting, and relationships. And she would like to continue creating content on health and lifestyle.