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Congratulations on delivering a beautiful baby! Now that the baby is here, the first change you might notice in your body is its shape. You might find that you still have a bulging belly even after delivery. Let us look at why this bulge hasn’t gone away and what can be done to tighten the loose skin.
Why Does the Skin Loosen After Childbirth?
Skin is the largest organ in the body. During pregnancy, many changes happen and you are likely to notice some of them such as varicose veins, spider veins, stretch marks (the most obvious) on your skin. The skin stretches to accommodate the growing baby during those nine months. Hence, it takes quite a lot of time and effort to get back to the original shape and tighten the loose skin after pregnancy.
What Is a Pregnancy Pouch?
The abdominal muscles that are loose, along with the fat, the extra skin and relaxed pelvic guard give the belly a hanging look after pregnancy. This is also commonly referred to as a pregnancy pouch.
How Much Time is Needed to Reduce Tummy After Pregnancy?
It takes a few months for the pregnancy pouch to go off and for some women, it never goes away completely.
Tips for Tightening Skin Post Pregnancy
If you want to tighten the loose skin after childbirth, here’s what you can do.
- Increase your water intake
Water hydrates the skin as well as makes it more elastic and therefore is an excellent way to keep the skin tight and healthy. It also helps in burning calories efficiently.
Breastfeeding is recommended for up to 6 months of age. When a mother breastfeeds, the calories in the body gets used up for the production of milk and hence it helps in losing the extra weight. It has been seen that breastfeeding mothers lose weight faster than mothers who do not breastfeed.
- Include Protein-rich Foods in Your Diet
Protein helps in muscle growth. Protein also helps build collagen which is an essential part of the skin. The quantity of protein that needs to be consumed depends on the weight of the person, the physical activity, and the kind of exercise the person does. A healthy woman requires at least 50 grams of protein per day.
Another way to tighten the stomach skin after pregnancy is by using an exfoliating scrub on the belly while taking a shower. Exfoliation can help increase blood circulation in the area by increasing the blood flow. It can also help create new skin that is healthy and elastic.
- Use Lotions and Massage
Try using creams that have collagen and Vitamins K, C, E, and A. These help the loose skin become firm. After you apply the lotion, ensure that you massage the area well. Improved blood flow makes the skin look firm. Massage the skin at least twice a day.
- Try Strength Training
Strength training can be started once the body is used to regular exercise and only after the doctor gives a go-ahead for the same. During strength training, the muscles contract, which helps build the strength. At the same time, it improves body composition and helps to reduce fat.
- Stay Calm and Positive
When it looks like you are not able to lose the extra flab, it can be annoying and frustrating. At this time, make sure you remain calm and remind yourself that losing that extra flab takes time. Be patient and calm yourself by listening to music or doing some outdoor activity.
- Try Spa Wrap
Spa wrap helps the skin to become firm but it is temporary. The wraps detoxify and soften the skin along with tightening of the skin.
Once your doctor gives the go-ahead for indulging in physical activity, you can start exercising as it helps in strengthening the muscles and burn calories.
There is no way to reduce fat from a particular area in the body. To lose fat from one concentrated area of the body, the overall body fat needs to be burned. With your doctor’s consent, start doing cardiovascular exercises for 3-5 days a week for 20 minutes.
The other exercises include planks. Initially, start with doing two or three planks and try to hold them for 15 seconds. Slowly, as time progresses, increase the duration to 30 seconds. Doing one plank for 30 seconds is good for the core muscles in the body.
What to Avoid While Reducing Post-Pregnancy Belly Skin?
Perseverance is of the utmost importance when you are striving to lose belly fat. You will not observe a change overnight, but consistency surely does pay off. Here are a few things you must keep in mind:
- Do not follow crash dieting; though it might look like you will lose weight sooner. The likelihood of the weight once you complete your crash diet is very high and therefore it isn’t a sustainable option. Also to enhance the elasticity of the skin, it is better to lose weight gradually. Never starve yourself of food or give in to fad dieting.
- Avoid tanning beds as it can harm your skin and dry it out.
- Avoid using soaps that have sulphates as it can dry out the skin and hence irritate the skin.
Should You Consider Elective Surgery?
Tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is a way to remove the excess skin and to tighten the muscles, and it may seem like an ideal solution. But keep in in mind that it is not an alternative to weight loss or exercise. Consult a doctor and talk about the options that are available and best suited for you.
If it takes more time for your skin to tighten, do not get disheartened. Remember that your body had nurtured a life inside it for 9 months. Also, losing weight differs from person to person because of different body types, so don’t lose hope. Maintain a healthy diet and exercise. You will soon get the results!
Loosening of the skin is a common condition that happens after pregnancy. You can get back to shape healthily by following the above-mentioned tips.