It's no secret that only a few women out there gain the actual recommended amount during their pregnancy. I know my body decided to become a food hoarder and place every single calorie right onto my burgeoning belly (and butt, and hips and really, everywhere).
It didn't help that I have the approximate dimensions of a Daddy Long Legs spider, which meant I looked somewhat like a Weeble while pregnant.
And after I popped out my babies, all of that belly turned from lump of baby to squishy, stretchy skin. I considered fashioning a scarf from the extra skin, but decided that instead, I needed to tighten up all that loose skin.
Here's what I learned about tightening loose skin after major weight loss (read: pregnancy).
- Get rid of those pesky baby pounds. The older you get, the harder it is to lose weight, and the less elastic our skin becomes. So pack up baby and go for a walk every day.
- Once you're back into shape, start a course of strength training at the gym. Not only is it a great way to get some "me" time, putting muscle on underneath the sagging baby skin can help you tone up and tighten up that pesky loose skin.
- This should go without saying, but don't do any fad diets to lose weight. You'll often lose weight too quickly and gain it back once you can no longer adhere to the whole "no carbs for the rest of your life," thing.
- Lose pounds slow and steady rather than by starving yourself. Our skin's elastic properties tighten more effectively when weight loss is gradual and not dramatic.
- Exfoliate your heart out. I know it's hard to grab a shower when you're dealing with a new baby, but grab one as often as you can. Then make sure to exfoliate your skin. One of those scrubby things or a fancy sugar rub will do the trick nicely. See, scrubbing increases the flow of blood to the area and encourages the creation of more healthy and elastic skin. Wild, right?
- Slather on the lotions. There are tons of cremes out there that promise to tighten skin, but the best kinds of cremes to use are collagen-based. Try some before you buy and examine some of the cheaper brands to make sure that you're getting what your body needs to properly tighten.
- Up the H2O Drink tons of water. Not only is it wonderful for you while (if) you're nursing, water is a great way for skin to remain healthy, happy, and tighter.
- Protein it up! Lean proteins helps build lean muscle, which increases the tone of your muscles. Lean protein ALSO has tons of nutrients (like collagen) to help our skin remain elastic.
- Be good to yourself. It's frustrating, not having your body back after baby, but be patient. It can take well over six months for our body to regain the elasticity after a major weight loss. In the interim, be patient and good to yourself.
- Avoid tanning beds. While tanning beds can be amazing to get a base tan before vacationing, you have an infant, so chances are, you're not planning to jet set off to Rio. Tanning beds do NOT help with tightening loose skin, and with the risks for skin cancer, it's not worth it.
How did you tighten your skin after baby?
Image via luca_76/Flickr