The truth is that tightening up loose skin after pregnancy isn’t all that hard. That is, if you follow a proper diet plan and don’t go crazy eating the house down before you have your baby. Excess weight gain and extreme weight loss are the two most common culprits that lead to flabby skin that lingers long after the baby is born — sometimes forever if you’re not careful!
Following are all the tips you’ll need to tighten up loose skin postpartum naturally, without going under the knife.
Don’t eat excessively during pregnancy
Prepare to tighten your loose skin postpartum by taking care of your body during pregnancy. Most women overindulge when they become pregnant for the first time, thinking they need to eat for two. Eating for two will lead to excessive and fast weight gain. Gaining too much weight and/or gaining weight too quickly makes it harder for skin to spring back after you’ve had your baby.
The truth is, during the first few months you don’t need to take in any extra calories to promote a healthy pregnancy. During the last two trimesters, your body will need 300 to 500 extra calories, depending on how under or overweight you are leading into pregnancy. Most sources recommend the caloric equivalent of an extra glass or two of milk and a handful of nuts or seeds are all that’s needed.
Visit BabyCenter.com for more information on the best way to eat during pregnancy.
Apply stretch mark cream often
The old saying goes “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Nourishing your skin with skin-fortifying ingredients like vitamin E, jojoba, shea butter, cocoa butter, and coconut oil will go a long way toward preventing loose skin in the first place, and are a must for women who’ve had c-sections who want to minimize the appearance of scars at the incision site.
It makes little sense to wait until you’ve lost your pregnancy weight, and suddenly realize you have stretch marks to start attacking the problem. Begin applying a quality stretch mark cream like Burt’s Bees‘ Stretch Mark Cream throughout your pregnancy and postpartum, until you’re sure your skin has bounced back to normal.
Plan to lose weight slowly postpartum
Just as you don’t want to gain weight too fast during pregnancy, you’ll want to plan to lose any extra weight slowly after. Going on a crash diet and losing more than two pounds per week won’t give your skin enough time to retract.
For women who maintain a health body weight normally, simply removing the added calories recommended already will result in slow and steady weight loss. If you don’t eat excessively during pregnancy, it can take as little as a month to get back to your pre-baby weight and skin tone.
Obviously exercise will help
Some leftover skin after pregnancy will actually be belly fat that needs to be eliminated. If you followed the rules, didn’t overeat during your pregnancy, and made sure to get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day, just keep following your fitness plan while reducing your calories by a few hundred per day.
As mentioned, going on a crash diet and losing weight too fast will cause more loose skin, and increase the risk of stretch marks. There’s no need to plan to compete in an Ironman or CrossFit competition 6 weeks after your baby is born!
Drink plenty of water
Drinking more water is something everyone should aim to do, for tighter skin and all-round better health. A good rule of thumb is to aim for half your body weight in ounces of water, to ensure your skin is as springy and collagen-filled as possible.
For example, if you weigh 120 pounds; aim to drink 60 ounces of water a day. That amount of water is just over one and three-quarter liters, and rounding off to a full 2 liters isn’t a bad idea either.
Drink bone broth
Pregnancy, weight gain, and weight loss are all hard on our body’s collagen stores. As we get older, we simply cannot produce enough collagen to keep our skin supple, which is why wrinkles and loose skin are inevitable as we age. However, when our skin is stressed beyond normal and collagen is lost, we can supplement it in through our diet.
Make your own bone broth drinks to ensure you get the most collagen you can, to help your body repair stretched out skin and wrinkles after pregnancy. It’s really easy to make. However, if you’re not keen on the idea of drinking bone marrow, a quality collagen peptide product like this one will also provide favorable results. Though going the supplement route will cost much more, as soup bones are really cheap to buy at the supermarket or butcher shop.
The tips outlined on this page are all you’ll need to lose tight skin after your pregnancy. It should be obvious that most of what you should do is preventative and not after-the-fact. Don’t use your pregnancy as an excuse to become a competitive eater for 9 months, or to become lazy with your water intake and skincare routine.