March 4th, 2020 was a life-changing day for my family and I. We welcomed our second, beautiful, healthy baby girl. After years of trying to get her here my gratitude is still on cloud 9. It’s still so surreal to wrap my head around the process us mothers have to endure to conceive, how our bodies drastically change to nurture our unborn, ultimately leaving most of us with permanent body changes that stay for a lifetime.
What happens to our tummy after giving birth
The truth is, after you give birth, either vaginally or by C-section your stomach is not the same. Before my first daughter was born, I was naively under the impression that my natural abdomen would bounce back in a week or two. I was pleasantly surprised by how far from reality this really was. Since our uterus expands so much to support our growing baby, and our collagen and elastin fibers tend to snap or rupture naturally it takes a good amount of time for the belly to go down post-partum. Honestly, I still felt pregnant after giving birth, both times. Right after delivery I would say the stage your belly is in is equivalent to being approximately twenty weeks pregnant. This semi-still bloated, still pregnant belly can last for six to nine weeks, the time frame I find myself in right now. Many researchers suggest that the full true abdominal recovery can take up to 9 months! The best advice I can give to all new mothers that have just given birth, is to embrace each stage of the recovery and own your body changes with pride. As women this is our superpower and there is no room for shame or forced quick recovery. Keep in mind, we just pushed our bodies to the extremes pregnancy and giving birth truly entails.
My tips for getting rid of loose skin after birth
As I just passed my eight-week post-partum mark, I have eagerly been looking forward to starting my journey to get rid of some of my loose skin. I started adding a daily abdominal targeting routine to assist with my skin tightening, on top of full time homeschooling my 6- year-old, I am the true definition of a busy mom. Consistency is key so it’s important to be able to sneak away and take a little time for yourself to upkeep the exercise to help transform your postpartum belly.*
Finding natural skin tightening ingredients
Another layer of my post-partum journey is, I have been really into learning about holistic ingredients that can help aid in my bounce back. I found that Safflower Oil is becoming more and more popular amongst individuals looking to target belly fat and overall skincare. For skincare, Safflower Oil is known to relieve pain in certain skin conditions (i.e. eczema) as well as act as an anti-inflammatory and provide antioxidant benefits. For belly fat, the oil provides that extra boost that we all need when we are looking to tighten loose skin. For me, it’s certainly a win win. My other discovery is Turmeric Extract. Turmeric is a well-known spice and medicinal herb used in India that dates back thousands of years. Turmeric provides an exorbitant amount of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits as well it helps contribute to the natural glow in your skin, advances the healing of wounds and scarring, amongst other things.
I recently added Mum & You’s Tummy Time Firming and Toning Gel to my daily routine. This particular toning gel combines both of these naturally derived ingredients that have helped me in my post pregnancy journey. I have been extremely pleased with the firmness the gel provides in the areas where you can most see my loose skin. After consistent usage I am definitely feeling more confident in my stomach area, my skin looks tighter, and I love the fact that the product is 97% naturally derived. Mum & You has a line of different gels and masks that are directly targeted to moms like you and me – looking to get back to our old norm, while embracing our new norm, giving us the confidence we need as we carry motherhood on our shoulders, and empower our children to do the same.
Dr. Lian Mack is a board certified dermatologist committed to excellence in comprehensive dermatological care. A fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology and a board member of the Women’s Dermatologic Society, her expertise spans skin conditions in relation to skin colour as well as aesthetic enhancements.
*Always check with a health professional before beginning ab exercises post-pregnancy and be sure to make sure they are appropriate to your condition.