Your Postpartum Body

postpartum body__1460040944_162.206.228.38After having a baby, nature may leave you with a few extra gifts besides just your baby.  Many women find that their postpartum body is nothing like their pre-baby body.  Even if you lose most of your pregnancy weight, your body proportions may be askew.  While there are some things you can do to help remove marks, lift sagging and tone flab on your postpartum body to get it close to its original state, some changes due to pregnancy may never go away.

Today we’re looking at common changes to your postpartum body and offering a few pointers to help you reinstate your pre-baby look.

L6012-BLK-prod-page_230x303Your Belly

The skin on your abdomen stretched quite a bit to create that adorable bump you had during pregnancy.  But it’s a lot less cute as it shrinks.  And it feels like it will never shrink enough.  This belly flab may take awhile to disappear.  Make sure you get in at least 30-minute of fat and calorie burning cardio four times a week.  Abdominal exercises help but really focus on the transverse abdominals that wrap around to the back.  This will help you tighten the muscles underneath.  Also try tummy tucking shapewear that help flatten your belly and slim your waistline.

Your Skin

Stretch marks are quite common on moms.  Despite all the moisturizing and massaging you may have done during pregnancy, stretch marks are inevitable for some women.  They may have been darker during pregnancy but on your postpartum body they may appear lighter than your natural skin color.  Stretch marks are most common on the belly, breasts and thighs, which are the areas that expand the most during pregnancy.  Retin-A can help reduce the appearance of stretch marks although some may linger as a permanent badge of honor for moms.

L301-Nude-prod-pageYour Breasts

Pregnancy and breastfeeding cause your breasts to grow larger, expanding breast tissue and the skin around your breasts.  After pregnancy the skin is not as elastic and therefore has a sagging effect.  The best solution is a supportive and comfortable nursing bra that will lift your breasts to reduce sag and bounce.  You can also do some breast-lifting exercises like chest presses and push-ups to encourage the muscles in this region to naturally perk up your breasts.

Your C-Section Scar

As small as the incision may be, a fine line usually remains after giving birth via c-section.  Unfortunately this is one part of your postpartum body you cannot surgically remove or exercise your way out of.  Scar-reducing creams may work or you can apply waterproof makeup or tinted lotions to the area.  Otherwise of it bothers you, you may want to invest in more coverage during bathing suit season.

Your Veins

With extra weight and blood during pregnancy blood vessels dilate and often cause veins to become dark and noticeable, especially on the legs.  This can be painful for some women.  Veins can be treated to fade the color.  Tinted self-tanning lotion can also help mask varicose veins.

It’s hard to find a mom alive who didn’t experience at least one of these postpartum body changes.  Having children is a sacrifice in many ways and your postpartum body may be proof.  As you embrace your growing family, embrace your postpartum body too.  After all, it was created in the name of love.