Nothing illustrates the phrase ''mixed emotions'' better than the last few days of a pregnancy's third trimester. If the thought of labor pain isn't daunting enough, something else always pricks you in the back of your head. Weight!
Coping with stretch marks and flabby stomach post delivery
How to get back to pre-pregnancy weight post delivery? How to cover the stretch marks and the pouting belly?
If these questions are nudging you a little too often, don't worry. You are not the only one. Most expecting mothers have these concerns resonating in their head. Thankfully, with some tips and early knowledge, you can totally deal with these concerns.
There are definitely ways to reduce the flab and stretch marks if not eliminate them fully. The key is patience and staying positive. The main thing is the birth of your baby and nothing is more important than that. Feeding and looking after your baby post delivery will be your topmost priority. You can slowly start planning on reducing the weight by choosing methods, which are convenient for you considering the time you spend with your baby.
The first step towards your weight reduction plan is your baby! Yes, you read it right. Feeding your baby helps reduce your weight. Studies suggest that a breastfeeding mother burns around 300 to 500 calories a day. Every time her body works towards producing more milk as she supplies nutrition to her baby, she gets closer to losing weight. This, of course, needs to be in sync with the energy she consumes through nutritious meals.
Getting rid of your stretch marks
Here are some ways to help reduce stretch marks:
Hydrate your skin
By calming and nourishing the skin, you can reduce the redness and inflammation that can exaggerate stretch marks post delivery. Applying moisturizer and washing your face twice a day helps keeps the skin hydrated. Applying oils on the stretch marks also helps reduce them.
Stretch marks are caused because the skin loses its elasticity. To improve this, look out for creams in the market, which help to stimulate the collagen production, giving your skin more elasticity.
Dry body brushing
Dry body brushing is a natural remedy you can adhere to in order to reduce the appearance of both new and old stretch marks and eventually turn them white in appearance and become less noticeable. Dry body brushing is a very powerful skin exfoliator. It digs deep into the pores to cleanse dirt, grime, dead cells and other toxins.
Grandma’s Tip: A very good home remedy for making stretch marks subside is Aloe vera. It helps to regenerate skin tissue and as such it has miraculous healing properties. Take the fresh gel from the leaf and massage onto the area with stretch marks and leave on for 20-30 minutes. Do it daily and wash off with tepid water.
Cocoa butter helps to reduce stretch marks and if used regularly over a period of time, and it can help eliminate stretch marks completely. Best time to use cocoa butter is during the night. Make sure that you massage it well into your skin.
Cucumber and lemon juice
The natural acidity in lemon juice helps to heal and reduce scars. Cucumber juice provides a cool soothing effect leaving your skin fresh. Mix lime juice and cucumber juice in equal parts, and apply the mixture on the affected areas till it gets soaked up by the skin. Let it be on your skin for approx. 10 minutes after which you can rinse it off using warm water.
Almond and coconut oil
Use almond and coconut oil in equal quantities to reduce stretch marks. Massage it on the skin regularly. This home remedy is absolutely natural, which means no harmful side-effects. Follow this remedy religiously and watch out for effective results.
Apricot mask and oil
Apricots have great exfoliating tendencies, which make them very effective when it comes to healing stretch marks. Take 2-3 apricots, cut them and take out the seeds. Crush the fruit into a paste and apply this mask on the stretch mark affected areas and leave it on for 15 minutes. Using warm water, wash it off and then repeat the process every day for a month to see results. Pure apricot oil has skin rejuvenating properties and therefore helps in reducing stretch marks. Massage onto the skin with some lemon juice for effective results.
Because of their dried, shriveled up look, stretch marks need nourishment and moisture. Castor oil when massaged onto the skin will help heal and smoothen the marks slowly.
Getting rid of your flabby stomach
A flabby stomach is another common concern of new moms. It takes a lot of efforts to get the tummy inside. Some doctors recommend surgery but there are other alternatives like exercises for the same. Make sure you start these exercises only after a consent from your doctor and don’t rush into it right after delivery.
Perform cardiovascular exercises every other day when you start after delivery. Build up slowly over the week to lose significant body fat.
Choose low impact activity to ease your body back into exercise. Try swimming, walking and jogging. Begin with half an hour of exercise and build up gradually. Keep the intensity moderate to high so that you burn the calories to reduce the fat in the abdomen.
Breathing exercises like inhaling and exhaling help a lot Lie on your back with your knees gently pressed towards the abdomen. Record your work out in a book and keep monitoring to make any changes.
Eat nutritious food and have a balanced diet. Include abs exercises that challenge your midsection. It is preferred to have a trainer to talk about your requirements to help you better.
Contracting the abdomen helps while exercising.
Warning: Do remember the following:
1. Remember that the topmost priority is your baby. Spend time with your child once he or she is born. There is a lifetime ahead to reduce the fat or remove stretch marks.
2. Talk to your doctor first before beginning any form of exercise.
3. Stop exercising immediately if you feel dizzy or nauseated.
4. Do not rush to intense exercises for instant results.
Remember to be a POSER: Persistent, Optimistic, Sincere, Exercise and finally Relax!