A post pregnancy belly can be a source of insecurity for many women. If you’re struggling with loose skin after pregnancy, don’t worry. There are plenty of stomach skin tightening options. Tummy tuck (Abdominoplasty) is the most reliable option for treating a postpartum belly. This is because it targets loose skin and diastasis muscle separation. Yet, there are many non-surgical options that are worth trying too. This article will explore all options for skin tightening for stomach after pregnancy.
What Causes Loose Skin After Pregnancy?
Pregnancy hormones and abdominal stretching are the main causes of loose skin after pregnancy. During pregnancy, your body produces a special hormone called Relaxin. This relaxes ligaments in your abdomen so to create more space for the baby to grow. However, it can lead to loose skin post-pregnancy.
As the abdomen expands, the skin also stretches, leading to loose skin around the stomach. After giving birth, loose stomach skin may persist if it isn’t able to ‘bounce back’.
As well as loose stomach skin after pregnancy, postpartum mums may develop stretch marks after pregnancy. This article will discuss all options to treat these postpartum belly concerns.
How To Prevent Loose Skin After Pregnancy
The best way to prevent loose skin after pregnancy is by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and weight. Eating nutritious food and exercising regularly helps keep your body in shape. This can reduce the chances of loose skin post-pregnancy.
It’s also beneficial to keep your stomach skin hydrated whilst pregnant. This will help maintain elasticity and improve the chances of loose skin shrinking post-pregnancy. This is especially important if you start to notice stretch marks developing.
Other ways you can prevent loose skin after pregnancy include:
- Wear loose-fitting clothing during pregnancy
- Ensure you don’t put on too much weight during pregnancy
- Eat a diet with lots of healthy fats and proteins (or a collagen-rich diet)
- Develop a cardio and strength training routine
- Keep hydrated – drink lots of water
- Exfoliate and massage oils onto your tummy
- Try skin-firming creams
In general, to avoid your skin stretching, it’s best to remain healthy and avoid weight gain. However, loose skin post-pregnancy can still occur. If you’re struggling with loose stomach skin following pregnancy, read on to explore treatment options.
How to Tighten Stomach Skin After Pregnancy
There’s a range of skin tightening treatments for stomach available, both surgical and non-surgical. Some treatments work better than others. Tummy tuck is the most reliable stomach skin tightening treatment for postpartum mothers.
If you have excess weight to lose as a result of your pregnancy, it’s best that you do this in a sustainable way. Fast-tracked weight loss can increase the chances of developing saggy belly skin after pregnancy.
Non-Surgical Options to Tighten Loose Skin After Pregnancy
There are many non-surgical options available that can help with stomach loose skin. These include:
Diet and Exercise
Eating healthy, drinking plenty of water, and exercising regularly can help improve loose skin. This is because it helps promote collagen. You may also choose to adopt a collagen-rich diet by increasing your intake of:
- bone broth
- fish & shellfish
- egg whites
- citrus fruits
- bell peppers
Radio Frequency Skin Tightening
This involves using radio frequency energy to gently heat the deeper layers of the skin. The heat promotes collagen production, which helps to tighten loose skin after pregnancy
Ultrasound Skin Tightening
This treatment also uses heat and energy to target loose skin underneath your skin. Ultrasound waves can reduce loose skin, resulting in firmer and smoother-looking skin.
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Skin Tightening
This treatment involves using your own platelet-rich plasma, which is in your blood. This PRP is injected into the loose skin around the stomach area to help it tighten and restore its elasticity. This can be a good treatment for loose skin on a postpartum belly.
Creams and Lotions
Certain creams and lotions can help to improve loose skin after pregnancy. These may contain ingredients such as collagen, retinoids, and vitamin C.
These ingredients can help to strengthen skin elasticity, reduce wrinkles and tighten loose stomach skin. Please note there is little evidence to support the effectiveness of this to tighten belly skin after pregnancy. Creams may achieve a temporary improvement but are unlikely to remove loose skin in the long term.
Plastic Surgery Options to Tighten Loose Skin After Pregnancy
If loose skin doesn’t improve with the above treatments, plastic surgery may be an option. The most popular surgical procedure to tighten skin on stomach is a tummy tuck (Abdominoplasty). This procedure can remove excess fat and loose skin from your abdomen. The result is often a smoother and flatter stomach area.
Tummy Tightening Surgery
Loose tummy skin surgery is a more invasive procedure than the other treatments, but it can provide more dramatic results. During this procedure, loose skin is removed from the stomach area and loose abdominal muscles are also tightened. This helps to create a firmer, flatter stomach after pregnancy.
All of these treatments have their own pros and cons. It’s best to speak to a specialist plastic surgeon if you’re considering skin tightening treatment for stomach. They can help you weigh up the benefits and risks of each treatment and determine which is the best option for you.
Does Tummy Tuck Remove Stretch Marks?
As well as removing excess skin after pregnancy, this procedure may also remove stretch marks from the lower abdomen. Please note that this surgery will only remove stretch marks on the excised skin. It will not treat the entire tummy area.
How Long Will the Results Last?
Results from stomach loose skin surgery can last for several years. It will last as long as you maintain a healthy lifestyle and don’t gain excessive amounts of weight. If your weight fluctuates, loose skin may reappear. This is why it’s so important to follow a healthy diet and exercise program post-surgery.
For non-surgical treatments, results may not be as long-lasting, so you may need to repeat these treatments. It’s best to consult with an aesthetic clinician for advice about non-surgical options to tighten belly skin.
Treating Stretch Marks After Pregnancy
Many postpartum women experience stretch marks and loose skin after pregnancy.
Just as with any other scar, stretch marks are permanent, though they usually fade over time. If you find them bothersome, there are treatments that may lessen their appearance. Some possible treatments for stretch marks include:
Laser Skin Resurfacing
This procedure helps reduce the appearance of stretch marks by stimulating collagen production.
This involves exfoliating the skin to remove dead skin cells and stimulate new cell growth. This may help improve the appearance of stretch marks.
This is a procedure that uses tiny needles to create microscopic channels in the skin. This can help to stimulate collagen production, which may reduce stretch marks.
Retinol creams can help to reduce the appearance of stretch marks, as they may improve skin texture.
Red-light therapy has been shown to help reduce the appearance of stretch marks. It does this by promoting collagen production and reducing inflammation.
Please remember that loose skin and stretch marks after pregnancy won’t disappear overnight. But, these treatments can help improve their appearance. If you are looking for a treatment for stretch marks after pregnancy, it is important to seek advice from an experienced clinician. They can advise on the best option for your individual needs.
Most Helpful Methods For Reducing Loose Belly Skin After Pregnancy
Loose tummy skin after pregnancy is a common problem and can be difficult to improve on its own. There are surgical and non-surgical treatments that can help to tighten loose skin on the stomach.
The most reliable and useful treatment is tummy surgery. This is because it removes loose and excess skin and also tightens the abdominal muscles. Other non-surgical options may provide some temporary improvement in loose belly skin. However, it’s unlikely they will provide the same long-lasting results as surgery.
Does a Postpartum Saggy Belly Go Away on Its Own?
With time, your postpartum belly will start to reduce on its own. Although, there are a few things you can do to help the process along from home. After your doctor gives you the OK, try and work some exercise into your daily routine. Even if it’s just a walk around the block or some light bodyweight exercises.
Will Stretched Skin Ever Go Back to Normal?
If you lose a small to moderate amount of weight, your skin will likely retract back on its own. Using home remedies may also help in this situation. However, if you lose a significant amount of weight (ie. after pregnancy), body-contouring surgery or other medical procedures might be necessary to tighten or get rid of the loose skin.
How Long Does Loose Skin Take to Tighten?
It can take weeks to months—and sometimes even years—to see results. If your skin is still loose after 1-2 years, chances are it won’t get any tighter.
Book a Surgery Consultation
If you’re considering treatment for loose skin after pregnancy, it’s important to speak to a specialist plastic surgeon (like Dr Doyle). He can advise you on the best option for your individual needs. He will also be able to discuss the risks and benefits of each treatment and help you decide which is right for you.
About Dr Mark Doyle FRACS (Plast) – Queensland Plastic Surgeon
Servicing patients in Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Cairns and New South Wales NSW – Northern Rivers, Byron Bay, Ballina, Lismore and more.
Dr Mark Doyle is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon with over thirty years of experience performing Breast, Body, Face and Nose surgery. Dr Doyle is a fully qualified Specialist Plastic Surgeon with 30+ years of experience. He has completed all required training and only carries out approved surgical practices. There are absolutely NO undertrained doctors or cosmetic doctors acting as surgeons in our clinic.
As a highly esteemed plastic surgeon, Dr Mark is committed to achieving the best possible results for all his breast, body, face and nose patients, both men and women.
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