Unless you're a celebrity or a fitness model it's likely that your tummy has not regained it pregnancy shape mere days after birth. However, there is nothing to feel worried about. Your abdomen stretches during the nine months of pregnancy to accommodate your baby. Therefore, it is natural that it shall take at least that much or more time, to tighten back to its original shape.
How fast your skin gets tightened usually depends on how active you were during your pregnancy. Also several other factors are responsible like your genes and bone structure, how much weight you have gained,
Here are some tips that will aid in tightening skin and overall regaining your shape after pregnancy:
1. Increase Your Water Intake
Water is an elixir for your body. It not only hydrates your skin but makes it more elastic. It helps in burning calories more efficiently It is a great way to keep your skin healthy and tight.
2. Breastfeeding Helps
Apart from being a healthy source of nutrition for your baby, breastfeeding is very important for you too. When you breastfeed, your calories are transformed into milk, thereby helping you lose the extra fat. It's like a workout on your couch!
3. Exercise is Essential
It is important to indulge in activity or exercise regime once your body is ready post-delivery. Make sure your doctor gives you the go-ahead to start before you begin. You can start with daily walking or postpartum yoga. Rigorous exercise like aerobics or cardio can work wonders on your abdomen. It also helps in strengthening your stomach muscles and burning calories.
4. Consume Proteins
Protein is good for muscle growth. It also contains an important nutrient called collagen which helps in firming your skin. It also helps you stay full making it easier to stick to your eating plan and avoid sugary snacks.
5. Exfoliate Your Skin
Another good way to tighten your skin is to use an exfoliating scrub on your belly when you take a shower. It helps in increasing the blood circulation by increasing the flow of blood in the area. It also creates new, healthy and more elastic skin.
6. Use of Lotions and Massage:
There are plenty of creams and lotions available in the market which contain collagen as well as Vitamin A, C & E. Apply such lotions on your loose skin as it will aid in skin tightening after pregnancy. You can massage with the lotion to improve the blood flow. Do this at least twice a day for good results.
7. No To Crash Dieting
When you opt for strict dieting, you might lose weight faster initially. But once you stop your regime the weight will bounce back faster.
To revive your body & mind and get your muscles back to pregnancy condition your can also book a Massage Mama postnatal massage in comfort and convenience of your home.
You may already be struggling to get a good nights rest with the ever growing belly and baby tap dancing around on your bladder at night. Leg cramps are the last thing you need! These nasties radiate up through the calves and up your legs and are deeply unpleasant way to wake up in the middle of the night. They are unfortunately a fairly common occurrence during pregnancy, usually kicking off in the middle of the second trimester.
So what causes them? There doesn't seem to be one conclusive answer. Theories include: fatigue from carrying pregnancy weight, compression of the blood vessels in the legs, and possibly diet — an excess of phosphorus and a shortage of calcium or magnesium. While getting off your feet at night seems like it would help, this is often when fluid retention and fatigue are at their worst, making the cramps that much more likely to strike.
If a cramp strikes straighten your leg and gently flex your ankle and toes back toward your shins several times. If this doesn't help try placing the sole of your foot on a cold surface. (tiled floor or a cold wall) If you can, get your partner to massage calf.
What you can do to help prevent them:
Although my gynae was quick to assure me that my morning sickness was a wonderful sign of a healthy pregnancy, that did little to cheer me up while attempting to function like a normal person during my first trimesters. There are many theories on the cause but the main culprits seem to be raging hormones and low blood sugar, particularly first thing in the morning.
This smoothie contains some tried and tested anti nausea remedies and gives a great nutritional boost. Optimally it would be served at your bedside when you wake to avoid you having to move around to much with that low blood sugar but if that's not working for you it'll do the trick later in the day too.
Morning sickness is unpleasant but it usually not crippling. If your symptoms seem unusually severe, talk to your medical care provider. There’s a more serious condition called Hyperemesis Gravidarum that sometimes requires more specialized treatment.
For a real feel good session make yourself a smoothie and book a relaxing prenatal massage right in the comfort of your home.
Prenatal massage has gained a lot of momentum over the past several years. Many women will seek massage specifically for their pregnancies even if they wouldn't have incorporated it into their schedules before. So, why is prenatal massage so important? In addition to all of the regular benefits, prenatal massage has some benefits specific to pregnant women.
Just like with regular massage, prenatal massage can help to improve circulation. This is especially important during pregnancy because your blood supply increases to about double the amount found in non-pregnant women. The improvement in your circulation from regular prenatal massage can result in benefits such as a decrease in swelling and a reduction of numbness/tingling. This can feel especially good in the last months of pregnancy when most women experience an increase in swelling in their legs and feet.
When you are pregnant, there are many things that can hinder your ability to breathe easily. First, your growing baby displaces your organs creating less space in your belly. This can restrict the amount that your diaphragm and lungs can move, and can decrease your ability to take deep breaths. Postural changes can also cause a decrease in space for the lungs to fill impeding breathing. Regular massage therapy can help to improve your breathing by helping to relieve some of the tension caused by postural changes, which can help you to feel like there is more space, and therefore more room to breathe.
Another common complaint during pregnancy is sinus congestion or sinus pain. This is due to an increase in the hormone Progesterone, which can cause swelling of your sinuses. Massage can help to ease sinus pain through the utilization of facial massage and acupressure.
Improved Gastro-intestinal Function
During pregnancy, the increased progesterone also causes your digestive system to slow down. It does this so that your food takes longer to digest, leaving more time for nutrients to be absorbed for the baby. This slow down in digestion can also lead to constipation, heartburn, a cit indigestion, gall bladder disease, bloating, and nausea.
Receiving regular massage during pregnancy can help to decrease these negative symptoms. It help to encourage faster food absorption which can speed up digestion. This can help to ease the negative symptoms listed above.
The skin can take a bit of a beating during pregnancy. Your growing belly makes the skin of your midsection tight, dry, and can cause stretch marks. Having soothing massage with oils that are beneficial for your skin can help to put moisture back into it making it feel less tight and dry. It can also help to decrease the appearance of stretch marks.
Relieves Musculoskeletal Discomfort
The changes in your posture as you are growing your baby can cause a whole host of uncomfortable symptoms which increase the later you get in your pregnancy. Your balance changes completely and you may experience symptoms such as sciatica-like pain, ligament pain, carpal/tarsal tunnel pain, restless legs, and headaches just to name a few. Regular massage is a great way to address all of these discomforts. It can help to release the muscular tension that builds up in the hips causing the sciatica-like pain. A massage therapist trained in pregnancy massage is able to recognize symptoms of ligament pain and has special techniques to help ease the pain. Carpal/tarsal tunnel pain is often caused or exacerbated by edema or swelling. Reduction in the swelling of hands and feet can help to ease symptoms of carpal/tarsal tunnel pain. Restless legs can be caused by overly tight calf muscles. While no deep work should be done on calves during pregnancy, superficial massage can help to relax the muscles enough that you will get some relief from restless legs.
Some women also experience what is known as Pubic Symphysis Dysfunction, where the ligament at the front of the pelvis separates. This causes a great deal of pain any time you do anything one sided such as walk, climb in and out of bed, climb stairs, etc. Massage therapy can help to correct it and has been known to even reverse it in some cases.
New mothers are under a lot of stress. Along with dealing with the regular stresses of their lives, they are also faced with growing a human baby, erratic hormones, and the fears and worry that can come along with becoming a parent. Massage is a great way to calm the mind and relax the body, helping to relieve some of the stress.
Good Preparation for Labor
Receiving regular massage therapy throughout your pregnancy can actually help prepare your body for labor. It can help to increase your flexibility and keep your joints supple and open. It can also help you to be more in tune with your body and what you are feeling by increasing your mind/body connection and creating kinesthetic awareness. Recognizing where you hold tension and learning to relax your muscles can work to your benefit when you are in labor. Massage can also help you get used to relaxing and focusing on your breath, both of which can aid you throughout labor and child birth.
Visit the PREGNANCY MASSAGE treatment menu.
When enjoyed in a vapouriser, essential oils are perfectly safe and an excellent way to feel uplifted and energised during pregnancy. It is only when applied directly to your skin that some warnings apply.
Essential oils are plant extracts that are extremely powerful, very potent and although highly concentrated, can have a significant impact on your body. For this reason, it's best to speak to a qualified professional before applying essential oils directly (and undiluted) onto your skin.
The benefits associated with using essential oils are bountiful, especially if used during pregnancy. There are many reports of essential oils aiding in the relief of pregnancy-related issues including nausea, swollen ankles and aches and pains. Essential oils can also help you feel relaxed, calm and balanced. Alternatively, if you need a punch of energy, there are a variety of oils to help boost your vitality and help to make you feel energised and uplifted.
Here are some pregnancy safe oils:
Massage Mama is an mobile massage therapy service operating in Cape Town central, Southern and Northern Suburbs
Massage therapy can be beneficial to people of all ages and conditions and is widely used to help obtain relief from many specific problems, including:
A technique involving deep bodywork designed to improve your circulation, take some of the strain off your muscles and joints, and generally re-energize you.
What It Does: Anyone who's ever had a professional massage (whether pregnant or not) knows that both body and mind feel better after a rubdown. Studies show that massage can reduce stress hormones in your body and relax and loosen your muscles. It can also increase blood flow, which is so important when you're pregnant, and keep your lymphatic system working at peak efficiency, flushing out toxins from your body. And it reconnects your mind with your body, a connection that's comforting during the constant changes to your body during pregnancy.
During pregnancy, regular prenatal massages may not only help you relax, but may also relieve insomnia, joint pain, neck and back pain, leg cramping, and sciatica. Additionally, it can reduce swelling in your hands and feet (as long as that swelling isn't a result of pre eclampsia), relieve carpal tunnel pain, and alleviate headaches and sinus congestion — all common pregnancy problems.
If your pelvis is aching, you're not alone. As many as 80 percent of pregnant women experience pelvic pain at some point, mostly in that final trimester when stress on the pelvic region is especially intense. It’s even more noticeable once lightening occurs (when your baby drops into the pelvic area in preparation for labor about two to four weeks before delivery — though many women won't experience it until they're in their first phases of labor). However it can hit at almost any point in the pregnancy, and its impact can range from minor ache (a few twinges, or a general feeling of heaviness and stress in the pelvic region) to debilitating (a searing sensation that wraps around your back and snakes down below your burgeoning belly). Pinpointing just what it is (or, rather, what it isn't) is tough because it's such a wide-ranging problem.
WHAT CAUSES IT?
Your increasingly heavy baby is burrowing deeper into your pelvis in preparation for birth, and that little (or not-so-little) head is now pressing (hard) against your bladder, hips, and pelvis — putting ever-increasing stress on the bones, joints and muscles in your pelvis and back. On the bright side, once the baby "drops," your uterus will stop pressing up against your diaphragm and lungs, which will let you (finally) take bigger and deeper breaths.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
You can pelvic pain from symphysis pubic dysfunction in that the discomfort is more generalized and isn't necessarily caused by the loosening of ligaments. And it’s not like sciatica in that the pain isn’t caused by pressure on your sciatic nerve, which means it’s more localized to your pelvic area (it doesn’t shoot down your legs).
WHAT YOU CAN DO
As new mothers we spend many hours of the day and night feeding our babies. Too often we unconsciously slouch into positions that stress our joints, ligaments, and muscles. This habit aggravates postpartum postural problems, and can cause painful muscle spasms and injury. Most couches and chairs are designed for style, not ergonomics, and provide insufficient support to the lower back. When it comes to furniture, one size definitely does not fit all, especially for women.
Without proper lower back support, it can be almost impossible to avoid rolling back onto the tailbone or sacroiliac joints as we sit and feed our babies. This position curves the spine, collapses the chest, and rounds the shoulders forward. Sitting for long periods of time with poor posture further stresses already lax postpartum ligaments, compresses vertebral disks, and increases muscular imbalances in the torso and shoulder girdle. And the result is PAIN!
Many new moms tend to bring their breast down to their baby during nursing, rather than bringing their baby up to their breast. Rounding the upper back makes the nipple hang downward at an poor angle for feeding. Large-breasted women often feel that they must lift the breast and turn the nipple with one hand so that it faces directly outward while nursing. This places a lot of strain on the wrist. In most cases, the nipple hangs at a poor angle because the mother’s shoulders and upper back are rounded. When the spine is in the neutral position, the nipple automatically lifts to an advantageous angle for feeding.
Because carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive stress injuries of the hand and wrist are common after pregnancy, continually supporting the breast while feeding is not advisable. Also avoid crossing the legs, or placing one ankle across the opposite knee, while nursing. These positions stress ligaments in the lower back, reducing the integrity and stability of the pelvis.
Give your body a much needed break by setting up an ergonomic breast-feeding station in your house. You’ll need a well fitting chair with arm rests and one or more pillows to ensure that your spine and shoulders are in the best position possible. A large water bottle is a good idea too.
In the ideal sitting position, your pelvis and spine will be in a neutral position, with the natural "S" curves of your spine intact. If not using a foot stool, your feet should rest flat on the floor with a right angle at both your knees and hips. Your body weight should rest on the bottom of your pelvis -- your "sit bones". Most chair backs tilt slightly back. This means that your spine will be neutral and on a slight back diagonal.
You can use a lumbar support pillow, or roll a hand towel into a cylinder and place it behind the small of your back to help support your spine. Lean your upper torso back into chair and allow your shoulders to drop down the back. Lengthen the back of you neck and roll your chin toward your chest. The center of your ears, shoulders and hips should form one long line. Since the neutral position increases the distance between your breasts and your hips, you might need an extra pillow to elevate your baby to the correct height.
If your breasts still need support in the neutral position, roll up a small towel or receiving blanket and gently wedge it underneath your breast to increase comfort. Ideally, your baby should be well balanced and at the correct height, so that you do not need to continually use your arms and hands to support her body weight during feedings.
Pregnancy and childbirth alter the dynamic structure of your body on many levels, leaving you in a weakened state that is vulnerable to pain and injury. By utilizing good postural habits while caring for your newborn, you can avoid and/or solve many common postpartum physical complaints.
Info from Helene Byrne. For more information visit www.exerciseafterpregnancy.com
The buildup of gas happens whether you are pregnant or not. However, you may discover more challenges with gas once you discover you are pregnant. One of the key contributing factors to experiencing more gas during pregnancy is the increased levels of progesterone. Progesterone is a hormone that causes the muscles throughout your body to relax.
Subsequently, your intestine muscles relax more which causes your digestion to slow down. The transient time through the intestine can increase by 30%. This allows gas to build up easier and creates bloating, burping and of course flatulence. Gas during pregnancy can also increase later in pregnancy when the enlarging uterus places pressure on your abdominal cavity. This pressure can also slow down digestion allowing gas to build up.
Unfortunately, the progesterone hormone muscle relaxation makes it harder to control the release of gas. Don’t be surprised if you ended up passing gas in an awkward situation creating a little embarrassment. Just laugh it off and blame it on the baby.
Specialized pregnancy massage in the comfort and convenience of your home.
Anice Lombard, Massage Mama. Mama of 2 and Massage Therapist