Following pregnancy many experience saggy belly skin. Follow these tips to help firm and flatten.
Women often ask me: what about the stretched out and saggy belly skin? Is there anything I can do about it? The truth is, skin elasticity is largely up to genetics and age, but there are a few things you can do to boost skin recovery post-pregnancy.
First of all, anything you can do to improve and strengthen the integrity of the connective tissue will help the skin snap back. Keep doing your daily core compressions! Combine each squeeze with a Kegel for optimal effectiveness.
Beyond the circulation benefits of light to moderate cardio (something you would get from brisk walks or from the 25 minute workouts in The Dia Method system), cardiovascular exercise will not do much to improve the stretched out skin on your belly. In fact, overtraining for endurance activities can actually stress out your skin and make it worse.
On a nutrition level, cod liver oil is an exceptionally bio-available food source of vitamins A & D plus omega-3’s, all of which are excellent for skin health. Carlson is a superior brand that tests for mercury, and their lemon flavor is fresh and delicious – not at all fishy. But you can also choose gel caps if that’s more appealing. Salmon and chicken (both with the skin!), berries, plain whole milk yogurt, grass-fed butter, liver & traditional soup broths are all terrific choices to nourish the skin and connective tissue.
Avoid sugars and refined carbohydrates. They sabotage skin health.
Hydration is very important- keep yourself well hydrated, both inside and out. Drink plenty of water, and salt food to taste (do not restrict salt as this can disrupt mineral balance and hydration). Several times a week, gently massage your choice of natural oils (coconut oil, olive oil, castor oil) into the skin after a shower or bath, when the skin is moist and warm. These conditions maximize absorption. Castor oil has the added benefit of uniquely deep penetration to soften and release scar adhesions, so choose castor oil if you’ve had a C-section or other abdominal surgeries – even in the distant past. It’s never too late to release the scars and improve your skin.
A couple times each week, soak for 10-15 minutes in a warm mineral salt bath sprinkled with Epsom salts & essential oils. This combination can help restore mineral balance & deeply nourish the skin. (Plus the salt prevents the essential oils from clogging your tub!)
And finally, a supplement to consider for saggy belly skin and joint health is collagen. Ask your doctor before taking this or any supplement to ensure it’s appropriate for you. Many of my clients have noticed dramatic improvements in both their skin and their joints within a week or two of adding an oral collagen supplement.
Implement the above tips for six weeks and make note of your skin’s appearance on a weekly basis. Perhaps even take a photo each week under similar conditions. It takes time for the skin to recover, but these self-care strategies help speed things along as they support your body’s natural healing process.