New mums battle to regain their pre-pregnancy bodies
With celebrities snapping back to their former selves just weeks after giving birth, it's no wonder 40% of mothers say slim celebrity mums make them feel obliged to lose weight quickly.
And nearly half of mums to be are conscious of putting on too much weight whilst pregnant.
A third of women gain more weight than they had expected whilst pregnant (2st 6lb on average), and almost half (46%) find it harder to lose weight than they had imagined. New mums also feel pressured by family, with a third revealing they feel pressure from their partners, whilst 18% claimed their mother encouraged them to lose the weight and 16% were even pressured by their mother-in-law.
But without a personal trainer or a strict regime it takes the average new mum a little longer to get her pre-baby body back. Which comes as no surprise with new mums struggling to find the time or energy for weight loss, due to the increased time spent with their new born. A main area of concern for mums are their tummy and hips, with over half feeling it’s not possible to regain their pre pregnancy body.
Here Consultant Dermatologist Dr Justine Hextall explains the effect pregnancy has on the skin and shares her top tips for getting back into shape.
“Many people are surprised about the profound changes to their body shape and skin during pregnancy. In over 80% of pregnancies the mother to be will develop stretch marks. Pigmentation is also a common problem, this may be in the darkening of skin in a line from the pubic bone to the umbilicus or facial pigmentation, commonly known as chloasma. This pigmentation is stimulated by hormones, post-partum this will usually gradually fade but not in all cases.
I am often asked about stretch mark prevention. Unfortunately there is a genetic predisposition here, and although massaging skin with oils can help with symptomatic tightness and dryness, it cannot stop the changes occurring in the deeper layers of the skin. When the collagen is stretched beyond its limit the fibres separate often leaving red linear lines. This stretch most commonly occurs on the abdomen but can also form elsewhere for example on the breasts and thighs. The good news is that the redness will naturally fade over time leaving less noticeable silver lines. This reassurance however can be scant comfort in those first few months.
Unfortunately the media with its image of celebrities that seem to get back into shape within just weeks of giving birth seems to give unrealistic expectations to new mums. I would advise primarily focussing on resting, alongside some gentle exercise, and just enjoying the often exhausting but special time with a new baby. We are all different and it takes time to recover after such profound changes have taken place.
If getting back into shape is a priority then exercise, a healthy diet and good skincare will be the first steps. After that, there are treatments that can improve scarring, stretch marks and skin laxity. These can give new mothers the support and confidence boost that really makes a difference. The key however, is getting safe and appropriate advice and allowing yourself time before rushing into rigorous exercise regimes or more invasive treatments.”
The Harley Medical Group offer a wide range of laser and skin treatments to help new mums get their pre-baby body back.
STRETCH MARKS & SCARS: DERMAROLLER
This micro-needling treatment stimulates the skin to regenerate and repair naturally and safely, to provide smoother, healthier, younger-looking skin. It can significantly improve the appearance of scars and stretch marks as well as lines and wrinkles on the face and décolletage, aged and sun damaged skin.
Dermaroller utilises a sterile single-use medical device. The practitioner will use the device to produce thousands of micro-medical needle-columns in the skin. The column will close rapidly enabling the skin to recover quickly - often in the same day. A topical anaesthetic cream will be applied prior to the treatment to numb the skin making the treatment comfortable; it will normally take up to 60 minutes for the topical anaesthetic to work.
After Dermaroller the skin will appear instantly fresher and the body will start to naturally regenerate and repair the skin, working below the surface in the dermis. It may take up to 6 weeks before visible signs of regeneration and repair are seen as new collagen is formed, new skin cells are generated and blood supply is increased. The process will continue over the following months, providing a natural and long lasting enhancement.
The Dermaroller treatment course consists of a series of three or five treatments depending on the indication for treatment with approximately six weeks between them. Results vary from person to person therefore more treatments may be needed in some cases. Prices start from £120 per treatment and £295 for a course of three treatments.
STUBBORN AREAS: FAT REDUCTION
- New treatment gives an average loss of 2cm, for slimmer, tighter and smoother looking skin instantly
- i-Lipo Xcell is pain-free and non-invasive with clinically proven results
- The treatment works with your body’s natural fat reduction process to achieve lasting results
A clinically proven non-invasive body contouring system which instantly reduces stubborn areas of fat on the inner thighs, tummy or arms, slimming by 2cm on average per treatment. The treatment also improves cellulite, tightens skin and contours troublesome areas. It is a non-invasive and painless treatment, which gives long-lasting results.
This revolutionary, non-invasive and painless treatment combines Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), vacuum massage and radio frequency to reduce fat in targeted areas that can be difficult to get rid of with a healthy diet and exercise alone. The three-pronged treatment works by emptying fat cells, aiding the body’s lymphatic drainage system to move the fat cell contents for use and tightening the skin.
It is possible to treat a lady 6 weeks postpartum for non-invasive lipo, there are no contraindications. However, The Harley Medical Group we will not treat you if you are breastfeeding as your fat will be in 'storage mode' for the baby and you will not see the best results possible.
 Study conducted by wauwaa.com, polled 1,500 women who had given birth in the last five years.