Body Changes After Pregnancy: How To Get Your Body Back

By Chuma Chike-Obi, MD March 30, 2017 2 Comments

body changes after pregnancy

It is known that pregnancy can alter the female body due to hormonal changes, weight gain or loss, and childbirth. Many women subsequently experience issues including loose abdominal skin, stretch marks, spider/varicose veins, weight gain, drooping breasts, and loss of breast volume.

While some of these body changes are temporary and may self-correct, other changes will not reverse on their own. There are many treatment options that can help interested women get their body back after pregnancy.

Here are 7 common body changes caused by pregnancy, along with the best cosmetic treatments to address them.  We hope you find this information useful.

The Change: Drooping Breasts

After pregnancy and breastfeeding, some women may find that their breasts may appear “droopy”, saggy, or asymmetric in appearance. These changes are a result of the body’s natural response to fluctuations in the volume of breast tissue due to milk production. Additionally, nursing can stretch the breast skin and tissue creating a flat or stretched out appearance.

The Fix: Breast Surgery

Depending on a woman’s specific needs there are a number of surgical procedures to restore the breasts. Treatments include breast augmentation (the enhancement of breast volume through an implant or fat), breast lift (the removal of excess skin to reshape the breasts), or a combination of both procedures.

The Change: Belly Pooch

After pregnancy, some women may notice a stubborn belly ‘pooch’ which will not go away no matter how much they diet or exercise. This pooch may actually be due to a loosening of the abdominal muscle layers. Medically known as diastasis recti, this condition may be present along with excess abdominal skin

The Fix: Tummy Tuck

Tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure that tightens abdominal muscles and gets rid of excess fat and skin; resulting in a flatter, improved abdominal contour. A tummy tuck procedure can also correct any distortions to the belly button resulting from pregnancy.

The Change: Stretch Marks

It’s an inevitable part of pregnancy for some: with the expansion of the body comes the development of stretch marks (also called striae).   Stretch marks are the result of skin injury that occurs when it is expanded very rapidly. Many women develop stretch marks during or after their pregnancy.

The Fix: Laser Therapy

While the use of stretch mark creams can somewhat diminish the appearance of stretchmarks they are unlikely to completely resolve unless they are treated very early in their development.  Treatments such as intense pulsed light or Fraxel can minimize the appearance of stretch marks by resurfacing the skin.

The Change: Hair Loss

Many new mothers may encounter some unwanted hair issues including hair thinning or partial hair loss. These issues are due to hormonal changes. While this change can be alarming (especially when hair comes out in clumps), it tends to be temporary in the majority of women. However, there is a great non-surgical treatment for restoring the hair to its pre-pregnancy fullness.

The Fix: ProPlasma

ProPlasma Hair Restoration is a non-surgical treatment that utilizes the body’s own platelet rich plasma (PRP) to help restore hair in patient’s experiencing thinning hair of the scalp or eyebrows. Learn more about ProPlasma

The Change: Skin Dryness and Itching

Some women may experience increasingly dry and itchy skin, both during and after their pregnancy. Like hair related issues, these changes to the skin have a lot to do with changes in hormone levels.

The Fix: H20 and Moisturizer

Making sure to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water and using a high quality moisturizer daily can go a long way in addressing these issues. If the conditions continue to persist, there are a variety of prescription medications that can help minimize symptoms.

The Change: Varicose and Spider Veins

During pregnancy, some women may experience swelling and puffiness in their legs along with the development of visible or protruding leg veins. After giving birth most of this swelling tends to subside and leg veins can improve (with postpartum weight loss). However, developed varicose veins and spider veins will never go away completely on their own.

The Fix: Vein Treatments

Many women will find the appearance of spider and varicose veins after pregnancy. Depending on the type of vein and its location there are several non-surgical or surgical vein removal options including treatments, sclerotherapy, and micro-incision phlebectomy.

 


Chuma Chike-Obi, MD

Chuma Chike-Obi, MD completed a 6 year residency with the Division of Plastic Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine and Affiliate hospitals in Houston, Texas. Dr. Chike-Obi specializes in cosmetic surgery, including facelift, blepharoplasty, breast augmentation, liposuction, rhinoplasty, and reconstructive breast surgery.


2 Responses to “Body Changes After Pregnancy: How To Get Your Body Back”

  1. Lisa says:

    Great post, thanks for sharing. I’m currently thinking about a mommy makeover. I was wondering if it’s best to do after having your last child? I’m still not completely certain that we are finished having kids.

  2. WD Staff WD Staff says:

    Hi Lisa, thanks for reading our post. We did a great post on mommy makeover timing here: https://www.westlakedermatology.com/blog/ideal-mommy-makeover-timing

    Please feel free to give us a call if you have any additional questions.

    Thanks,
    WD Staff

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