It is no secret that a woman’s body can change after giving birth. When it comes to our bellies, some women find that they end up looking way different than before. After all, a new life was grown in them.
I am here to give another reminder that we are still beautiful!
What may happen to our bellies after childbirth
Many women have changes happen to their midsection after getting pregnant and giving birth. Some women out there are lucky enough to look exactly the same afterwards, but most do not fall in this category. That is perfectly okay!
Here are the ways that childbirth can alter the appearance of a woman’s midsection:
- Can cause diastasis recti- This is when the large abdominal muscles separate after giving birth. There will appear to be a bulge in the middle of the belly of the person that ends up with it.
- Stretch marks- Getting these can be caused by genetics and/or a high amount of weight gain.
- Loose and/or wrinkly skin- This is caused by the stretching of the skin that occurred during the pregnancy in order to grow the baby.
- Discoloration- Giving birth can lead to discolored skin that can last a long time in some cases.
These changes that women can end up with, may be really upsetting. Some report feeling ugly, fat, disgusting etc. Many also worry that their partners do not find them attractive anymore.
What can be done about post-child (or children) bellies
Some women may want to change the way their postpartum bellies look. Here are some ways that this can be achieved:
- Stay healthy and active- This is important in general!
- Healthy weight loss- Do not try to lose weight too fast after giving birth. This may cause even worse loose/wrinkly skin and stretch marks.
- Tummy tuck/surgical repair- This may help improve the appearance of diastasis recti and loose skin. The cost range for this type of surgery is $6,000-$12,000.
- Laser therapy- This may improve the appearance of stretch marks. It can cost $2,000 and up.
- Microneedling- This may improve the appearance of stretch marks. It can cost up to $4,500.
- Creams- There are creams that are made for improving the appearance of stretch marks and firming up loose skin. They may contain ingredients such as CoQ10, elastin, alpha hydroxy acids, collagen, DMAE and retinol. The cost can range from $10-$140+.
My post-child belly
I gained around 25 pounds during pregnancy which is pretty average. Throughout the months, I put on Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Stretch Mark cream all over my belly in hopes that I would not be left with any stretch marks afterwards.
Unfortunately, stretch marks showed up the very last two weeks of my pregnancy. I already had some stretch marks from puberty, so it was disappointing that I was going to have more.
I was still extremely excited to meet our son though!
After giving birth, the skin on my belly turned completely black. It was shocking. I was told it was normal for brown skinned women, but it was still unwanted.
In addition to the stretch marks and hyperpigmentation, I was also left with loose and wrinkly skin. I felt really ugly. Fortunately, my husband was really nice about it and said that it would look better in time.
He was right!
After my gradual weight loss and getting back into shape, my belly started to look a lot better. The stretch marks reduced in color and the hyperpigmentation went away.
I still have a little bit of loose and wrinkly skin on the lower part of my abdomen, but I can truthfully say that I am okay with it. No plastic surgery is wanted!
Our bellies have been through a lot!
It is totally normal to have a different looking belly after having children. We are not gross because of this. It can be hard to see it that way, but it is important to try. Doing things to improve the way our bellies look is only part of the equation.
Thanks for reading!
Stretch mark products: https://www.azhealthyfamilies.org/stretch-marks/creams/