Postpartum Bellies

Postpartum Bellies

Growing a baby is tough work!

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Stretch marks- Getting these can be caused by genetics and/or a high amount of weight gain.
  3. 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.
  4. 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:

  1. Stay healthy and active- This is important in general!
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Laser therapy- This may improve the appearance of stretch marks. It can cost $2,000 and up.
  5. Microneedling- This may improve the appearance of stretch marks. It can cost up to $4,500.
  6. 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

Me and my weird Shein pajama set.

 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!

Pictures of postpartum bellies: https://www.boredpanda.com/women-after-giving-birth-postpartum-bodies-takebackpostpartum/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=organic

Stretch mark products: https://www.azhealthyfamilies.org/stretch-marks/creams/

Exercise/Nutrition During Pregnancy And A New Recipe

Exercise/Nutrition During Pregnancy And A New Recipe

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We all know that exercise is important for a healthy life. That means that when a woman is pregnant, they should still be exercising if they are able to. It will help in getting back into great shape after the pregnancy and dropping the pounds that were gained.

I know that in the first trimester (or for the entire pregnancy!) there can be mild to severe morning sickness or even Hyperemesis Gravidarum. In these cases I feel like finding the things that make one feel better is the more important than anything else.

When I was in my first trimester I had really bad evening (8:00 PM) sickness. Since that was the time that I was used to exercising, I had to adjust and try to exercise in the morning or earlier in the evening.

I was doing weight lifting until around 33 weeks and then I switched to body weight because I was getting uncomfortable. My belly really popped all of the sudden at 37 weeks and I felt like a complete whale.

I have seen women on social media showing themselves lifting weights at like 38 weeks pregnant. That is good for them but I would suggest for women to do what works for them and not feel bad if they do not feel comfortable enough to do that in the gym.

Nutrition during pregnancy

There is a big list of things to avoid eating as well as putting on your skin when you are pregnant. It is good to be aware of these things because you need to keep your baby and yourself from harm.

Admittedly, I did not follow the whole caffeine avoidance thing. I realize now that it could have really harmed my son and if I am ever pregnant again, I will try to give it up completely.  I just felt so incredibly tired and did not know how get any energy to work.

The cravings I had during pregnancy were banana bread and pizza. These are obviously not very healthy especially given the quantities I ate them in. I did manage to keep my weight gain at 25 pounds total for the whole pregnancy somehow. The OB/GYN scolded me for that even though it was within the recommendation range.

I do not think a women should feel ashamed if they gain more than the recommended 25-30 pounds during pregnancy. Even if a woman gains 150 pounds, they can still lose the weight after they give birth. It just might take some time and effort or it could even fall off quickly!

My new recipe

This has nothing to do with pregnancy but I decided to add it in the post.

I got up super early this morning and felt like baking for whatever reason. Homemade donuts sounded like a good thing to make for the family. There was some buttermilk in the refrigerator that was still good so I wanted to use that as my wet ingredient.

Since I am all about cooking with tea, I decided to put four Celestial Seasonings Honey Vanilla Chamomile tea bags into one cup of the buttermilk. I let that steep for 30 minutes and squeezed out the bags afterwards to get more of the tea into it. I then poured it in my bowl with the other ingredients (one egg, flour, salt, baking powder, butter, sugars, almond extract and vanilla extract) that were already mixed together.

I put the dough in a donut pan and cooked it at 400 degrees for 11 minutes. The result looked like this:

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Not quite donut-like but still wonderful! We can really taste the soft flavor of the tea in every bite. The texture of them is light and fluffy. I tried to make purple icing for them but it came out really bitter. It does not matter though because they are so great on their own.