If you’re like most new moms, there’s probably only one thing that could make life with your new baby better than it already is, and that’s being able to ditch the maternity clothes and slip into your old jeans. The average woman gains about 30 pounds during pregnancy, and can expect to lose 18-20 of those pounds within the first month after giving birth. It’s those last few pounds that can be difficult to get rid of, especially if you suddenly find yourself dealing with unwanted cellulite.
Cellulite and pregnancy
Many of the new moms who come to see me here at the Anti-Aging Institute in Lexington, Kentucky, want to know why their remaining baby weight is so hard to shed, and why they seem to have more cellulite after pregnancy.
First off, let me assure you that cellulite isn’t really all that different from normal fat. Cellulite is what you see when normal fat pushes up against connective tissue, causing puckered areas in your skin. This dimpled skin, which is often likened to the texture of an orange peel or cottage cheese, is most common around the thighs and buttocks, but you may also see it on your lower belly, upper arms, or breasts.
You probably already know that cellulite mostly affects women, but what you may not know is that going through a pregnancy increases the likelihood that cellulite will appear somewhere on your body.
Strategies for postpartum weight loss
When you were pregnant, you adjusted your eating habits to support your growing baby. Now that your baby’s here, it’s time to take a look at those habits so you can make the best nutritional choices to support healthy weight loss.
An easy approach is to focus on fresh foods that are high in dietary fiber. Whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds contain both dietary fiber and a variety of vitamins and minerals. Such foods can help you feel fuller for fewer calories while still meeting your body’s nutritional needs. This is especially important if you’re nursing your little one, because you’ll need to continue consuming enough calories to support breast milk production.
Eating slightly smaller portions — not skipping meals or snacks — can also help you safely shed extra weight over time, without compromising the quality of your diet or your milk supply. Keeping the junk foods that you find tempting out of the house is another helpful strategy.
If you’re just not sure where to start, we offer nutrition coaching services to give you all the tools you need to take charge of your postpartum diet.
Before you get serious about tackling lingering baby weight, make sure you’ve given yourself enough time to recover from childbirth. Because many of the physiological changes of pregnancy persist for several weeks after delivery, it’s a good idea to ease yourself back into any exercise routine, especially if you didn’t exercise while you were pregnant.
This may mean taking slow, easy walks every day and strengthening your pelvic floor muscles with Kegel exercises for the first few weeks. Depending on your overall fitness level and the type of birth you had, your OB/GYN can tell you when it’s safe for you to get back into the swing of things.
Once you’ve been given the go-ahead, you can aim to build up to 30-60 minutes of moderately intense aerobic exercise three to six days a week, while supplementing with two or three days of strength training. If you have trouble finding the time to exercise, try including your baby in your routine. Take your baby out in the stroller for a brisk walk, or place your baby on the floor next to you as you stretch.
The Anti-Aging Institute offers personal training services as well as a variety of group fitness classes, so when you’re ready to take your exercise routine out of the house, we’d love to have you join us.
Getting rid of stubborn cellulite with Cellulaze®
Most new moms who visit the Anti-Aging Institute have already used diet and exercise to help get them close to their pre-baby body weight, but are having trouble getting rid of stubborn areas of cellulite. Luckily, I have an ideal solution: Cellulaze® by CynoSure® is a safe and effective way to eliminate cellulite without relying on worthless creams or resorting to liposuction surgery.
Cellulaze targets cellulite with thermal laser energy directly at its source, in the underlying structural tissue. During the treatment, a tiny laser fiber is inserted under your skin, where it delivers energy that gently heats the fat cells and releases the fibrous bands walling in those fat cells. As a result, you’ll see noticeably smooth, cellulite-free skin for up to three years.
Losing the weight or liposuction will likely not resolve cellulite. Cellulite happens because of a fiber band that binds the skin to the underlying tissue and cellulaze is the only minimally invasive therapy that removes those fiber bands.