How to: Return to the old you after baby

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Returning to the old youWith all the ads, commercials and TV drama surrounding what we should look like post baby, it can’t be too easy to just enjoy your nine months of joy before the real hard work starts. The best way to get through enjoying your pregnancy is to remember the life you’re creating, but for those other days, here are some safe tips to aid you on your journey back to the old you.

Body wraps

A series of detoxing body wraps might be a great way to relieve the body of excess water retention, air and bloating. Sometimes wearing a compression garment can be uncomfortable so if you’re in too much pain after a C-section or too uncomfortable all together, visit a salon that specialises in body wrap courses.

They generally last between eight and ten sessions and help the body to naturally relieve itself of excess water retention, which is usually the culprit. Most of these wraps contain products that are safe for you to use while breast feeding and can be done within four weeks after giving birth. Exfoliations are usually included, but if not then opt for this as an added extra. Having your skin exfoliated helps open up the pores of your skin, releasing toxins that become trapped between the muscles and fat cells. This is also a great way to get your skin to feel good, which in turn will make you feel good. Losing the baby weight slowly is always a better option than doing it quickly.

Topical creams

Before you delve into the nearest salon or supermarket to purchase every firming, fat-fighting or weight-reducing cream, oil or lotion, consider the following:

* are you still breast feeding
* have you experienced any ill feeling during your pregnancy
* has you skin become sensitive in any way, developed an ailment like mild eczema or dermatitis

Not all of the available products on the market contain ingredients that sink right into your blood stream, but many do. Beta hydroxy acids (BHA), alpha hydroxy acids (AHA), glycolic acids, retinoids (Retino-A) salicylic acid – all these are ingredients that affect your body and can be harmful to the baby during and after pregnancy. Breast feeding should also be a concern because whatever you place in your body will be transferred to baby. Creams and oils containing the above mentioned are highly absorbent because they are so highly effective. It’s safer to wait till after breast feeding to start using those.

Excessive dieting and the effects it has on your body during pregnancy are overwhelming to say the least. It’s been proven that women who try and stay slim just before attempting to fall pregnant and who diet and workout excessively during and after pregnancy stand at a higher risk of ruining their baby’s immune system. For once the fat in our body is a great thing. There is a reason why you are meant to pile on the kilos and it’s simply because your baby needs the good bacteria and nutrients that your body already has stored in its fat cells to help cushion them from poor birth weight, low immune systems, bacterial infections after birth and an inability be 100% healthy. You pass on everything to your little one so be careful not to skip certain meals in an attempt to stay skinny. Opt for a walk to work off a meal rather than a hectic gym class. Drink lots of water to keep skin taut and your system functioning. Avoid the urge to skip on carbohydrates because this is one of the main things your growing baby will need from your body. Carbohydrates become our body’s natural blanket and your baby needs to build a blanket of their own. So say yes to potatoes, in moderation of course.

Body binding

This is a great way and an old remedy for solving the lumps and bumps, but wait till you are completely comfortable before attempting this. If you’ve had a C-section, give your tummy a chance to heal. The discomfort won’t just make you miserable, but your baby will pick up on it too. Rather stick to mild methods of this activity by wearing support underwear instead of the bands used after liposuction. Apply a mild tightening cream and then use your band. Also try apply your cream and wrapping your skin in cling wrap for 20 minutes to help detox in the comfort of your own home. Either way, be sure to stay as comfortable as possible and to be as safe as possible for the sake of your baby and getting back into your old jeans.

Image: Shutterstock.com

Written by

Adele Ross is a senior stylist at Spoilt Hair and Beauty Salon based in Green Point, Cape Town. Her love for hair started when she was a little girl, and has been in the hair dressing trade for roughly 10 years, working as a professional stylist and a make-up artist. Spoilt Hair and Beauty Salon is a boutique hair and beauty salon specialising in cutting and styling, colour, hair extensions, hair and scalp nourishing treatments, manicures, pedicures, facials and massages. Call 021 434 7112 for more info.

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  1. SG

    I once went for a caffeine body-wrap. I didn’t expect it to work but it did. My thighs were definitely smoother and there was barely any cellulite left after…… It may take several sessions depending on how much you have to lose/tone. I was surprised at the difference I saw after just one session!

    4 years ago •

  1. AndreaM

    Belly binding started in Africa. We don’t play games. As soon as that baby pops we bind the tummy, that’s why natural birth is preferred.

    4 years ago •

  1. Mikki

    I wore tight pants after my C-section and it definitely helped reduce my tummy. Breastfeeding also helped get me back in shape sooner.

    5 years ago •

  1. Mpoyif

    Excellent tip. The body binding really works – I wrapped my tummy in crepe bandage for about 6 weeks after all three pregancies and my stomach is flat

    5 years ago •

  1. Chicara

    Great tips. I will show to my pregnant friend. :)

    5 years ago •

  1. Humphreys

    Good tips. Wish i had these when i was pregnant (or after)..

    5 years ago •

  1. Angelisha

    Havnt tried the Body Binding. Would love to!

    5 years ago •

  1. Sam

    Interesting article. Thank you for the tips

    5 years ago •

  1. Firefly

    Thankyou for this informative article!!

    5 years ago •

  1. Noma

    Printing this for my pregnant cousin who is unhappy with her weight gain… she thinks it’s the end of the world for her..

    5 years ago •

  1. Angelisha

    The Body wrap also sounds like a Perfect Pick me up.

    5 years ago •

  1. Tasha

    Very useful. Going to send it off to my pregnant friend. I am sure she would like to read this article.

    5 years ago •

  1. Maddy

    Thanks for the tips and being a mother of two I can well relate to article.

    5 years ago •

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