Most women do not even give attention to their probability of having loose skin until they have reached their third trimester of pregnancy. It is only when they see thin, purple or red lines popping out across their abdomen that they realise the downside to pregnancy in terms of skin. Here are basic facts about post-pregnancy loose skin and other skin related problems that you may have to deal with.
Loose skin occurs when the unborn baby’s rapid development contributes to the enlargement of the uterus, thereby pulling the skin tightly. Loose skin occurs to about 90 per cent of all pregnant women. Unlike stretch marks that can be seen even when you are pregnant, loose abdominal skin is not evident until you deliver your baby. The amount of skin that is likely to show up loose depends and varies from woman to woman. Loose belly skin is worse if you give birth to a large baby or have experienced pregnancy with multiples.
A fibrous, stretchy protein named collagen is spread in different parts of the body including the skin and is a key ingredient for the skin’s stretchiness and suppleness. Stretching in the dermis at the time of pregnancy disrupts the collagen fibres. While the epidermis or the top skin later remains intact, the stretched dermis fails to retain its shape and results in tears, loose skin and stretch marks.
Loose skin that appears after delivery may be a blow to the self-esteem of many women. It is important to realise that loose skin and stretch marks are a natural part of pregnancy.
Genetics plays a vital role in determining whether or not you will develop loose skin after delivery. Considering that you cannot control but have loose skin eventually, focus on other aspects that can help you reduce the extent of disfigured skin by way of skin care, diet control and exercise. Eat a healthy diet during pregnancy to help you with the supply of nutrients without the likelihood of gaining weight. Make sure that you exercise regularly under the supervision of your health care provider to help the body keep its shape even after delivery. Stick to low-impact activities that include walking or activities that minimise pressure on your baby.
In most cases, loose abdominal skin stretches back to its original position over time. If you are eager to tighten the loose abdominal skin, you may opt for surgical removal of the respective area.
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