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Is there a way to prevent tummy skin sagging from pregnancy?
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Cautious newbie
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Wed Jun 27, 2007 7:10 pm      Reply with quote
I'm trying to get pregnant but am totally freaked out about no longer have taught skin on my stomach. I'm 32 now, so I suspect my skin isn't as elasticy and won't bounce back the way it would have if I did this at age 18!!

I've heard of people getting their stomach stapled immediately after giving birth so you can recover from everything at the same time.

I would prefer using preventative measures like exercise (if i have to...yuck)...if i went crazy with stomach crunches, will this prevent tummy skin sagging...anybody have any ideas?!!

THANKS!

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Diana P
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Wed Jun 27, 2007 8:00 pm      Reply with quote
For me I think breastfeeding helped. You use up alot more calories when you breastfeed. I have 2 kids, one that is 16 years old, and one that is 9 months old (I was 34 when I had him). Of course my starting weight of each pregnancy was not the same, but for each one I breastfed and almost got back to pre-pregnancy weight, and that was with nada for exercise and terrible eating habits (I crave chocolate constantly). I had a c-section for both pregnancies, so my stomach never went completely flat, but it's not to bad. I think if I applied myself and did some of the recommended exercises, then it would go flat again.
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Wed Jun 27, 2007 8:18 pm      Reply with quote
yes, i've definitely heard that breastfeeding helps you lose the weight quickly...but losing the weight isn't so much what i'm concerned about...it is the skin sagging/loose skin caused by it having been stretched out.

For example, when very very overweight people lose a lot of weight, their skin sags because it has been stretched out for so long..on their arms, their chest, etc...my understanding is the only way to fix this is to staple the skin.

just wondering if pregnancy is any different or if it is preventable because it is technically only being major stretched for a somewhat short time (around 4 months).

thanks!

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Wed Jun 27, 2007 8:28 pm      Reply with quote
Skin is actually very elastic and I think since you only have the extra weight for a short time, it goes back rather quickly. I think I was back in jeans in a couple months. I wouldn't worry about the skin, it's all the fat underneath that would make it sag. So as long as you eat properly during pregnancy, you don't have anything to worry about. You should probably do some light exercise while you are pregnant with your doctors OK, although I didn't and my stomach doesn't sag.
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Wed Jun 27, 2007 11:29 pm      Reply with quote
Not to worry at all. I've always been slim but when i got pregnant, well to cut a long story short i put on about 50lbs instead of the 30ish lbs you're supposed to gain. So you can just imagine how much my skin had to stretch! Fast forward to after i had my baby, i breastfed for 3months and dieted and exercised probably a bit too much because only then was i really concerned about getting my pre baby body back! Anyway,within a few months i was back in all my smallest jeans and NO loose or saggy skin Smile I was about your age then.....

Now on the other hand....................
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Thu Jun 28, 2007 4:50 pm      Reply with quote
phew...ok, that's good to know! hopefully my skin reacts the same way Smile

I know my sister in law is very very skinny overall, but she has saggy skin on her tummy, but then again, she had 4 kids!!

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Thu Jun 28, 2007 5:13 pm      Reply with quote
I had two babies (some time ago Wink ) and I always used cocoa butter. I don't know if they even make it anymore, it used to come in a stick. I used it for both, and I never even had one stretch mark! My gyn commented on it at my last visit. I tried to walk alot too.
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Thu Jun 28, 2007 11:24 pm      Reply with quote
I'm not going to candy coat it for you. Your body will change. You are growing people down there. (BTW, Your body holds a grudge. I think morning sickness is your uterus getting back at you for what are putting it through.) It is not easy on the body no matter what the age, but I think a lot of it comes down to genetics. If your mother got stretch marks, then you will probably get them too.

Some women get horrible stretch marks no matter what they slather on. My mother did not have any marks with me, but she did with my sister (She had my sister when she was 40). I think the severity of the marks comes down to genetics, overall fitness, and age. My mother had other issues with my sister and was much less active and had less muscle on her stomach. She got a couple marks, but they were not severe and faded to silver by the first birthday.

I was told by my doc there wasn't anything you put on that will prevent them, but I used cocoa butter anyway. I figured it couldn't hurt, right? I'd rather try anything, then do nothing. I also used a body oil after showers.

I did not get any stretch marks during pregnacy, but (like my mom) I got a couple during birth. Mine are hidden by underwear, but I still wish I didn't have them. The good thing is i don't notice them as much anymore. Surprised

FYI: I had my kid at 29. I am active, but I didn't bounce back as fast as I thought I would. My body changed - forever. It took me the same length of my pregnacy to get back.

My stomach has never gone 100% back. My husband doesn't see it and best friend thinks I'm silly. But I see the difference and you will too even if you are told it isn't noticable. It is your body and you will know what changes. I still have extra skin on my stomach. It isn't fat. I can only liken it to like when you lose a lot of weight and have extra skin? Plus, I do know that now my hips are wider, I have extra skin on my stomach, and my boobs deflated after nursing. The warranty on my body expired! Laughing

I don't want to worry you, just reassure you that in the end...it's worth it.

I still miss my old body at times, but then I look at the results and I am content. If my body didn't go thru all that crap, then I wouldn't have a beautiful little girl now.

I'm not saying it will be easy. There were many times I'd look at my body after birth and think, "OMG where did I go?", but I only had to look in that tiny little face and it made it worth it. I can't explain why, but I'm more content in my skin now than I was at 21.

Good luck to you getting pregnant! I would def. breastfeed afterwards as it helps your body return faster and ask your doctor about induction.

Note: If this is your first child, then they usually come late. Most docs won't let you go past 42 weeks (two weeks past due date). My girlfriend ended up with HORRIBLE marks after her first child. I think it important to note she DID get a lot of marks during pregnancy (she did use CButter), but when she missed her due date the marks became angry looking and very wide. Babies really grow crazy fast at the end and those two weeks make a big difference on baby size. I found out her mother and sister had bad stretch marks too. Poor Jessica never had a chance.

Induction is nice if you have a good doctor and you are ok with it. It never hurts to ask about all options. Oh, I had my child at 39 weeks. She was full term and I think her being smaller helped minimize the overall strain on my body.

Sorry this is so long, but I'm 34 and I can relate. I'm debating about another one myself.

Good luck to you and God bless!! And when you see a 22 year old mother jogging in a sports bra with great abs pushing a 2 month old...feel free to kick her in the shin for me before you coo over the cute baby!

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Fri Jun 29, 2007 6:42 am      Reply with quote
deanne123 wrote:
Note: If this is your first child, then they usually come late. Most docs won't let you go past 42 weeks (two weeks past due date). My girlfriend ended up with HORRIBLE marks after her first child. I think it important to note she DID get a lot of marks during pregnancy (she did use CButter), but when she missed her due date the marks became angry looking and very wide. Babies really grow crazy fast at the end and those two weeks make a big difference on baby size. I found out her mother and sister had bad stretch marks too. Poor Jessica never had a chance.

That could explain part of the reason I got stretchmarks with my first child and not the second. I went 2 weeks over with the first and of the 60 pounds I gained, 20 were in the last 4 weeks. When you are gaining 5 pounds a week, you'd think the doctor would have induced me, rather than just ask what I was eating. My baby was over 9 pounds. And yes, my stomach was rock hard and looked like it was about to pop, especially with all the dark red slashes through it. But they have pretty much disappeared, and since I only gained 35 pounds with the second pregnancy, no new stretch marks.

I think though the biggest change I noticed in my body was my breasts. They used to be small and perky, now they are big and saggy. Sad And my nipples! No one told me that your nipples could grow. Whats with that? Rolling Eyes
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Fri Jun 29, 2007 8:14 am      Reply with quote
I know i should not be so vain about myself....i mean it is all worth it and i am actually creating a life...BUT STILL!!!

And thanks for all the info without sugar coating...but man, I can't say I feel better Rolling Eyes

sagging boobs and sagging skin on the stomach...and what happens to the guys?!! they get a lot of sex while trying...oh the horror for them Wink although maybe my DH might have some suffering while he watches our money go to the plastic surgeon Laughing

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Fri Jun 29, 2007 9:14 am      Reply with quote
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I think though the biggest change I noticed in my body was my breasts. They used to be small and perky, now they are big and saggy. And my nipples! No one told me that your nipples could grow. Whats with that?


DianaP- Tell me about it! And don't get me started on weird hair growth! Also, what's up with vomiting and pooping before birth?? That wasn't in the books I read! Laughing

Catious Newbie- I don't think you are vain to worry about this stuff. It's normal. Besides, you are at the age where you are probably comfortable with your body and who can blame you? I think its in our 30's that we start to appreciate the things about yourselves that went either unnoticed or unappreciated in our teens and 20's.

I went thru a teen-type phase after baby where I was not happy with my body and wore baggy clothes a lot. I wore my maternity clothes way after birth because they hid me very well! I had to get to know me again (in a way). The good thing is I was mostly too tired to care! Laughing Laughing

It was about a year-1 1/2 after her birth that I started to re-focus on myself a bit. I figured there was stuff I couldn't change (like small stretch marks on the WhoWho, but I bought fancy underwear andthat helped). I started working on what I could change and not get too down on what I couldn't (I wish Reebok had pump to put on boobs though!). I really got used to having a nice rack...sniff. I figure that when my chest hits my knees I'm getting a boob job. There should be lots of advancements by then and it makes me feel better (even if I don't do it!). Until then, I have some push up bras and boy brief style underwear that makes what I have look better (bikini style makes my hips look huge). I am no swim suit model or crazy work out chick and I was NOT perfect before birth. But thanks to EDS, I have much better skin than I have had in years and that gives me alot of confidence.

As for the men....they get theirs. After baby you end up with HUGE boobs, BUT they are not for him! Talk about seeing a grown man sulk! By the time I didn't mind him touching them....well, lets just say they were not that impressive anymore. And nursing can dry you up downstairs...natures way of saying, KEEP YOUR LEGS CROSSED!" The poor men don't get any for quite some time. By my DH standards, that worse than stretch marks!

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Fri Jun 29, 2007 9:15 am      Reply with quote
I think that it's mostly genetics. I have a 2 year old and a 9 month old. Gained 35lbs with the 1st pregnancy and 25 with the second one. It took me about 4 months to lose all the weight with both of my pregnancies but the extra skin is there forever! When I look myself in the mirror I don't find it's that obvious but when I sit down I can kind of feel little rolls around my waist. I haven't started exercising (lack of time and motivation) but I doubt it will make a big difference. I think the best thing to do is to eat well when your pregnant and walk a lot. Keep yourself hydrated and keep your skin moisturized. After you give birth, continue eating well and, again, walk as much as you can.

Considering that I have two beautiful and healthy boys, I consider myself lucky that the only price to pay was a few inches of loose skin. Wink
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Fri Jun 29, 2007 10:50 am      Reply with quote
these stories are so great Smile !!

i bet i am going to be like suzielap...i'm chinese, so i'm very small framed and skinny right now...and i don't think i will gain tooooo much weight (i hope) and hopefully not too much trouble losing it...

but the few inches of lose skin...man...i guess i'll just have to wait and see !!

i've heard about women not feeling right about having the baby and DH touching the boobs...since mine are pretty small right now, i can't imagine them getting particularly big, but i guess my DH will never get the benefit in any event!

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Fri Jun 29, 2007 12:29 pm      Reply with quote
Heh, these stories ARE really great! I've always heard that you should both take flax seed oil as a supplement (obviously make sure your doc knows everything you're taking and OKs it) and should also apply skin oil outside. That helps a lot with skin's elasticity.

I am so, so pleased to hear on this thread that your nipples change with pregnancy. I have big breasts (DD) but TINY nipples (AA-sized, proportionally!) and I was always worried that it wouldn't be enough for my baby to nurse on when the time comes. This is a relief! It's funny, I'm so comfortable chatting about all the nitty gritty details with women who are pregnant, and most of my friends who have started having kids are keen to gush about all the weird quirks, but no one I've ever talked to has had this problem before, so I was sans advice. THANKS!

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Fri Jun 29, 2007 2:16 pm      Reply with quote
ginnielizz wrote:
I am so, so pleased to hear on this thread that your nipples change with pregnancy. I have big breasts (DD) but TINY nipples (AA-sized, proportionally!) and I was always worried that it wouldn't be enough for my baby to nurse on when the time comes. This is a relief! It's funny, I'm so comfortable chatting about all the nitty gritty details with women who are pregnant, and most of my friends who have started having kids are keen to gush about all the weird quirks, but no one I've ever talked to has had this problem before, so I was sans advice. THANKS!

Laughing I really should clarify myself though, it's actually the areola that gets larger, not the nipple itself. But I think you knew what I was talking about. And I had small pink areolas that went big and dark and just stayed that way. Sad I don't think it happens to everyone, I guess I was one of the "lucky" ones. I recently read that the areola gets darker and bigger to help a newborn baby see it better, kind of like a bullseye. Guess it all makes sense now, but it sure didn't 17 years ago when it happened. Oh and my belly button is deformed now too. Laughing
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Fri Jun 29, 2007 2:24 pm      Reply with quote
Hm - I guess I'm still freaked out about being able to breastfeed, then! Haha, thanks for the clarification though. I'm just going to assume that nature will take care of itself SOMEHOW and my kid won't have to go hungry.

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Sun Jul 01, 2007 11:07 am      Reply with quote
Ginnie- Nature will take care of it. It is amazing sometimes. If you encounter any issues, then ask a Lactation(?) Nurse. There are specialists that can help you if you really want to nurse when the time comes.

BTW- You are 26 with DD funbags...I might kick you in the shin for GP. Bad Grin

Seriously, I think you will be fine!

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Sun Jul 01, 2007 3:59 pm      Reply with quote
I was 30 when I got pregnant with my 1st and only child. I exercised more or less regularly pre- and during pregnancy and used tonnes (literally - tonnes!! Shock ) of cocoa butter cream and baby oil on my skin - everything from breasts to knees! I was like a slippery fish every night when I got to bed Very Happy. I gained a total of 24 lbs during the pregnancy.
My skin shrunk right back to where it was pre-pregnancy within about 3-4 months. My breasts too went back to the pre-pregnancy shape and size as soon as I stopped breastfeeding (when my baby was about 11 -12 months old).
Where I noticed a permanent change in my body was not the skin - but the hips. They are now definitely wider than before. But all in all - I didn't have any problem getting back to my old figure.
Good luck!!

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Mon Jul 02, 2007 3:17 am      Reply with quote
what really messes you up is gaining too much weight.Dont gain more than 20 lbs when you are pregnant,the baby only weighs maybe 10 pounds.Put lots of lotion on stomach while you are PG. And buy a bosu ball with a video-thats the best thing to whip your stomach in shape. It forces you to use every muscle in your stomach. Every olympic athlete owns one because it constantly challenges your muscles and you can never master it.You can buy it on the internet for 120.I tried to get it cheaper from ebay etc.....but its one product you cant find cheap!
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Mon Jul 02, 2007 6:36 am      Reply with quote
I was 21 and 23 when I had my first 2 and it went back fast and noone could tell. Head another at 38 and it is stretched beyond hope. I will have to have surgery. Must have been age. easier when you are younger.
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Mon Jul 02, 2007 12:45 pm      Reply with quote
deanne123 wrote:


BTW- You are 26 with DD funbags...I might kick you in the shin for GP. Bad Grin



Hehehe, you don't know the half of it - I'm not even a third of the way through my life expectancy, and I already have saggy old lady boobs. Plus nothing fits and I look trampy or just fat when things don't button up over that zone. Can't fit into the cute lines of lingerie that go up to a C cup, and if you do find something nice, each cup looks like a helmet of some sort. And when I gain weight, they gain with me, but when I lose, they deflate and get even droopier! Not really complaining, as I like what God/genetics gave me - just to show you the other side of the coin, haha, so you don't kick me TOO hard. I like my funbags Smile but there are days I would so trade them for a B-cup in a heartbeat. Grass is always greener, right?

But seriously, it's good to know that I don't need to worry about it too much - after reading this forum thread, I said out of the blue the other day to my SO that I was worried my nipples weren't big enough for a baby to nurse, and you should've SEEN the look he gave me! Hilarious! It was worth it. Smile

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Mon Jul 02, 2007 1:05 pm      Reply with quote
I am one of those who has lost all their baby weight and still am not my previous size. I have extra skin. Sigh. Anyway, here is a site *Contains NUDITY*http://www.theshapeofamother.com/that shows the changes that have occurred in to womans body after giving birth. It is a great site and it made me feel a lot better to know I am not the only one hiding stuff underneath my layers of clothing.
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Mon Jul 02, 2007 5:02 pm      Reply with quote
OK,
I'm one more that escaped pregnancy without any extra skin- no stretch marks either. I have to agree that extra weight is probably a part of it, I didn't gain more than 30 pounds with either baby. Also, I had my first at age 34 and second at 36, so it is possible to bounce back even in your thirties. But, having said all that, I really think genetics plays a big part. My mom didn't get the loose skin or stretch marks either. So, it might be best to peek at your mom, see how it went for her.

And yes, my hips definitely got bigger.
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