Although loose skin can be frustrating, it's a common result of pregnancy. Whether you've experienced a Cesarean or vaginal delivery, losing baby weight and tightening loose skin involves eating a healthy diet, exercising and getting plenty of rest. Your body has undergone several changes during pregnancy and delivery, and your skin may not return to its prepregnancy shape. Most physicians suggest a recovery period of six to eight weeks following a C-section. Talk to your doctor before beginning an exercise routine.
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Eat a healthy diet full of fresh produce, whole grains, low-fat dairy and lean proteins. Avoid sugary drinks, high-fat foods and empty calories. Reach for healthy snacks, including dried or fresh fruit, low-fat yogurt, vegetable sticks and nuts, when cravings strike. A healthy diet provides the energy necessary for caring for your infant, while helping you ditch belly fat contributing to loose skin.
Aim for at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise on most days of the week. Cardiovascular exercise burns body fat and calories, while strengthening muscles and building stamina. The Mayo Clinic suggests starting out with light activity, such as biking, walking, or swimming. Increase the intensity of your workout as your strength returns.
Perform strength-training exercises two to three times a week. As you tone your muscles, the skin covering those muscles appears tighter. Choose exercises that strengthen the upper or lower body while tightening your core. Work with free weights, resistance bands or machines, and medicine balls to increase intensity. Consult your doctor about any weight limitations before beginning a strength-training routine.
Do a series of abdominal exercises to tighten stretched abdominal muscles. Start by doing simple breathing exercises, kegel exercises and pelvic tilts. Once your abdominal muscles regain strength, perform crunches, including a bicycle crunch. Bicycle crunches work your oblique and lower abdominal muscles. Perform three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions of each exercise. Include abdominal exercises in your workout routine every other day to give your muscles time to recover.
Choose a multivitamin containing vitamins, A, C and E. These vitamins help hydrate the skin, improve elasticity and promote the growth of skin cells, according to CareFair.com.
Consider body contouring or a tummy tuck if diet and exercise do not tighten loose skin. Be aware of certain health risks accompanying surgery, including complications and infection. Women should avoid having a tummy tuck until they are finished birthing children and six to nine months postpartum, warns MSNBC fitness experts.