Post-Pregnancy ConfidenceNovember 15, 2018
Having a baby is a beautiful, life-changing experience, so it only makes sense that your body changes as well. If you have stretch marks, if you’ve been running and planking for hours without any reduction to that little fat pocket on your abdomen, or if you’ve avoided running altogether because of a frustrating urinary leak, you’re not alone.
The most important thing is that you recognise these as normal changes that come to many women with children. We think it’s important that we can all be comfortable talking about them, so we’ve put together a list of skin and body-related concerns that new mums ask us about most. We’ve also included the celebrities who’ve had non-invasive treatments for these same post-pregnancy concerns.
Melasma is sometimes called the “pregnancy mask” because it can be triggered by a combination of pregnancy hormones and sun exposure. Melasma looks like brown or grey patches over the skin and it can be treated by using a pigment inhibiting serum or by laser treatments like Pico Rejuvenation.
Pico Rejuvenation uses a newer model of laser that relies on vibrational energy to break down pigment which your immune system then removes naturally. It’s known in the industry as a “cool laser” because it uses very little heat.
According to InStyle1 magazine, actress and dancer Jenna Dewan has had a similar laser treatment to deal with melasma. Drew Barrymore, who told InStyle that she doesn’t have time for facials, said that she uses a brightening serum to even out her melasma.
It’s a very common condition, and very difficult to treat. “Most of our patients come in with Melasma,” says our Senior Clinician Sally, “but we have a lot of experience in treating it.” The good news is that it’s only a cosmetic concern, it poses no health risks. We find that a combination of laser, pigment inhibiting serum and sun safety works the best.
Beware of any clinic that uses IPL (intense pulsed-light) on melasma. While IPL is excellent for some types of pigmentation, IPL can sometimes make melasma worse because of the type of energy it uses.
Pockets of Belly Fat
No matter how much you diet and exercise after having children, there seems to be a common little pocket of fat over the abdomen (and other areas) that won’t budge. Even women who seem to miraculously lose this bulge can end up with a loose pocket of hanging skin.
This is why a lot of mothers request non-invasive fat freezing treatments like CoolSculpting, which use advanced technology to target and freeze fat cells without affecting the surface layer of skin. Once frozen, the fat cells die and your body removes them naturally through its immune system.
LipoBlast is similar, but it uses ultrasound energy to target and eradicate fat cells beneath the skin.
These treatments are recommended for stubborn pockets of fat that don’t respond to diet and exercise. Ultrasound can also be used to lift and tighten loose skin and reduce the appearance of cellulite.
Urinary incontinence is incredibly common; 37% Australian women have it. During childbirth, the muscles that support the bladder can get stretched out, leading to some bladder leakage. The first line of treatment is usually kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor and vaginal wall. If that doesn’t work, laser treatments may be an option.
Lasers such as ThermiVa or Mona Lisa Touch deliver controlled heat energy to the tissues inside the vaginal wall, which stimulates the collagen cells to rebuild and reproduce. This new collagen lifts, strengthens and tightens the muscles that support the bladder. This treatment is delivered by Gynaecologists in our clinic and, as of August 2018, we’ve delivered over 300 treatments with an 88% success rate.
Kim and Kourtney Kardashian have reportedly used these treatments for vaginal rejuvenation, and Jada Pinkett-Smith discussed her vaginal laser treatment for incontinence on an episode of Red Table Talk.
Hormonal changes, carrying extra weight and pressure on the veins that carry blood to your legs can cause your veins to look purple or dark blue on the surface of your skin. In some cases, they disappear a few months after delivery.
We’re talking about spider veins which are small and darker in colour, but not varicose veins which protrude and cause pain-you should speak to your doctor if you think you have varicose veins, but spider veins are mainly a cosmetic concern.
For spider veins on the legs, neck and face, we use a specialised ExcelV laser with green wavelengths that get absorbed by spider veins and greatly reduce their appearance.
Having a baby is a beautiful, life-changing experience, so it’s normal that your body changes, too. You don’t have to return to your pre-baby weight to be proud of your body. You are still beautiful with a bit of pigmentation. Embrace your new self and the new role you’re taking in life. Then, if you do want to consider some non-invasive cosmetic treatments and skincare products to enhance your appearance, contact us for a free consultation!
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