How to Take Care of Belly Skin During and After Pregnancy
Your body goes through a lot of changes during pregnancy—after all, you are literally growing a human inside of you, so your body is adapting to make that possible. But there are arguably no changes more significant than those that happen to your belly.
Don't Only Treat the Changes You Can See
The skin on your belly seems to go through far more during and after pregnancy than any other area of the body, but that doesn't mean you should ignore everything but your bump. Stretch marks and loose skin can occur on areas of your body, such as your torso sides and back. So be sure to treat them with the same attention that you treat your belly.
Our skin is really one continuous piece. So, even though it’s our belly that’s doing the most physical stretching, think of it as all the way around, to the back and extending downwards towards the hips and pelvic area.
Ultimately, stretching happens in all of these places, even if to a lesser degree, so it's important to care for all of them, not just where you see your baby growing.
Keep Up Your Routine After Pregnancy
It's easy to remember to treat your belly skin when you can see (and feel) it changing, but it's a bit harder when the expansion is behind you and you now have an infant to care for around the clock.
Challenging as it may be, it's important to continue your belly skincare regimen during the postpartum period. "After pregnancy, it is helpful to moisturize regularly simply because your body is trying to recover after nine months of making another human.
This can be especially helpful for anyone prone to stretch marks because they can show up even when skin is shrinking very quickly.
As you welcome your new baby into your life, you may also be saying hello to some noticeable marks on your belly skin, from stretch marks and scars to loose skin, in the months after giving birth. If you're hoping to avoid some of these changes while keeping your belly skin as healthy as possible, there are a number of steps you can take during and after your pregnancy.
Step 1: Exfoliate
The first step in almost every skincare routine is to exfoliate so that you get rid of any dead skin, dirt, and bacteria buildup and create a blank canvas for all that follows.
"When it comes to exfoliating your belly area, you want something very gentle, like a sugar scrub (coming soon) or a konjac sponge.
When it comes to exfoliating your belly, once a week is more than enough. You don’t want to over-exfoliate your body, especially when it’s already going through so much, so less is more.
Step 2: Create Moisture
Skin is known to absorb ingredients more when damp, so creating some natural moisture for your belly skin is a great next step. After you get out of the shower, step out of the hot water but keep the shower running on the hottest temperature. This will create some steaminess in the bathroom, which is really good for your belly skin to be able to absorb everything.
Step 3: Hydrate the Skin
Next, it's time for what's arguably the most obvious part of belly skincare: hydration. It's important to keep the skin of the belly nourished, because it can enhance the skin's elasticity and smoothness.
Hydration can come in the form of an essence, toner, serum, or virtually any other lightweight liquid. We highly recommend The Belly Rescue Roller as it contains ingredients that offer great hydration and naturally astringing ingredients that help with the irritation as well as itchiness of the skin. It also comes in a roller packaging that allows you to gently already massage it in which increases blood flow to the area and aids with maintaining elasticity in the skin.
Step 4: Lock it In
The last step in a complete belly skincare routine is to lock everything. This creates a thick protective layer on the surface of skin to both seal in all of the hydration you just added and prevent any moisture loss.
Whether it's an oil, a balm or a cream (we recommend the Timi&Mila Rescue Balm), you want to look for lipids and oils and avoid anything water-based, as this will not create the same protective barrier on top of skin. Some creams may not actually have enough oil content in there to lock everything in. So an oil based butter or balm is the best way to go.
Take the moisturizer into your hands and massage it onto your belly, going up to the breasts, down to the hips, and around to the back as much as possible.
Manage Your Expectations
It is important to know that some elements of your body and skin are simply out of your control. Stretch marks can be very much genetic, so even if you’re doing everything you can to prevent them, you may still get them.
Sometimes, people feel worse if they think they didn't do enough to prevent stretch marks, but because they are in large part genetic, if you end up with stretch marks, you don’t have to be regretful and wish you’d done more.
For those prone to stretch marks, all the belly skincare in the world won't fully eliminate them, but if your skin is being well-nourished, you'll have a better chance of avoiding them all together.
The more you stick to a regular belly care routine, the better; but don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. So, even if you're applying belly oil or moisturizer a couple of times a week rather than devoting half an hour to a full regimen every day, it will still make a difference.
Taking care of your belly skin during and after pregnancy is a smart move, but it shouldn't feel like a task. "I feel like a lot of women end up being really busy during their pregnancy, so these moments of belly care can also serve as moments of selfcare, and it’s a great way to connect with your body and with your baby. It can be really grounding and serves as areminderof the miracle that you’re making inside of you.