T Nation

Post Pregnancy Skin Hang, Advice?

My wife wants to start training, but she constantly brings up something to the effect of, “no matter what I do my tummy is going to look terrible because the skin is so loose and I know you know Julia Ladewski and other women who compete and stuff but you don’t know if they’ve had a tummy tuck or not and I bet they all did.”

This mentality is keeping her from getting started. My mentality is, “let’s get to work and if that ends up being the only problem after you’ve made great progress, then we’ll address it.”

She’s 32, 5’6 and very lean (for a normal person). She isn’t ever going to compete, but she would have done well in local bikini divisions if she were inclined to train for one prior to pregnancy. Now she just wants to get her flat tummy back and I want her to feel good about herself, wear bikinis again, and stop hiding her body from me.

How can I help her get over this block? We don’t talk about it much at all. I’m just supportive when she brings up the idea of going to the gym, but I don’t know what to do to keep her going in that direction when she gets discouraged about the skin.

How long ago since she had the baby? She’s still young and has a lot of elasticity in her skin so depending on the severity of the situation it can tighten back up over time.

I’m glad you’re helping motivate her to get back to the gym, what a great husband! Not all women are the same and some people need more time than others to bounce back after the pregnancy, it depends on so many factors. It took 9 months to stretch out so it’s going to take time to go back! Personally, I was very lucky because I’ve been an athlete for my whole life and I stayed active during pregnancy which allowed me to bounce back faster than most people. But trust me… It wasn’t easy and it was very frustrating a lot of times. As long as she stays consistent and you keep being positive with her she will be able to do amazing things.

During and after the pregnancies I used a lot of vitamin E and other moisturizers on my stomach, I wouldn’t say it does anything magical but any little thing can help. The first few months are always the hardest but with a strong will and good support system she can do it!! Most people have loose skin after a baby and it’s completely normal, nothing to be discouraged about… We all have the same fears after having a baby but it’s only a matter of time and I assure you that she’ll feel like herself again in the near future!

If she has any questions or wants help from someone who has been in her shoes then I’d be happy to help her. She can check out my thread here in the figure athletes forum and get in touch with me there. http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/sports_women_training_performance_figure_group/female_athlete_qa

Good luck :slight_smile:

Search Natalie Hodson Stretched Skin on Stomach After Pregnancy, and The Truth about Mommy’s Postpartum Tummy. She’s delivered 2 ten pound babies, and just looks fantastic despite a bit of stretched skin.

Mama Lion Strong is also a good resource for postpartum stuff.

A Bron mentioned, many women are left with some stretched skin after the baby. In my experience, if it’s still there a year after taking off the baby weight, there’s not much you can do about it short of surgery.