My delivery was no walk in the park, don't get me wrong, but I had a lot of reasons to love the fact that I was in labor.
I could almost taste the sushi I had requested as my first post-push meal.
Oh, and a second cup of coffee... or perhaps a glass of wine? My mind was spinning.
Not to limit this to food, there were other things I had missed:
I mean I had only tried botox once, but was actually gutted to have months of noticeable "11" wrinkles now piling up.
I had started laser hair removal too, but everything had paused with the pregnancy.
These treatments that had made my life so much easier; while also making me feel a gazillion times better... I was really excited to book them again.
I'll admit I had zero help with childcare, so trust me when I say I realize it can be hard to get away even for a much needed self-care hour appointment.
My recommendations are under an hour; and deliver some serious time-saving and beautifying results.
Laser Hair Removal:
Starting with the best procedure I ever did because I have nothing but good things to say about getting laser; if you have the means.
First things first, if you are breastfeeding: wait until after you are done (the hormones unfortunately can affect the efficacy of the laser treatment; and when you are paying that much money you want to ensure the results are the most fruitful.
If you are not breastfeeding and just want to make life so much easier (no more razors and shaving and ingrown hairs <3); than its recommended to still wait 4-6 months after delivery to begin treatments (regardless if breastfeeding- hormones are just to finicky postpartum - and again you want the most bang for your buck.)
Pain level: I'll be candid, I popped my laser cherry by booking 6 treatments for what classifies as brazillian hair removal and it was a little ouch...
Since I was little, doctors always praised my parents for my high pain tolerance.
You can stick a needle in my arm and I won't flinch.
Without getting into it, I've had my fair share of IV's and surgeries and consider that pain tolerable.
Now obviously if you've gone through childbirth everything pales in comparison; but for me, the first two treatments of laser were a little uncomfortable.
It felt like someone applying heat to your area and then snapping you with a rubber band. The areas with thicker hair growth always suck the most.
In better news though, as you continue your sessions it gets easier and easier until it really wasn't painful or shocking in the slightest anymore.
Through the process your hair follicles thin and are damaged from the heat and laser; to the point of inhibiting or delaying future hair growth.
Laser was a major win for me. Since my initial sessions of the bikini area; I have had the hair under my arms and legs done as well - with zero regrets.
I save a ton of time in the shower; (I was a full body shave girl every time) which is probably the biggest benefit for a new mom who wants to save on time but still feel herself.
I'm also way more confident at the beach. I realize living in Hawaii might be a rarity for this blogs reach; but I'm at the beach a lot and I love how smooth I am.
I'm also on the shorter side so I gravitate to higher cut suits which suit me better; (elongating my shorter legs) and not having ingrown hair bumps showing when wearing bikini bottoms or swimwear really is a relief.
Loose Skin Postnatal Massage:
I'm going to be very real, I was ready to bounce back before my sons were even out of me.
I was ready to sleep on my stomach, ready to walk up a flight of stairs without losing my breath, and I was extremely ready to ditch the swollen fingers, feet, and all the water weight I was carrying around.
If you are looking for the easiest way to reduce postpartum water weight, cramps, and lessen any aches and swelling; I highly recommend getting a postnatal massage.
As you lay back and relax, your masseuse will focus on massaging areas down to increase circulation and areas of baby weight and water retention. Think lymphatic drainage.
There are also some pretty appealing toning benefits to the massage.
Depending on the techniques offered at your med-spa your masseuse may place a tummy binder across you to help shape and tone your stomach and minimize aches.
One of the great things about postpartum massage is you can start it as soon after delivery as you feel comfortable (C-section mommy's check with your doctor).
I'm such an advocate for it because not only does it physically make you feel worlds better, but also the mental benefits are significant.
New mother's who received postnatal massage care soon after delivery showed significantly less anxiety, and less feelings of depression.
This is likely because of the balance postpartum massage provides for your mood and hormones.
Massage can balance chemicals that occur naturally in our body that link to depression: such as dopamine and serotonin.
If you are breastfeeding and looking for ways to improve lactation; postnatal massage is the way to you. Massage has been shown to increase a lactation hormone: prolactin & prolactin increases milk production!
So, not sure if I'm alone in this but.... my face looked different after I had my baby.
To backtrack though, so much of me looked different while pregnant: the weight gain I was prepared for.. but the bigger nose- I didn't know that was a thing (hormones increase blood flow to mucus membranes of the body- aka the nose swells)
Back to posptartum: My gynecologist made it pretty clear that my body would take a full year to really reset to normal. That said, some things might be permanent.
To the point of my face looking different postpartum; well a women's face darkens during pregnancy.
Some call it the mask of pregnancy or call out that moles and sun spots darken; while new spots develop.
The increased estrogen is typically to blame. My darkness appeared between my nose and upper lip; giving me an unsightly pregnancy/postpartum stache.
While I hoped in postpartum it would magically vanish; that wasn't the case.
Postpartum hyper-pigmentation or melasma was extremely frustrating for me.
I paid a visit to my dermatologist who did prescribe a bleaching cream; and a consistent facial routine.
Reader beware: most of what I suggest here does come with the disclaimer that you need to wait until your are done breastfeeding to begin.
My local med-spa offered the hydrafacial which come to find out is one of the most effective way for moms who suffer from melasma to resurface the skin gently and improve the clarity/quality.
Results of the hydrafacial typically last 4-6 weeks so it is important to make it a part of your self-care/skincare routine. .
I don't have to tell you that your body went through an incredible transformation during childbirth.
For those with vaginal deliveries with bigger babies, well things can get a little loose down there.
Additionally, there is other postpartum side effects like: urinary incontinence that really shows itself after coughing, sneezing, laughing, exercising... etc
ThermiVa is a non-surgical treatment that uses radio-frequeny energy to heat tissue and gently increase the elasticity of the skin and muscles after childbirth.
To ensure everything is healed after delivery wait at least 3 months to try ThermiVa.
Additionally, because radio-frequency has no impact on breastmilk it is considered safe for nursing mothers.
US Dermatology Partners
Me: to Google
How can I tighten my stomach after having a baby?
1. Develop a strong cardio routine to help you burn fat and tone muscles
2. Eat healthy fats and proteins
3. Cut Sugar!!!
4. Drink Water
5. Surgery aka the Tummy Tuck
In looking for non-surgical ways I came across information on TRUSCULPT.
I less "came across it" as was greeted with a giant poster advertising it like a giant sign from some postpartum fairy.
(well we are on the subject, there really should be a postpartum fairy... I mean you're two and you lost a tooth so you get celebrated? What about being in your thirties and bringing life into the world???)
What is trusculpt?
Trusculpt uses radio frequency and deep heating to tighten skin tissue and reduce fat.
What it's not, is a replacement for eating well and exercising, but it does provide a great benefit for those wanting to target a very specific area of the body which I was finding no matter how hard I ran or exercised, I was having difficulty tightening.
It's not a secret that our skin stretched and loosened while pregnant and seeing a saggier stomach postpartum, even though it shouldn't have, made me feel shame.
To me, trusculpt really bridges the gap for us non surgical girlies not wanting to go under to get a tummy tuck but still wanting to do something to firm and tighten the stomach postpartum.
It's recommended to wait 6-8 weeks until postpartum healing is complete and speak with your doctor if you are breastfeeding as its typically deemed safe to use radio-frequency on an area not interfering with breastfeeding.
I'm always so curious what treatments or products have helped you mama's postpartum.
If you've tried something you really loved, please let me know in the comments so I can try them too and report back!