Mommy scars: stretch marks, linea nigra, cellulite, wider hips, weight gain that doesn’t go away .. and i’d say, we do what we can to prevent them, but if they appear and don’t go away, embrace them!

I’m 19weeks and 1 day today, and feeling fair. When I was pregnant with Emma, the moment I hit the second trimester, it was a breeze! This time, i’m barely trudging through. I think it’s because i’m also running after a majorly active 20 month old. It’s ok we’re almost half way there!

So last night I was going through the motions of my nighttime routine that involves applying 500 different types of skincare to my face and another couple of products on my belly & boobs since being pregnant. I then stopped for a second and realised how I was almost already out of my belly products when I wasn’t even half way through the pregnancy. This is great, because it means i’ve been diligent about it!

This simple 2 step routine helped me avoid any stretch marks on my belly, chest and thighs during my last pregnancy with Emma. I have 4 lines of stretch marks on my left hip though ironically not from during my pregnancy but from my teenage years and they never went away. So i’m just extra conscientious about applying lots of cream to my hip knowing I’m susceptible to it in that area. Im not sure if my body will react the same way this time, but since its worked for me before, I wanted to share it with you! I think a good amount of it can also be attributed thankfully to my momma’s genes.

If you are not pregnant yet but planning to be, I highly recommend to stay really active and build a strong core so you’d be able to bounce back sooner after the baby (: It took me a good 9 months to get back to my pre pregnancy weight, and a year to fully get my abs back. Allow yourself that time! (so funny i’m writing this with a rapidly growing belly)

So here goes!

Tips to prevent stretch marks :

Keep your body thoroughly moisturised! 

I apply Burts Bee’s Mama Body Oil and Body Butter every night immediately after a warm shower, all over my belly, waist, butt, hips and the back of my thighs. By apply I mean smother my skin in it and massage it in for about 2 minutes so my skin absorbs all of it. Start with the oil, then the butter! These 2 products are my holy grail pregnancy must have items! I went through 3 bottles of oil and butter each through my pregnancy with Emma!

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Tips for bouncing back after pregnancy : 

Give yourself time to recover and heal

Many women get so eager to jump back into ab exercises after pregnancy, and sometimes that could make recovery even longer as you could potentially cause your abs to separate even more creating some serious problems. I waited a good 5 months after pregnancy before resuming any targeted ab workouts. Moreover my lower abs were so numb from my (natural) delivery, I just didn’t feel like it would be beneficial for me. As for the Linea Nigra (that dark line on a preggy belly) – it took an entire year for my line to fade almost entirely. I don’t think it ever fully goes away but for the most part at a year mark, I was confident enough to sport a bathing suit as the line was faint enough! So be patient!

Wear a Postpartum Corset

I wore the Bellefit Corset for the first entire month postpartum starting the day I left the hospital. Ideally you would wear it immediately after delivery at the hospital. It helps to support your back and helps your uterus shrink back to its original size. It also helps with the tightening of your skin on your abdomen tremendously! By day 3 or wearing the corset my belly was completely flat! I love love love this corset!

Eat well, eat clean

It’s very important to eat well after pregnancy because the baby has taken a lot of your nutrients throughout the pregnancy and while breast feeding, that now is not the time to be dieting or eating only salads especially if you are nursing. I ate as balanced meals as possible and ate the same amount as I did while pregnant for the first 2 months. A lot of fish, eggs, tofu and veggies. I’m not a big meat fan, but I got the protein I needed from eggs, fish, tofu, and tempeh! I also ate a good amount of carbs, cous cous salads, asian noodles, to give me the energy I needed to care for Emma. I only started to really cut back the amount of food I was eating after I stopped nursing Emma and felt like I was strong enough to go on some kind of a “diet” plan. Never really a diet, more just eating the same food in smaller portions and cutting out most desserts, except asian ones..

Cardio workouts 

I worked out about 2 to 3 times a week for just 20 – 30 minutes each time throughout my pregnancy except the last 2 months when I got way too big it was too uncomfortable. I think that helped tremendously with post pregnancy strength.

I then started running again 1 month after delivery when my OB gave me the go ahead to resume exercising. I wouldn’t do anything crazy as it was still really cold out in NJ and I do not like working out in the cold.. lol! I would run for just 20minutes 3 to 4 times a week. Subsequently I would work out on the bike in the gym for 30minutes. There are HIIT bike workout videos on youtube that keeps the workout out fun and will get you breaking out in intense sweat! In the last 6 months, i’ve moved on from the Bike to Blogilates on youtube where I would do her cardio workout and toning routines for 30 to 45minutes 4 to 5 times a week while Emma naps. Again, such a good sweat! I like Blogilates because it really works your core while keeping the routines fun. I do different ones everyday so I never get bored! And her ab workouts are amazing!!!! I feel SO strong everytime after I do them!

So this is a picture of Emma and I actually when I was 6 weeks pregnant with baby 2. I remember thinking to myself, just when I am looking and feeling great, we’re doing it all over again! I am not a bathing suit sexy bikini photo type of girl so this is the only picture of myself in a bathing suit that would show the progress I made after having Emma (:

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I hope this posts will give those of you who are planning to get pregnant or currently pregnant a better idea of how post pregnancy goes and that it is possible to bounce back! Some things will never be the same like, maybe my linea nigra will never fully disappear or that I may gain a stretch mark or 2 this second pregnancy, but you know what, for the most part, we’d get back most of our pre pregnancy self, and if not, we have a beautiful baby to show for and that is a bigger accomplishment than anything in the world! Hugs and kisses to all you warrior mommies out there!!

ps. if you have specific questions you would like me to answer about my workout routine etc. feel free to email me at alicia@tipilly.com!

Alicia X