Post-pregnancy Body Changes: What Mothers Can Do To Look Their Best


“Some things change, some stay the same. Your body changed over a period of nine months during pregnancy, so give it more time to recover. Shift the focus to caring for your new love,”

Dr Tan Siew Kiang, Specialist in Dermatology, Raffles Skin & Aesthetics

Everyone knows that your body changes during pregnancy, but some of these changes are permanent. The extra pounds, stretch marks or even changes in shoe size may not go away even with exercise and a strict diet. We talk to Dr Tan Siew Kiang on some management strategies of the biggest body issues after pregnancy.

Stomach Flab

You’ve dropped most of your baby weight and religiously do stomach crunches, but that belly bulge refuses to budge.

Recovery Time

At least nine months

How can I manage stomach flab after pregnancy?

If you still have a belly bulge, that is most likely stretched-out skin and muscle. Try exercises that target transverse muscles or a rigorous exercise regimen such as an aerobic workout and movements that focus on the abdomen.

Quick Fix

Consider shapewear that are made of breathable, nonbinding fabric and are comfy.

Hair Loss

Due to falling estrogen levels after pregnancy, new mums experience hair loss after pregnancy about two to three months after giving birth.

Recovery Time

One year from delivery

How can I manage hair loss after pregnancy?

A gentle shampoo without harmful chemicals will help keep your hair healthy. Eat more iron rich food or take iron supplements would promote hair regrowth.

Quick Fix

Snip your tresses. Short hair is prone to lesser hair fall than long hair.

C-Section Scars

The scars should look less scary after two weeks. Most will fade to a pencil-thin line but they never completely disappear.

Recovery Time

Six weeks to three months, one to two years to fade.

How can I reduce C-Section scars?

Laser therapy can remove discolouration and soften the texture, while steroid injections are useful to flatten bumpy scars. You can apply silicone gels or creams on your scar. Try to avoid direct sunlight on the scar for the first year and apply sunscreen thereafter.

Quick Fix

Trade in your teeny bikini for a suit that provides more coverage.

Sagging Breasts

Your breasts become fuller and heavier as the pregnancy progresses. The stretched ligaments eventually lead to sagging breasts.

Recovery Time

Up to six months after weaning or giving birth.

What can I do to lift sagging breasts?

Exercising can help tone the pectoral muscles around the breasts, giving them a lifted and perkier appearance. Try push-ups, chest fly on your back; pullovers; and chest presses. Plastic surgery is the only way to give your breasts a lift permanently.

Quick Fix

Get yourself a fitting and supportive bra. Wear a sports bra when you work out.

Varicose Veins

Thick, bluish veins that show up on some women’s legs during pregnancy. Heredity, hormones, and the pressure on the veins due to pregnancy pounds play a role on the development of varicose veins.

Recovery Time

Three to 12 months after delivery

How can I reduce varicose veins?

Elevate your leg and avoid long periods of standing or sitting to prevent varicose veins from worsening. Sclerotherapy, a procedure that requires injection of a solution to the affected leg veins to close the veins, then fade or disappear within about two weeks. It is recommended to wait at least six months after delivery to start sclerotherapy.

Quick Fix

Wear compression socks all day and cover the veins in pants or long skirts.

Stretch Marks

Your genes and speed of weight gain will determine whether you get stretch marks. These thin scars could be found on the stomach, hips, breasts, or butt.

Recovery Time

Becomes less noticeable six to 12 months after delivery.

How can I reduce stretch marks?

Tretinoin cream is more effective on newer, red stretch marks but steer clear if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. It restores collagen, a fibrous protein that helps give your skin elasticity. Radiofrequency and laser treatment can be done to treat older stretch marks.

Quick Fix

Embrace the marks as a part of a mummy’s body – new curves, new shape and new skin.