Pregnancy is amazing. We have just created a real, breathing, beautiful new life for our world.
And while we may have just performed a miracle, pregnancy can be tough on a woman’s body. From the rapid weight gain (and subsequent loss), to expanding skin, to an eight-pound infant pressing against your internal organs for months on end, it’s no wonder that most of us have some degree of battle scarring to show for it!
We believe that we should be in awe of what we’ve achieved and the journey our body has gone through as well as the scars we have acquired from carrying life into this world. And while excess skin, stretch marks or changes to our breasts isn’t anything that needs to change one bit, we know that sometimes women want to make a little change here and there for their own self esteem.
Women have been turning to surgery for years and years to reclaim their body confidence — but new technologies and treatments are making it easier and faster than ever before to look (and feel) your best post-pregnancy – without having to go under the knife.
We’ve spoken to leading cosmetic doctors across the UK to get the lowdown about what treatments are trending now.
For the post partum face:
Treatment: Bespoke Medicated Hydrafacial with Dr Rekha Tailor
Price: £165 per session
When can you do it? Immediately after pregnancy and breastfeeding
Thanks to changes to your hormones, lack of sleep and quite often a poor diet, our skin can take a hit after pregnancy. The Hydrafacial with Dr Rekha is a six-stage medical-grade facial which targets everything from pigmentation through to fine-lines and acne. Expect a non-irritating, soothing treatment with immediate results which, if incorporated into a treatment programme can provide long-lasting, highly visible results.
For stretch marks:
Treatment: Biodermogenesi from Fusion GT
Price: £2000 for a full course of six treatments
When can you do it? Six to eight weeks after breastfeeding to allow hormone levels to return to normal
Stretch marks affect 90% of women. They’re scars that can form when collagen and elastin fibres tear during puberty, pregnancy, or significant weight gain or loss that occurs in a short period of time.
Not simply down to the stretching of the skin, stretch marks occur when elevated levels of hormones called glucocorticoids are produced by the adrenal gland. Those hormones are what can cause the collagen and elastin fibres to tear when the skin is stretched.
Biodermogenesi is a brand-new treatment that relies on a powerful and unique combination of electromagnetic energy and vacuum technology to increase oxygenation, rebuild Type III collagen, recover toxins and completely restructure damaged cells within the skin to banish stretch marks completely. It’s a completely pain-free treatment with absolutely no downtime and can be used to treat all skin types.
For the stomach:
Treatment: EMSculpt with Dr Preema at Dr Preema London
When can you do it? Six months after delivery (subject to a satisfactory check-up) and as close to your pre-pregnancy weight as possible.
After having children, the abdominal tightness you had before often vanishes and, no matter how many Zumba classes you attend, you often find that you can’t achieve the same tone. The problem is usually two-fold. First, during pregnancy, abdominal muscles are stretched and separated to accommodate the growing baby. For many women, the muscles never completely return to their original position and remain at least somewhat separated, a condition known as diatasis recti; in more severe cases, the muscles remain separated so significantly that the woman may actually still look pregnant. And second, compounding the problem is the lax, loose skin that often occurs when a belly has been stretched to the limit for nine months.
Only one thing up until now is pretty much guaranteed to bring it all back: abdominoplasty (a tummy tuck). But now, a new device called EMSculpt promises the matching results without the risks and downtime of going under the knife.
Relying on HIFEM technology, EMSculpt is the only device in the world that can build muscle and burn fat simultaneously. Achieve the equivalent of 20,000 squats or sit ups in the half an hour treatment and with a treatment protocol of four treatments over two weeks, it means that abs can be achieved very quickly. It’s completely pain-free, no downtime and can be used on patients of all shapes and sizes.
For the breasts:
Treatment: Vampire breast lift with Dr Shirin Lakhani at Elite Aesthetics
When can you do it? Immediately after breastfeeding or once the milk has dried up. Usually six weeks.
The potent combo of age and gravity causes most women’s breasts to droop at least somewhat over time. But when you add pregnancy and breastfeeding to the equation, it puts the process into overdrive. And again, while we think that all boobs are good boobs, some of us want to have a little lift.
So what’s the best route? The primary choices are a breast lift, implants, or both.
But for those wanting to achieve a natural lift without having to go under the knife, Dr Shirin Lakhani offers a Vampire Breast Lift which is a lot less scary than it sounds.
The Vampire Breast Lift is a nonsurgical alternative to plastic surgery that targets loose and saggy skin along the chest. The richest factors in the blood (PRP) are extracted from and injected back into the decollete. This triggers the body’s natural ability to heal, which encourages collagen production, stem cell growth and blood circulation to the chest. The process results in a firmer skin texture, as well as a tightening and lifting of the decollete.
For the vagina:
Treatment: Exilis Ultra Femme with Dr Shirin Lakhani at Elite Aethetics
When can you do it? Three months after giving birth and subject to a satisfactory consultation
Your diet and your body might be back in business, but downstairs is a tad trickier. Vaginal tightening is one of the fastest-growing trends in aesthetic treatments, and while there is no ‘normal’ expectation for what a vulva should look like – there are treatments available to change the appearance of the vagina and treat problems like leakage and incontinence. Exilis Ultra Femme – conducted under the expert eye of leading medical practitioners like Dr Shirin Lakhani – is one of the best. Expect absolutely no downtime and results you can feel (and see) after just one session.
For the pelvic floor:
Treatment: Emsella with Dr Tracey Sims at Intimate You
Price: £1200 (prices vary depending on clinics across the UK)
When can you do it? Three months after pregnancy
One in two women will suffer some level of pelvic floor dysfunction following childbirth. Whether we’re too scared to sneeze, or not enjoying sex as much as we should be, issues with the pelvic floor can cause discomfort in our lives, and until now, have taken a lot of work to try and overcome.
Traditionally those seeking help for pelvic floor issues were encouraged to try regular, gentle exercises which, unless women were prepared to go down the surgical route, was the only option, other than simply living with the symptoms.
New techniques such as the minimally invasive, non-surgical laser procedures for treating and improving vaginal health have offered some success recently, however there’s a new kid on the block and it is even less invasive.
The Emsella chair at Intimate You clinic in Liverpool is a completely non-invasive treatment for the pelvic floor. Patients simply sit on the chair – fully clothed – for six 28 minute sessions. The treatment uses advanced electromagnetic energy to engage all the muscles of the pelvis and produce thousands of pelvic floor muscle contractions simultaneously. The action is similar to Kegel exercises, however, with far more intensity, a single session is equivalent to the intensity of 11,200 pelvic floor exercises.