Pregnancy is a time of change, but not all of that change is welcome! Among the unwanted changes many women experience is the development or worsening of cellulite. There are several reasons why pregnancy is so conducive to the development of cellulite. But the good news is that the cellulite you develop is entirely possible to reverse once you’ve given birth, and there are things you can do during pregnancy to help as well.
What is cellulite?
It’s that dimpled, lumpy skin that, unfortunately, many women are familiar with. But you probably know what cellulite looks like, so what is it, exactly? And what causes it? Well, simply put, cellulite occurs when fat deposits under the skin push through layers of collagen fibers. It occurs in both men and women but happens more often to women; in fact, 80 to 90 percent of women will experience cellulite in their lifetime. A large part of the cause (and the reason it happens to more women than men) is hormonal. Interestingly, when men do get cellulite, it usually occurs in their abdominal area, whereas women mostly get it in their hips and thighs.
What makes cellulite occur during pregnancy?
Cellulite’s main cause is hormones. These hormone levels in your body are constantly in fluctuation during pregnancy. Estrogen, which plays a major role helping the uterus to grow, blood flow to increase, and breast tissue to grow, also can cause reduced blood flow to connective tissues, thus making way for cellulite to occur. Another culprit is relaxin. This hormone, as its name suggests, helps relax ligaments in the pelvis and the tissues of the cervix in preparation for childbirth. But relaxin also causes diminished collagen production. The less collagen in your skin, the more the fat stored in your body is able to push through the loosened connective tissue, thus adding to cellulite issues.
Weight gain is also a cause. During pregnancy, your body packs on the pounds rather quickly to help grow your baby. The extra fat, so necessary and needed by your baby, unfortunately can lead to extra cellulite for you. This extra fat pushes through loosening collagen fibers, further exacerbating issues.
Last but not least, during pregnancy many women tend to ease up quite a bit in terms of their activity level. The first trimester is full of nausea and vomiting and fatigue, and many women just don’t feel like doing much of anything. The second and third trimesters bring with them a burgeoning belly, and many women are unsure which exercises could be safe for them. So because of these things, a lot of pregnant women stop exercising. And that brings us to our solution:
Is there anything you can do about cellulite during pregnancy?
The good news is that there are ways you can help halt cellulite. One of the best ways to do this: is exercise! See, during pregnancy, you can cause more harm than good by remaining inactive. It’s a myth that pregnant women need to avoid physical activity (barring, of course, any high-risk complications). It’s important to remain active throughout pregnancy…it’ll do wonders for your energy level and prepare you for labor and life with a newborn. And beyond that, it will make getting back into your regular workout routine so much easier after pregnancy.
So if you’re pregnant and would like more information on helping to prevent cellulite, as well as how to maintain a healthy pregnancy, then you should learn more about my personalized coaching program. As a pre and post-natal certified coach I can help you maximize your health and fitness before, during and after your pregnancy! While taking care of YOU and baby. Ready to learn more? Take my free class here.