How to Tighten Loose Skin & Muscle After Childbirth

stomach image by Indigo Fish from

After nine months of pregnancy, many women are surprised to find themselves left with loose skin and muscles where they may have once had firm abs. A pregnant woman's body goes through many physical changes during pregnancy, usually resulting in overstretched skin covering a swollen stomach.

Once the baby arrives, a new mother may be left wondering how to tighten loose skin and muscle after childbirth.

Exercise regularly. Exercise helps correct loose, sagging skin by toning the muscles underneath. Cardiovascular exercise helps tone muscles and uses stored fat as energy. Focus on developing core strength. Building core strength will increase abdominal strength.

Eat a low-calorie, high-protein diet. Diet plays an important role in helping to tighten loose skin and muscle after childbirth. Eating foods rich in protein helps with weight loss and rejuvenating abdominal muscles, so they become strengthened and toned.

Consult with a specialist about laser treatment. According to the Real Self website, laser skin tightening is a laser treatment that encourages the production of collagen for firmer skin. It can be used to firm loose skin anywhere on your body, including your postnatal stomach. The procedure can take around 45 minutes, depending on how much skin needs to be treated. Many people describe the feel as warm pressure. You will usually notice redness for about 24 hours following the procedure.

Ask your doctor if you are a candidate for surgery. An abdominoplasty, commonly known as a "tummy tuck" procedure, is another way of tightening loose skin and tighten stomach muscles by removing excess fatty tissue loose skin and muscle. An incision is made above and/or below the belly button, depending on how much loose skin there is. In extreme cases, a new belly button may need to be created.

Surgeons recommend losing any extra weight gained during the pregnancy and allowing your body's hormones and blood level to return to normal before getting a tummy tuck, according to the TummyTuckGuide website. This varies from person to person depending on factors such as how much weight you need to lose.