Source: INFphoto; PR Photo
While having a baby can bring all sorts of exciting change to your life, the effects of pregnancy on your body may bring change of a different sort. From weight gain and saggy skin, to stretch marks and varicose veins—it’s not uncommon for more than just your tummy to be affected.
Actress Catherine Zeta Jones, now 43 and a mother of two, has a figure to envy. But getting her body in good shape prior to having her children may have had an impact on how she regained her figure.
If you are planning a pregnancy, don’t just forgo healthy eating and regular exercise. Prepare your body for change by maintaining an ideal weight for your body type. “Not only will working out before you get pregnant make being pregnant a little easier— most women feel better and have less pain and more energy—but it will also help your body recover quicker after delivery,” says San Diego fitness expert Sara Holliday.
And while weight gain during pregnancy is expected, the post-delivery weight is the hardest to lose. So if you’ve gone overboard and put on more than what may be considered healthy, it will be harder to regain your pre-baby figure.
Scroll though this gallery of celebrity moms who have done great work at maintaining their bodies as they age, and get tips on how you too can look fabulous with each year.
Source: INFphoto; Startraks
Actress Salma Hayek, 46, is no stranger to curve-hugging dresses, and with that figure, we don’t blame her. Even after the birth of daughter Valentina, now 5, Hayek has managed to keep her assets and a slim figure. But as most moms would agree, carrying a baby bump and keeping in shape can be difficult.
Most trainers suggest doing one of two things when exercising while pregnant: Do exercises that keep the core muscles strong (for as long as you physically can) and get your heart rate going at a safe level. “Strengthening the core abdominal muscles is important since this helps to retain and build muscle tone for stronger muscles and good support. Muscle burns more calories than fat so you’ll stay healthier and lose weight quicker (after baby). Plus, the tone of your body will come back faster, too,” says Holliday.
Even though workout intensity may be lessened, you can continue to work out as long as you don’t overexert yourself. “Keeping the abdominals strong may help to limit damage to the abdominal wall,” says Orlando, FL, Plastic Surgeon Armando Soto, MD.
Source: INFphoto; Shutterstock
There’s no doubt (pun intended) that singer Gwen Steffani, 43, could possibly have one of the best bodies in Hollywood. That’s because this blonde bombshell knows what it takes to stay in shape—submitting herself to a rigorous workout at least five days a week (and that’s on top of taking care of two children and, of course, her career).
But even if you lose your baby weight with exercise and dieting, multiple pregnancies leave many women with frustrating spider and varicose veins, or veins enlarged due to improper blood flow and hormonal changes, which are most prominent on the legs.
One quick way to battle these unsightly veins is with sclerotherapy, which collapses the vein. According to Hunt Valley, MD, dermatologist Karen Beasley, MD, is “the most effective and reliable procedure for diminishing or eliminating spider veins and small varicose veins.” Modern medicine utilizes smaller needles during sclerotherapy, so the treatment is less painful than in years past. The procedure, however, may require more than one session before results are visible.
For bigger, more stubborn veins, you may need laser treatments, radiofrequency or surgery, especially if they are too large to be treated with injections. “Inserting a laser directly into the varicose vein heats it from the inside out, shutting it down,” Dr. Beasley explains.
Source: Startraks; Getty
There is nothing funny about comedic actress Jenny McCarthy’s post-baby body. She looks seriously good at the age of 40. She did however find humor in her pregnancy and therefore penned the book Belly Laughs: The Naked Truth About Pregnancy And Childbirth. The book has an entire chapter dedicated to her engorged breasts titled “Hi, Porn Star!”
Jenny isn’t alone in dealing with swelling breasts during and after gestation. And unfortunately, the new volume doesn’t stay for good. As gravity takes over and you lose pregnancy-related volume, the breasts begin to sag. This means once perky breasts are now in need of a little help.
A breast lift, also known as a mastoplexy, is an option some women choose to reposition the breast back to pre-pregnancy state. But just lifting the breasts won’t solve the problem in everyone. “If there is a loss of volume and sagging skin then you probably need a lift and implant to recapture the shape,” says New York plastic surgeon Elie Levine, MD.
Source: INFphoto; Startraks
Jennifer Lopez, 43, not only has a fabulous body for her age, but an insane body for mothering twins. You’d never know, when scrolling though recent pictures of her frolicking in a bikini on the beach, that she gave birth to twins and underwent an emergency C-section to have them.
Cesarean section surgery is actually the most performed surgery on women, and while most times it leaves a small, barely noticeable scar below the underwear line, sometimes women can be left with large, discolored and raised scars. But there is good news for those who suffer from these abnormal scars—skilled plastic surgeons can make them much less noticeable. Some doctors can lessen the appearance of the scar by reopening it and then carefully reclosing it, followed by microdermabrasion.
Source: Startraks; PR Photos
Kimora Lee Simons, 37, model, entrepreneur and mother to three, can pull off a bandage dress like no other thanks to her svelte physique. She has notoriously fluctuated in weight in and outside of her pregnancies, likely putting a lot of stress on her body.
The stress we put on our midsections—through pregnancy and weight fluctuations—unfortunately can change the shape and size of our stomachs. When this happens and good old fashioned diet and exercise don’t provide the results that you want, a surgical procedure like a tummy tuck may be your best option, granted that your doctor believes you a good candidate for the surgery.
Source: Startraks; Getty
Little-but-larger-than-life Sarah Jessica Parker, 48, has always been slight of frame despite having three children (a boy that she carried naturally and two twin girls carried via surrogate). Her body is thin and muscular, but even naturally thin women can suffer from cellulite pre- and post-pregnancy. “About 90 percent of women have some cellulite, even very thin people, so it’s not necessarily based upon being very heavy,” says Reston, VA, plastic surgeon George W. Weston, MD.
If you suffer from cellulite, your dermatologist or plastic surgeon can reduce the appearance, but never really completely rid you of the problem. Through the use of radio-frequency energy, infrared heat and light, over many treatments, you definitely will be able to notice a lessening however. A combination of laser, vacuum, massage and/or radio frequency devices can also help reduce the appearance.
Source: Startraks; Getty
Forty year-old Sofia Vergara knows a thing or two about motherhood—she has an adult son. She also knows how to keep her body in stellar shape. The Columbian actresses’ curves have become iconic. From the look of her bikini-clad magazine spreads, she doesn’t seem to have a stretch mark in sight—a common battle wound from pregnancy. Stretch marks are small tears in the skin that result when the fat or muscle beneath the skin is growing at a faster rate than the skin itself.
When treating stretch marks, the sooner you start, the better, and that means starting the process of treatment while pregnant. Since you don’t want to use any topical antibiotics while pregnant or breast feeding, keep stretch marks from forming by hydrating the area with oils and creams. If they form anyway, after you are doing having children, there are options to treat the scarred tissue. Fraxel lasers, topical retinoids or a tummy tuck may all help to get rid of the scars.
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