It is perfectly natural for women to gain weight after pregnancy, even after shedding the kilos soon after giving birth. With successive pregnancies, a woman’s weight and the percentage of body fat can go up, with certain areas – the hips, thighs and abdomen – prone to retaining more fat. Postpartum mums may also complain that their skin seems to lose firmness and lustre.
This is partly due to normal ageing. Stresses of taking care of a baby, sleep deprivation and poor dietary habits can also lead to tired-looking skin as well as fat accumulation.
While a woman can lose fat overall with a sensible diet and regular exercise, certain areas of her body are more resistant to fat reduction even with the most rigorous programmes. Extreme dieting and exercise are also harmful to the body and may lead to malnourishment and musculoskeletal injuries.
Spot reduction, which is reduction of fat in a specific area of the body, is now possible without surgical procedures like liposuction. The latest noninvasive treatment for spot reduction is the use of radiofrequency. Radiofrequency energy is applied to fatty areas, thereby accelerating the metabolism of the fat cells. These cells may even break down, leading to loss of fat in the targeted areas.
There are virtually no side effects from radiofrequency treatment. Radiofrequency can also be used to tighten skin by enhancing collagen production. Loose skin, fine lines on the face and anywhere on the body where signs of ageing are most apparent can be treated with radiofrequency. It is also used to treat musculoskeletal pain and is an effective tool to help women who have chronic lower back pain after giving birth.
If skin rejuvenation is the only concern, low level laser therapy (LLLT) can also be effective. These are low-power lasers that do not burn the skin but penetrate up to three centimetres into the skin. LLLT enhances cellular division and promotes collagen production and tissue regeneration. Its effectiveness has been validated by Harvard Medical School.
Radiofrequency and LLLT have been used with great success on patients with musculoskeletal symptoms, and these treatments are now available and effective for aesthetic use. Women today have additional tools at their disposal to maintain healthy and glowing skin while experiencing the joys and emotional rewards of motherhood.
Thomson Musculoskeletal Clinic