Cellulite can be unsightly at the best of times but when you’re pregnant it can significantly increase and a lot of women are concerned about it.
Let’s start with how cellulite forms. Cellulite is created by a combination of fat deposits, connective tissue, genes and lifestyle which work together to create that unsightly ‘orange peel’ look we all loathe so much.
During pregnancy women gain weight which increases the number of fatty deposits, which also happens during puberty. During these times in our lives our bodies add and store more fat for evolutionary reasons i.e. It gives you a source of energy if food is scarce.
Fat deposits don’t make cellulite all on their own, connective tissue and it’s make up plays a large part in the visibility ofcellulite. Ever wondered why men don’t get cellulite? Well it’s to do with the make up if their connective tissue. In all our bodies our muscles are connected to our skin by connective tissue called Septae. In men Septae run diagonally to the skin where as women’s run vertically. The result of this means that in women, fat chambers in between the Septae create a puckered look which is the ‘orange peel’ effect.
Our genes play a part in the development and
severity of cellulite, so to an extent the appearance of cellulite is out of
our control. You have been passed down the genetic coding for your connective
tissue, fat storage, hormones and metabolism, this is why some people get more
stubborn cellulite than others.
Not enough movement, too much salt or carbs, not
enough water or fibre all keep fat stored in the body. When pregnant, many
women reduce the amount they exercise and when heavily pregnant it is difficult
to move around as much as you used to or in the same way. This is why many
pregnant women find their cellulite worsens during pregnancy, although it will
usually go back to normal after the birth.
What can be done?
Exercise - keep as active as you can when pregnant
and after the birth. Don’t push yourself too much when pregnant, Yoga is a
great way of getting moving.
Eat well - Try and eat lots of fresh vegetables,
fibre and whole grain, they are all great foods to have during pregnancy and
Moisturise - It can’t change your genes but it sure
can help get rid of cellulite and helps reduce stretch marks.
Stay hydrated - Drink more water,
especially when pregnant or breast feeding. It helps flush fats, circulate
nutrients through the body and support the milk supply.