Restore Your Core: 3 Post-Pregnancy Body Treatments

Whether it’s your first or fourth, there’s no denying that pregnancy can be hard on your body. It throws hormones out of whack, ushers in fatigue, and wreaks havoc on your core—the part of your body responsible for stability and support. In this article, we address the physical changes your body undergoes and three post-pregnancy treatments that can help strengthen and tone: Emsculpt Neo, RF Microneedling, and CoolSculpting.

First, there’s the inevitable weight gain. “When you’re pregnant, you have a surplus of all these hormones that tell us to hold on to this weight because we need it,” says Jenna Perkins, a women’s health nurse practitioner and expert in pelvic floor disorders practicing in the Washington, DC area. “We need these fat stores around our belly to protect our sensitive uterus and the baby that’s growing inside.”¹

While your belly is growing,  the muscles in both the abdominals and the pelvic floor are stretched paper-thin. Carrying a baby, and the stress of vaginal delivery, puts increased weight and pressure on the pelvic floor. Even the bones move: during pregnancy, the pelvis tilts and becomes, on average, around 2.5cm wider.²

Visual depiction of stomach muscles, illustrating diastasis recti progression

In addition to your pelvis expanding, your abdominal muscles stretch over the growing baby and uterus, becoming less effective at providing their normal support. “The rectus abdominal muscles are stretched during pregnancy in a way that makes it impossible to exercise them during that time,” says Betty Chou, M.D., assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Johns Hopkins.​​ Some women also experience a separation of the abdominal wall muscles, which is called diastasis recti.  A common development during pregnancy, this occurs when the growing uterus stretches the rectus muscles (six-pack abs) causing the two large muscles that meet in the middle of your abdomen to separate at an abnormal distance.³

Treatment for Diastasis Recti

While core-strengthening exercises can help target diastasis recti, Greenwich Medical Spa Practitioner and mother, Amber Pamprin, also encourages Emsculpt Neo, a non-invasive treatment with a proven track record to bring the muscles back together again.

“Emsculpt Neo is perfect for regaining abdominal strength after pregnancy,” says Pamprin. “It will also correct diastasis recti up to 19% which is when the abdominal muscles do not come back together all the way after pregnancy.”

How to Restore Your Core Post Pregnancy

Paired with a healthy lifestyle, EmSculpt NEO is one of the latest and best ways to treat diastasis recti without downtime or surgery. This advanced technology stimulates intense muscle contractions that strengthen and tighten the weakened abdominal muscles. By using High Focused Electromagnetic (HIFEM) and High Focused Radio Frequency (RF) contractions to target the major muscles of the abdominal wall, EmSculpt NEO makes them stronger, restores muscle elasticity, and reduces the separation caused by diastasis recti.

Treatment for Reducing Pregnancy Stretch Marks

While we discussed the internal changes your body may experience, there’s also the external—your skin. Hormonal changes will cause your stomach and breasts to get larger as the baby grows and your body prepares for breastfeeding. You might develop stretch marks (also called striae), a common result that affects more than 50 percent of pregnant bodies, especially during the last trimester.⁴ By applying microneedling and radiofrequency in tandem, RF Microneedling targets stretch marks directly by encouraging the production of collagen and elastin. And, unlike most treatments, microneedling is also effective in treating late stretch marks. 

Stretch marks on a woman's belly during pregnancy, treatable with RF Microneedling post-partum.

How RF Microneedling Works

Microneedles create microchannels at controlled depths in the skin. It’s these pathways that allow RF energy to penetrate the skin in a more targeted way than it could on its own. As a result, it reaches deeper layers more effectively and efficiently to maximize collagen and elastin production in the treatment area, thus diminishing and reducing stretch marks. “RF Microneedling is a fantastic way to help with stretch marks and tightening after pregnancy,” says Pamprin. “Plus there’s minimal downtime so it doesn’t affect your regular mommy duties.”

Treatment for Losing Post-Pregnancy Fat

Then there are those post-pregnancy pockets that are hard to remove with diet and exercise alone—typically excess fat in the belly, lower abdomen, and thighs. For tackling trouble spots, we recommend CoolSculpting.

A non-invasive body contouring treatment, CoolSculpting helps eliminate fat cells by freezing them. Following treatment, the body will naturally eliminate the dead fat cells, which can result in up to 20-25% reduction of stubborn fat in the treated area.  

A firm believer in the power of CoolSculpting, Pamprin recommends it for anyone looking to trim and tone but especially for post pregnancy. “I find this works perfectly for the C section pouch of fat,” she says. And just like RF Microneedling, there isn’t a recovery period. Pamprin continues, “The best part of Coolsculpting is there’s no downtime. You can still pick up your baby and go about your normal routine.”

Book a Consultation to Get Started

If you’re ready to see some changes, book a consultation with one of our practitioners. They’ll work with you on a personalized treatment plan so you can achieve your body goals and thrive at home, too. Pamprin urges potential patients to take the next step, saying “Our post-pregnancy treatments are designed to help you feel better and boost your well-being so you can be the best parent possible.” 

¹Amanda Ruggeri. Bounce-back culture: Why new mums are expected to ‘snap back.’ BBC. October 2022. Source
²National Library of Medicine. Pelvic alignment changes during the perinatal period. October 2019. Source
³What Really Helps You Bounce Back After Pregnancy. John Hopkins Medicine. Source.
⁴Peter Braude. Hormonal Changes during Puberty, Pregnancy, and the Menopause. National Library of Medicine. Source.