If you have delivered a set of twins, even if you didn’t go to full term with your pregnancy, the odds that your overly-stretched abdominal skin bounced right back to before-pregnancy consistency are pretty low. We are left with, what we all have come to know as, twin skin.
After my first set of twins were born, I held on to pregnancy and breastfeeding weight until I made a committed effort to lose it with the help of Weight Watchers (God bless ’em). But despite the fact that I eventually lost all (and more) that I wanted to lose, I was still left with a very loose-feeling lower stomach, and a “shelf” slightly overhanging my C-section incision. Yikes! And to think I actually believed that all the cocoa butter I rubbed all over while I was pregnant was going to prevent this from happening! Wrong.
Pregnancy number two stretched my belly further beyond the previous one because I carried these babies over four weeks longer. Although I didn’t experience any increase to my shelf-effect (because I had delivered vaginally this time), I still could hold my twin skin in both of my hands. Geez!
In the seven years between my second and third twin pregnancies, I managed to get back into pretty decent shape by eating right and exercising. But despite my thousands of sit-ups and crunches, I began to accept that my abdomen simply would never be as tight as it had been before I’d had two sets of twins. Following twin pregnancy number three, having occurred when I was over 40, well, I was in for (and still am having) quite a battle with my post pregnancy body! And no, neither of the photos featured in this article are of me … 😉
Twin skin is a condition that simply does not go away. It is skin stretched passed its ability to re-conform to its original, pre-stretched elasticity, resulting in saggy, wrinkly, loose-feeling skin just below the belly button. Kate (when she was being interviewed on “Jon and Kate Plus 8”) described her belly as a “bum in the front” … double handfuls of droopy skin. Fortunately, a kind and generous surgeon volunteered to give her a complimentary tummy tuck. The rest of us, however, aren’t generally given that kind of opportunity … rats!
Remedies for Stretch Marked Twin Skin?
We all know there are creams and balms out there with claims to tighten loose skin, but really, once the skin’s elasticity is gone, it’s gone. The only real remedy is to surgically remove the excess fat pockets and loose skin, pulling and tightening the remaining skin and abdominal muscles with discretely tucked sutures, tailored to each woman’s body. Tummy tucks (abdominoplasty), unfortunately, are considered cosmetic procedures and thus not covered under most medical insurance plans. Out of pocket, this procedure can cost upwards of $4,000. There are also stretch mark removal procedures, but again, probably are not covered by insurance.
So how do you deal with your post pregnancy tummy?
What remedies or methods of skin improvement have you discovered? Is there any tightening creams out there that have made any real difference for you? I, as well as all of our readers, would love to learn about any ideas, suggestions or recommendations!