Thursday, February 13, 2014

Guest Blogger: Bri Jackson

Hi ladies!!

Today, I have the pleasure of featuring a guest blogger named Bri Jackson. She has an amazing weightloss story to share and happens to be one of the GORGEOUS ladies featured on Maria Kang's calendar this year! Check out her tips for post pregnancy skin care tips below!

Post Pregnancy Skin Care: Helping Your Skin Heal After Childbirth

As a mother of three children (one by emergency C-section), I’d have to say that post pregnancy skin care has been very important in my fitness routine. I hear so many moms express a desire to get their bodies back after giving birth and rightfully so! Everyone has different goals for their bodies after giving birth, but I remember being particularly bothered by excess skin and misshaped skin caused by c-section.

I researched ways to help my skin heal and have had amazing results. The great thing about a skin care regimen (and most of these tips) after pregnancy is that it’s something you can begin almost immediately after giving birth. So while you’re resting, bonding with baby, or waiting for approval to exercise, get back to work, and return to your normal routine; this is something you can do to boost your confidence and give back to yourself! Now, don’t get me wrong; these tips aren’t just for new moms! They may also be effective for skin healing after general weight loss. (I’ve have lost almost 70 pounds since giving birth!)

My favorite thing to say is CONSISTENCY IS KEY. Unfortunately, there is no quick fix for our bodies and healing stretched skin takes time. So if you decide integrate some of these tips into your skin care regimen, allow time for your body to adjust and rebuild your skin after pregnancy or weight loss. It’s been two years since giving birth to my third child and I am astonished by the healing my skin has done. 
Here goes…

Five Steps for Skin Care After Pregnancy

Step 1: Increase blood flow. This will help your skin regain and maintain elasticity and increase its regenerating power. There are several ways to increase blood flow to your skin. Use a salt or sugar scrub on your skin every time you shower to increase circulation to particular areas. Take time to practice deep breathing exercises every day, even if it’s for only five minutes. I usually do my breathing exercises before bed. Treat yourself to a massage to improve circulation whenever you can afford it. I negotiated 15 minute foot and leg massage to promote circulation for only $20 bucks and there are cheap reflexology stations popping up at malls all over the country! You can also sprinkle in a yoga class once a week for a great meditative breathing workout.

Step 2: Weight Train/Train with Your Weight. The biggest changes for my skin came when I began to focus more on lifting weights and integrating body weight exercises like squats, leg lifts, and planks into my workouts. My doctor gave me deep breathing exercises that involved lying down and pulling the abdominals toward the spine to practice after the c-section surgery. You may want to ask your physician when and how to do these breathing exercise properly as they can play a big role in  the healing process after giving birth. 

Research shows that balancing exercises are the most effective exercises for flattening and strengthening the abdominal muscles after giving birth, particularly after a c-section. So every time I work out, I practice balancing exercises or stand on a BOSU ball. I may be doing arm exercises, but the ball engages the core. Multitasking at its best!

Step 3: Water. Water. Water. A general rule of thumb is to drink at least half your weight in ounces, but I strive for a gallon per day! Remember that you should be drinking more water than any other fluid.  Proper hydration helps your body transport oxygen and other vital nutrients to the skin and throughout your body.

Step 4: Feed your skin. Make sure you’re getting enough protein, fruits, and vegetables. Your skin needs vitamin E, proteins, and many other vitamins/nutrients to regenerate. A simple nutritional deficiency could really inhibit your skin’s ability to heal, regenerate, or produce collagen. Most hospitals have nutrition education programs for new moms, take advantage of those tools!

Step 5: Moisturize the right way. I got rid of any products that contained SULFATES. Sulfates, which are found in shampoo, lotion, and soap are known to dry skin out and decrease collagen production. I decided to go simple by moisturizing with extra virgin olive oil or extra virgin coconut oil. Both of these oils are nutrient rich for the skin and provide amazing benefits. Adding lavender and jasmine essential oils to is shown to specifically decrease appearance of stretch marks and scars.

There it is folks! Simple, natural, and effective. Remember….CONSISTENCY IS KEY!

About the guest blogger: Bri Jackson is a mom of three, group fitness instructor, citizen journalist for Natural News, and author of the Health & Wellness Blog at She is a natural living enthusiast striving to make the natural living transition easier for others. Bri was recently featured as 'Miss November' in Maria Kang's 2014 Fit Mom Swimsuit Calendar, as seen below!

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