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Cellulite in pregnancy (part 1)

In this guide you will find everything you need to know about cellulite during pregnancy.


  • What is cellulite? What causes cellulite?
  • Why can cellulite worsen in pregnancy?
  • What to do?


Is it normal to have cellulite during pregnancy?


It is quite common to gain cellulite during pregnancy. Pregnancy tends to be a condition that can increase the risk of developing it for several reasons.


What is cellulite?

Cellulite is the extrusion or herniation of fatty deposits under the skin. These deposits can alter the texture of the skin, causing two types of irregularities in the skin.


  • “Orange peel”: an uneven appearance on the skin.
  • Ripples on the skin: internal skin depressions


Cellulite is common in areas more prone to fat accumulation, such as:

  • the hips,
  • the thighs,
  • the knees, and
  • the abdomen
  • or anywhere. As long as there is enough fat, cellulite can develop.


Cellulite is not dangerous. It does not increase morbidity or mortality. However, we understand that cellulite can impact quality of life from an aesthetic point of view.


What causes cellulite?

Unfortunately, we don't know the exact causes of cellulite. What we do know is that the development of cellulite is multifactorial.


  • Genetics 

Some women will develop cellulite and some will not. Unfortunately, it cannot contradict what it inherits in its DNA. However, not all hope is lost. 


  • Lifestyle factors

One of these factors is having excessive levels of body fat.

This is evident from the fact that some women notice an increase in cellulite during times of weight / fat gain.

This is one of the reasons why pregnancy is a common cause of cellulite.

Another lifestyle factor that has been shown to increase fat formation (also known as lipogenesis) is alcohol consumption. 

Finally, the foods you eat can also contribute.


  • High levels of estrogen

Large fluctuations in hormonal levels also contribute to the development of cellulite. Specifically, an increase in estrogen levels.


How does increasing estrogen increase the chance of having cellulite? Estrogen can cause water retention (discussed later), formation of fibroblasts (which cause scarring) and accumulation of fat.


Under what physiological conditions are estrogen levels elevated?

  • Pregnancy
  • Obesity


  • Changes in collagen / aging

Increasing age is another potential risk factor for the development of cellulite. With aging, collagen synthesis decreases.

Collagen is an important protein that helps to form the structural component of many tissues, such as:

  • skin,
  • tendons,
  • blood vessels,
  • organs,
  • bones

As collagen is lost, the skin loses elasticity and soft texture, allowing depositions of fat to become more evident.

  • Water retention

Finally, water retention favors the formation of cellulite. Fat cells can expand with the reabsorption of water, stretching the connective tissue and the collagen that covers it. That is why fluid retention edema can cause noticeable changes in the appearance of the skin.


Under what conditions can water retention occur?

  • Pregnancy,
  • Obesity and
  • Other chronic conditions, such as congestive heart failure, kidney disease and liver cirrhosis.


The formation of cellulite cannot be identified with a single cause. However, pregnancy is associated with many of these factors that can cause the formation of cellulite.


Does cellulite disappear after pregnancy?

Cellulite can disappear after pregnancy. Many women report improvements when they return to their pre-pregnancy weight.


atom eliminate cellulite during pregnancy?

Unfortunately, there is no magic treatment that works for sure. The only thing you can control are lifestyle factors. Specifically, trying to control the levels of body fat. Thus, it is not recommended to try to lose body fat during pregnancy. Instead, you should:



  1. Develop lean muscle tissue

Muscle is one of the best markers of general health in humans. Developing and strengthening muscle tissue can significantly improve the appearance of the skin and subcutaneous tissue.

The good news is that it is totally safe to exercise during pregnancy.

However, it is important to speak to the doctor before engaging in physical activity during pregnancy.


Safe exercises during pregnancy: Most women will develop cellulite on their thighs during pregnancy. They can do exercises adapted to pregnancy, to fight cellulite in these problem areas. The next blog article (part 2) is all dedicated to exercises to do in pregnancy that will improve your physical condition in general. and will act specifically against cellulite.


  • How to exercise the inner thighs during pregnancy
  • How to exercise the outer thighs during pregnancy
  • 9 leg exercises you can do during pregnancy


  1.                 Do not gain excessive weight

It is much easier to say than to do, but it is worth repeating. Maintaining a normal rate of weight gain during pregnancy is important for several reasons:


  • Decreases the risk of preeclampsia and gestational diabetes
  • This decreases the risk of having a macrosomal baby
  • Decreases the risk of cesarean section and postpartum hemorrhage
  • Depending on your weight before pregnancy, you should strive to gain no more than 9-10 kg in total over the course of 40 weeks of gestation.


What foods cause cellulite?

So, is there any food that can cause cellulite? Not necessarily. There is no specific type of food that can definitely be said to cause cellulite. But, there are certain foods that can increase your risk of developing cellulite.

They are the same foods that cause weight gain.


Which are they? 

  • Hypercaloric foods loaded with sugar and fat, which are palatable hypers.
  • Poor quality food
  • Pastry / cakes
  • Fast food
  • Fried foods
  • These foods taste very good - so it's easy to overeat.
  • The main driving force behind fat gain is excessive calorie consumption.


Although it is normal to eat this type of food, from time to time, do your best to minimize their consumption during pregnancy.


Salt- rich foods : Salt- rich foods can exacerbate the development of cellulite. Because? Because salt leads to fluid retention and subsequent edema .


It is worth remembering that we talked about water retention as one of the risk factors for the worsening of the appearance of cellulite.


Are there any effective treatments for cellulite?

In the medical literature, there are many studies that compare different types of treatments with different levels of effectiveness.


The most common forms of treatment mentioned include:


  • Topical creams
  • Lymphatic drainage
  • Acoustic wave massage
  • Laser lipolysis
  • Carboxytherapy
  • Subcision
  • Surgery
  • In general, there is no proven effectiveness in many of these treatment methods. Some patients experience a temporary improvement in cellulite - but it is short-lived.


In fact, many of these treatments must be avoided at all costs during pregnancy There is limited data to demonstrate its effectiveness and there is also no data to support your safety in pregnancy.


The absolutely safest treatment during pregnancy is… a healthy lifestyle!


If you are thinking about getting pregnant, if you are pregnant or in the postpartum period ... Start taking care of your body and it will take care of you!


How to eliminate cellulite in the belly?

Unfortunately, there is no direct way to fight cellulite in the belly, especially during pregnancy.


Belly fat is lost in two ways:

  • Improve nutrition
  • Lose weight / fat


However, it is not recommended that you lose body weight during pregnancy, but you are advised to be careful with what you eat!


Does cellulite disappear with breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding is great for helping you get back to your pre-pregnancy weight, but breastfeeding alone will not make cellulite go away. 

Breastfeeding burns calories! And by burning calories - you are likely to burn some fat. But to eliminate cellulite in the postpartum period you must:


  • Live a healthy lifestyle, 
  • maintain normal body weight 
  • do some resistance physical exercise!


Does drinking water help fight cellulite?

Maintaining good hydration levels can potentially help with cellulite. All of this is related to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.


If you don't drink enough water, you will probably become dehydrated during pregnancy. This can cause fatigue, water retention and uterine cramps.


Increasing your water intake can help improve skin turgor and make connective tissue more flexible. 



How much water should you drink?

Until the urine turns a light yellow color.


Final words on cellulite and pregnancy

Cellulite is an extremely common condition that affects more than 80% of women. Although we do not know the exact cause, we know that there are many factors that contribute to its development.


The pregnancy is a time when the body goes through many changes - some of which can cause the appearance of cellulite.


But if you stay active during pregnancy and your body weight is normal, it makes it harder for cellulite to appear.


In the next article on cellulite in pregnancy , we will present some exercises that the pregnant woman can do. See in Gymnastics in pregnancy and exercises for cellulite! (part 2)