Cellulite After Pregnancy: Is There a Solution?

April 24, 2024

You have some cellulite after pregnancy and want to understand how to get back “like before.”?

In this article, we talk about how to get rid of cellulite after pregnancy, when water retention goes away after childbirth, how to drain your legs after childbirth, how to tone your body and when your hips will shrink after pregnancy.

How to remove cellulite after pregnancy?

Postpartum cellulite is a common condition that many women experience.

Keep in mind that cellulite generally affects 80 to 90 percent of women, 20 years of age and older.

The causes of cellulite are diverse, as are the treatments.

It is (in a simplified way) a disordered arrangement of body fat accumulations that leads to this blemish.

Although it is generally not dangerous or painful, it can cause great psychological stress.

To reduce it, the first thing to do is to adopt a healthy lifestyle.

First, a balanced diet rich in antioxidant foods and low in fat and sugar can make a big difference. (This also helps with other risky situations such as high transaminases.)

Foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins are good allies in the fight against cellulite.

In addition, physical activity plays a key role and it helps with other conditions like headache.

Targeted exercises, such as squats and Pilates, can help tone muscles and improve the appearance of the skin.

Do not underestimate the importance of massage techniques and specific treatments such as mesotherapy or pressure therapy, which should be discussed and evaluated with a professional.

If the situation is particularly severe, other treatments are also available, although there is no data on the duration of results of any of these.

What are the treatments for cellulite?

One study has summarized all the available treatments and their relative effectiveness, although as yet there appears to be no treatment that is completely resolving in the long term.

Here is a table with a summary of treatments for cellulite and their relative effectiveness.

TreatmentMechanism of ActionEfficacy
Topical AgentsStimulate microcirculation, neocollagenesis, lipolysis, inhibit lipogenesis, etc.Moderate efficacy in reducing thigh circumference observed in systematic review/meta-analysis.
Oral SupplementsAntioxidant effectsLimited clinical evidence; significant improvement reported with oral collagen consumption.
MassageStimulates lymphatic drainage, addresses microcirculation deficienciesSignificant improvement reported in observational studies with LPG Endermologie.
Energy-Based TherapiesUtilizes RF, light, laser, acoustic waves for skin tightening and collagen remodelingEffective in reducing cellulite appearance; FDA-approved devices available.
Subcision(non-incisional subcutaneous surgery) Cuts fibrous septae, redistributes adipose lobules, smoothes skin surfaceSignificant improvement observed with manual subcision, vacuum-assisted, and laser-assisted.
Injectable FillersStimulate neocollagenesis, improve skin thickness and elasticitySignificant improvement reported with calcium hydroxyapatite and poly-l-lactic acid.

When does water retention go away after childbirth?

Water retention, which often contributes to the appearance of cellulite, usually resolves itself in the first few weeks after childbirth.

To speed up this process, it is essential to maintain adequate hydration.

Drinking at least 8-10 glasses of water a day helps stimulate the lymphatic system and eliminate excess fluid.

Another effective strategy is to reduce sodium intake in the diet, which can increase water retention.

Prefer fresh to packaged foods and try to limit the use of salt in your meals.

If water retention persists, it is important to consult a doctor to rule out other possible causes.

How to drain the legs after childbirth?

Draining the legs and reducing postpartum swelling can be achieved with simple daily habits.

Regular low-impact exercises such as walking or swimming can improve circulation and help drain fluids.

Elevating the legs when resting, resting them on a pillow, can also facilitate venous return.

In addition, professionally performed lymphatic drainage massages can be especially beneficial.

These massages stimulate the lymphatic system, helping the body get rid of excess fluids and toxins.

How to tone the body after childbirth?

Regaining muscle tone after pregnancy takes time and commitment.

A postpartum exercise routine, approved by your doctor, can include activities such as yoga, Pilates or workouts specifically for new mothers.

These exercises not only help tone your body, but can also improve your mental health.

It is also important to incorporate strength training into your routine.

Using light weights or resistance bands can help you build muscle and burn fat, helping to improve the overall appearance of your skin and reduce cellulite.

cellulite after pregnancy

When do hips shrink after pregnancy?

Hips and other body parts may take time to return to their pre-pregnancy size.

This process can vary significantly from woman to woman.

Generally, hips can be expected to start shrinking within the first six months after delivery, with a more complete return to a pre-pregnancy-like state within a year.

Targeted exercises such as side lunges and squats can help tone and strengthen the muscles around the hips, thereby supporting the shrinking process.

However, it is essential to proceed gradually and respect your body’s timing, partly because recovery may also depend on the type of delivery, natural or cesarean.

We are with you.

At Parentalife, we support you throughout the parenting journey.

We offer personalized guides, classes and counseling to support you every step of this journey.

If you feel the need for help, contact us without hesitation.


  1. Is it normal to have cellulite after pregnancy?

    Yes, it is completely normal and common for many women. Cellulite affects between 80 and 90 percent of women.

  2. How long does it take to see improvement in cellulite?

    Improvements can vary, but many women see positive changes within 3 to 6 months depending on the chosen intervention.

  3. Can I use anti-cellulite creams?

    Some creams may offer temporary improvements. It is best to consult with a dermatologist for recommended products.


Gabriel A, Chan V, Caldarella M, Wayne T, O’Rorke E. Cellulite: Current Understanding and Treatment. Aesthet Surg J Open Forum. 2023 Jun 21;5:ojad050. doi: 10.1093/asjof/ojad050. PMID: 37424836; PMCID: PMC10324940.

About the Author

Severino Cirillo

Health, Wellness and Education Expert. With a degree in Community Health, he is the CEO of Informed Parent and is responsible for validating the blog's scientific information and coordinating the editorial team of experts, consisting of gynecologists, midwives, psychotherapists, and others in pregnancy, perinatal, and parenting wellness and health.