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You’ve Pampered Your Baby, Now Pamper Yourself

Restore your beauty, energy and confidence

When was the last time you did something just for yourself? Still thinking? It’s amazing how once we have kids, it feels like a luxury to take the time for a massage, a pedicure or even a bubble bath.

There are days when you just pop your hair into a ponytail and decide to forego makeup. You wear your baggy clothes and wish that just for a minute you could have your pre-pregnancy shape. The days of wearing a bikini seem long, long ago.

If you feel like your inner glow has dimmed, don’t give up hope. There are simple ways to enhance your natural beauty and have you feeling – and looking – fabulous again.

“Some women are overwhelmed when they have a new baby,” says Dr. Frank Toscano, co-owner of Red Bamboo Medi Spa in Clearwater, named Best Aesthetic Enhancements in 2010 by Tampa Bay Metro Magazine. “They’re not eating well, they’re not sleeping well and they feel badly about themselves.”

Take a quick look in the mirror. Do you look tired? Does your skin look rosy or blotchy? Many women have uneven pigmentation after pregnancy. Do you have laugh lines from all the times your kids made you smile and worry lines from all the times they tried to turn your hair gray?

Red Bamboo’s board certified doctors can eliminate those dark under-eye circles, smooth out the wrinkles, remove unwanted hair, enhance the natural beauty of your eyes and create a fuller smile. But the greatest change is the amount of confidence women have when they leave.

Michelle Susan knows that firsthand. The Palm Harbor mother of two ate healthy and exercised often, but just couldn’t lose that one area of fat.

“It was a banana roll, that area that’s right below your butt and on top of your legs,” Susan laughed. “I would work out six days a week. I’m not overweight, but it wasn’t going away. I was in the best shape of my life, but working out would only take me so far.”

With a full-time job and an 8-year-old and a 2-year-old at home, Susan knew she didn’t want a treatment with a long recovery period. She set up an appointment for Smartlipo. The painless and minimally-invasive procedure uses laser light to permanently remove fat and tighten the skin. It costs less than traditional liposuction and is done while the patient is awake.

Best of all, the procedure can be done on a Friday and by Saturday you can be back to lifting your toddler and back to work on Monday. She could even begin working out again.

“I was back on the StairMaster in three days, but I did it slowly,” Susan says. “At the two-week mark, I went back to my exercise classes.”

Looking better also helped her feel better, Susan said. Dr. Toscano hears that a lot.

“It helps them get their self-confidence back,” he says. “The fat doesn’t come back once we’ve removed it. Now they can dress the way they like, and feel great about how they look.”

Sometimes it’s hard for new moms to have enough energy to think about making an appointment for a facial, let alone for an aesthetics consultation with a doctor. Many women suffer from headaches, insomnia, fatigue, sweats, weight gain, even depression. You can blame the hormones.

“One of the things that happen after pregnancy is your immune system changes,” Dr. Toscano says. “Some of these changes we can detect and correct and that helps with the insomnia and other symptoms.”

It’s similar to the hormone changes women go through with menopause and perimenopause.

“As we age, we produce lower levels of specific hormones than we did when we were younger. In women, that means different levels of estrogen and progesterone,” Dr. Toscano says.

The doctors at Red Bamboo use a blood test to identify which hormones are deficient and create an individualized Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy program. Bioidentical hormones are natural and match the body’s hormones molecule by molecule, so your body can metabolize them as it was designed to do, minimizing side effects.

The benefits are huge. In addition to helping you feel better, having a proper hormone balance can lead to better concentration, a stronger libido and lots more energy. Best of all, that feeling of being overwhelmed by all the changes going on in your body can be replaced by the knowledge that you’re healthy and able to give your kids the care and attention they need.

There are a lot of books about pregnancy and about raising children, but there aren’t as many guides about what you can do for yourself to restore your beauty, energy and confidence after you have kids. Michelle Susan, the mother in Palm Harbor, may have the best advice of all.

“First, try everything you can do,” she said. “You know your own body and when you can’t do it through diet or through exercise, don’t waste years.”

Frank Toscano, M.D., and Laszlo Teleszky, M.D., are the founders of the Red Bamboo Medi Spa at 2516 N. McMullen Booth Road in Clearwater and at Red Bamboo Too at 2511 W. Swann Avenue in South Tampa. Visit for more information.

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