Pregnancy Skincare: What’s Going On and What to Do About It
The pregnancy glow is a reality for a lot of mothers, but most women experience some sort of pregnancy skincare conundrum before giving birth. Let’s take a look at what’s going on and how you can take care of your skin by taking care of your basic health.
The Realities of Pregnancy and Skincare
- Pregnancy is a time of major hormonal change. These hormones can produce that pregnancy “glow” that makes some mothers look so radiant and lovely from beginning to end.
- However, similar to puberty, pregnancy hormones can also cause your skin to freak out a bit and react in ways you aren’t used to.
- Understand that everyone’s bodies are different and, as with nearly every part of a pregnancy, your experience is unique to you. Some women glow with no effort, some women break out unexpectedly. Your skin may get drier, redder or even stay the same. Don’t focus on what “should” be happening—just take care of yourself.
Taking Care of Your Whole Body
- Skin can often reflect systemic nutrition and health issues, so one of the best things you can do for your skin is to address your basic health and nutrition.
- Drink plenty of water and get as much sleep as you can. Hydration and rest can work wonders for the skin, even when you aren’t pregnant.
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet. You can indulge your pregnancy cravings, but try to balance that out with some healthy food. For example, if you want some ice cream, try giving yourself a small portion with some fruit and nuts.
- Consider working with a registered dietitian (RD) rather than simply taking your doctor’s advice on diet and nutrition. Your doctor has special training that makes him or her an excellent resource for most elements of your pregnancy. However, this training many not include detailed or current nutritional education. Many doctors take a single nutrition class in medical school and do not receive continuing education in this specialty area after the fact. This means their information can be both outdated and incomplete. Dietitians, on the other hand, have specialized professional education focusing solely on what you should eat. In most states they must keep current on research and education to keep their licenses. There are lots of dietetic resources for pregnant women. Some dietitians even specialize in pregnancy nutrition. Books about pregnancy diets written by qualified professionals are a good option as well.
Taking Care of Your Skin
- Use gentle cleansers so you don’t further irritate your skin. Try all-natural products that address the specific issues you’re having. However, don’t make dramatic changes to your skincare routine. Doing so can actually prolong some issues that might have resolved on their own with some patience.
- Your face isn’t the only area you can care for at this time. Using nourishing lotions containing ingredients like vitamin E or shea butter on your belly can minimize the appearance of stretch marks as bump expansion progresses. Mothers expecting multiples may want to start early. If you found these lotions effective during pregnancy, you can use also use them afterwards. Additionally, you can even treat fully healed c-section scars the same way.
- Don’t suffer through nipple soreness at this point. Conditioning your nipples during pregnancy can better prepare you for breastfeeding. It can also help with some of the breast tenderness you may be experiencing at this point.