Part 4. Body Care during Pregnancy
To prevent or at least to minimize stretch marks follow recommendations below:
To prevent or minimize stretches on the target zones (belly, hips, breasts) apply specially developed anti-stretch creams. Several companies market skin-care products including special anti-stretch treatments for pregnant women. Some of them claim that their products have been developed under dermatologists’ and gynecologists’ supervision as well as that they have been clinically tested. However we recommend that you get your doctors’ opinion about the product you intend to use.
Some women prefer natural moisturizing products that are believed to help to reduce stretches. To achieve the effect it is recommended to apply your anti-stretch marks solution 2 times a day with light circular massaging movements. It has to be mentioned that there is not enough evidence that any special creams or solutions make a considerable difference in stretch-marks development.
The good news is that in some women most of the stretch marks fade after pregnancy. Those that do not fade after pregnancy can be treated and removed. Consult with your doctor or dermatologists on what treatments you can use to minimize stretch marks appearance before and after pregnancy.
During pregnancy due to hormonal changes your breasts will become bigger and you can experience the uncomfortable feeling of stretching and itching. Some companies offer topical bust moisturizing products for pregnant women that will help to relieve these symptoms as well as minimize or prevent the loss of breast firmness and elasticity after pregnancy. Take measures against stretch marks on breasts as well, as described above.
You can also improve the shape, firmness of your breasts as well as prevent sagging and stretch marks by doing regular exercises specially targeting this area. The easiest and well known exercise is to press the palms together in front of your breast for 5 seconds and then relax. Repeat 10 times.
Legs: Swelling and Varicose Veins
Due to the increasing weight and related to it change in blood circulation many women experience discomfort such as swelling of their legs and feet that can be not just unpleasant to the eye but painful.
To prevent or minimize the swelling follow the following tips:
Because of hormonal changes that result in the reduction of vein firmness many women can develop blue, green lines often slightly raised above the skin level – varicose veins; as well as so called “spider veins” – which are often reddish in colour, are thinner and appear in a spider shape. It is recommended to prevent varicose veins from developing by stimulating blood circulation (light exercises which your doctor can recommend).
Many women notice that during their pregnancy nails grow quicker. And though some will also notice them becoming stronger, a lot of women experience much weaker brittle nails. This may be due to calcium deficit.
There are contradictory opinions on the safety of doing a manicure when pregnant. Some sources suggest that certain chemicals in the nail polish removers like methyl methacrylate and acetonitrile are not safe to use during pregnancy. To keep on the safe side you might prefer to limit your nails’ grooming routine to cutting, shaping and buffing. It is not recommended to get nail extensions or artificial nails during pregnancy.
Most pregnant women will find that their hair condition will improve during pregnancy. Hair tends to grow faster and fall out less during this period. This is due to the increase of estrogens and stimulation of the growing stage of the hair. Some women though will experience increase or appearance of unwanted hair on the face, belly or around the nipples. There might also be changes in hair texture as it can become drier or oilier. There are some cases when women would even notice change in hair color.
After pregnancy, many women experience hair loss that usually normalizes in time. Adjust your hair-care products according to your hair needs during pregnancy. Regular and careful hair care during and after pregnancy will help you to keep it at its healthiest and minimize hair loss.