Pregnancy and childbirth are life-changing experiences and it’s no secret that your body goes through changes as well. Very few women have the picture-perfect pregnancies you often see in magazines or on your social media feeds where the belly is perfectly round and the skin flawlessly glowing. If you have had a perfect pregnancy, consider yourself lucky.
For most women stretch marks start popping up everywhere from the belly to the breasts as their bodies expand and the skin stretches at a rapid rate. During pregnancy, changes to your skin aren’t as noticeable as they are after birth. According to Sister Heike Millar, a registered professional nurse and midwife, women are often caught off-guard by the unexpected changes their skin experiences.
“I find that the best reassurance in these cases is to explain the physiological reasons behind their skin worries. For example, changing or increased levels of hormones can cause pigmentation, then there’s stretch marks from your skin expanding and stretching to accommodate your growing baby.”
Once assured that what they are experiencing is quite common, Millar said the next question was almost always around what women can do to give their skin what it needs to stay healthy during pregnancy. “The good news is that most pregnant women experience the same general problems with their skin and, while many of these problems are manageable, others are preventable all together if cared for correctly.” Kirstin Kruger, marketing director for Bio-Oil, said the brand had understood the pregnancy skincare concerns of expectant mothers for more than 30 years and knew that taking care of skin pre- and post-pregnancy could make a difference.
Here are Kruger’s top tips for pregnancy skin care:
1. Prevent pregnancy stretch marks
With up to 90% of women developing pregnancy stretch marks, it’s no wonder this pregnancy skincare concern is at the very top of the list.
Over and above eating correctly, drinking lots of water, and exercising regularly; boosting and maintaining skin’s elasticity is one of the best ways to take early action and prevent the formation of stretch marks.
This is achieved by keeping skin well hydrated and supple through the regular application of a potent skincare oil.
2. Relieve itching
It’s not uncommon for women to experience mild itching during pregnancy. Especially during the third trimester when your skin starts to stretch beyond a level of comfortable.
To relieve itching, it is best to avoid the heat. Take cool baths and showers. Wear loose-fitting cotton clothing.
Keeping the skin moisturized will provide immediate relief to itchy skin by hydrating and soothing it.
3. Improve uneven skin tone
Many pregnant women develop hyper-pigmentation. This is when the skin darkens to change in hormone levels.
Fortunately this discolouring will fade after delivery but it might not disappear completely.
Products like Bio-Oil Skincare Oil has been shown to be effective in helping improve uneven skin tone.