It’s the one bonus (apart from the obvious) that makes the stretch marks, varicose veins, sickness, aching joints, swollen limbs and all the other bizarre symptoms seem not so bad after all. However, not every mum will enjoy the delights of dewy pregnant skin. In fact complications, such as acne, dryness and pigmentation patches are all too common in pregnancy, and can make some poor mummies feel decidedly un-yummy.
Amal Rashkidi, a midwife and medical director of the Silkor Laser Medical Centre, which offers a wide range of pre-natal and post natal skin treatments, is all too familiar with the highs and lows of pregnancy skin. She advises mums to take special care from the outset, by finding the right products for their skin and their baby. ‘Establishing a good skin care regimen early on in pregnancy can help prevent problems later on,’ she explains. ‘But expectant mums should pay attention to what products they use as some creams contain chemicals which can enter the blood stream and potentially affect their baby. Therefore, any skin care routine during any point of your pregnancy should only be initiated only once mums have consulted their obstetrician.’ She advises pregnant women to steer clear of products containing glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and AHAs. Parabens, artificial fragrances, phthalates and dibutyl phthalates, acetone, ethanol, soy products and retinol should also be avoided. Some essential oils are not suitable for pregnancy either, and none should be used at all during the first trimester.
Follow Amal’s tips to regain that yummy mummy glow
AcneYep. You thought you’d left that little nightmare behind in your late teens, but here it is again, rearing its ugly head so to speak. Lots of pregnant women suffer from acne, especially during the first trimester.
Solution In extreme cases, antibiotics such as erythromycin can be prescribed. However, you should always consult your obstetrician before considering such action and be aware that this kind of acne often clears up as the pregnancy progresses.
Skin discoloration Known as the ‘mask of pregnancy’, this condition is common during the second or third trimester. It typically appears as large patches of darker skin around the mouth and on the cheeks. But don’t panic! It will disappear very soon after delivery, and will be a distant memory by the time bub’s first smile appears.
Solution Use sunscreen. Pregnant skin is very sensitive to sunlight. Covering up and applying chemical-free sun blocks which have mineral filters, protects your skin and will help prevent dark patches forming.
Itchy tummy It doesn’t only get itchy when it’s as tight as a drum in your third trimester. Even small bumps can feel irritated and uncomfortable at times. This is due to hormone fluctuations, causing dryness, as well as the skin being stretched.
Solution Moisturise. Pure olive oil and sunflower oil are a soothing and economical option, or treat yourself to some pure jojoba or sweet almond oil. Stay away from agents that dry the skin such as soaps that have alcohol as an ingredient. Showering in lukewarm water can help too.
Be good to yourself
Don’t be a stressed out mummy. Take time to look after yourself and reap the rewards
Relax! Stress isn’t good for your skin or your baby. Rewarding yourself with a spa day or massage is essential. Do you really need another excuse?
Best foot forward Avoid flat flip flops or killer high heels as they can lead to back pain, tripping over and varicose veins. Wearing a 2-3cm heel provides optimum comfort. Pressotherapy, a treatment for aid lymphatic drainage and fluid retention, is great for relieving tired legs during pregnancy.
Drink water It will make you pee more, but taking in adequate fluids is very important, not only for your skin, but for the health of your baby. Drinking adequate water helps reduce water retention, and enables your body to maintain its increased blood volume – vital for bub’s healthy development. It also prevents that other annoying little consequence of pregnancy that can cause poor skin and moodiness – constipation!
Check out these top pre-natal products for maintaining supple, glowing skin
Made4Baby Belly Oil, the perfect all-over solution to itchy skin and stretch marks.
ABCDerm Solaire 50+ This mineral-based sun cream is gentle enough even for babies.
Dhs85, available at all major pharmacies