Photo credit Creole Art Photography, Mommmy Blogger Elexis Lynn from www.bahlbabies.com
Pregnancy is such an amazing time. But, I really wish someone would have told me where to expect these mother loving lightning tattoos, aka stretch marks, post delivery and post pregnancy. Typically, when you're expecting a bundle of joy, one tends to think of stretch marks on the belly. The truth is, stretch marks are prone to appear on the arms, breasts, hips, butt, thighs, and the back of your arms.
When I was expecting, I was so concerned about moisturizing my belly that it didn't even dawn on me to moisturize my other body parts. I would slather our Preggy Belly Oil on my belly, while neglecting my arms, my breasts, my hips and thighs. I knew that the EFA's and vitamin E contained in our Preggo Belly Oil made with sunflower, carrot root oil and green tea extract would help with collagen stimulation and protect my skin. Out of naivety, I neglected my other body parts.
What are Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks are cool ass lightning tattoos.
They are also symbolic battle wounds given by mother nature.
On a more serious note, stretch marks are typically formed during muscle gain, pregnancy, weight gain or weight loss. When the body goes through a rapid growth, the skin is stretched if it does not have enough elasticity. The fibers in the skin break, causing the stretch mark.
Many physicians would also argue that genetics play a role in whether or not you are predisposed to stretch marks. One thing is for sure- you can minimize the appearance of stretch marks. Here's a few tips to help prevent and minimize stretch marks during your pregnancy and post pregnancy.
During pregnancy your skin is expanding very quickly. Hydrate your skin with nourishing and vitamin rich oils to help the skin’s elasticity and collagen fibers. The key is to feed your skin to prevent dryness. Dry skin is more prone to crack and break, leading to stretch marks. Moisturize multiple times a day, either with a Preggo Belly Butter or Preggo Belly Oil.
2. Eat Right and Feed Your Skin.
Eating foods that are abundant in beta-carotene, antioxidants and collagen helps your body naturally produce the necessary nutrients that heal you from the inside out. Check out the mini-list below.
- Sweet potatoes
- Nuts (pecan, hazelnut and more)
- Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts
- Dark leafy greens
- Acorn squash
- Coconut water
- Chia seeds
NOTE: An itchy belly is a sign that your skin is stretching. Avoid itching by rubbing a moisturizing oil or butter to feed the skin and help minimize stretch marks.
Massage is great for oxygenation of soft tissues and muscles. Massage also releases lactic acid or toxic buildup in muscles. The further you get into your pregnancy, you may experience joint and back pain. Pregnancy massages help to relieve that pain and improve circulation. Try a deep penetrating massage with our Preggo Belly Oil.
Exercise is excellent way to help improve blood circulation. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, recommends 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise per day Exercising helps improve posture, keeps you and your baby healthy and helps relieve stress.
Let's talk discoloration, pregnancy acne and chafing.
During pregnancy your skin changes. The changes in your body caused by hormones can cause acne, pimples, discoloration, moles and dark freckles. Here are a few tips to help deal with some of the changes brought on during pregnancy.
Melasma also known as the "Mask of Pregnancy" or chlosma is discoloration of the skin or often dark patches on the skin near the forehead, upper lip, cheeks and jawline.
Did you know that 50% of women experience discoloration during pregnancy? Avoid using and eating ingredients with soy and chickpea which contain phytoestrogens. This plant steroid mimics estrogen. These foods and ingredients can actually make your melasma and skin pigmentation worse.
- Practice safe sun care. This means avoid direct heat exposure and use sunscreen.
- Exfoliate once a week either with our Green Smoothie Face Scrub & Masque or our Rose Geranium & Neroli Whipped Sugar Scrub.
Acne, Pimples and Eczema
Pregnancy acne is quite common. But just like moles, discoloration, freckles and chafing, it's all temporary. During pregnancy, your skin may become extra sensitive. So you may need to take extra steps to prevent acne flare up or scarring. While pregnant, your body produces hormones such as progesterone that increases sebum production. An excess of sebum can clog pores and lead to acne, breakouts and bacteria buildup.
A simple and effective skin care regimen implemented every morning and every night. Include the following:
- Clean pillow cases
- Clean hair
- Clean towels
- Clean makeup brushes
- Use Fragrance free products, including laundry detergents
- Avoid ingredients that include retinols, salicylic acids, soy and hydroxy acids.
Moles and freckles
With moles and freckles, there really isn't much that can be done. However, should the mole or freckle change in appearance or shape, please contact a healthcare professional. Remember that it's only temporary and will eventually go away on it's own, post delivery.
Heat Rash, Eczema and Chafing
You may experience chafing in some parts of your body. Chafing or heat rashes are caused when the body overheats and dampness is present. Avoid using baby powder to keep those parts fresh, as talc has been identified as harmful and carcinogenic.
- Use a cool compress for the heat rash
- Stay cool by rinsing off.
- Try dusting cornstarch to help hydrate the skin. If your condition gets worse, schedule a call or appointment with your health care professional.
- Wear light clothing that will allow your skin to breathe.
When it comes to eczema or dermatitis, you want to see a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis. Eczema may be triggered by food allergies, environmental conditions, stress, fragrances, common allergies or even your jewelry. Figure out what your triggers are early on. Remember to avoid stress, exercise to help release endorphins, stay hydrated and stay cool.
Recap, when it comes to stretch marks, don’t neglect your other body parts. With acne, chafing and discoloration, keep in mind that they are all temporary. The good news is that they will go away on their own, post delivery. Worst case scenario, you will be left with some super cool lightning tattoos.
Until next time, stay the bad ass unicorn that you are.
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