Pregnancy in any woman is a wonderful time in her life. It brings a huge effect on a woman’s body and mind throughout the 40 weeks period. The hormones play a major role during this time and that is also the reason women face mood swings during this period. But this is perfectly normal and acceptable. When I fell pregnant, the first few weeks were a complete bliss. I felt great and my energy levels were very high.
I was the conqueror of my thoughts and all went well until the the dreadful issue of morning sickness caught me.
Like any other pregnant woman, I spent the majority part of my day throwing up or feeling like doing so. I lost all my energy and the culprit hormones inside me shut down my conqueror mode. Mood swings hit me hard and I followed all the suggestions from my healthcare professional to help myself. Very soon, I was feeling like a normal human again.
All through the morning sickness phase, I was not really myself and did not notice any other changes to my body but as I slowly progressed out of it, I started spotting the changes my body has been through. I noticed many changes especially skin changes that were drastic.
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Skin Changes Which You will Notice in Pregnancy
#1. Mask of Pregnancy
During the second trimester, women can develop dark spots around the neck and very soon they can start noticing dark patches under the arms and behind ears. It is called “Chloasma or Melasma”
or commonly called as “Mask of Pregnancy”
which is one of the most common skin changes during pregnancy. It is caused by the increase in “Melanin” hormone during pregnancy that results in pigmentation.
Our skin develops increased sensitivity to sun exposure which causes the occurrence of the dark spots. There is nothing to worry about it as it is harmless and disappears on its own. However, it can also lead to low self esteem in various women.Following are the few precautions one can follow to avoid skin pigmentation:
- Applying a good sunblock before (at least 20 minutes) stepping out in the sun and the key factor is to keep reapplying it at time-intervals as mentioned in the instructions.
- Including sunscreen into the daily skincare routine. Apply a low SPF sunscreen while staying indoors.
- Avoid strong fragrances face cleanser. Use a gentle one.
- Though the above ways are effective, but for a lot of women, initial dark patches will not fade away completely and it is best to start accepting the fact it’s a part of pregnancy and not to bother so much about it. After childbirth, the mask will slowly fade off.
#2. Linea Nigra (The Pregnancy Line)
As the pregnancy progresses, women can start noticing a dark line running down the abdomen called “Linea Nigra”
commonly known as “The Pregnancy Line”
. In many cases, there are chances that one could already have the line and it only thickens and gets more noticeable during pregnancy. The line will get darker as the weeks progress and it is absolutely a normal part of pregnancy and there is nothing to do to prevent it. Like the “Mask of pregnancy” this line will also fade out after pregnancy.
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#3. Dry and Itchy skin
It is very common for expectant mothers to experience dry and itchy skin. It is mostly associated with the increased level of blood supply to the body. Also, the skin stretches more as the baby grows and this increases the elasticity factor of the skin especially in the abdominal area which causes itching.
In many scenarios, itchy skin is harmless and can be controlled by the following steps:
- Applying moistening lotion over the skin can help to avoid itching. It is best to moisturise the skin from the early stages of pregnancy as it will lessen the damage the skin will go through in later period as it starts to stretch more.
- Even though it is tempting scratch the itches, doing so will only make it worse. Hence, avoid rubbing the itches. There could be circumstances where the itchy skin can be caused due to any other medical issue so if the itching persists and continues, it is always advisable to get it checked.
#4. Varicose Veins
These are the greenish blue lines that appear on the legs during pregnancy. They appear like swollen veins and can be painful. This is caused due to the blood flow being compensated as it supplied to the growing baby. Varicose veins are more related to the genetics and the women are highly prone to experience it when their family members have already faced it. It is genetically passed on to others in the family.
This can be quite uncomfortable and to eliminate or reduce the occurrence of it, follow the below tips:
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- Reduce the amount of standing time.
- Exercising regularly as it will enhance the blood flow to the cardiovascular system.
- There are socks that are available in markets that aims at reducing the pain caused.
- Gaining too much weight in a lesser period of time can cause stress to the veins and it can lead to varicose veins. Hence, be watchful in your weight management and avoid excess weight gain.
- Intake of adequate Vitamin C can help in eliminating the pain as it helps to relax the veins.
To sum up, these above mentioned skin changes are all a natural part of pregnancy. A key factor that can keep a pregnant woman going is to reiterate the fact that the skin changes are normal as the body is in the process of creating a little human inside which is an absolute miracle.
After childbirth, many of these skin modifications will go away and the skin changes will not be a big problem.