SKIN AND HAIR CHANGES DURING PREGNANCY
Pregnancy is one of the most fulfilling and wonderful time in the life of a woman. It is a time when she discovers that she is going to be a mother and the period is mingled with feelings of excitement and anticipation. Sometimes there may be lurking doubt that the coming of the baby will mean a complete change in her lifestyle and responsibility.
It is true that the woman's body goes undergo many glandular and hormonal changes during pregnancy, which do affect the skin, hair, weight and figure. Some of these changes may be actually beneficial for the lady.
Skin changes :-
Skin tends to glow with the complexion becoming clear and fresh. These changes in the skin do not take place very early in pregnancy.
Dry Skin :-
Some women with dry skin may find their skins getting drier and a moisturizer with toning cream may be required. A pre-bath gel will help to keep the skin soft and protect it from the dehydrating effect of soap and water.
In some women, pigmentation of the skin leading to dark spots or patches may be seen that may aggravate on exposure to sun. This is known as chloasma or the 'pregnancy mask'. It usually disappears by the end of pregnancy. A protective sunscreen cream before going out in the sun is recommended.
Stretch Marks :-
Stretch marks occur due to over stretching of the skin and are seen commonly over the abdomen and the breasts. This occurs due to weight gain followed by weight loss in pregnancy. Some women develop stretch marks more easily than others underlying a genetic cause. Using moisturizer and creams containing Vitamin E and Aloe Vera is found useful to decrease the stretch marks and should be continued even after delivery.
In women with oily skin, the oiliness may increase and thorough and regular cleansing is the first way to keep the skin free of blackheads. Eliminating fried foods, chocolates and cola drinks is also useful.
Weight gain :-
The total weight gained in pregnancy ranges from 10-12 kgs. In the 1st 3months the weight increases by only 1-2 kg followed by around 4-5 kgs in the next 3months and 5-6 kgs in the last 3 months. Thus the pregnant belly is not apparent till about the fifth month. It is important to eat a well-balanced diet with adequate nourishment in the form of vitamins, proteins and minerals. Your doctor will prescribe vitamins, calcium and iron supplements to fulfill the requirement for the mother and the expectant child. Exercise is important to check excessive weight gain and maintain muscle tone as muscles may become flabby during pregnancy. Heavy exercises which result in exhaustion and fatigue, should not be undertaken. Walking, stretching exercises are probably the best exercise.
Breast changes :-
There is both an increase in the size and weight of the breasts during pregnancy due to increase in fat and enlargement of the milk secreting glands. The breasts do not contain any muscular tissue, so it is necessary to give them adequate support to prevent sagging. Many women hesitate to breast feed their babies, thinking that it will cause loss in the shape of the breast, but breast-feeding itself infact leads to early return of the shape and tone of the breast. A supporting brassier is very important during pregnancy and lactation, to give support to the breasts and to the shoulder muscles, which support the breasts. The support should be front above and below.
Hair loss :-
It is seen in number of women who are pregnant. It is especially more after childbirth. It is due to iron and vitamin deficiencies and hormonal changes. A diet with adequate supplies of iron, iodine and Vitamin B will help cases of falling hair. However, one should not worry about going bald - once the hormones balance out the hair once again starts growing.
Thus, a balanced diet, adequate sleep, fresh air, exercise is a must for a healthy and wonderful pregnancy.
Last created on 07-05-2004
Last updated on 18-11-2006