As soon as you are pregnant, you will notice many changes to your body. Correspondingly, your beauty care will also alter.
This is the perfect opportunity to try out new products and to treat yourself to a little “extravagance” ‒ such as a trip to the beauty salon, a pedicure or a day at the spa!
And we can give you one universal beauty tip to observe: Get enough sleep! Play Snow White or Sleeping Beauty ‒ you won’t have the opportunity to do so again for quite a while once the baby is there!
Your hormones are having a party to end all parties ‒ with the pleasant side effect that the increased oestrogen levels raise the amount of water in your tissues, thereby causing the small lines in your face to disappear. Your skin becomes peachy and smooth and your cheeks have a rosy glow.
Another effect of the hormones is less pleasing. This is because they also promote the production of the sebaceous and sweat glands, so that many women experience sudden blemishes reminiscent of puberty.
But there is some consolation for all those plagued with spots. After the first trimester, your body will have adapted itself to the new circumstances and will cope better with the hormonal roller coaster.
What you should be aware of during your entire pregnancy is the greater proneness towards pigmentation marks. Birthmarks, freckles and nipples tend to become darker at this time.
It is thus advisable to avoid direct exposure to the sun as far as possible and to use a sunscreen with a high protection factor.
- Hairy times ahead! As pregnancy hormones prevent normal hair loss, expectant mums can look forward to 10 percent more hair on their head.
However, there is a catch. Not only do the healthy hairs stay longer on your head but also the dull and damaged ones, too. Here, hair repair masks, conditioners or special hair oils can help to bring the gloss back.
- Is the higher oestrogen level causing you to experience increased sebum production and to thus suffer from greasy hair? Then it would be better to avoid hot blow-drying and too much hair brushing, as these boost sebum production. By the way, you hair will also benefit from less heat even after pregnancy!
- Chemically dyeing your hair is harmless. However, studies of breastfeeding mothers detected the remains of chemicals from hair dyes in the breast milk and in the fatty tissue of the baby.
So err on the side of caution and use mousse colourations to keep your hair looking fresh and full of vitality. With these products, the colour pigments just cover the hair, whereas chemical dyes penetrate directly into the hair.
During pregnancy you should avoid colouring your hair with henna, as the principal dyestuff it contains (Lawson) is suspected to be carcinogenic.
The tragic truth is that approximately 70 percent of expectant mums will be afflicted by stretch marks during pregnancy. The areas which are mainly affected include the belly, thighs, hips, breasts and bottom. Particularly women with weak connective tissue tend to suffer worse from the unsightly stripes.
However, you can take some measures and prevent the worst from happening. Your permanent companion from the 13th week of pregnancy will be the pinching massage, which is a tried-and-tested method in countering stretch marks.
This massage involves pulling your skin up briefly and vigourously between your thumb and index finger as you squeeze these lightly together. By doing this twice a day, your skin will become softer and more supple.
You can support this effect with oils such as jojoba or almond oil, ideally enriched with vitamin E. You can confidently do without expensive creams with their advertising promises.
Please note that you should leave out the pubic bone to prevent triggering contractions in your womb!
During pregnancy, hormones ensure that your connective tissue loosens and your vessels become wider. This results in a rush of blood into your veins on the one hand, and difficulty in transporting the blood in the legs back to the heart on the other.
The veins may expand so much that blood congestion occurs, thereby forming varicose veins. These mostly occur in the legs, particularly in the lower legs and at the back of your knees.
Some pregnant women complain of itchy and even painful varicose veins. In this case, the symptoms may be relieved by cooling the affected area with ice bags or cold compresses (e.g. with cold cottage cheese).
Have you already made the first purchases for your baby? Then place a nappy which has been saturated with water into the freezer ‒ this is a fantastic cooling method! You should avoid heat and standing for long periods of time.
Also helpful are special vein teas (available from the pharmacy) or massages using oils made from lemon grass, yarrow, cypresses, lavender or myrtle. And don’t forget to put your legs up regularly!
If your varicose veins are very pronounced, you should seek advice from your doctor, as there is an increased risk of thrombosis. Whether you like it or not, you will then have to wear compression stockings.
At the end of pregnancy, many women have water retention in their legs and feet. For those affected, the advice is to discard the high heels, put your legs up and to ensure that you do not stand for too long.
Tip: In situations where you cannot avoid standing for a long period, it may help to move on the spot and to wiggle your toes ‒ at the risk of the people around you thinking you desperately need the ladies’ room!
As with varicose veins, it can be helpful to use cool compresses or leg gels and creams to treat legs which are swollen due to water retention. Cold showers and aqua walking or jogging are also recommended.
If you have a massage brush at home (perhaps from days when you were fighting cellulite), you can put this to good use again now. Move the brush in a circular motion on your legs to get your circulation going and to release the accumulated water.
If you are suffering from severe water retention, you may be advised to wear compression stockings which, admittedly, are not really a highlight in summer. An alternative might be to wear special compression tights for runners. These are considerably thinner and more pleasant to wear.
You are probably the proud owner of the best breasts you have ever had: full, round and at least a cup size bigger. Unfortunately, this rapid growth often causes unpleasant or even painful tension in the breasts. However, this disappears again after a few weeks.
If you are really suffering, you can find relief by cooling or heating the area ‒ find out what helps you best. Placing cottage cheese compresses or cooled white cabbage leaves on your breasts can also be beneficial. If you tend to react well to warmth, you could try heating a nourishing oil (e.g. lavender oil) and massaging this into your breasts.
There are several creams and fluids ‒ applied hot or cold ‒ available for pregnant women to use on their breasts and cleavage. These have a moisturizing effect and prevent stretch marks. The cream is absorbed more quickly if you massage it in using circular movements.
It is essential to buy a new, well-fitting bra. Your larger breasts require better support and your back needs to be relieved of the heavy weight. Even if you will only wear the new bra for a short time, you should not be stingy ‒ especially as you might even be able to dig it out again for the next pregnancy!
Before buying creams & Co., carefully read through the list of ingredients! The following ingredients are unsafe or even damaging for you and your child:
- Fruit acid, vitamin A and salicylic acid (fruit acid in food is of course not included in this)
- Parabens (hormonally active chemicals which are used as preserving agents)