Summer Pregnancy and Skincare

Skin Care for your Summer Pregnancy

The sun is out and it’s the perfect summer day - clear, blue skies with a light breeze blowing all around. Perfect weather for a day out, getting some fresh air and soaking in the rays. For most, it’s a great time for working on that oh so right shade of tan. But pregnancy, though wonderful and special for the most part, is quite frankly not so much fun during the hot summer months. It could get sticky and uncomfortable and instead of having that rosy “glow” of pregnancy you’re just flushed and sweaty all the time (not to mention, grumpy and cross). And go ahead … you can blame it on the hormones.

The skin becomes really sensitive while you’re expecting and your extra delicate skin can get sun damaged easily. Here are a few tips on how to breeze through, or at least survive those summer skin pregnancy woes.

Dark skin spots and patches

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The pigment that gives our skin, hair, and eyes their color is called melanin. It provides some protection against skin damage. Unfortunately, during pregnancy, hormonal changes could result in brownish patches on the forehead, cheeks, upper chest and above the upper lip. Tan is good but brown patches are definitely unpretty. You can protect yourself by applying sunscreen (doctor, approved of course) religiously. And a wide brimmed hat is not only functional but cute to wear as well with those summery sun dresses.

Dry, itchy, skin

Because your skin gets stretched as you gain pregnancy weight, it will tend to get dry. This can be exacerbated by the summer heat and sun, and it could get really itchy! The key to this is to “Moisturize … Moisturize … Moisturize”. Use a moisturizing shower or bath product and after stepping out of the shower or bath, gently dab the excess water off and apply lotion all over. A soak in a warm bath with oatmeal can also protect your skin and soothe the itch. It is best to go natural or organic and products with shea or cocoa butter or apricot oil or a combination of any of these are good choices. And if it gets too itchy for comfort, go ahead and ask your doctor to prescribe an over the counter anti-itch cream.

Heat Rash

Seriously? As if itchy belly skin is not enough of a discomfort already during hot and humid summer days, dealing with prickly heat rash is another one of a pregnant woman’s woes. What causes it? It typically occurs when two skin surfaces touch or rub against each other, such as beneath your breast, or between your thighs. But a rash could also develop in the most unusual places like your the nape f your neck, or the back of your knees. Prevent rash from developing by patting the area between skin folds dry immediately following a bath or shower. And if it begins to cause pain or enough of a discomfort, don’t hesitate to ask your doctor to prescribe a pregnancy safe lotion or powder for you.

And for goodness sakes, avoid the mid-day sun like the plague. Pregnant women are more prone to sunburn so use a high SPF sunscreen if you absolutely must go out in the sun.

Now let’s talk about the other problem that could make summer pregnancies distressful - leg swelling. It is not only unsightly but really uncomfortable as well. Fluid retention or edema affects about 65% of healthy pregnant women. It can occur at any time but usually occurs in the last 3 months of the pregnancy. And if the second half of the pregnancy occurs during the summer months, the degree of swelling increases dramatically. If this is making you cry already, don’t because you can do something about it.

Here are some do’s and don’ts
● Do take care and lie down for 30 to 60 minutes during the day to take the weight off your legs.
● Do keep your legs elevated while sleeping.
● Do wear comfortable shoes (definitely no stilettos no matter how comfortable you say they are)
● Do walk two to three times a week (avoid the mid-day sun, of course!)
● Do control your salt intake - just reduce, not eliminate, because salt contains iodine, essential for the baby’s development.
● Don’t wear constrictive clothing.
● Don’t stand in one place for too long.
● Don’t take diuretics which may help with the swelling but may cause the loss of electrolytes which may jeopardize the baby growing inside you.

Pregnancy plays havoc on woman’s body and the summer months could easily be a most challenging period for you. But if you remember to relax and take time to take care of you, then it could be a most wonderful, or at least, memorable time for you.