September 16 2022 – Charlotte Flather
Congratulations you’re having a baby! Being pregnant is such an exciting time for you and your loved ones. It brings a lot of challenges and changes, some of the most obvious changes being to your body and skin. I have two wonderful grown-up children so have experience of the changes to my skin, so I here I’d like to share with you some tips for what I did, what I wish I had done and what worked for me. Hopefully some of the advice may work for you too.
In this article...
- How will the first trimester of pregnancy affect my skin?
- How can I look after the skin on my body during pregnancy?
- Self-care tips for during pregnancy
- What's the best way to cleanse skin during pregnancy?
- What's good for cellulite during pregnancy?
- How else does the skin on the body change during pregnancy?
- How to look after your body in the third trimester of pregnancy
How will the first trimester affect my skin?
The first thing you may feel is a little queasy. Not everyone experiences this; I was only affected by morning sickness when I had my son but it occasionally stopped me going about my daily routine. Things I found helped me included drinking plenty of water, trying to rest often and drinking ginger ale! Some studies show ginger to be a highly effective natural ingredient for alleviating nausea. The sugar in ginger ale can also give you a much needed energy boost, although take care to limit your intake of sugary foods and drinks whilst you’re pregnant. If you’re experiencing debilitating morning sickness, seek advice from your midwife or GP on the best action to take.
Chances are, you may start to notice changes in your skin in this first trimester. This is due to the increase in hormone levels and higher volume of blood racing around your system. My skin took on a pink tone, and I enjoyed having the extra colour in my cheeks! My advice in this first trimester would be to relax when you can, try to get some gentle exercise everyday and make sure you’re eating a variety of healthy foods.
How can I look after the skin on my body during pregnancy?
Taking time out just for you throughout pregnancy is really important for your health and the development of your growing baby. I would suggest dry body brushing as a way to add some self-care to your daily routine. Exfoliating the skin with Sereia’s natural cactus sisal Dry Body Brush is a great way to treat your body and contributes to keeping your skin texture looking healthy. After body brushing its important to always hydrate your skin. I suggest a really good body oil as it absorbs quicker and creates a beautiful glow. My Sereia Body Firming Oil is 100% natural and contains beautiful ingredients such as vegetable collagen for plumping the skin, vitamin E, jojoba oil and seaweed extract. All these skin-nourishing ingredients can also help with the appearance of stretch marks – a sign that your amazing body is changing to make space for your baby! Massaging gentle, natural products into the skin on your growing bump, hips, thighs, even the upper arms and decollatage, will help to build your skin’s natural elasticity, and will leave you feeling super hydrated and glowing all over.
Self-care tips for during pregnancy
When I was pregnant my body temperature shot up and and I constantly felt hot! I found it really useful to keep a water spray in my bag so I could refresh my face when I needed to. Again drinking lots of water is one of the best things you can do for your body during this time, plus it helps if you are feeling a little queasy. Keep a bottle of water on you so you can take small sips often. Wearing comfortable clothing in natural fibres helps too. You may often feel bloated or a little uncomfortable, so embrace loose layers and elastic waistbands!
As your hormone levels change you may feel weepy at times, and perhaps a little down, which is perfectly normal. There will be lots of changes happening in your life, so make sure you talk to friends and family about how you’re feeling and really nurture yourself.
Take time to get out in the fresh air for a gentle walk, or if you have always exercised, continue doing what feels good for your body but at a lower level of intensity. If you are unsure, check with your midwife or doctor and make sure you follow their advice.
Relaxation is key at this time, so when you get the chance enjoy a soak in a warm bath, light a candle such as the Sereia Summer Breeze Scented Candle, which will not only relax you but transport you to an island in the sun.
What's the best way to cleanse skin in pregnancy?
During pregnancy you may want to think about a more gentle way to cleanse your skin, that involves fewer chemicals and synthetic ingredients. Natural skin care products can be less drying and kinder to skin. Sereia’s soap-free Body Cleansing Bars are a perfect addition to your everyday routine, plus they’re available in three fabulous scents, each with its own natural exfoliator – choose from Lemon & Poppy Seed, Red Fruit & Bamboo and Coconut. They will leave your skin feeling soft, hydrated and smooth with the added bonus of smelling simply delicious.
What's good for cellulite during pregnancy?
It’s likely that you’re sitting down more and not moving as much, which can lead to concerns about the texture of your skin on your bottom and thighs. My best advice is to try the Sereia Smoothing Body Mitt, which comes with a body cleansing bar. This nifty tool helps to stimulate circulation and when used over time can help with unwanted cellulite or uneven skin texture on your lower body to leave your skin feeling smoother and more toned.
How else does the skin on the body change during pregnancy?
Apart from the changing texture of your skin you may find it becomes a little darker in patches. This is very normal and nothing to worry about, but speak to your GP if you’re concerned about any changes in your skin. I discovered a dark line down the centre of my tummy halfway through my first pregnancy, called the linea nigra, which disappeared after pregnancy. You may also notice freckles or scars darken. Again this is nothing to be alarmed about and is due to the increase of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone – both vital to the development of your baby. I noticed when I went on holiday, or spent time in the sun, that I tanned or burned much more quickly. This is a sign that our skin’s sensitivity to the sun increases during pregnancy, so wearing a high-factor sunscreen is very important even in winter. Any patches of darkened skin should fade and return to normal in the months after you have your baby, however if it doesn’t and it worries you, speak to your midwife or doctor.
During the second and third trimester you may notice the changes to your body much more. Your tummy will begin to grow, your breasts get fuller and you may find the shape of your lower body changes. All of these changes reflect how amazing the female body is and the stages it goes through as it nurtures, grows and prepares for the delivery of your baby.
As incredible as all these changes are, you’ll probably experience all sorts of feelings about your changing body. You might feel curious, worried or upset about what’s happening to your body – these are all normal feelings, but if you’re feeling overwhelmed do seek advice from your midwife or GP.
Try to remember to be kind to both your body and mind during pregnancy. Treat yourself to small acts of kindness everyday. Introducing a little self-care ritual can really help. Why not try using the Sereia Smoothing Body Mitt in the shower then massaging Shape & Tone Body Butter into the skin of the bottom, thighs and arms to help nourish and tone.
Getting a good night’s sleep is also very important at this time – it’s often the time when your body is working its hardest to look after you and your unborn baby! I found sleeping on my side became uncomfortable so I used a pillow to gently raise one of my legs. There are also specially designed pregnancy pillows available which can help you to feel more comfortable. Keeping cool at night can also be tricky, so keep a fresh glass of water close by, have a water spray next to your bed so you can spritz your face if you get too hot, and keep a window open to let the fresh air in.
How to look after your body in the third trimester of pregnancy
I found in the third trimester all I wanted to do was clean the house. This of course is the old wives’ tale known as ‘nesting’, but I know many women who felt the same so there must be something in it! I think it’s simply a desire to be organised and ready for the new arrival. I used the time to cook and freeze healthy, satisfying meals so there was always something to eat. You’ll be busy with your new baby and probably lacking sleep, so anything you can do ahead that helps you get through the day is a must. While you are busy cleaning and perhaps decorating the nursery, be careful not to climb ladders or lift anything heavy. Be sensible, ask for help when you need it and try not to overdo it. I know this can be hard because you may have a burst of energy and feel capable of anything, but it is important to always be safe.
Taking time out for just you and your partner is very special and important at this time too. They may feel a little left out as everything is happening to you, and if you feel hormonal they may not understand what you need, which can leave partners feeling pushed away. Try to spend time relaxing together, enjoy a nice meal and watch a movie, talk to them about how you’re feeling, and ask them how they are coping too - chances are you’re both feeling the same!
At last the time has come to have your baby. Your hospital bag is packed and the next chapter of your life is beginning. All of a sudden you’re a mummy! Life changing, exciting and hard all at the same time and it can be a lot to process! But it is an amazing time and possibly the best thing that will happen to you and your partner.
My final piece of advice from me to you, as a fellow mummy, is to remember to be kind to yourself. Try whenever you can to enjoy a little self-care - it is something I neglected at the time, only really discovering the benefits later in my life, but it really can be great for restoring a frazzled body and mind!
Useful links for during and after pregnancy: