Pregnancy is a wonderful experience and while some go through difficulties during this stage, the mere thought of becoming a mum and bringing your child into the world makes everything worth it.
However, along with the joy and fulfilment that come with pregnancy are the changes that the body undergoes. For some women, these unsightly changes remain even after childbirth and can affect the self-esteem of a new mum.
The good news? There are ways to restore your pre-pregnancy glow and even achieve a more beautiful look after you gave birth. In this article, you will find solutions to the most common post-pregnancy beauty woes so you can take care of yourself and focus on parenting at the same time.
Pregnant women are more prone to acne breakouts due to the increased level of progesterone and oestrogen in the body. This hormonal fluctuation causes excessive oil production which when mixed with dirt and makeup residue can clog pores. This can result in a breakout that may carry on for several months even after delivery.
Acne breakout could be hard to manage especially when you're breastfeeding. What you can do is to stick with a strict cleansing regimen to flush out clogs. A good option is the use of a mild facial cleanser followed by a toner to do away with oil residue.
It is also important to avoid acne medicated products as they're not good for breastfeeding mums. Instead, you can choose to deep clean your pores using products with benzoyl peroxide as it is by far the safest choice to control acne when you’re breastfeeding.
The appearance of dark blotches on the skin may also occur as a result of high progesterone and oestrogen during pregnancy. The increase in these hormones trigger excessive production of melanocytes creating patches of dark skin, referred to as melasma or "mask of pregnancy".
Melasma is usually prominent on the face, lips, nose and forehead. The darkening worsens when exposed to too much sun. It usually disappears after delivery but it takes for the blotches to completely disappear and may even carry on for months.
To mitigate the risk of developing melasma, add to your daily skincare routine the use of broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30. While it commonly disappears after about a year post-delivery, you can consult a dermatologist for noninvasive treatments that provide immediate solution to melasma.
Dark Circles Around the Eyes
Lack of sleep plus increase in hormone levels that facilitate pigmentation is not a good combination. It can lead to the development of dark circles around the eyes and may also cause eye puffiness. On the other hand, inadequate blood circulation, dehydration or nutritional deficiencies in iron, Vitamin C and folic acid can result in tired-looking eyes.
A quick solution to dehydration is to stay hydrated. According to health experts, you should follow the 8x8 rule and drink eight 8-ounce water a day for proper hydration. For nutritional deficiency, follow a healthy diet and take up prescribed supplements. To treat dark circles around eyes, you can try over-the-counter serums or eye cream that also contains SPF. And lastly, have enough sleep to regain your glow, as well as the energy you need.
Red Spider Veins
Increased blood circulation plus hormonal fluctuation can result to the dilation of your blood vessels--making them look more prominent and noticeable. Spider veins look like red threads of vessel branching out around the face, neck, chest and legs. This condition can stay up to three months after delivery. However, there are several options that you can try if you want them to disappear immediately.
You can opt for laser treatments that target stubborn spider veins. It is a noninvasive treatment that's safe and can tailor fit to your specific needs. Another treatment is sclerotherapy that includes injecting a special solution to make the affected vein less visible.
One of the most alarming beauty problems that many women encounter after childbirth is hair loss. During pregnancy, your hormones prevent normal hair loss. However, few months after giving birth to a child, excessive hair loss may happen. Good to know that even if the condition seems alarming, hair loss is only temporary and usually, it is not easily noticeable.
After delivery, avoid colouring or chemical treatments on your hair as this can aggravate hair loss. Instead, go for anti-hair loss shampoo and conditioner. Foods containing antioxidants are also ideal in maintaining healthy hair and scalp. It also helps to refrain from tying your hair tightly.
Stretch marks commonly develop during the later trimester of pregnancy. It happens when the skin quickly stretches and suddenly contracts after delivery. These events cause the skin to form creases that start out as purple or red long tears which eventually fade and look lighter with time. Stretch marks are usually found under the belly, breast, buttocks, behind the knees and thighs.
During pregnancy, stick to a strict moisturising routine. By regularly massaging the areas prone to stretch marks, skin elasticity will improve and be prepared for over stretching. One safe and noninvasive treatment is laser and light treatment. While it can't erase your stretch marks completely, it greatly helps in fading them and making them look less noticeable.
Love handles and Excess weight
Weight gain comes along with pregnancy and during this stage, a woman can gain as much as 25 - 40 pounds. Along with that are the love handles and flabby arms that can also develop and remain even after giving birth. While pregnant, losing weight is not a good option. The ideal thing to do is to maintain weight within a healthy range to avoid complications.
To get back to your normal shape after delivery, the first thing you can do is to have enough sleep and stick to a healthy diet. It is not advisable to cut on calories during the first 6 weeks while breastfeeding. After your body recovers from childbirth, you can try gentle exercises like daily walks, pelvic floor exercise and lower abdomen exercises. Breastfeeding also aids in weight loss as calories are burned in order to produce breast milk. This offers a natural and safe way to lose weight post pregnancy.