Natural Ways to Take Care of Your Skin During Pregnancy
Say no to stretch marks
Cocoa butter is probably the most touted stretch mark preventer, but — sorry! — there’s still no concrete evidence that it actually works. Lately, natural vitamin E oil has received some buzz since it keeps skin nourished, and the healthier and more supple your skin, the better its elasticity.
Bottom line? We can’t say cocoa butter or vitamin E oil will definitely work for you — no product can promise 100% prevention — but as long as your skin isn’t sensitive to it, a natural moisturizer is worth a shot. Choose your favorite — cocoa butter, vitamin E or otherwise — check with your doctor to make sure it’s safe and slather it on your belly, breasts, hips and thighs at least twice a day.
Ease the quease
Got morning sickness? Head to the sushi bar. Nope, you still shouldn’t indulge in raw fish, but you might want to order a side of ginger to go. It can seriously settle your stomach.
If you’d rather, sip some chamomile tea, which fights queasiness too. Plus, its calming effects could help you get some much-needed zzzzs in the third trimester. One to two cups a day are considered safe.
Soothe the itch
Tired of trying to resist scratching that itch on your belly? Aloe vera can give you relief. Find it as a bottled gel in a drugstore or snap a leaf directly off the plant, squeeze out the liquid and apply it topically. It can also be mixed with your favorite lotion — because a moisturized bump is less likely to itch, too. (But remember, if your itch resembles a rash, not just dry, stretched skin, tell your doctor immediately!)
There are plenty of reasons why pregnant women are always spotted carrying a bottle of water. Good old H2O prevents headaches, constipation, bladder infection and even hemorrhoids, and it’s good for baby’s health too. Plus, keeping hydrated is helpful for warding off uncomfortable (and sometimes painful) Braxton Hicks contractions.
Did we mention that drinking plenty of water can keep your skin from looking dull so you can rock a glow? So remember to drink eight glasses a day for optimal beautification.
You’ve probably heard a little bit about omega-3 fatty acids, which can aid in your baby’s brain and eye development. They may also reduce the risk of preterm birth. Check your prenatal vitamin; if it doesn’t include omega-3s, you can take fish oil capsules or Blue Algae blue algae supplements (a good choice if you’re vegan). Of course, you could also make it a point to eat 2 to 3 servings of low-mercury fish per week. Sounds delish to us!
The Bump Expert: Ashley Roman, MD, clinical assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the New York University School of Medicine
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