How Pregnancy Can Significantly Alter Your Appearance

pregnant woman

Pregnancy is a magical experience that changes a woman. After all, you are bringing to life a human being who, one day, will achieve great things. However, as all moms out there can tell you, those nine months will not always be rainbows and butterflies. Pregnancy comes with symptoms that are uncomfortable and unpleasant.

The most common complaints among expecting mothers are nausea, especially in the morning, and often accompanied by vomiting. Moodiness is another usual sign of pregnancy.

However, over those nine months, moms-to-be can also expect their appearances to undergo several transformations. Beyond the protruding belly, here are the physical changes that you will go through throughout and even after your pregnancy.

Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation is a common condition in which patches of the skin become darker compared to the rest of the body. It is usually not a cause for concern. Factors such as age, acne, sun exposure can cause hyperpigmentation.

It also occurs among pregnant women.

Hyperpigmentation can appear on the skin around your inner thighs, genitals, neck, and underarms. Some women may have dark patches on their faces. It happens because of hormonal changes your body experiences in pregnancy. Most of the time, the problem disappears after childbirth but, in some cases, it persists for a longer amount of time.

While pregnant, women experiencing hyperpigmentation should avoid going out in the sun because it will only exacerbate the condition. After pregnancy and once you stopped breastfeeding, if there are still dark patches leftover from your pregnancy, you can use an effective whitening product for underarms, inner thighs, and other regions of the body.

Stretch Marks

Skin is elastic. It is meant to stretch and then snap back in place throughout the day. However, when the skin stretches too quickly, such as during a sudden weight or height gain, it causes the collagen and elastin to rupture, leading to stretch marks. Experts also say that stretch marks appear when levels of hormones in your body fluctuate, something that happens when you are pregnant.

Unfortunately, stretch marks are scars, and, like any other scars, they are permanent. Not much can be done once you have it except minimizing its appearance by keeping it moisturized and away from sunlight. You can, however, prevent it by using moisturizing lotions or creams on areas of the skin where stretch marks typically occur, such as your belly, breasts, thighs, and buttocks.

Varicose Veins

Another problem that pregnancy brings to women is varicose veins. They usually appear on the legs, genital area, and rectum. It happens because, when you are pregnant, the uterus inflicts more pressure on the large vein (called the inferior vena cava) which is responsible for delivering blood back from your lower extremities to your heart.

It can be prevented by taking frequent breaks. If your job requires you to sit down all day in front of your computer, give yourself time to stand up and walk around to keep your blood flowing freely. When you have to sit, try to elevate your feet and do not cross your legs.

However, varicose veins are also hereditary. If your mom had it while she was pregnant with you, you likely would have it, too. There maternity support hoses you can buy that promise to prevent varicose veins. These are different from regular pantyhoses because they are tighter to squeeze your veins and help push the blood back to your heart.

When you rest, do so on your left side. Your inferior vena cava, found on the right side of your body, will feel less pressure.

Varicose veins are not just unsightly. They can feel itchy, uncomfortable, and painful. Showering with cold water can aid in reducing the unpleasant sensation caused by varicose veins.

Dry Skin

taking a hot bath

Your pregnancy hormones may also lead to dry skin, not just on your face but all over your body. It is common and, sometimes, it will cause itchiness, especially around your thighs, breasts, arms, and bellies. Some women may even get itchy and red bumps on their bellies during the third trimester of their pregnancy.

Also, moms-to-be may experience other symptoms associated with dry skin such as flakiness, tightness, and acne.

Avoid soaps that contain alcohol and fragrances, both of which are known to dry skin. Moreover, use moisturizers all over your body to add moisture back to your skin.

Pregnancy is a wonderful experience that is often accompanied by unpleasant symptoms. As an expecting mother, sit back and relax. Pamper yourself to deal with the changes in your body. You deserve it.

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