The secret to surviving a summer pregnancy

Child Mag finds out which treatments are safe and will make your body feel its best

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Sailing through a summer pregnancy is a breeze with our handy hints and plenty of pampering. 
 
Facials
Benefit: Remedies the hormonal complexion changes many expectant mothers experience, including excessively dry or oily skin and acne, as well as melasma – a dark skin discolouration on the face that is sometimes referred to as the pregnancy mask.
Beware: Avoid treatments that use any harsh chemicals, retinoids or salicylic acid. Ask to be propped up in the second and third trimester. Try a natural facial, and test products on the skin first.
 
Pedicure
Benefit: Soothes sore feet, increases circulation and reduces swelling.
Beware: Having your nails painted is fine, but the smell may be overwhelming, so have them done in a well-ventilated room. If you’re worried about the fumes, ask for a phthalate-free nail polish or take your own to the nail salon.
 
Prenatal massage
Benefit: Having a massage can go a long way to easing the strains and pains of pregnancy. It relaxes tense muscles and alleviates common pregnancy woes such as lower back aches, leg pain and swollen legs and feet.
Beware: Always ask for a therapist trained in pregnancy massage. If your bump is bulging, you’ll want to avoid lying on your stomach.
 
Remember
Always tell your beauty therapists that you’re pregnant before they begin your treatment. If you’re not sure whether something is safe, speak to your doctor or wait until after you have finished breastfeeding. The golden rule is, if a product can be absorbed into your bloodstream, it is potentially dangerous to your baby. 
 
Suntanning
Benefit: Sun exposure typically increases your vitamin D levels and has a number of other health effects unrelated to vitamin D production, including enhancement of mood and energy, melatonin regulation and the treatment of skin diseases.
Beware: As your skin is likely to be more sensitive when you’re pregnant, sunscreen is a must. Look for zinc oxide and titanium dioxide sunscreens, which sit on the top of the skin. It’s also a good idea to stay out of the sun during peak hours and to wear protective clothing. Avoid tanning beds or anything that causes your body temperature to rise. Sun exposure can have an impact on stretch marks. Never tan if you are using a stretch mark cream or oil of any kind. When you tan, your skin colour darkens, but your stretch marks won’t, making them even more visible.
 
More on stretch marks
According to the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, stretch marks usually occur on the abdomen, breasts, buttocks, hips and thighs and develop about 24 weeks into pregnancy. They are caused by hormonal changes that affect the elasticity of the skin. The journal reports that genes do come into play, so if your mother battled with stretch marks, take preventative care and keep your skin well hydrated as soon into your pregnancy as possible. There are various topical creams, vitamin-based products and oils on the market that may prevent and minimise stretch marks. To avoid stretch marks keep a watch on weight gain during pregnancy, and continue with moderate exercise and good eating habits. If you do find your stomach riddled with streaks, consult a dermatologist who may recommend alternative approaches, such as laser treatment or cosmetic surgery after your baby is born. The good news for light-skinned women is that the pesky marks tend to fade from pink and purple to a silvery-white colour over time.
 
Avoid
If your beauty routine includes any of the following, wait until you have had your baby, or until you’ve finished breastfeeding, before continuing them.
  • Body wraps, saunas, spas or any treatment where your body temperature rises
  • Botox or anti-wrinkle creams with Retinol
  • Piercings or tattoos
  • Tanning beds (to avoid at all times)
  • Teeth whitening  

 

Tips for travelling

If you're travelling when pregnant, check out these useful tips:

 

Have bump, will travel

 

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