Ahhh, the joys of pregnancy. It’s a beautiful time – which comes with some not-so-beautiful side effects. Pregnancy causes the body to go through major changes including weight gain, changes in breasts and the occurrence of stretch marks. Unfortunately, there are many changes that women don’t know to expect because they are not talked about. Many of these pregnancy side effects tend to reverse on their own after your hormones stabilize a few months following delivery. If they don’t disappear naturally, there are solutions to correct them.
Dry, itchy skin is common during pregnancy due to the elevated estrogen levels and stretched skin. Areas most prone to dry, itchy skin during pregnancy include the stomach, legs, breasts, palms of your hands and the soles of your feet. Along with itching, some pregnant women will also experience red, pimple-like bumps known as pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP).
Solution: First, try not to scratch. Avoid hot baths; though they may feel good at the moment, they dry your skin even further. Moisturize with ointments or creams (StiVectin-SD Intensive Stretch Mark Cream or MD Skincare Hydra-Pure Firming Body Cream) as much as possible. Ointments and creams moisturize more effectively than lotions. If you still can’t find relief, ask your doctor about a topical anti-itch cream.
While you’re pregnant, your hair may get thicker and grow quickly because the increase in hormones prevents hair from shedding. Your hair normally resumes its normal growth pattern once your hormones balance out, which normally takes about three to six months. At this point, the hair that didn’t shed during pregnancy will probably fall out, making it seem as if you are losing large quantities of hair.
Solution: Try not to wear your hair in tight braids or ponytails, which will cause breakage. Make your diet rich in fruits, vegetables and protein, which are essential for healthy hair. You can also use hair growth-stimulating products, such as CHI Power Hair Loss kits or Nioxin hair products, to speed up the process.