Pregnant and Pretty
«Now I can’t do anything, I will turn into a gross, unkempt fattie by the 9th month,» think many women with horror upon learning that they are pregnant. Actually, this is simply not so: contemporary medicine and cosmetology are advancing a mile a minute. Now we have everything to make a future mother feel irresistible throughout all three trimesters. Anna Morozova, a specialist and OB/GYN at the GMS IVF Clinic, told FashionTime.ru about cosmetic problems a pregnant woman can run into as well as how to maintain proper skin and hair care habits.
FashionTime.ru: Where does this fear pregnant women have about changes in their appearance come from?
Anna Morozova: From moment a woman’s pregnancy is confirmed, she starts to realize that, from this moment onward, she is responsible not only for herself, but also the small, defenceless little thing growing inside her who is just starting to form and gain strength. Many women feel at a loss and don’t know what to do with this overwhelming burden or how to continue their lives. Some future mothers start to develop phobias regarding their appearance. It’s not uncommon and rather normal considering the emotional stress pregnant women deal with. Everything will go back to normal again with time after the body adapts to the new situation. Pregnancy is a 9-month-long life stage during which the function of all important organs and systems undergo significant changes. The female body needs to get used to these changes and new conditions in order to create an optimal «nurturing» environment for the growth and development of the baby.
FashionTime.ru: What kinds of cosmetic problems typically arise during pregnancy?
Anna Morozova: The future mother’s skin inevitably changes. Sometimes, the skin starts producing a brown pigment. This phenomenon is called hyperpigmentation (or Melasma). It entails a rise in melanocyte-stimulating hormones (MSH) while the endocrine system readjusts, specifically the hard-working adrenal gland. This pigmentation can appear at any time during pregnancy and is impossible to prevent. Pigmented spots can appear on the forehead, nose and cheeks, stomach, around the nipples, or on the inner parts of the thighs. Natural or stronger, cosmetic, skin-whitening products can help in these cases, but it is important to consult your doctor before using any products.
FashionTime.ru: Is it okay to bring up stretch marks? Why do they appear?
Anna Morozova: As the pregnancy progresses, the front abdominal wall stretches and striae gravidarum or stretch marks appear. They can be various shades of white, silver, or dark purple. After having a baby, stretch marks typically don’t go away entirely. However, they usually do lose their bright color and fade into white stripes.
A way to prevent stretch marks is by using nourishing or moisturizing creams throughout the pregnancy. These creams usually contain hyaluronic acid, Vitamins A and E, amino acids, collagen, panthenol, and seaweed. These cosmetic products gently nourish the future mother’s skin by making it softer, smoother and more elastic. Of course, gaining weight is not recommended during pregnancy since it stretches the skin more; the quantity and size of stretch marks would also likely increase.
FashionTime.ru: Is that true that insidious cellulite is waiting for all pregnant women and is there a way to get rid of it?
Anna Morozova: Gaining weight during pregnancy is caused not only by uterine and fetal growth, but also by fluid retention in the female body. Liquid accumulates in the hypodermis and, as we call it, «cellulitis» appears. Generally speaking, there is no such term: the suffix, «itis,» in medicine means inflammation, so «cellulitis» means inflammation of the hypodermis. Inflammation is usually treated with antibiotics. Still, nobody can rid themselves of «alligator skin» with antibiotics. What we all call «cellulitis» is a result of subcutaneous fat outgrowing the connective tissue net of fat cells. The subcutaneous fat starts to protrude out, resulting in skin irregularities. The best cellulite treatment is to lose extra weight and get rid of water retention. Of course, talking about losing weight during pregnancy isn’t the best idea, but future mothers should still control their weight and not eat too much. Following a specific diet also plays a very important role in this question — drinking too much water before going to bed can lead to ugly «bumps» on skin or worse, edema. The daily liquid intake for pregnant woman should be 2 liters.
Anti-cellulite cream, which is actively advertised nowadays, is supposed to improve the condition of skin and typically increases the amount of fluid in the skin. It is not contraindicated during pregnancy since it only affects the skin. Refrain from getting anti-cellulite massages. They are very painful, intense, traumatizing, and not appropriate for a future mother’s vulnerable body.
FashionTime.ru: What kinds of skin and hair care tips would you recommend for future mother?
Anna Morozova: All «cosmetic» changes during pregnancy are temporary, so special cosmetic or treatment procedures are not necessary. However, the woman has to live through a 9-month period without forgetting about her appearance among all of life’s pleasures. Keep visiting beauty salons — future mothers can and should pamper and enjoy themselves with visits to the cosmetologist. A list of safe procedures includes different moisturizing and nourishing serums for the skin, face, and body. There is no need to stop waxing if your doctor says that it’s fine. Massages have also been found to be beneficial for women. General strengthening and relaxing massages are recommended throughout pregnancy; lymphatic drainage massages, when done by a professional, relieve edema, improve blood circulation, help subcutaneous fluid circulation, and act as a good energizer in the 3rd trimester.
Products that affect hair care such as semi-permanent hair dye or popular sulfate-free shampoos, conditioners, and masks are great choices for a pregnant woman’s skin.
FashionTime.ru: Are there any bad cosmetic procedures to have done while pregnant?
Anna Morozova: Chemical peels, all types of dermal fillers, vitamin injections, cosmetic operations, or plastic surgeries all should not be done during pregnancy. These methods haven’t been studied enough and can negatively affect the growth of the baby.
FashionTime.ru: What is the biggest piece of «cosmetic» advice you can give future mothers?
Anna Morozova: Pregnancy makes a woman beautiful without a doubt. Despite this truth, I always continue my statement by explaining that healthy sleep, proper meals, moisturizing skin care, and daily exercise all make a woman absolutely irresistible!
Author: Olga Bolodurina