5 Smart Ways to Look and Feel Great During Pregnancy
Regardless of whether pregnancy has been a long-awaited dream or a surprising new development, it often prompts thoughts about the upcoming changes to your body. Some may eagerly anticipate the transformations that come with a growing baby, while others may worry about the impact on their appearance. While there’s no magical formula for helping you feel prettier during pregnancy, there are a few strategies that can help you look and feel your best.
1. Embrace Your New Curves
Women of today have an abundance of stylish options for maternity clothes. You can create a beautiful, practical pregnancy wardrobe centered around a few essential items. Maternity jeans, with elastic side panels or supportive tummy panels, can serve as a foundation for most outfits. Stretchy tops made from fabrics like Lycra can adapt to accommodate your growing belly throughout the full term.
For many women, one of the perks of pregnancy is a (newly?) emphasized voluptuousness. Wear clingy blouses or necklines that dip a little lower with pride! (And don’t forget the importance of a high-quality maternity bra! We love this seamless, no-wire Medela Maternity and Nursing Bra.
For more formal events, consider opting for maternity wrap dresses, which not only provide comfort but also create a flattering silhouette. Black clothing, a timeless favorite, works wonders for expectant mothers. You can accessorize basic black attire with statement jewelry or a vibrant silk scarf to add a pop of color. While flowy and relaxed clothing is comfortable and fashionable, don't shy away from wearing form-fitting outfits that showcase your beautiful baby bump.
2. Get Plenty of Sleep
During pregnancy, sleep can become particularly elusive due to body aches, frequent bathroom visits, and your expanding belly. However, research emphasizes the importance of sleep for mental well-being. Enhancing your sleep quality has been proven to alleviate anxiety and depression symptoms, as well as reduce overall stress levels. Here are some helpful suggestions to improve your sleep during pregnancy:
- Stick to a regular bedtime and wake-up time, maintaining consistency even on weekends.
- Keep electronic devices, including your phone, outside the bedroom to minimize disturbances.
- Create a dark, quiet, and comfortable sleep environment in your room.
- Avoid consuming large meals right before bedtime to prevent discomfort.
- Reduce your caffeine intake, especially in the hours leading up to bedtime.
- Stay physically active throughout the day, as it can positively impact your ability to sleep at night.
3. Enjoy Your Luxe Locks
During pregnancy, some women experience the benefit of thicker and shinier hair due to hormonal changes that reduce hair loss. If you have naturally thin hair and notice it becoming fuller, embrace this change. Consult your hairstylist for recommendations on shampoos, conditioners, and styling products to enhance your newfound hair volume. However, if you already have thick hair and worry about managing it, consider a shorter or layered haircut, or use clips, headbands, and combs for ease. If you want to color your hair, it's generally considered safe during pregnancy, but some prefer waiting until the second trimester when the baby's major organs have formed as an extra precaution.
Avoid making any drastic changes to your hair and work with a professional stylist to find a cut that complements your current style. Keep in mind that these hair texture and volume differences are only temporary, and your hair should return to normal within six months after giving birth.
4. Stay Active
When you’re feeling puffy and tired, just rolling out of bed can be hard some days. But even a brief walk down the street or doing a few pregnancy-safe yoga stretches can re-energize you and help you feel like your old self. Moreover, these exercises can help alleviate various pregnancy symptoms, such as constipation and back pain. Safe pregnancy exercises also build muscle tone, strength, and endurance, helping your body for labor. Additionally, staying active can allow you to have a smoother recovery after childbirth. Embracing light physical activity during pregnancy can lead to numerous benefits for both you and your baby.
5. Baby Your Skin
During pregnancy, some people experience a radiant complexion, while others may deal with acne breakouts reminiscent of their teenage years. The good news is that many skincare products are safe to use during pregnancy, but it's always best to consult a dermatologist for advice tailored to your specific needs. They may recommend home remedies, over-the-counter products, or safe medications if necessary.
If you notice darkened skin patches on your face, it could be melasma, commonly known as the "mask of pregnancy," caused by increased melanin production. Fortunately, this discoloration often fades after delivery. In the meantime, applying a broad-spectrum sunblock with SPF 30 or higher and concealer can help minimize its appearance. For dry skin, including the expanding belly, a good moisturizer can make a significant difference. Keeping the belly well-moisturized can help minimize itching as it grows. We love the luxurious feel of Burt’s Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter with Vitamin E and cocoa, shea, and jojoba butters.
Pamper yourself during pregnancy with safe beauty treatments. A manicure-pedicure, including acrylic nails, is generally fine, but be cautious of fumes, especially in the first trimester. Choose a reputable salon with good hygiene practices. Enjoy prenatal massages or facials, ensuring the spa has experience treating pregnant women. Some skincare products and peels are safe, but verify before use. Be cautious with Botox or dermal fillers as their safety during pregnancy is uncertain; consult your healthcare provider. If a spa visit isn't feasible, indulge in self-care at home with masks and manicures, or arrange a pampering session with friends.
When to Seek Help
It’s not unusual to struggle with changing looks during pregnancy. Many pregnant women feel dissatisfied with their body image due to societal pressures. For some, it helps to keep in mind the purpose of your changing shape - your body is creating a new life! Share your feelings with someone close to you to lighten the mental load. Practice positive self-talk by using a pregnancy mantra to boost your mood. Remember that not all changes are permanent, and your body can heal and recover after birth. If having a negative body image begins to affect your well-being or daily life, it’s time to seek help. Talk to your doctor or midwife and consider consulting a mental health professional for support and perspective.
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