Pregnancy and childbirth bring about numerous changes. We expect our bellies to swell, to experience a sizeable change in our bra size, and possibly even end up with slightly larger feet than before we were pregnant.
One area most mamas don’t think about changing, however, is our skin.
Many new mums will experience one or more of the skin conditions listed below after giving birth. Fortunately, the vast majority of them are treatable, and your postpartum skin will return to its once fresh and glowing appearance.
Your body’s hormones are on a roller coaster ride weeks to months after you deliver your new little one. This can also aggravate your skin and cause it to break out in rashes of acne.
For the majority of new mamas, the acne will clear up within a few weeks to months after you give birth. Your local pharmacy will have several acne treatment options available, though for more severe cases of acne, a visit to a dermatologist may be required.
Eczema or Dermatitis
Eczema or contact dermatitis can become a real issue for new mothers, particularly as little is known as to why this condition occurs. Many healthcare professionals believe that the birth of your new bundle of joy can aggravate an underlying skin sensitivity, while others think that it may be due to frequent hand washing.
Switch your current hand soap to a gentle soap substitute, and be sure to moisturize your skin regularly. There are several eczema creams safe for you to use during pregnancy on the market (most contain colloidal oatmeal), though other mums swear by natural alternatives like coconut oil.
Your doctor may also prescribe a topical steroid cream to soothe your inflamed skin. These creams are safe for use while breastfeeding.
Many mamas will proudly show off their “tiger stripe” stretch marks, a form of scarring that appears bright red after you give birth but will gradually fade to a whiter or more purple shade over time. Other mums would rather reduce their appearance or get rid of them completely.
For those interested in getting rid of their stretch marks, there are options available out there. A number of over the counter creams formulated specifically for stretch marks are typically safe to use while breastfeeding. Those with more severe stretch marks can consider using a tretinoin cream (prescribed by a dermatologist) once they are finished nursing their little one.
Melasma (also known as “the pregnancy mask”) often develops during pregnancy and tends to affect those of Asian descent more than other cultural backgrounds. An increase in hormones, as well as exposure to the sun, can cause brownish patches to develop over a mum’s forehead, temples, cheeks, nose, and even her upper lip and jawline.
The best way to tackle this skin issue is to avoid sun exposure. Sunscreen and shielding your face from the sunshine will go a long way in reducing the appearance of melasma.
There are other treatments available, including lightening creams, chemical peels, laser therapy, and intense pulsed light therapy. If you are breastfeeding, however, these treatments may not be safe if they contain certain ingredients (such as hydroquinone and tretinoin). Consult with your healthcare professional before engaging in these types of treatment.
Hormones and weight gain during pregnancy put a lot of pressure on your veins. This can cause blood vessels in the face and other parts of the body to leave reddish spider-like scraggly lines.
In many cases, this skin condition resolves on its own (within three to six months). While you wait for the vessels to settle down, full-coverage concealer is a good option. For the few instances where the condition remains, laser treatments are available.
It’s our mission here at Peachymama to make every mum feel great in the skin they’re in. Celebrate this beautiful new chapter of your life (and your hot new mama curves!) with the latest on-trend breastfeeding fashions at peachymama.com.au!