Your skin during pregnancy

During pregnancy and in the first months after the baby is born, your hormone levels change dramatically. They cause the majority of changes in your body and have a significant impact on your skin. The volume of blood circulating in your body increases by 3 litres to support the growing baby with oxygen and nutrients. You are gaining weight and your body is getting rounder. That is why, from the first day of pregnancy, you should start taking care of your skin with our specialized Maternea products. Take advantage of their help and preserve your body’s health and beauty.

Click on the chart below for a short description of what is happening with your body and skin by trimesters:

Body changes and skin care

First trimester <br />
(0 - 12 weeks)

First trimester
(0 - 12 weeks)

  • The pregnancy hormones oestrogen and progesterone surge through your body. Their levels change dramatically, and they affect both your physical and emotional changes.
  • Your breasts are starting to get bigger and can become very sensitive due to higher oestrogen levels. The skin on your breasts stretches, and veins become more visible. The areolas also change – they get larger, darker and stick out more.
  • Because of raised progesterone levels your skin might becomes drier or oilier, but after birth it will go back to its normal condition.
  • The shift in hormonal balance causes physiological changes in the skin. The production of salts diminishes and the natural protective function of the hydrolipid film is disturbed. This causes skin dehydration, dryness, rashes and itchiness. One of the main skin irritants in this period are soaps and standard shower gels. These contain aggressive cleaning and foaming ingredients which worsen the condition of the skin. Try a shower oil which will not just gently clean your skin, but will also preserve the integrity of the hydrolipidic layer.
  • During pregnancy the pH of the vagina is at its lowest levels in a woman’s life. This is the body’s natural weapon against the development of microorganisms and bacteria. The more acidic environment guarantees the health and comfort of the uterus. The majority of personal wash products are more alkaline and can disrupt the natural balance. Use an intimate gel with a pH between 3.5 and 4.5.
  • Although in the beginning of the pregnancy you are still active, and the changes of your body are not yet visible, the process of generating stretch marks has probably already started. That is why it is important to help your skin from the very beginning to prevent their appearance. Constant nourishment is the key, by applying vitamin-enriched oils, essential oils, salts and other elements valuable to the skin.
  • Your hormones are to blame for the fatigue, sharp mood swings, sleepiness and irritability, but they are also the cause of all the great emotions you’re experiencing.
  • Take the changes and inconveniences with a smile – they mean that your body is reacting in the right way to the hormonal changes, and is preparing to provide a nest for a new human being.
Second trimester <br />
(13 – 26 weeks)

Second trimester 
(13 – 26 weeks)

  • The little baby in your belly has increased its weight 30 times!
  • You feel much better because most of the early pregnancy symptoms have faded – you sleep better during the night and have more energy during the day.
  • Your skin has changed; now it is more sensitive, sometimes itchy, and might have rashes and patches. Don’t stop taking special care of it. Maternea provides you with everything you need to do so.
  • It is obvious that your body is getting bigger, mostly your belly and hips, which means more stretching of the skin in these areas. This is normal and it means that everything is proceeding as expected.
  • Because of the rapid stretching, it is possible that the elastic fibres in the deeper skin layers tear and thus prompt the appearance of stretch marks on the belly, buttocks, hips and breasts. The marks start out a light pink to purple, but in the course of time they gradually fade to a pearly white. On average 50-70 % of pregnant women get stretch marks. Their colour and intensity often depend on your skin colour, but genetics plays a role as well. If stretch marks have appeared on your body in the past, then be on the lookout. There are ways to avoid their appearance, or to significantly reduce their intensity if they are already a fact. From the earliest stages of pregnancy use a specialised anti-stretch mark cream by applying generous amounts and massaging the problem areas.
  • The oestrogen prompts increase in the skin pigment melanin, which may lead to brown marks usually on the face, called chloasma (“the mask of pregnancy”). Sunlight can make the marks even darker, so it is important to use day creams with UV protection regardless the season. The marks will fade after birth.
  • A dark vertical line, called Linea Negra, sometimes appears on the belly marking the place where the abdominal muscles stretch and separate. The darker the skin, the more intensive the colour of the line. After birth, this line will disappear.
  • We have some good news for you as well. During the last five weeks of this trimester the skin is often said to “glow” thanks to the extra blood flow and elevated hormones. Your skin will become smoother, wrinkles will fade and you will look radiant.
Third trimester <br />
(27 - 40 weeks)

Third trimester 
(27 - 40 weeks)

  • Your belly expands quickly to accommodate the growing baby.
  • Your circulation is affected; your body retains more water, which means that your fingers, ankles and feet may swell.
  • It is normal that your blood pressure increases. This may prompt varicose veins and other leg problems such as tingles, cramps, or swelling. Progesterone is one of the reasons for swollen legs, because it has a relaxing effect on the venous vessels and on the elasticity of the vessel walls.
  • Try to move or exercise your legs every half hour, because it will stimulate circulation and reduce the symptoms.
  • All your organs are work overtime and your temperature is raised. You often feel extra-hot, you sweat a lot, and your palms and feet can get reddish.
  • By now your belly is probably quite large, shifting your body’s center of gravity.  To keep your balance, you instinctively start dropping your shoulders and bending in the waist. A poor posture may lead to hunched back, lower back pain or waddling. Do simple exercises to keep a good and comfortable posture, and to reduce the load on the waist and subsequent back pains.
  • There is a chance that you’ll experience discomfort and irritation in your nipples during the final months of pregnancy. This is the result of your body getting ready for breastfeeding. We recommend that you start preparing your nipples at least one month before giving birth. Apply a nipple balm once a day. It will build a protective film around the skin and will make it strong for the upcoming challenge.
  • Near the end of pregnancy your skin will be stretched by around half a square meter. All the more reason for putting extra effort in your skin care.
After childbirth

After childbirth

  • Your baby is in your arms – what a joy!
  • The hormone oxytocin helps the uterus to shrink to its normal pre-birth size.
  • Your breasts are swollen, hard and painful, because they fill up with milk. The hormones oestrogen, progesterone, prolactin and oxytocin regulate the availability of breastmilk. It is important for you to know that breastfeeding and the process of uterus contraction are interconnected! This explains why, with the start of breastfeeding, you might feel painful contractions of the uterus. It is proven that breastfeeding women get back into shape quicker.
  • Breast milk is the best food for your baby, but in the beginning breastfeeding is not always easy. The most frequent problems are infections  and cracked nipples, caused by improper latching or positioning of the baby, or drying out of the skin. The pain may be relieved by applying a special soothing nipple balm to the nipples and areolas after each breastfeeding session.
  • After birth your skin is very dehydrated, and your hormones and their levels change again. Keep on taking active care of your skin – drink more liquids and take care of it with a body firming cream.
  • When you’ve had a normal birth, you can start doing simple exercises after the first week to help the abdominal muscles tone up and recover more quickly. If you’ve had a C-section, it is better to wait at least 6 weeks before starting exercises.
  • The best way to recover after birth is to move. Pram walks are a great and effective pastime for you and your baby, and help you get back into shape quicker. In addition, you can use our anti-cellulite cream-gel. It will help reduce the so-called “orange peel” skin, and let you feel good about your body.
  • During pregnancy your abdominal wall has stretched significantly, and it is possible that it does not immediately get back to its previous shape after birth. Since the muscles of the abdominal wall shrink more quickly than the skin does, belly flaps may appear. The better you have treated your skin during pregnancy, the quicker you will manage to get back in shape.
  • If you have not managed to avoid getting stretch marks, do not allow them to get bigger now. Massage the skin with our anti-stretch mark body cream, as it will activate the elastin and collagen production.

Your skin during pregnancy

See what awaits you in the next three months.

Pregnancy by weeks

Here you will find useful tips and a lot of information for you and your baby's development per week.

We use only pure ingredients and rely on the oils’ natural aroma in Maternea products.

Our products are hypoallergenic and dermatologically tested.

Guaranteed safe for mother and baby.

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