Hello, my fellow mamas-to-be,
Have you gotten used to being called “mom” yet? I haven’t, but I’m working on it. 🙂
I’m at 21 weeks of my first pregnancy… a little past the halfway point… and my skin is officially stretching!
The other day, after I got out of the shower, I caught myself scratching my stomach, arms and legs, and was like, “Is this normal? I’m itchy everywhere!”
Enter Google search: “Why am i so itchy, pregnancy.”
As it turns out, “itchy skin,” especially after a hot shower, is completely normal during pregnancy.
Phew! I’m not an animal.
According to WebMD, “Your growing belly is likely to be the most itchy part of your body as your pregnancy progresses.” And — dry, stretching skin tends to be itchy.
With stretching comes “stretch marks” which, to my surprise, don’t necessarily come from weight gain. Stretch marks are linked to the increasing pregnancy hormones and the stretching of tissue under the skin. Heredity is also thought to play a role. So, if your mom had stretch marks, there’s a good chance you’ll get them.
Maybe I’ll be lucky like my mom. It seems prevention is key!
As you move forward in your pregnancy journey stretching may happen to you. If it does, here’s what I’ve found works when it comes to reducing stretch marks and managing the “itchiness” that comes with them.
1. Cocoa Butter
Once I started noticing my belly expand, I went straight to the local convenience store and looked for remedies. Since I knew cocoa butter worked for my mom, I found Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula: Massage Lotion For Stretch Marks and have been using it ever since. So far so good. I just have to remember to keep using it. The ingredients include a combination of cocoa oil, shea butter and sweet almond oil.
2. Almond Oil / Vitamin E
For the holistic mommy: Almond oil is an all-natural way to repair your skin. Use it as a moisturizer all over your body, taking special care to massage it into the areas where you have stretch marks (or straie gravidarum as scientists call them.) A study showed how the combination of bitter almond oil and massage reduced stretch mark development in pregnant women.
3. Avoid Hot Showers/Baths
I’m not a huge fan of this because I love de-stressing with a nice, hot shower at the end of the day…especially now that I can’t drink a beautiful glass of cabernet.
But, if you suffer from itchy skin like I do…this may be something to consider. The more you scratch…the more likely stretch marks will appear. So, if you keep your showers on the cooler side, the itching won’t be as bad.
4. Use a Humidifier
This, I do! Hot, dry air can damage and dry out your skin. Using a humidifier adds moisture to the air, helping you breathe better and keeping your skin from drying out. This reduces itchiness therefore stretch marks.
5. Bio Oil
My best friend, who also happens to be a Nurse Practitioner in OBGYN (I know, I’m super lucky), recommends Bio Oil. She recently had her first child and tried several different types of creams and lotions, but Bio Oil, she says, is the very best.
Bio Oil includes calendula, lavender, rosemary and chamomile oils. I’ve ordered mine and can’t wait to give it a try.
Image Credit: 123rf.com