How Pregnancy Changes Your Skin and Makes You Itch
There’s no doubt that becoming pregnant leads to a lot of changes, not only in your everyday life but biologically too. And if you are suffering from an itch here and there, then you might be glad to know that it’s perfectly natural.
As you may have guessed, there is no one size fits all when it comes to pregnancy – you may suffer from morning sickness or it might just pass you by, and you may have to do something about that embarrassing itch before it drives you mad or you might well breeze through those nine months with nary a problem.
Psychological effects of pregnancy
You could find yourself developing a healthy nesting instinct, preparing the house for your new arrival. So if you find yourself cleaning cupboards and developing a sudden interest in decorating that wasn’t there before, don’t despair. Again it’s all perfectly natural.
Another thing you may find is that a good deal of fuzziness is added to your world, especially in the first three months when your body is getting used to this foreign object. You might have trouble concentrating or go through strange periods of fatigue. And, of course, there might be a few mood swings as your hormone levels go up and down.
Body changes during pregnancy
One of the first signs of being pregnant is an increase in breast size with a rise in the levels of oestrogen and progesterone. There are plenty of little changes in the skin, creating that healthy pregnancy glow because of an increase in blood volume. It also causes your oil glands to secrete more and can cause your skin to darken with a further change in hormone levels – causing darker pigmentation around the nipples and, more strangely, the genitalia and anal region.
Because of increased oil secretion, acne can be a problem, even if you have never suffered from it before. Skin stretching along the abdomen can also cause a certain amount of itching and flaky skin. Hair and nails will grow faster and because of the extra fluid retention there might even be a change in shoe size. Don’t worry, once the pregnancy is over, all these things should return to normal.
One of the down sides of pregnancy is that you may develop a couple of conditions that you’d rather not have. Varicose veins are common. These occur in the legs and genitalia and are caused by blood pooling in the veins because of increased hormone levels. There are a number of things you can do to keep that blood flowing – avoid standing or sitting for long periods and make sure you elevate your legs when you sit.
These varicose veins can affect your bum unfortunately, causing it to itch. It can often be exacerbated by constipation and one thing you should make sure to do is eat a diet with plenty of fibre in it. And, if that itch becomes unbearable, you can get a soothing anal cream just to take the edge off.
The good news is that once your baby is born, your body will start to return to normal and most of these issues will gradually subside.