Pregnancy brings a mix of different emotions. At the first time to learn that you are having a baby, you become concerned about your condition and the growing life inside your tummy. You also feel excited, happy, and afraid at the same time. Especially once you learn that there will be more changes that you and your baby will be going through as your pregnancy progresses.
As days past by, you will experience pregnancy-related symptoms. Your hormones start to show fluctuating signals and the imbalance may cause various changes in your skin, hair, and nails. For some, they may feel fabulous all over. This does not guarantee that every pregnant woman will do. Most women will experience morning sickness, will crave for certain foods that they have not usually craved for before the pregnancy, unpredictable mood swings, and a host of other changes.
Marks of Pregnancy: A Common Concern
One of the usual complaints that pregnant mothers have is the appearance of dark spots or pigmentation on the skin, especially on the face that appears during the sensitive phase of pregnancy.
Having dark marks while walking around can drag your spirit. But knowing that this pigmentation, which is also known as the marks of pregnancy, also disappear when the baby is born, gives one a glimpse of hope. But if you do not do anything about it, it may be possible that you will still see it after giving birth and it may be impossible to clear it out of your face by then.
What Causes Dark Marks During Pregnancy?
During pregnancy, the body overproduces hormones. Overproduction of melanin causes the skin to easily tan when exposed to the sun. However, dark marks do not appear evenly pigmented in pregnant women. That is the reason why some see dark patches on the skin when they are pregnant.
As these pregnancy marks have natural causes, there are also natural ways to treat or avoid having them. The following are some of the things that you can do to lessen the probability of having or treating these dark marks on your face.
Opt for shadier or covered parts of the road or the ground
The sun is responsible for activating the melanin or the pigmented marks on your skin. The best thing that you can do when out in the sun is to keep standing or moving about in areas where the sun won’t hit your skin directly. You can also wear accessories (hat, sunglasses, long-sleeved dresses, and so on) to shield your skin from the rays of the sun.
You will never know when your skin will be exposed to the harmful rays of the sun. It is, therefore, a smart thing to wear sunscreen that provides full protection ultraviolet rays from both UVB (shortwave) and UVA (long-wave) rays. Pick one that has SPF 30 and above. You may also need to wear it whatever the weather condition is.
Use a skin corrector
You can conceal or correct the color of your skin with the right product. As there are skin care products that are formulated to help erase skin pigmentation, you can easily erase the signs of pregnancy with this product. You may also notice that your skin looks better after each application as there are products that are formulated with essential vitamins and nutrients that your skin needs. So, when choosing the right skin corrector, consider the ingredients used in the formulation of the product, as well as the proper way of using the product. These will ensure that your face will not only be looking flawless; you will also be treating your dark marks appropriately.
Use the right product applicator
Make sure to use the right makeup brush so you can easily blend the concealer on your skin. You may also need to go through some video tutorials for the proper use of the applicator and the product. When done with the applicator, always make sure to clean up so there won’t be any bacteria that will form later on the applicator and the product.
Drink a lot of water
Proper hydration can prevent your skin from drying up and retaining its elasticity. Drink up and drink frequently.
Eat more fruits and vegetables
Keeping your skin healthy is also a sure way to keep dark marks at bay. You can also create natural remedies from several fruits and vegetables to treat hyper-pigmentation. Try a honey and lemon mask. You can also mix banana, honey, and whole milk to make a smooth paste that you can apply on your face. Leave the mixture for up to 25 minutes before washing it up with lukewarm water.
Sweating will help flush out toxins from your body through your skin. It will also make your skin looking supple, allow it release natural oil to the skin, and help erase hyper-pigmentation on your skin.
Hyperpigmentation is common to pregnant women. This condition appears as the skin produces more melanin than usual. Hormonal imbalance triggers this overproduction of melanin. Hyper pigmentation may be visible in many areas of the body and not just on the face. It may also cause freckles, moles, and scars to look darker than usual.
Though this condition may not be treatable with most beauty products, it is still possible that you may be able to treat those dark marks. Following the advice as listed above may lessen the probability of developing these dark marks. Another good thing to remember is that any manifestation of hyperpigmentation will go away after your pregnancy.
Did you have dark marks while you were pregnant? How did you manage it? What treatment did you find most effective in treating those marks of pregnancy? Do you know of other tips that other expecting moms may do to treat this pregnancy-related condition? Let us know what you think in your comments.
There is no denying that coconut oil does have several benefits. It can be used not only to cook tasty dishes but can also be used for medical and beauty purposes as well. As a matter of fact, it is one of the foods that is labeled as a “superfood.” It contains healthy saturated fat that has different benefits than other fats found in other foods that you eat.
More than that, coconut oil may be used externally and internally for other purposes. Many health experts agree that it can benefit pregnant women in so many ways. In this post, we list some of the ways that you can use coconut oil for pregnancy so you can maximize its benefits.
Health Benefits of Coconut Oil During Pregnancy
- Use of coconut oil for pregnancy can reduce perinatal mortality. One of the studies, which was conducted in Kelantan, Malaysia, supports this claim. It proved that compared with the traditional herbal medicines prepared and provided by traditional midwives that can increase the risk of perinatal infant mortality, coconut oil lessens perinatal mortality to more than 50%.
- Coconut is known to have anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. It can help prevent colds, flu, as well as other viral infections. As pregnancy makes your immune system susceptible to a host of diseases, consuming coconut oil and products containing coconut or coconut oil will provide you with the protection that you need.
- Consumption of coconut, coconut oil, and other products mixed with these two, may lessen your need to consume over-the-counter medications. This will essentially, limit the adverse effects that synthetic drugs may have on you and your baby’s health.
- Coconut oil is an essential element needed to strengthen the immune system.
- Many other countries have a special affection for this superfood. In India, it is considered a natural cure for infertility. There are also countries that consider coconut as an infant’s first solid food.
- Coconut water contains electrolytes that can help in the proper circulation of the blood and oxygen in the body. It can, therefore, help pregnant moms who are experiencing pain in their feet and having other common leg problems as a result of their pregnancy.
- Coconut can be used as a natural alternative to other pricey beauty care products that may also contain unsafe ingredients. It can be an effective treatment for stretch marks. It can also be as effective in nourishing the skin (when used as a natural moisturizer) and hair. It can also be used as an eye cream and lessen the dark circles that you may have as a result of sleepless and tiring nights.
- Coconut contains lauric acid that helps regulate the cholesterol level in the body. Health experts suggest that when coconut oil is consumed in moderation it can help the pregnant body to absorb fat-soluble vitamins that are essential for your baby’s maximum growth. This will also ensure that your newborn baby will receive high-quality breast milk that he will need as he continues to grow.
- Coconut oil is proven to help alleviate pregnancy-related symptoms like constipation, morning sickness, and constipation. It may also be used to lessen the effect of acid reflux if you are experiencing this as a result of your pregnancy.
- Coconut and other foods with coconut oil can be a great substitute for dairy products. Not everyone can have the dairy goodness that they usually enjoy. Coconut oil can be your great alternative source of nutrients if you are missing out on these healthy and delicious treats.
- Coconut oil can effectively treat cracked and sour nipples. You can just apply the oil as you would any other topical treatment.
- Coconut oil can also cure a dry scalp. Just apply a little oil on your scalp and leave it overnight. Wash it off with lukewarm water the next day. Your scalp will regain its natural softness as the oil is absorbed through your pores throughout the night.
- Coconut oil can help treat yeast infection. Hormonal imbalance during pregnancy may alter the pH level in the vaginal area resulting in yeast infection. Common symptoms accompanying this condition are as follows: pain, whitish discharge, or itching in the genital area. Applying the coconut oil directly on your genital area will help cure the infection.
- Coconut oil can help treat thrush. Thrush is another form of yeast infection that affects the breasts of a lactating mother. Pain in the breasts and white blisters accompany this condition. Applying coconut oil around and over your breasts will facilitate the healing process and will make you feel comfortable while the symptoms subside.
How To Use Coconut Oil
Here are some of the ways you can incorporate coconut oil into your daily diet. It will be an extra nourishing treat that you will enjoy not just during pregnancy, however.
- Add coconut oil to a refreshing smoothie. A spoonful of extra virgin oil will do the trick. This will be a great way to perk you up and keep you energized for hours.
- Use coconut oil to fry your favorite snacks. Cut up bite-size pieces of your favorite veggies and stir-fry them in coconut oil. That will be a delicious treat that is also healthy and budget-friendly.
- Use coconut cream as a milk alternative. Yes, this can be used as a delicious and nutritious cream base alternative to any regular milk.
- Use coconut oil to bake your favorite pastries. With enough of this nutritional oil in your daily diet, you will see that your hair, skin, and nails are growing fairer every day. You will see their natural glow, and you will hardly ever have to worry about hair fall or dry skin and hair.
As always, consumption should be in moderation. You may also notify your doctor whenever you want to include coconut oil in any of the medications that you are using. As this is a natural treatment, you will observe that you get only the best from this wonder food.
Your heart works 24/7 throughout your life. It is vital that you show it some tender loving care that you will live happy and healthy without having to endure any chronic health condition as a result of not having cared for your heart the way you should.
If you are used to certain health patterns and found that your heart is not provided the adequate help it needs to function well, change is inevitable. Changing a lifetime of habits may be your only option to save your heart and your life. It should not be a drastic change right away, however. You can take simple steps or make small adjustments to achieve your goal. It may take a while before you can see the effects of your efforts but it can also motivate you later to do some major changes in your health habits.
Here are 10 small steps that you can take to reach your goal of having a healthier heart.
Start with a 10-minute walk daily
If you have not been doing any exercise for a while, starting with a short 10-minute walk can bring you back to a healthier start. You can add more exercises as you get used to it after a while.
Tone those muscles
Begin with lighter weight objects – a two-pound weight, perhaps- several times throughout the day. This will help shape your muscles and allow the blood to circulate better in your body. You can add more weight gradually as you feel the weight is not enough anymore.
Add fruits and vegetables to your diet
These are the default diet for a healthier heart. You can start the day with a serving of your favorite fruit. You can also add one to a serving of your cereal or pair it with a whole-wheat toast.
Don’t drink liquid calories
Sugar-sweetened drinks are more dangerous than sugar found in solid calories. Soda and a calorie-filled latte can add more calories if you won’t ditch those liquid calories. Opt for healthier options like fruit juices and plain healthy water.
Several studies prove that nuts are quite nutritious. These wonder foods are packed with health-giving nutrients that are also good for the heart. It is a great choice to have them instead of cookies or chips for a snack. You can also toss some of these tasty nuts into your salad and other dishes.
Include fish in your diet
This meat from the sea is an excellent source of Omega 3 that is good for the heart health. It also helps normalize and maintain cholesterol triglyceride levels. Add fish and other seafood to your diet once or twice a week and see how healthy your heart will be.
Do some breathing exercises
Breathing slowly and deeply can help relieve tension and will relax the muscles in your body, including that of your heart. It can also help lower the blood cholesterol. So whenever you feel tense, just focus on your breathing. Take in air from your nose and slowly release through your nose. Do this several times and feel your body relaxing in the process.
Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently
A number of diseases may develop from the germs that you ingest through your hands. Make sure that you take care of your hands just as much as you take note of the things that enter your mouth. Infections brought about by the parasites and germs that you may have touched will not have a chance of entering your system if you make it a habit of washing your hands quite often and well.
Don’t forget your breakfast
And when you do, make it count. Have a healthy serving of fruits and whole grains. It’s an inexpensive yet healthy treat for your body.
Name your blessings one by one
Start the day by tapping on all other positive emotions. You can do this when you count your blessings. Acknowledge all the good things that you have acquired in your life. This will make you feel happier and more contented with what you have. If you feel happy and positive, your heart also feels better and will be a lot healthier.
When it comes to health and nutrition, not everyone seems to be in agreement. Even experts may have contrasting opinions. Even with such opposing views, there are things that are actually based on research. These include the following health and nutrition tips.
- Sugar-sweetened beverages are bad for your health.
Don’t drink them. Some sources of calories, like sugar, are more dangerous to health especially when consumed in excessive amount. There are sugar calories found in sugary drinks that are found to be even more disastrous to one’s health. These sugary drinks have been found to be linked to several health problems such as type 2 diabetes, health problems, other chronic health conditions such as gout, and even some cancers.
If you drink soda and other sugary fruit juices, you should think twice. Instead of filling your system with unhealthy options that won’t actually quench your thirst, opt for healthier alternatives.
- Nuts are highly nutritious. Eat more of them.
They are an excellent source of magnesium, fiber, vitamin E, and other nutrients. These wonders foods are packed with health-friendly monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) like oleic and palmitoleic acids. MUFA lowers bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol levels in the blood. They are also rich in health-giving anti-oxidants like lutein, cryptoxanthin, carotenes, resveratrol, and more.
These wonder nuts are also proven to help lose weight and fight type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Here’s a link to one of the studies conducted that supports its positive effect on weight loss. Nuts are a real must!
- Real foods are better.
Children and even adults these days prefer instant foods. That’s the reason why supermarkets offer more junk foods than real foods. These real food alternatives actually contain more unhealthy ingredients than what your body really needs. They are just manufactured to taste better than real foods to trick your brain into a craving for more of these junk foods. The more you ingest them, the more chances that you are polluting your body system with something that may be difficult to release from the body. Won’t you rather have real foods instead?
- Coffee is good for health.
Have you had a cup of it today? Studies show that coffee is healthy. It is packed with antioxidants and other nutrients that the body needs. Research proves that drinking coffee can help you feel less tired and energized. It is also found to boost the metabolic rate to about 3 to 11%. It contains Riboflavin, Pantothenic Acid, Manganese, Potassium, Magnesium, and Niacin. Finally, clinical studies also show that drinking coffee can also help lower the risk of cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, Dementia, and Type 2 Diabetes.
- Include fatty fish in your diet.
Fatty fish like salmon is a great source of omega 3 fatty acids and other essential vitamins and minerals. Including more of this healthy food are proven to lower the risks of various health conditions, including heart problems, dementia, and depression.
- Having quality sleep is a must.
The significance of having adequate sleep. It does not only make you feel better. It also boosts your energy level. Having adequate rest makes you feel and look beautiful throughout the day. Allowing your body to get the right amount of rest it needs to replenish the energy it has used up during the day can help it to fully function the next day. When your mind and body are active, you can do more, feel less stressed, and be happier doing things throughout the day.
- Drink probiotics and fiber.
It will take care of your gut health. Doing so will help improve your gut health. Taking care of your gut is essential as any disruption in its functions may result in chronic diseases such as allergies, asthma, and even obesity.
- Drink enough water throughout the day, especially before meals.
This is one health tip that everyone would be in agreement. Our body constitutes about 60% water. We utilize and release some of it throughout the day. Thus, health experts advise that we should stay hydrated by drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water every day. This will also ensure that your mind and your body will be fully functioning at any time of the day.
- Eat meat that is not overcooked or burnt.
This will ensure that you get only the essential nutrients and proteins in the meat. This will also lessen the probability that you will also digest any harmful elements like potent mutagens or cancerous compounds that may have formed when your meat is overcooked or burnt.
- Vitamin D3 is essential to the body.
Take some form of a supplement of this vitamin if you are not getting much sun. Studies show that lack of this critical vitamin may result in a higher risk of acquiring chronic diseases such as cardiovascular problems and cancer.
- Exercise every day.
Enjoying a fit body requires that you take care of not just the food that you eat. Allowing your mind and body to engage in daily exercises like walking, biking, and other aerobic exercises will likewise provide major developments in your metabolic health.
- Eat more healthy greens and fruits.
These are the natural health alternatives that no one would contend about. They provide essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that the body need to stay strong and healthy. Having more of these foods will allow you to live longer and lessen the risk of health conditions like type 2 diabetes, cancer, obesity, heart problems, and other health concerns.
- Nourish your relationships.
It may sound an unusual health tip but taking care of your social relationships actually have a bearing on your overall health. There are many studies that had been conducted that show the those who do are actually showing signs of a healthier mind and body.
These are just a few of the things that you can do to keep a healthy lifestyle. Constantly tracking the food that you take into your body, as well as the things that you contemplate on, will continuously affect your total well-being. Keep these guidelines in mind and be assured of more happy days ahead.
As your baby grows inside your tummy, your body adjusts to your pregnancy. You will notice your daily routines, cravings, temperament, clothing requirements, even your beauty regimen change as well.
One of the noticeable developments during this period is the presence of stretch marks. Some may be too ashamed to even talk about it. But there are many who find these marks as something that they can be proud of as they see them as one of the trademarks of the “essence of being a woman.” For those who can’t seem to bear the sight of one of the pregnancy trademarks, you can find some helpful tips on how to lessen the possibility of having these pregnancy marks in this post.
What are stretch marks?
These are purplish or reddish streak-like lines that develop on the first layer of the skin as the baby inside your tummy stretches its body while it grows in your belly. They usually appear when you are in the second trimester of your pregnancy. You will see the marks like crawling veins on your belly, thighs, buttocks, upper arms, and even on your breasts. They gradually fade to white or gray towards the end of your pregnancy.
These marks develop whenever the dermis or the middle layer of the skin is pulled tight to its limit and breaks in some areas of the skin. So, you can see them even if you are not pregnant. They may be visible when one gains or loses weight, or as one grows with puberty. The unpredictable hormonal levels during pregnancy may also affect your skin and will make it even more likely to develop stretch marks.
What causes stretch marks?
Your pregnancy will add more weight as the baby develops inside your tummy. You will notice these marks of pregnancy appearing on your skin when you gain more than the average weight. Generally, pregnant women gain about 25-35 lbs during pregnancy.
Genetics is another determining factor in the appearance of these pregnancy marks. Experts say that there is a greater probability that you will have them if one of your relatives has experienced having them before.
The appearance of stretch marks also has to do with the skin tone. Fair-skinned women are more likely to have them than darker-skinned women. When they do, the stretch marks appear to be lighter than their skin tone.
Stretch Mark Cream and Pregnancy
Many products claim to be effective in removing stretch marks. Unfortunately, there are no proven methods to actually remove them or prevent them from appearing on the skin. There is a very little evidence that may prove these products can actually prevent these pregnancy marks.
Stretch Mark Cream moisturizes the skin to maintain its elasticity. It usually contains cocoa butter and vitamin E. There are stretch mark creams that contain collagen-building ingredients to rebuild the middle layer of the skin and lessen the appearance of stretch marks.
When is the best time to use stretch mark cream?
While some stretch marks usually fade to a silvery hue, there are some that remain darker and visible. Experts advise that the best time to treat them is while they are still reddish. Massage the skin with the cream or oil as this will help the blood to circulate better, lessen the tension on the skin, and improve the skin’s elasticity.
While there is no proven method to prevent stretch marks, there are other things that you can do to lessen the probability of these stretch marks from appearing on your body during pregnancy, including the following:
- Provide proper nourishment for your skin. Eat more food that contains more vitamin C as they can help keep the skin more toned and lessen its tendency to have stretch marks.
- Watch your weight. Adding weight throughout your pregnancy is expected. However, you need to constantly keep an eye on the pounds that you put on. Keep it steady and slowly. Consult your doctor for a recommended daily calorie intake.
- Be patient. There may be other treatments that can help remove your stretch marks. However, as your dermatologist or doctor may have already advised, they may not be safe during pregnancy. Be patient. These pregnancy marks will soon wear off.
You can also choose the safer solution. Choose a stretch mark cream or any other product that will help make the stretch marks less visible. When choosing the right product, off for one that is formulated to be safe to use during pregnancy.