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Your belly isn’t the only thing that changes during pregnancy, that’s right ladies…the increasing estrogen and progesterone levels influence skin in all women who are pregnant. There are many conditions that can arise while with child, but it is not a ‘one size fits all.’ Everyone reacts differently to pregnancy. Here is what to expect in some circumstances.

1. What to expect: That pregnancy glow and clear complexion. Experts believe a combination of hormones, oil and a 40% increase in blood volume makes a pregnant woman’s skin seem luminous during pregnancy. Pregnancy’s hormonal changes deliver more oxygen and nutrients to all organs, including the skin.

2. What to expect: Breakouts

The increase in progesterone levels also triggers more sebum (oil) production, causing breakouts. Choose acne products with care. Avoid products with retinol, retinoids and salicylic acid, because of possible birth defects. Retinols and retinoids are vitamin A derivatives, and oral vitamin A in high doses can cause serious birth defects.

3. What to expect: Dark skin patches About half of pregnant women develop melasma, which appears as large, dark patches on their face. Sometimes called the “mask of pregnancy,” this hyper-pigmentation is commonly found symmetrically on the cheeks, nose, and forehead. Increased hormones levels are one factor. Pregnant women have few options to prevent melasma. Avoid the sun to prevent it from worsening and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen (which blocks ultraviolet A and B rays). After delivery and you’re done with breastfeeding, you can use lightening products with licorice, vitamin C, kojic acid, soy or retinol.

4. What to expect: Good thick hair days

Normally, each hair grows for 2-6 years, then rests for a few months before falling out. But a pregnant woman’s hair rests longer before falling out, creating a thicker mane. Nails also grow longer and stronger. The effect disappears after pregnancy.

5. What to expect: Hair everywhere

The downside of lush, fast-growing hair? It’s not all on your head, but also on your face, bikini line, underarms or legs. Depilatories/bleach creams are fine for small areas like the lip, but skip large spots like the bikini line. Such products have active ingredients, such as barium sulfide powder and calcium thioglycolate, which could be absorbed into your bloodstream and affect your developing baby. They haven’t been tested and proven safe to use during pregnancy.

7. What to expect: Moles

Moles may get bigger or new ones can crop up. Some women may even develop pyogenic granulomas, dark, oozing growths also called “pregnancy tumors,” on hands or in the mouth.

8. What to expect: Skin tags

Skin tags – harmless, tiny growths attached to the body by a small, narrow base – are commonly found in high-friction spots like the underarms, groin area, under breasts or the base of the neck. They often appear in the second and third trimesters. That’s because “during pregnancy, elevated levels of estrogen and progesterone stimulate the growth of the skin’s outer layers.

9. What to expect: A dark stripe on your abdomen.

About three-fourths of pregnant women get a dark black, vertical line, called a linea nigra, heading from the belly button to pubic area. It results from increased melanin production in pregnancy.

10. What to expect: Varicose veins

There’s a downside to the increased blood volume that brings a glow to your cheeks: It also puts pressure on leg veins, causing painful swelling.

For more information about your changes of skin during pregnancy visit:

Remember, even though lots of changes are taking place during this 9 month period, your growing baby is super thankful for all that you do for her/him. Pregnancy is truly a blessing & women's bodies are absolutely amazing, and bounce back quick <3

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