Post-Pregnancy: Skin Problems Faced by New Moms

After having a baby, you might notice fairly quickly that the glow you have while pregnant is now gone leaving your skin dry, flaky and dull. This is a normal condition suffered by new mothers or second time moms. Believe it or not the stress of pregnancy and now dealing with a newborn is just beginning to leave its trail of destruction on your skin.

Common Skin Problems

Pregnant and new mothers suffer from common skin problems. One of them is puffy eyes caused by late nights and fatigue. Breastfeeding, for instance, can take its toll on the skin and the eyes are always the first to be affected. Dark circles are signs of sleepless nights tending to a newborn. Another skin problem that post-pregnancy brings is dry skin which is not only caused by sugar and caffeine fixes to stay energized but also by harsh soaps, shampoos and hot showers that deprive the skin of emollients and oils. Fine lines and wrinkles may start to appear due to exhaustion. Let us face it, pregnancy is heaven compared to the real work that’s going to start once the baby is out. And finally, you might also experience pigmentation or dark spots that appear on the epidermis.

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Treatment Plan

The good thing about these skin problems is that there is something you can do about them. A combination treatment plan and therapy will work best in managing skin issues. For example, we do know that eye bags and dark circles are caused by ‘fluid retention’ so drinking lots of liquids can help. It is also best to keep yourself hydrated especially if you are expressing milk or breastfeeding. There are also store-bought eye creams that get good reviews to help relieve tired eyes and put back the sparkle in them. Look for eye creams that have vitamin C and antioxidants.

You can reduce dry, flaky skin by drinking lots of water, avoiding hot showers and harsh cleansers and moisturizing. In choosing moisturizers and lotions, go for hypoallergenic products that are rich in hyaluronic acid to fix the skin barrier and retain moisture. Add flaxseed and fish oil to your diet or take them as supplements.

For melasma or skin pigmentation, there are over-the-counter products that you can get to lighten dark spots. If buying products for skin discoloration, look for active ingredients such hydroquinone, kojic acid, retinoic, lactic and citric acid or salicylic acid combo to correct dark spots.

Lines and wrinkles are mainly caused by raging hormones and tiredness. Buy products that contain helpful ingredients such as niacinamide (vitamin B3). It reduces water loss and may improve the elasticity of the skin. Note that these products will not solve every skin issue and they are not overnight miracle workers. Getting adequate rest, eating a balanced diet, keeping skin clean & hydrated as well as using sunscreen are equally important.

Here’s How to Avoid Incontinence During Pregnancy

Your pregnancy should be an exciting time. But for many women, it is marred by incontinence. Is it something that goes hand in hand with a growing baby? Is there anything you can do to prevent it?

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Preventing incontinence in pregnancy

Incontinence in pregnancy can be managed with a growing range of women’s incontinence pads available today. Unlike sanitary ware, incontinence pads absorb both urine and odour.

However, incontinence during pregnancy is not inevitable and neither should it be for weeks or months after giving birth either.

Why does it happen?

There are a few reasons why incontinence happens during pregnancy. Understanding these and how your body is changing is instrumental in preventing incontinence;

  1. Hormones – when you become pregnant, your body surges with all kinds of hormones. Some of these hormones could have an effect on your bladder. Some women find that accidental leaks or urine happen from early pregnancy until a few weeks after the birth. After this time, hormones return to normal levels and incontinence can stop.
  2. Weight of the growing baby – urinary incontinence is very common in late pregnancy as the weight of the growing baby places pressure on the bladder. This can be managed with incontinence products.
  3. Medical conditions e.g. UTIs – urinary incontinence can be symptomatic of urinary tracts infections (UTIs). If it is hurts or stings to urinate, see your GP.
  4. Weak pelvic floor muscles – the pelvic floor is the muscle that you use to control your bladder. If this is weak or damaged, it can make urinary incontinence a frequent occurrence.

What can be done about it?

Prevention is always better than cure and the good news is, urinary incontinence during pregnancy can be prevented. Try these ideas…

#1 Pelvic floor exercises

These are simple exercises that you do several times in a day. They strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, giving you more control to keep urine in your bladder even when you have an urgent need to visit the bathroom.

You don’t need any expensive equipment and you can do them in the privacy of your own home, at work, anywhere in fact!

These exercises involve clenching, holding and then releasing your pelvic floor muscle. Find your pelvic floor muscle by clenching it the next time you are urinating. When you release the muscle, urine will flow again. Once you get the feel for where it is, do these exercises when you are not urinating as some medical professionals believe that by clenching and releasing when you urinate can lead to urinary tract infections.

These exercises are considered safe and beneficial to a pregnant woman but if you are unsure, check with your midwife. Neither should these exercises hurt. Again talk to your midwife if they do.

#2 Pregnancy yoga

Yoga is an exercise regime that many people enjoy, and for pregnant women it is a gentle means of staying active right the way through pregnancy and after the birth too.

There are many challenges and changes to face when you are pregnant, including managing incontinence. This can impact on your emotional well-being, something that the calming practice of yoga can help with.

Yoga has also been proved to help reduce or even eliminate in some cases, urinary incontinence. This is because many of the exercises and stretches use the abdominal and pelvic floor muscles.

Starting yoga during pregnancy is possible but make sure you talk it through with your midwife first and that your yoga instructor is qualified.

#3 Healthy lifestyle choicesOpting for a healthy lifestyle can also help incontinence during pregnancy. Cutting down on caffeinated drinks – tea, coffee, energy drinks and some hot chocolate brands – stopping smoking and drinking, as well as watching what you eat all play an impact on staying healthy in pregnancy.

Some food and drinks can exacerbate urinary incontinence. Spicy foods and acidic foods can irritate the bladder, causing an increase in the frequency to urinate. It may be that once your body returns to normal post-birth, that these foods and drinks will no longer irritate your bladder.

If it carries on…?

Your body can take six to eight weeks to recover after giving birth. If urinary incontinence lasts longer than this, seek medical help.

Incontinence is not an inevitable part of being a new mum. Just because you experience some level of urinary incontinence in pregnancy does not mean it will carry on in the longer term. If you have any concerns, always seek medical help.

HARTMANN Direct have a range of incontinence products for both men and women. No matter what level of absorbency you need, they have a product that fits.

Seven Fashion Tips for Stylish Mommies

Pregnancy, motherhood and happiness concept. Beautiful stylish elegant pregnant woman in red dress relaxing on sofa, making heart shape with hands over belly, symbol of love

Being a new mommy is a whole new, sweet, exciting, terrifying and amazing life experience that women embrace wholeheartedly. But it is a well-known fact that not all women regain their pre-baby waistline and thighs. As a matter of fact, baby fat takes a few months to disappear, while your prenatal body lines still need time to make their comeback. Are you bound to wear leggings and oversized t-shirts for months to come?

If your pre-pregnancy outfits don’t fit, and your pregnancy outfits don’t fit either, what is left to do than layering slouchy clothes over and over to hide all the sins? Well, you may not be the same size you were a year ago, but this doesn’t mean you can’t look stylish and cool – without stealing your husband’s shirts and tees! Let’s take a look today at seven fashion tips for new mommies and some easy tricks you can employ to turn heads in the street!

1. Wear High-Waist Jeans and Some Cool Boots

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The problem with low-waist skinny jeans in new mommies is that they don’t flatter at all your waistline. On the contrary, if you happen to bend over, they will make a display of your granny pants. On the other hand, a pair of high-waist jeans with a very flat front will make your waist and thighs look slimmer, and you can wear any top, tee or shirt without accidentally showing skin.

For a complete optical illusion, tuck your jeans into a pair of comfy nude suede boots. The jeans and pants don’t necessarily have to be the skinny or cigarette style, but you should tuck them into ankle boots in a nude shade. Wearing nudes come with immense benefits – your legs will look slimmer and longer, and the viewer’s eye is drawn towards the lower part of your body and not your waist.

2. Wear Black

It’s just simple as that: pick pants, dresses, tunics and skirts in black (or at least dark shades). Black is known for making your figure look slimmer, hiding all the baby fat and undesired curves. Now we don’t all have to be Victoria Beckham and have her post-partum waistline, but we can learn something from this fashionable soccer mom: cover in black what you need to cover and show the parts you want the world to see – the simple and elegant outfit will make you look stand out of the crowd, especially if you dress up a little black dress with style.

3. Switch Slouchy T-Shirts with Tunics

No matter the season, tunics make a terrific addition to any new mommy’s wardrobe. Instead of making you look bigger, like frumpy tees do, they skim your figure as they have a longer, slim-fit design. You can pick some in long sleeves and short sleeves to get you through the seasons. If you want to spice things up, pick some in jolly colors and adorned with modern embellishments, applications, bows, ribbons or featuring stylish prints and patterns.

If you want a casual outfit, wear a tunic over a pair of jeans, leggings or short. Dress up to rock the city with a tunic worn together with a pencil skirt.

4. Ditch the Diaper Bag for some Stylish Alternative

A diaper bag has its benefits but let’s face it, it looks sloppy and dorky, to say the least. Not to mention some of them are so big and deep you can lose yourself in them without finding anything. Fashion experts recommend you take stock of yourself and take a walk to the adult-fashion-oriented bags departments.

You can find plenty of modern bags that offer the same functionality, space, and organization as diaper bags without looking like diaper bags. You can try a distressed Selvaggio laptop bag in refined leather, a stylish canvas backpack, an oversized patent tote and so on. Use simple Ziploc bag for the diapers and sleek them into a fashionable bag for everyday wear.

5. Keep the Trainers for the Gym

We know, you need all the comfort you can get; especially now since you carry a newborn in your arms, a diaper bag and extra some pounds. You need to be able to walk for miles and never for a second feel the discomfort of shoes. Sneakers and trainers are a good choice because swollen, itchy, aching and burning feet is the last thing you want right now. But again, while sneakers made it into the casual wear trend and look awesome with anything from jeans to a maxi skirt, they are still sneakers.

If you want a dash of style to spice your mommy outfits up, switch to backless loafers, ballet flats, knee-long boots, and shoes with platforms across the entire sole for some height and so on. Slipper, flip-flops, and trainers will never pass the Fashion Police interrogatory.

6. Wear an Oversized Long Soft Scarf

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The mighty scarf can get you out of any situation: you can wrap yourself in it to hide some body parts, and looking feminine and romantic in the same time. You can wrap it around your neck and have its ends flow long on the vertical (to create a slimmer, taller appearance). You can wear it diagonally over your belly and back, with its ends quirkily knotted on the side to draw attention and still look slim and fit.

The scarf will be your best buddy if you want to breastfeed, cover your head and shoulders in summer, protect your arms from a chilly breeze at night, cover your legs if needed and use it as a pillow to take a nap on the bus in between to errands.

7. Mind Your Accessories

In order to rock motherhood, you need to look good – and feel great! When it comes to jewellery and accessories, you may want to ditch dangling earrings, long thin pendant necklaces and delicate chains – they will turn into a nightmare if the baby in your arms discovers them. Instead, go for stacked bracelets that don’t interfere with your breastfeeding or diaper changing activities, statement studs to draw attention to your face and maybe a statement chunky statement necklace that doesn’t get in your mommy ways. Sunglasses are mandatory, together with a composed and neat makeup, hairdo, manicure and pedicure.

After all, being a mommy doesn’t mean you have to neglect the small things in life.

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