Skin Changes during Pregnancy

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Apart from the growing bump, your body goes through many changes during a pregnancy. Skin is the largest organ of the human body and during a pregnancy your skin will go through the below changes.

• Stretch marks
• Pigmentation
• Acne or spots
• Broken veins
• Sensitive or itchy skin

Changes in the levels of hormones in your body, and changes to your circulation and immune system, can all have an effect on your skin.

The good news is that most of the changes that take place during pregnancy, clear up on their own after your baby is born.

• Can skin changes during a pregnancy be harmful?

Common skin changes aren’t harmful to you or your baby. However, talk to your gynecologist or midwife if your skin is inflamed, blistered, or if you have a rash, soreness, irritation or itchiness that lasts for more than a couple of days or becomes severe.

Be aware that some changes in skin color can be caused by other conditions unconnected to your pregnancy. Therefore always check with your doctor or midwife if you notice any changes in the color or size of a mole or if any pigmentation changes are accompanied by pain, tenderness or redness.

• What’s this dark line running up my tummy?
This is a question that most pregnant women have.

The vertical line that appears down the middle of your belly is called a ‘linea nigra’. It can be up to 1cm wide, and sometimes crosses your belly button. It tends to appear around the second trimester. Not everybody gets a linea nigra though. Don’t worry if you don’t have one during your pregnancy.

Although it appears over the abdominal muscles which stretch and slightly separate to give your baby more room, it’s not caused by this gap. It’s caused by pigmentation of the skin due to hormone changes.

The line should fade a few weeks after you’ve given birth.

The best way to maintain healthy skin during and after your pregnancy is to drink plenty of water and eat healthy. Stay away from fast food and sodas. Plenty of rest and a mild exercise routine (after a consultation with your doctor) and you should be good to go.