Editor and journalist Eleanor Taylor (esjtaylor.com) gave birth to her first child in October and has been guest-blogging for us about pregnancy and being a new mum. In this week’s installment, she shares pregnancy skincare tips, plus those for post-natal skin and baby’s skin for anyone who’s a mum-to-be (or supporting them!):
Most mums-to-be dread the onset of stretch marks, but there are also physical changes brought on by being with baby that are positively delightful! What I wasn’t prepared for, however, were the changes to my skin that came after giving birth. Pregnancy and breastfeeding meant my beauty bag and bathroom shelf needed an update, and my baby girl’s sensitive skin called for gentle treatments. Here are the products that are my, and my daughter’s, skin saviours:
Stretch marks watch out: I was alarmed to find a wicked web of stretch marks crawling across my chest just weeks after falling pregnant. If it was this bad so soon, what state would I be in after nine months? Fortunately their progress was kept at bay by Bio-Oil, a treatment that has earned cult status for good reason. I love the scent and non-greasy texture, and it worked wonders to calm the marks and prevent any more spreading across my belly. Weleda’s Stretch Mark Massage Oil also scored highly.
Hair today, gone tomorrow: What I found did change for the better was my hair. My long locks tend towards greasiness at the scalp so I wash my hair every other day. During those nine months I was thrilled to find I could go for a whole week without shampooing: the hours of washing and blow-drying that saved! My tresses benefited from the influx of hormones, but after I gave birth I was amongst the many women who experience some hair loss. Apparently this is simply the extra hair grown during pregnancy falling out, so my thick mane moulting was more of an issue for the vacuum cleaner than my vanity.
Butter me up: Whilst my moulting was no biggie, there was a major post-natal change that required considerable care and attention: my skin. I’ve always erred on the side of dryness, but breastfeeding and hormone changes meant I had to find even more moisture-rich products. The shea butter base of Higher Nature’s MSM Cream Light worked wonders, especially on my eyelids, which were particularly badly affected. I use it as a face and body lotion.
To the rescue of dry skin: I never used to use hand cream, but I had to update my beauty regime when my fingers started to resemble elephants’ legs. My wrinkled, cracked fingers were my most unsightly area of dry skin and needed a deep nourishing product to bring them back from the brink. Step forward Bach Rescue Cream, whose flower essences have helped rehydrate my sensitive skin.
Smooth as a baby’s bum: My daughter has inherited my eczema, so I’ve hunted out products that gently help relieve the itching, like Nelsons Calendula Cream for nappy changes and Neways Generations Hair & Body Wash at bath time. Health professionals and baby massage therapists told us to avoid traditional baby oils in favour of natural or edible oils, so we use Miaroma Sweet Almond Oil to soften the cradle cap on her forehead and soothe the baby eczema on her tummy and legs. It’s great for baby, mummy and daddy massages too!
Loved this? Stay tuned for more guest blogs from Eleanor over the next few weeks on all things pregnancy and being a new mum.