Are you pregnant, or do you know someone who is? As a mom myself, I can attest to the fact that being pregnant is a magical thing, but it can come with a long list of maladies. Keep clicking for healthy remedies that specifically address the issues one might experience during pregnancy.
One of the main pregnancy side-effects women worry about is stretchmarks. Because the belly (and hips, breasts and thighs) will stretch during pregnancy, it is crucial to keep the skin moisturized and nourished to ensure proper elasticity. Remember that you will only need this product for the pregnancy and for a few months afterwards, so try to purchase only what you need.
LaNatura has a lovely Organic Stretch Mark Massage Oil that is designed to moisturize and protect delicate skin while helping to prevent stretch marks. This oil is enriched with carefully selected organic oils with healing properties such as Jojoba and Avocado.
$18 at LaNatura.com
Another wonderful stretch mark preventer is the Burt's Bees Mama Bee Belly Balm. It helps to condition your growing belly with olive oil, beeswax and pumpkin seed extract. It is specially formulated to help skin retain moisture and elasticity during your pregnancy so your skin will bounce back into shape after the baby arrives.
$9.99 at Target.com
Another pregnancy biggie is morning sickness, which affects up to 80% of pregnant women. Thankfully, there are natural and healthy ways to combat the morning 'queasies'.
Psi Bands (pronounced "Sigh Bands") were created by two moms-to-be looking for a drug-free way to treat their morning sickness. They discovered the benefits of wrist acupressure to relieve their nausea and vomiting. Available in 5 colors.
Many experts believe that it is a deficiency of Vitamin B6 that causes morning sickness. B-Natal Lozenges are a non-prescription vitamin supplement that give you just the right amount of B6 to help soothe the symptoms of morning sickness. Different flavors available.
Symptoms can be at their most powerful between weeks 6-12, so plan accordingly when shopping for remedies that are taken orally.
(read on for tea recommendations to combat morning sickness)
Heartburn and Acid Reflux
Heartburn and acid reflux can be a problem for many pregnant women, especially as the pregnancy progresses. Mommy's Bliss Pregnancy Heartburn Comfort is formulated to comfort the digestive system quickly, and with no chalky aftertaste. Unlike most heartburn remedies, these tablets are natural and do not contain aluminum.
Papaya is another known remedy for stomach ills, especially heartburn and acid reflux. Healthmate Products makes a Creamed Papaya Concentrate, which can be mixed with water or used in smoothies to soothe upset stomachs. Best of all, the Creamed Papaya would be also great for baby. Should baby have colic, the papaya will help relieve baby's gassiness.
$17.79 for two 32-oz. bottles at HealthMateProducts.com
The main issue with a summer pregnancy is the heat. When we're pregnant, we tend to feel warmer than usual so the summer heat can be especially brutal.
Anthology makes a 99% organic Facial Toner - Body Spray mist that is pure rose water obtained through steam-distilling of fresh Bulgarian roses. As a toner, it can help balance hormonal oiliness (see Hormonal Acne below), and as a body mist, it's refreshing and calming. Keep it in the fridge for a cooling, summer spritz!
If your facial skin is oilier than usual due to a summer pregnancy, Allison Raffaele has blotting tissues that are perfect for excess oil production. If you're feeling oily, just swipe and go.
Hormonal pregnancy acne is also quite common. If your skin is acting up, I would suggest that you adjust your skin care routine for the duration of the pregnancy. Expect that your skin will return to it's normal type a few months after delivering, once your hormones have had a chance to regulate. Purchase only what you think you will use during that period.
MyChelle has a fantastic oily/acne line that is safe for mom-to-be and baby. Their White Cranberry Cleanser and Clear Skin Serum are good options for those suffering from hormonal acne during pregnancy.
$17.29 for the cleanser / $31.79 for the serum at Mychelle.com
If blemishes still occur despite your best efforts, try the cult favorite Drying Lotion from Mario Badescu. This acne spot treatment made with a blend of Calamine and Salicylic Acid and is designed to clear up and soothe unsightly whiteheads overnight.
Also known as the 'mask of pregnancy', Melasma is a darkening of the facial skin, particularly on the upper cheek, nose, lips, upper lip, and forehead. This does not affect every pregnant woman, but to prevent Melasma, it is very important that you wear a high level broad spectrum SPF. I like CVS Age Defense Face Sunscreen SPF 95. It's oil-free, fragrance-free and contains anti-oxidants and a photo-stable SPF of 95.
Leslie Campbell, DPM, is one of the country's leading experts in podiatric biomechanics, says that "During pregnancy, it's very common for women to experience changes in their feet, which can ultimately lead to stress on their back and lower body." She recommends specially designed shoe insoles, like Dr. Scholl’s Pain Relief Orthotics for all-day pain relief. These insoles cushion and absorb jarring impacts and help to evenly distribute body weight to reduce stress.
For immediate relief of back or neck soreness, I love the microwavable & freezable Soothing Body Wraps from Aroma Home. The wraps are filled with lavender and natural grain, and when applied to tired joints and muscles, they ease aches and tension. I'm not pregnant, but I love starting my morning writing with a warm one draped over my shoulders…aaaahhhh.
Sore, Tired Feet
In addition to orthotics, many women also find that compression socks are helpful to prevent foot discomfort. The designers at Mommysox worked with podiatrists, prenatal educators and pregnant women to create special socks for expectant and new mothers.
In addition to foot soreness, many women struggle with foot and ankle swelling, especially late in their pregnancies. Earth Mama Angel Baby Organics makes a foot soak with salts, organic lavender, thyme, peppermint, rosemary and pure essential oils. A few drops added to a foot bath will pamper and soothe your sore, swollen feet.
Earthmamaangelbaby.com is also a fantastic web destination for all your pregnancy and postpartum beauty needs. Be sure to check it out!
Especially in the later months of pregnancy, sleep can be quite fleeting. Our bellies are big, our backs hurt, we are worrying about everything…the list goes on. La Natura has a delightful aromatherapeutic spray, the Organic Sleep Well Neroli Spritzer, that contains 26 certified organic plant and flower extracts combined with uplifting Neroli Oil to comfort and soothe us to sleep.
$10 at LaNatura.com
As your belly grows, you may want to experiment with different pillows to prop your belly up while you're sleeping. Some women prefer the full-body size, while others like a smaller wedge style. It's worth looking into - pillows can make a big impact on the quality of your sleep. Bed Bath & Beyond has a large variety (prices vary), many of which can be used as nursing pillows once your little one comes along!
Cures for Many Ills
Earth Mama Angel Baby Organics has a Mama-to-Be Tea Sampler with 4 different natural remedies for nausea, heartburn and anxiety. The teas are USDA Certified 100% Organic and Certified Kosher and the tea packaging is earth-friendly.
$5.97 at EarthMamaAngelBaby.com
Epsom Salts address everything from sore bodies to dry, flaky skin. You can mix epsom salts with a variety of ingredients to make many at-home beauty treatments or you can pour them straight into the bath. Visit the Epsom Salt Facebook page for recipes and tips.
Please note that most health professionals advise that you should not take baths that are over 100 degrees (F) while pregnant. Visit BabyCenter.com to learn more.
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