As I entered week 5 of pregnancy, I remember that my biggest concern was dealing with dry skin during pregnancy. (I weighed a respectable 122.9 pounds, and my waist measured 33 inches.) I usually suffer from dry skin, and early pregnancy was no exception. If I step out of the shower without immediately slathering lotion all over myself, I know that I am going to end of rather itchy as soon as my skin dries. Similarly, if I do not put hand lotion on my hands before I get into bed, I know that I am going to wake up at some point during the night from the pain of itchy dry skin on the backs of my hands. Therefore, knowing that the hormonal and physical changes of pregnancy can make dry skin worse, I created a plan of attack to deal with my new pregnancy skin dryness.
First, because my skin gets so dried out after I shower, my main plan for tackling my dry skin was to continue to put lotion on immediately after I stepped out of the shower. I would pat myself dry (but not rub off to protect my delicate skin) and then immediately slather on the lotion. My three favorite lotions at the beginning of my pregnancy were Queen Helene Cocoa Butter Crème, Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Tummy Butter, and Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks. All three of these lotions are gentle on the skin and also offered the added benefit of preventing stretch marks. Although I was less concerned with the possibility of getting stretch marks than with treating my dry and itchy skin, using a product made especially for pregnancy was definitely not going to hurt.
Second, in addition to slathering on the lotion, I also used early pregnancy as the perfect time to start including more liquids into my diet. Drinking plenty of water is not only good for the inside of the body but is also good for the skin. Furthermore, as my pregnancy with my daughter progressed, I would need to increase my fluid intake anyway to maintain the health of my growing baby (and the quantity of my amniotic fluid, in particular), so getting used to drinking more early on would help me out in the long run. Dehydration, in addition to being bad for myself and my daughter, would also lead to more problems with dry skin, so I was doing myself a double favor by drinking more water, decaffeinated tea, milk, and 100% juice.
For expectant mothers like me who suffer from dry skin in general, early pregnancy can be a drying time. The hormonal changes during pregnancy can cause some major skin changes. For me, early pregnancy thus meant using more lotion and drinking more fluids to combat my dry and itchy skin during week 5 of pregnancy.
Did you experience any changes to your skin during early pregnancy?
Originally written on May 1, 2011
Heather Week 5 of Pregnancy © 2011 James Johnson