Pregnancy Rash and Other Skin Changes

Pregnancy rash, darkening and other skin changes are very common in expectant mothers

It is a well known fact that during pregnancy your body will undergo some astounding changes. But did you know that those changes even affect the skin?.

These symptoms can be quite shocking for the first time mother. I remember during my pregnancy with my first son wondering what was wrong with my belly when a dark line formed just under my belly button.

It was as if someone was trying to create an escape map for the baby to follow on the exterior of my body.

But that line is only one of many possible skin changes moms experience during pregnancy. Students in my prenatal classes are always asking me about this problem or that condition.

The response is always the same: Pregnancy hormones tattoo their mark on your skin. You’ll just have to cope for now, and wait for the hormones to resume normal levels before they quit picking on your skin.

So what exactly are you and your skin going to be dealing with?

Darkening of Areola

As mom enters the last few weeks of pregnancy she may notice her breasts undergoing a transformation. The skin surrounding the nipples is getting darker, and larger. Rest assured that this darkening and enlarging of the areola is normal.

Doctors think that this phenomenon is a natural process helping baby to find its food source.

I think it’s the body’s equivalent of nursing training wheels because changes don’t last. In fact they begin to fade in the first few post partum weeks, long before most women stop nursing.

Rashes

A pregnancy rash is very common and usually is not a cause for alarm. The skin is especially sensitive during pregnancy and can form a rash reaction to many stimuli.

Don’t be overly concerned about the occurrence of pregnancy rash, but do take note as to changes in laundry detergent, foods, soaps and lotions so you can identify and omit the possible culprit.

A pregnancy rash should also be reported to your caregiver. Some rashes could indicate a more serious problem. I always say to err on the side of caution.

Dry Skin

Pregnant skin is sensitive, even if you are not normally so. Take extra care to pamper your skin to prevent it from drying out. I take the excuse of pregnancy to get those luxurious creams I never use otherwise.

Do be careful when selecting a lotion though, as your skin does need the hydration but might not like perfumes, dyes or even botanicals.

Be warned that your skin can be moody too. What it likes during non-pregnant grease downs might not cut the mustard once you are pregnant.

Start with lotions you know you like, and branch out from there into the unknown just to be safe.

Belly Line

As I mentioned above, I had no idea that a dark belly line was part of the pregnancy package.

Not all women get them, but it is totally normal if you do. The line will fade after the baby is born, but in the meantime enjoy the novelty of it.

Stretch Marks

Stretch marks happen, and they don’t go way. Time will tone down the angry red coloring, making them less noticeable. To prevent stretch marks as much as possible drink lots of water, and use a nice lubricating lotion on your belly frequently (i.e. multiple times daily).

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