Pregnancy does some incredible and incomprehensible things to our bodies as women. With my first pregnancy, I knew I was pregnant before even taking a test - my body was already giving me signs!
One of the biggest, and certainly the most visible changes that our bodies go through is the very physical aspect of your body growing with the baby. Over the last 2 years my body has undergone the most unbelievable transformations which have given me a healthy baby girl, and very soon to be another! However, dealing with these changes isn't always easy, both emotionally and physically!
The evolution of pregnancy can feel so fast and so slow all at the same time. The first trimester seems to lag on forever! If you're anything like me, I felt exhausted, often nauseous and anxious to tell everyone our exciting news! In the second tri, it felt like time had finally started moving again and I could enjoy the small, but growing baby bump which had appeared. The third (where I'm not-so-patiently waiting right now) can feel like it is moving at the speed of a rollercoaster and standing completely still at the same time.
It is during this third trimester especially that I really try to take the time to use extra care with my skin and extra self love with myself! I know that so much about how your skin will react to pregnancy is in your genes, but I still take extra steps (especially now that we're entering the cold and dry winter) to hydrate my skin and pamper myself.
Ahh the good old days! This was me 6 weeks pregnant with baby #1, before any evidence of baby was visible - I had no idea what my body was in for over the next few years!
Here I was just weeks before giving birth to Josie. I gained around 35 lbs with my first pregnancy, which was more than I had hoped I would gain. I had a lot of ups and downs with how I felt regarding my changing body. It was not always easy and I didn't always feel comfortable with how I looked. The best advice I can give is to try to never compare yourself to others - good or bad! I lived on the scale the first time around, in fear of one day ballooning up or 'losing control'. This time around I don't weight myself at all!
And here was Matthew and I celebrating Valentine's day in Mexico! I am 6 months post-partum in this picture. It's incredible how things can change so much in such a short period of time! I had times (especially right after birth) when I was so afraid of what my new body would look like. It's not the exact same as it was, but I have a beautiful baby who I was lucky enough to breastfeed for a year! And I don't need to look 24 forever :)
And soon after Mexico we found out we were having another! And now I am back here - about 5 weeks away from meeting my second baby! Stepping away from the scale this pregnancy has taught me a lot about self love this pregnancy. It amazing how much easier it is to feel that way when I'm not living by a number on the scale! Pregnancy is such an unbelievable gift, and yet also can be a very unnerving time as you watch your body change so dramatically! Take a deep breath and try embracing the changes day by day - knowing it's not forever, and it's results are magical!
After 2 pregnancies, I wanted to share what I found worked for me for my pregnancy skin care routine. This routine can also be applied easily and modified to non-pregnant bodies, I use most of these products regardless (just less focus on the belly!) I just really enjoy taking a little time each night to pamper my body, whether it be with a long bath, or just my normal lotion routine, especially now. The smell and feel of these products always help me unwind at night!
Palmers Coco Butter for Stretch Marks - The classic! I apply Palmers Coco Butter liberally to my skin often! I have gone through about 3 bottles each pregnancy, but it keeps my skin feeling great! I like to apply this to my thighs, butt, back and sides. Everyone thinks about the dreaded stretch marks forming across your belly, but I had more trouble with them in places like my thighs and sides which also expanded as I grew! I started using this around the early-to-middle of my second tri.
Clarins Tonic Body Treatment Oil - This is the holy grail of body oils for pregnancy in my opinion, and the smell is wonderful! Highly reviewed on nearly every website it is available, this has become a cult favorite among pregnant women. I poured some across my belly every night after showering during the 2nd tri, and then moved to everyday in the 3rd tri once my skin started to really stretch as I grew more rapidly. Who knows if it was good genes or Clarins - but I still remain stretch mark free on my large belly!
Elemis Skin Buff - Skin maintenance during pregnancy extends upwards to your face too! I am lucky enough to benefit from having great skin while pregnant. Almost from the day of conception I am completely blemish free (postpartum is a totally different story unfortunately) however I still care about exfoliating my face regularly. I love Elemis Skin Buff for a wonderful light exfoliation which really brings out my skins natural beauty. They say you naturally 'glow' while you're pregnant, but I think this is what actually causes it!
The Bathery Exfoliating Bath Cloths - Exfoliation for your entire body is more important than ever while pregnant! I love these bath cloths (found at Target, although they do not appear to be sold online unfortunately). They are a long strip rather than a loofah, and are just abrasive enough to provide a great exfoliation for my skin. This is especially useful in the winter! After showering I simply apply a moisturizing lotion (I normally use Nivea all over my body) and then follow through with my body butter and oil where it is needed around my belly area.
So there is my routine - I hope you found it useful for now, or in the future! Last but absolutely not least - The most important thing to mention about skin care is water. Keeping your skin hydrated starts from the inside, and drinking an adequate amount of water while pregnant is so important! So pour yourself as glass as your lathering up, you're doing more than you think!
Thanks for reading! I would love to hear what worked well for others - or if anyone has any requests for future product reviews or beauty posts! Let me know in the comments!