Pregnant? Rock your Looks
Having a baby is a joyous occasion, parents are happy the community is pleased for you what’s not to love?
For many expectant mothers however there are many things that they do not love about been pregnant.
With Pregnancy come hormonal changes which change a woman’s body.
The way you look changes, you gain weight (nothing totally wrong with that), your skin changes in general your whole appearance.
These skin changes can either be a beautiful glow or unsightly breakouts such as pimples.
There are many myths in our culture as to why some women break out and have pimples or uneven skin tones during pregnancy.
Some people attribute it to the gender of the child; some will say that a male child makes you look ugly because its gender is in conflict with your system.
I really cannot say much about the myths and traditions that are associated with pregnancy but I can say that the gender of your child is not an excuse for you to look weird and terrible.
We have all seen pregnant women in baggy T-shirts, (soccer jerseys been a favourite) looking rather shabby with unkempt hair.
We usually excuse the shabby appearance and attribute it to pregnancy but ladies it is not an excuse.
Yes there are days when you do not feel like making an effort that is understandable.
However there are certain things that you can do or ask hubby to help you do to still maintain that glow and beauty.
|Salma Dodia and Hubby Duke Tivo, THE SHIKAPWASHAS|
The first thing is clothes, it is common advice that you must not wear tight clothing when you are pregnant, ladies please take this seriously.
Tight clothes provide a health hazard from your unborn child it reduces blood circulation and your body temperature is usually high during pregnancy.
Light, breathable clothing made of wool or cotton is the most comfortable.
Avoid wearing tight socks or half leg stockings during pregnancy as these can reduce blood circulation from the feet and lower legs, thus increasing swelling, fluid retention and aggravating varicose veins.
Shorts/skirts or pants with an elastic or drawstring waist made from stretchy materials that can grow with your waist are ideal at this time.
You can wear cute baby dresses (the ones that are loose on the tummy) over leggings or panty hose just ensure they are not tight.
Try to wear bright colours to bring out that glow that usually appears in second trimester.
If you want to wear a T-shirt make sure it’s a perfect fit not hubby’s extra large Manchester jersey and accessorize with earrings and chunky bangles.
Hair is also a usually abandoned thing during pregnancy, I have met plenty women who opt to cut their hair when they are pregnant citing lack of grooming time.
For starters if you choose to cut your hair it’s a personal decision as long as you remember that short hair should also be clean and paired with accessories to soften your look.
Because weaves require maintenance and have to be done regularly, it is probably best to braid your hair.
I am not a strong advocate of masai braids because they ultimately ruin your hair fibre but you can do two strand twists (tu pomba), the three strand ones or even the big braids.
Just remember to take them out early; there is nothing worse than unsightly dirty braids.
Fish tail, mukule, and even temporary dreadlocks are some hairstyles you can also do as they sit in your hair longer.
Invest in some scarves and wraps for those days when you are having bad hair days and need to go for ante natal checkups.
Eat healthily, this cannot be emphasised enough; you are eating for two people, avoid alcohol and cigarettes whether second hand as it harms the little one.
Apparently some women believe that if you drink Chibuku (opaque beer) when you are pregnant the baby comes out light.
This is rather shocking belief that must be discouraged, alcohol while you are pregnant must not be condoned.
Drink a lot of water and juices, eat vegetables and fruits this has a double effect it keeps you beautiful and healthy and strengthens your baby.
Which brings me to the issue of cravings; soil, pickles, lemon, foods that are not in season are among the top cravings that expectant mothers get.
Craving soil is a sign that perhaps your body is lacking iron and other minerals. It is vital for you to tell your doctor about the cravings you are getting.
Pregnant women are also more prone to fungal and bacterial infections such as Vaginal thrush and Urinary tract infections.
Regular washing and wearing cotton underwear will keep your private area ventilated and discourage growth of these nasty organisms.
Then there are the dreaded pimples which occur in most women these are caused by higher levels of hormones called androgens.
These are mostly responsible for pregnancy breakouts because they can prompt the sebaceous glands in your skin to get bigger and boost production of an oily substance called sebum.
This extra sebum, combined with the shed skin cells that line your hair follicles, blocks your pores, creating an environment in which bacteria can rapidly multiply.
All this can eventually lead to the inflammation and skin eruptions of acne which usually clears up after you have given birth. You need to wash your skin with gentle soaps, just don’t use a face towel a lot as this can further irritate, and aggravate the skin.
Use oil free products and products that are labelled non-comedogenic to avoid clogging the pores and causing breakouts.
If you have dry skin moisturize regularly and avoid hot bathes and showers. You can also get dry, itchy bellies from the stretching of the skin. Massage the belly with cocoa butter.
For sore, cracked nipples, instead of regular lotions and moisturizers, use special nipple creams and ointments.
Experiment with your make up, use blush to perk up your tired skin, lipstick to create that foxy look.
Use foundation and concealer if you are having uneven skin tone, just ensure that the products are safe and do not contain harmful chemicals.
Ask for advice from your doctor on what products to avoid during pregnancy.
Some tips for you.
Because you cannot do brisk exercise during pregnancy, take a short walk every day as it is essential that you still do some form of exercise.
To control stretch marks (you cannot avoid them ladies) eat healthily, drink a lot of water.
Use a gentle skin brush or washcloth to massage the skin and increase blood flow to the area, which might help.
Before the stretch marks have a chance to form, keep the skin moisturized by applying a natural emollient like cocoa butter to your stomach and breasts.
Be happy and pamper yourself (Gentlemen spoil your woman ) as this is the time for her to relax before you get to the diapers, late night feeding and the school runs.
You can also email me with some beauty tips and comments that you would like to share. And I will include them in my column
Stay healthy and beautiful next week.