Pregnancy puts the body through a rigorous test. Following hormonal upheavals, several changes occur within the body. To take care of it, several actions and habits are recommended for pregnant women. Discover all our advice in this article.
How to take care of your body during pregnancy?
- Cleaning one's face to limit blemishes
- Apply a sunscreen daily to prevent melasma during pregnancy
- Apply a nourishing and hydrating treatment daily
- Combatting heavy legs
- Replenishing vitamins and nutrients
- Avoid certain foods
Cleaning one's face to limit blemishes.
Under the influence of hormones, the skin changes during pregnancy and is subject to new concerns. To take care of it, the application of gentle cosmetic treatments is recommended. However, it is important to ensure that each product you use is suitable for pregnant women. If it is not explicitly stated that a treatment is suitable during pregnancy, it is better not to apply it.
During pregnancy, the skin can become oilier due to an increase in sebum synthesis by the sebaceous glands, triggered by the rise in progesterone levels in the body. To prevent any acne outbreaks and the appearance of blemishes, it is advised to cleanse your face morning and evening with a care product suitable for your skin type. If your skin is naturally oily, we recommend a gel texture. On the other hand, if it tends to dry out easily, opt for a milk or balm, which are more hydrating treatments.
Please note : during pregnancy, traditional acne treatments based on retinol should be avoided. It is then advisable to consult a dermatologist so that they can prescribe a suitable treatment.
Apply a sunscreen daily to prevent melasma during pregnancy.
The "mask of pregnancy" is a form of hyperpigmentation that affects pregnant women. They are indeed more susceptible to this skin disorder, due to the high levels of oestrogen and progesterone secreted, hormones that stimulate the melanogenesis, that is, the production of melanin. Therefore, to avoid the appearance of brown spots, it is necessary to protect oneself from the sun by using a broad-spectrum sun protection daily. It is also recommended not to expose oneself between 12pm and 4pm, when UV rays are most intense, and to wear a hat and sunglasses.
Apply a nourishing and hydrating treatment daily.
Stretch marks are among the most common skin issues encountered during pregnancy. Forming as a result of rapid weight gain, they are the result of the rupture of collagen fibres , proteins in the dermis that underpin the skin. However, stretch marks are not inevitable and certain measures can limit the risk of their appearance. We particularly recommend applying a nourishing and hydrating treatment twice a day, such as our stretch mark gel-in-oil . Enriched with baobab oil (INCI name: Adansonia Digitata Seed Oil) and shea olein (INCI name: Butyrospermum Parkii Oil), it visibly prevents and reduces the appearance of stretch marks, while providing flexibility and elasticity to the skin.
Combatting heavy legs.
Pregnant women are often prone to issues of heavy legs, characterised by a sensation of pain in the lower limbs, particularly in the calves. This discomfort is due to a venous insufficiency. As a result of slowed microcirculation, blood pools in the legs, leading to cramps and tingling sensations. During pregnancy, physical activity is often reduced and a natural weight gain is observed. These two factors are the root cause of the heavy legs phenomenon.
To alleviate discomfort, it is recommended for pregnant women to engage in gentle physical activity, such as walking or swimming. When performed in cold water, the latter also has the advantage of providing a massaging effect on the legs. You can also perform self-massages on your calves, and apply treatments containing vein-toning active ingredients, such as horse chestnut or aloe vera. Another helpful tip is the use of compression stockings, which have a truly beneficial effect.
Replenishing vitamins and nutrients.
We often hear that one must "eat twice as much" when pregnant. In reality, one should "eat twice as well". Pregnancy is indeed a very tiring state, and a balanced diet along with good hydration allows for an abundance of energy and nutrients for both mother and child.
Therefore, it is recommended to consume five fruits and vegetables per day, legumes with every meal, dairy products three times a day, and proteins once a day. It is also important to limit the intake of fats, salt, and sugary products.
During pregnancy, certain foods will thus be your allies to best support you and your baby. This includes folic acid, or vitamin B9, which plays a significant role in the proper development of the embryo's nervous system. It can be found in foods such as spinach, watercress, lamb's lettuce, melon, nuts, chickpeas, and chestnuts.
A diet rich in calcium is also recommended, as this element is crucial for the construction of the baby's skeleton. It should be accompanied by foods high in vitamin D, such as oily fish, which promote the absorption of calcium. Finally, iron is essential, especially towards the end of pregnancy, to avoid any risk of deficiency that can lead to anaemia. You can find it in legumes, fish, and meat.
Avoid certain foods.
Conversely, the consumption of certain foods is contraindicated during pregnancy, particularly those that could potentially cause a parasitic infection, such as toxoplasmosis or listeriosis. These are primarily raw foods, such as raw fish, seafood, raw meats, dairy products made from raw milk or raw eggs.
The soybean is also not recommended as it contains phytoestrogens, some studies have shown that they have adverse effects on animal foetuses, such as stunting growth. Even though this has not been directly shown in humans, it is better to adopt the principle of caution.
Finally, alcohol consumption should be avoided during pregnancy. It is toxic to the baby and can lead to various complications (growth retardation, central nervous system damage, malformations...), of which Foetal Alcohol Syndrome is the most severe form. According to the Regional Health Agency (ARS), alcohol consumption during pregnancy is the leading cause of non-genetic mental disability and social maladjustment in children in France.
Thèse de Pierre-André SCOTT. Action vasorelaxante du 17-œstradiol, implication du monoxyde d’azote et des récepteurs aux oestrogènes (2004).
Comité de Nutrition de la Société Française de Pédiatrie. Phytoestrogens and soy foods in infants and children: caution is needed. Archives de pédiatrie (2006).
TYLER K. H. Physiological skin changes during pregnancy. Journal of Clinical Gynecology and Obstetrics (2015).