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Self-care is important for everyone, but it is especially important for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. During these times, women are going through a lot of physical and emotional changes, and it is important to take care of themselves so that they can be healthy and happy.

Here are some of the reasons why women need to practice self-care when pregnant or breastfeeding:

  • To reduce stress and anxiety: Pregnancy and breastfeeding can be stressful times, and stress can have a negative impact on both the mother and the baby. Self-care practices, such as meditation, yoga, or spending time in nature, can help to reduce stress and anxiety.
  • To improve sleep: Sleep is essential for both physical and mental health, and pregnant and breastfeeding women often find it difficult to get enough sleep. Self-care practices, such as relaxation techniques or taking a warm bath before bed, can help to improve sleep.
  • To boost energy levels: Pregnancy and breastfeeding can be tiring, and it is important to find ways to boost energy levels. Self-care practices, such as eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep, can help to boost energy levels.
  • To maintain a healthy weight: It is important for pregnant and breastfeeding women to maintain a healthy weight. Self-care practices, such as eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly, can help to maintain a healthy weight.
  • To cope with changes in body image: Pregnancy and breastfeeding can cause changes in body image, and it is important to find ways to cope with these changes. Self-care practices, such as talking to a therapist or joining a support group, can help to cope with changes in body image.
  • To connect with the baby: Self-care practices, such as meditation, yoga, or spending time in nature, can help pregnant women connect with their babies. These practices can also help breastfeeding women to bond with their babies.
Pregnant lady enjoying safe beauty treatments

Top tip

It is important to take care of yourself when pregnant or breastfeeding. This might be as simple as having time to go for a walk by yourself or a cup of tea whilst it’s still warm; or you may benefit from taking time out to have a massage or a facial. If this is your chosen method of self care, it is important to make sure that any treatments you have are suitable whilst pregnant or breastfeeding.

Sophia Wyatt founded the pregnancy charity Kicks Count to educate and empower women in pregnancy.

What treatments are available?

During pregnancy and breastfeeding, it’s important to consider the safety and well-being of both the mother and the baby. Some beauty treatments are considered safe during these periods, while others should be avoided due to risk of reactions. During pregnancy our bodies may react to products differently and as we should take anti-hystermine medication if we do react we are limited with treatments.

Here are a few beauty treatments that are generally considered safe:

1. Gentle Skincare Routine: Use mild and fragrance-free skincare products to keep your skin clean and moisturized. Avoid products containing retinoids, salicylic acid, and high concentrations of essential oils, as they may not be safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

2. Manicures and Pedicures: Nail treatments, such as manicures and pedicures, are generally safe. Ensure proper ventilation if you’re in a nail salon to minimize exposure to fumes.

3. Haircuts and Styling: Haircuts, hair washing, and basic hairstyling are safe. However, chemical treatments like hair dyes and relaxers should be approached with caution. Always patch test as hormones can dramatically alter the results and you could be left with an unexpected hair colour. You could become sensitive to chemicals in the products.

4. Facials: Basic facials that involve gentle cleansing, mild exfoliation, and moisturising are usually safe. Avoid treatments that involve harsh chemical peels or strong acids and later in the pregnancy lying on your back can be uncomfortable, your therapist should offer you pillows for comfort.

5. Massage & Reflexology: Prenatal massages are a great way to relax and alleviate pregnancy-related discomfort. Make sure to go to a massage therapist experienced in working with pregnant individuals. Later in pregnancy you may need to lay on your side or in an upright position.

6. Natural and Organic Products: If you’re looking for beauty products, opt for natural and organic options without potentially harmful ingredients.

7. Hydration and Nutrition: Staying hydrated and maintaining a healthy diet can have a positive impact on your skin’s appearance and overall well-being.

8. Sun Protection: Use sunscreen with at least SPF 50 to protect your skin from harmful UV rays and reduce pigmentation. Hormone changes often cause conditions like Melasma.

Consult with your Midwife or GP  before undergoing any beauty treatments during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Every pregnancy is unique, and what might be safe for one person might not be suitable for another. Always prioritize safety and open communication with your healthcare provider.

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