PREGNANCY & NATURAL SKIN CARE - What products are safe for me?

Pregnancy is such an exciting time 

Pregnancy BlogBut at the same time it is full of worry for you, wondering and not knowing if you are doing the right things. I have had 2 children myself and know first hand how this feels. Back then there wasn't such a huge awareness of chemicals and how our exposure to them (other than smoke and medication) in the early stages could potentially harm our developing baby like there is now, but on some level I intuitively knew that chemicals can't be good for me and I limited my exposure the best I was aware I could. Not so much with my first but more with my second I was into aromatherapy and homeopathy and I remember reading advice that some oils like clary sage should not be used during pregnancy at all as they can cause strong uterine contractions, so I made a mental note not to use that particular oil until the end. From 35 weeks onwards I was using clary sage oil daily to massage my growing bump, but she was adamant it wasn't her time to come into this world despite the ultra strong Braxton Hicks I was experiencing. My beautiful baby daughter was born a day short of induction at 42 weeks, and no amount of essential oils was going to bring her into this world earlier, not until she was ready herself. Taking a bath with chamomile essential oil in it did relax me though and helped kick start labour, I can highly recommend that in the very last stages of your pregnancy. However this is all my personal experience and I must do the dutiful thing and tell you what the official guidelines are.

Our Natural Products & Pregnancy 

Our skin care products as you know are 100% natural and do not contain harsh chemicals, synthetic additives and chemical preservatives. They are perfectly safe for both you and your developing baby.

Trying for a baby & First trimester of Pregnancy

During these early stages the only ingredient of possible concern are the essential oils we use in some products. Generally, the advice issued by aromatherapists is to avoid essential oils during the first trimester whilst the pregnancy is getting established. The reason behind this advice is that some essential oils, such as rose, geranium, clary sage for example, can cause strong uterine contractions and the thought is that these may potentially lead to a miscarriage in a pregnancy which hasn't passed the risky first trimester. There is no harm at all to the developing embryo/foetus from the use of essential oils during any trimester. The precautions refer to the stimulating effect of some essential oils on the uterus. 

Therefore it pays to be safe, so for ladies planning on becoming pregnant or who have just found out they are expecting, we have a range of products without essential oils - called either UNSCENTED, or SENSITIVE. We have anything from soap, face wash, facial cleanser to face creams, body lotions and shampoo/conditioner. Most of our facial oils such as rosehip, argan, baobab, camellia, virgin prickly pear and massage oils are also unscented and suitable for use anywhere on the body.

Second & third trimester of pregnancy

Once you (or the person you want to get products for) have entered into the second trimester you can use any of our products as they are not overly scented nor utilise heavy concentrations of any essential oil. 

For prevention of stretch marks we recommend daily use of our Virgin Cocoa Butter as a bump butter, or massages with plain Sweet Almond oil. If you have already have seen stretch marks developing you can also add the Pure Shea & Rosehip Balm to your daily routine. This product is packed with valuable nutrients, essential fatty acids and both shea butter and rosehip have been renowned for their ability to heal torn tissue including stretch marks and scars. But the ultimate key to preventing stretch marks is to try to gain weight very steady, as any sudden skin expansion may lead to the skin tissue on your tummy tearing. You may hear that stretch marks are genetic, or hormonal, that no matter what you will get them. The truth is stretch marks are not hormonal, if they were then every single woman would be getting them. Even though there is some genetic predisposition in the sense some women's skin just isn't as elastic as others, there is no hereditary link as such. For example my mother got a lot and I got none. What I was doing different is I made sure I gained weight very steadily by eating a very healthy diet, something that wasn't so heavily promoted to pregnant women in the 70's. I still somehow managed to gain a whopping 20 kgs with both my children, but because there was no sudden growth and I was religiously massaging my bump with cocoa butter, my tummy remained stretch mark free. Before you think, ah her skin might be very elastic, well it isn't, because I do have stretch marks on my bum from growing too fast in puberty, something I couldn't really control or was even aware of. In either case, with or without stretch marks, you will all still be beautiful, just look at them as a pleasant reminder of what you've been through to bring your beautiful babies into this world.

Consult your GP or Midwife on Product Suitability

Having said all the above, it does pay to be safe! Therefore we always recommend that you do check with your GP or midwife our products suitability for YOU, as some specific limitations may apply in your case or in the case of high risk pregnancies for example.

To end this short post, on behalf of all the team at Handmade Naturals I would like to wish all you expectant ladies and your families the very best and look forward to hearing of the birth of your beautiful babies :)

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