What To Expect? Maternity Beauty Tips

Ahh pregnancy. That beautiful nine months of a woman's life when her body turns into a complete and utter stranger. Sure, major expected transformations occur-stretch marks, weight gain and breast changes. But then come the changes your mother hides from you. The changes you aren't "expecting."

Just like in the book and now movie "What to Expect When You're Expecting," (except probably way less funny than the film), we thought it apropos to take this time to address the many body and skin issues associated with pregnancy that no one talks about and how to battle them.

Hair Loss
While you are pregnant, your hair may be at its thickest and grow fast thanks to the increase in hormones like estrogen. But, about six months post-pregnancy you may experience isolated patches of hair loss. The good news? Since pregnancy-induced hair loss is temporary, for the most part, the best thing to do is let nature take its course. Basically, don't freak out. Try not to wear your hair pulled back in tight braids or ponytails, which cause breakage, and make sure to eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and protein, which are essential for healthy hair.

Extremely Itchy Skin
Dry, itchy skin is common during pregnancy due to higher than normal estrogen levels. It can affect the stomach, legs, breasts, palms of your hands and the soles of your feet. To correct it, first and foremost, try not to scratch. "You'll also want to moisturize as much as possible. Ointments and creams are inherently more moisturizing than lotions," says Charlotte, NC, dermatologist Gilly Munavalli, MD. Hot showers and baths may feel good, but they will only further dry out your skin, Instead, opt for a lukewarm bath with an anticollidal, like an oatmeal bath.

Your Nose Spreads
While it's in old wives' tale that your nose will widen if you're having a girl, changes to how the nose looks can occur despite the sex of your unborn baby. According to West Palm Beach, FL, facial plastic surgeon Michael L. Schwartz, MD, rhinitis of pregnancy (aka a wide nose) is caused by elevated estrogen levels, which cause mucus linings to thicken, and excess fluid retention and weight gain. There is nothing that can be done until after you have delivered. "Just like other parts of the body, large weight fluctuations can result in loss of the underlying support. If the body does not recover properly, surgical correction [like rhinoplasty] may be required," says Dr. Schwartz.

The good news is that if you encounter any, or all, of these pregnancy symptoms, their effects are usually temporary-after you deliver your bouncing baby and your hormones stabilize, they tend to disappear on their own.

What symptoms during pregnancy did you experience, and were you expecting them?

Related:
Pregnancy and Beyond: Your Best-Body Timeline

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