Get your mind out of the gutter, I am not talking about THAT kind of lubrication! I am talking about your skin!
During pregnancy, your skin is stretching and making amazing (seemingly strange) changes. Many women find that their skin never goes back to its original state although it can. Maybe the skin is extra stretched or it has stretch marks from the skin stretching too fast.
There are four factors that cause the women's skin to change:
- Genetics -- The good news here is that more and more each day, it is being proven that we can change our genetics by diet and lifestyle! So don't blame genetics too much as you stuff you face during pregnancy!
- Hydration -- Your skin is mostly water and is unable to become more elastic if you are not staying hydrated. During pregnancy, you require more hydration and water is the best source. If you don't care for water, try adding a splash of juice, a slice of lemon, a slice of cucumber, or some ice cubes. I find that when I get in a water rut, buying a new water bottle energizes me to drink more.
- Foods -- Your body needs to be getting enough vitamins and healthy fats to help your body grow as nature intended it to. Try to eat as many whole and unprocessed foods as possible.
- Lubrication -- You must prepare your skin on the inside (though food and drinks) and on the outside (lubrication) for its stretching. The weather and clothing cause our skin to loose a lot of moisture that can be kept within the skin by lubricating or shall I say moisturizing. You should moisturize your breasts, belly, waist, lower back, hips and thighs (if you think you need it) in the morning and evening. Your body will absorb all of the moisturizer so make sure that it is natural and something that you would want to put inside your body. Would you eat it? Everything on your skin gets absorbed into your bloodstream and your bloodstream feeds your baby. I have had great success with coconut oil (especially after a shower) and a stick of pure cocoa butter (this is great for a quick application because it melts as soon as it hits your skin). There are some great products out there but the really good natural ones are expensive and the cheap ones contain things such as mineral oil (clogs pores and is made from petroleum), alcohol (dries out your skin in the long term), and chemical smells that I would rather not put on my skin. Before you buy a commercial product check to see how safe it is at The Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Database. Pure coconut oil and pure cocoa butter are natural and very inexpensive. Continue to moisturize until well after your baby is born.