MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information
BREAST & SKIN TIPS
Care During Pregnancy
For "Informational Use Only".
For more detailed information, contact your health care provider
about options that may be available for your specific situation.
BREASTS & SKIN DURING PREGNANCY: SKIN DISCOLORATION
Breasts enlarge during pregnancy because of hormonal changes. The nipple area becomes darker. This is natural. Other parts of the skin may become discolored - the neck, the face, and a line down the middle or lower part of the abdomen. These changes are temporary and normally disappear after delivery.
Pregnancy related hyperpigmentation - Mask of Pregnancy
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, up to 70 percent of pregnant women develop blotchy areas of darkened skin, commonly called the mask of pregnancy (but officially known as chloasma or melasma). Women with darker complexions are more prone to this condition than women with lighter skin. The effects of chloasma may become more pronounced with each pregnancy. The splotches can show up around your upper lip, nose, cheekbones, and forehead, sometimes in the shape of a mask (think Lone Ranger). They may also appear on your cheeks or along your jawline. You may develop dark patches on your forearms and other parts of your body that are exposed to the sun. What's more, you may find that skin that is already more pigmented - such as your nipples, freckles, scars, and the skin around your genitals - becomes even darker during pregnancy. This also tends to happen in areas prone to friction, such as your underarms and inner thighs. These changes are caused by hormonal changes during pregnancy, which stimulate a temporary increase in your body's production of melanin, the natural substance that gives color to hair, skin, and eyes. The areas of increased pigmentation will probably fade within a few months after delivery and your skin should return to its normal shade, although in some women the changes never completely disappear. Skin Lightening products are available for use after the pregnancy is over.
Pregnancy related hyperpigmentation - Linea Nigra
The dark line running down your belly is called the linea nigra. Before pregnancy, there was a line called the linea alba running from your belly button to your pubic bone. You probably did not notice it, though, because it was the same color as the rest of your skin. The same increased production of melanin that causes facial splotches is responsible for darkening this line on your belly. It will probably fade back to its pre-pregnant color several months after you deliver your baby.
Skin pigmentation changes usually disappear on their own after delivery. but may linger for years after discontinuing birth control pills. Here are some suggestions you can try to safely minimize skin discoloration in the meantime:
Eat foods that contain Folic Acid (you will also get plenty in your prenatal supplement), since studies have shown that a folate deficiency can be related to hyperpigmentation. There is a link between cloasma and elevated levels of certain hormones; there is also a connection with deficiencies of Folic Acid and PABA. Cloasma may appear or worsen considerably after exposure to sunlight. A PABA sunscreen, a wide-rimmed hat or coating the face with St. John's / St. Joan's Wort Herbal Oil will decrease the possibility.
Be sure to obtain enough Folic Acid (800 mcg daily) in your diet daily (5 mg supplement before each meal, unless you have epileptic seizures - the pill supplements of folic acid with doses over 1 mg daily may increase seizures.). Include PABA in your diet. Foods rich in PABA and Folic Acid include Nutritional (Brewers) Yeast, fresh fruits and vegetables, Wheat Germ, Molasses, whole grains, liver, mushrooms. This will help with the "mask of pregnancy" (the dark blotches on the skin of the face).
GENERAL FOLIC ACID / FOLATE INFORMATION
Folic Acid, also known as folate, is a B-vitamin (B-9) that can be found in some enriched foods and vitamin pills. If women have enough of it in their bodies before pregnancy, this vitamin can decrease the risk for neural tube defects (NTDs), which are birth defects of the baby's brain (anencephaly) or spine (spina bifida).
FOLIC ACID TO FIGHT AGAINST BIRTH DEFECTS
Folic Acid in a vitamin supplement, when taken one month before conception and throughout the first trimester, has been proven to reduce the risk for an neural tube defect (NTD)-affected pregnancy by 50 to 70 percent. Folic Acid is necessary for proper cell growth and development of the embryo. Although it is not known exactly how Folic Acid works to prevent NTDs, its role in tissue formation is essential. Folic Acid is required for the production of DNA, which is necessary for the rapid cell growth needed to make fetal tissues and organs early in pregnancy. That is why it is important for a woman to have enough Folic Acid in her body both before and during pregnancy.
For many women, an easy way to be sure you are getting enough Folic Acid is to take a Prenatal Vitamin with Folic Acid in it. The U.S. Public Health Service recommends that all women who could possibly become pregnant get 400 micrograms (mcg) (or 0.4 mg) of Folic Acid every day. Many health care practitioners recommend 800 mcg up to 400 mg of Folic Acid daily. This could prevent up to 70 percent of some types of serious birth defects. To do this, women need Folic Acid at least one month before they get pregnant. That is why you should always get enough Folic Acid every day even if you are not thinking about a baby any time soon. Folic Acid has been added to some foods, such as enriched breads, pastas, rice, and cereals. A few cereals have 100 percent of the Folic Acid you need.
No one expects an unplanned pregnancy. But they happen every day. In fact, about half of all pregnancies are not planned. That is why you should get enough Folic Acid every day if there is any chance you could get pregnant. Because by the time you know you are pregnant, your baby's brain and spine are already formed.
Neural tube defects (NTDs) occur between the 17th and 30th day after conception (or 4 to 6 weeks after the first day of a woman's last menstrual period), the neural tube forms in the embryo (developing baby) and then closes. The neural tube later becomes the baby's spinal cord, spine, brain, and skull. A neural tube defect (NTD) occurs when the neural tube fails to close properly, leaving the developing brain or spinal cord exposed to the amniotic fluid. The two most common neural tube defects are anencephaly and spina bifida.
FOLIC ACID USAGE INFORMATION
Folic Acid has no known toxic level. If you were to eat a bowl of fully fortified cereal (400 micrograms), take a Folic Acid supplement (400 mcq), and eat fortified foods and foods rich in folate, women of reproductive age would not have a problem with too much folic acid. Even in very high amounts folic acid is non-toxic. Nevertheless, it is recommended that women consume no more than 1,000 micrograms of supplemental folic acid a day. Large amounts of folic acid may hide the ability to quickly diagnose a rare vitamin B-12 deficiency, pernicious anemia. This condition primarily affects the elderly population and, in some cases, can lead to neurological damage. Today, health care providers can use a simple test to check for a B-12 deficiency. Folic Acid is often supplemented with Vitamin B-12 to insure this deficiency does not occur.
HEART & OTHER HEALTH BENEFITS TO TAKING FOLIC ACID
High levels of the amino acid homocysteine are independently associated with an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. It has been shown that taking Folic Acid lowers homocysteine levels in both men and women, but it is not yet known whether folic acid supplementation also lowers the risk of heart disease and stroke.
There are some indications that Folic Acid use may also reduce the risk for other birth defects, such as cleft lip and palate and certain congenital heart defects. Folic Acid may also play a role in protecting against some forms of cancer and heart disease. More research is needed to understand the impact of folic acid in preventing those diseases and other birth defects.
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information: Birth Defects
FOOD SOURCES OF FOLIC ACID / FOLATE
FOOD SOURCE Micrograms (mcg)
(per 100 g of food-3.5 oz)
Dark-Green Leafy Vegetables
Fruits (Particularly Citrus)
100 or 400
Folic Acid helps prevent birth defects and supports pregnancy. Folic Acid is necessary precursor for the manufacture of genetic material like RNA and DNA. It also assists in the growth and repair of tissues and in the conversion of fats and amino acids into other useful products in the body.
FOLIC ACID & NUTRITION INFORMATION
MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Nutrition Basics: Vitamins: Folic Acid (Vitamin B-9)
MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Folic Acid Facts
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information: Folic Acid Foods
MoonDragon's Nutritional Guidelines
BREASTS & SKIN DURING PREGNANCY: SUN PROTECTION AGAINST UVA-UVB RAYS
Protect yourself from the sun. This is crucial because exposure to the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays intensifies pigment changes. Use a broad-spectrum sunblock (a formula that protects against both UVA and UVB rays) with SPF 30 or higher every day, whether it is sunny or not, and reapply often during the course of the day if you are outside.
Vitamin D helps the body to regulate the transport of Calcium from the digestive system through the bloodstream to bone. It also assists in the retention of calcium and phosphorus and is necessary for a healthy immune system. Most women in the northern regions are Vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D is naturally made by sunlight interacting with the skin. If you need to avoid sunlight, you will need to consider a Vitamin D supplement to be added to your diet.
In fact, even if you do not plan to leave the house or spend much time outside, make applying Sun Protection part of your morning routine. The American Academy of Dermatology cautions that your skin is exposed to a significant amount of UV light when you do things like walk down the street, ride in a car, or even sit inside near a window. When you are outside, cover up and wear a hat with a brim, as well as a shirt with long sleeves if you have pigmentation changes on your arms. Limit the time you spend in the sun, especially between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. And definitely avoid tanning salons.
Use gentle cleansers and facial creams. Preparations that irritate your skin may make the problem worse.
Apply a concealing makeup. (Do not use skin-bleaching products now. Wait to see if the pigmentation changes go away after you give birth.)
AFTER BIRTH SUN PROTECTION
After you have your baby, continue to protect your skin from the sun! Use Sunscreen, cover up, and stay out of the sun at midday. In most cases, the discolorations will slowly fade without any treatment. For a small number of women, however, contraceptives that contain estrogen (such as the Pill, the patch, and the vaginal ring) can contribute to chloasma. If the skin changes are bothersome, consider another birth control option. If your skin is still blotchy after a few months and it is bothering you, talk to your practitioner or a dermatologist about treatment options. She may suggest using a bleaching cream that contains hydroquinone (some of which also contain sunscreen), a topical medication that contains tretinoin (Retin-A), or a chemical peel such as glycolic acid. Of course, if you are breastfeeding or plan on becoming pregnant again soon, be sure to let your practitioners know and also check in before using any over-the-counter treatments. Do not expect instant results - it may take many months to see improvement. In rare cases, dermatologists can use laser treatments to remove the darkened skin, but that is not the first option. Whatever approach you take, it is crucial to continue protecting yourself from the sun during treatment and afterward.
Certain types of skin discoloration can be a symptom of skin cancer or other medical problems, so let your practitioner know if changes in skin pigmentation are ccompanied by pain, tenderness, redness, or bleeding, or if you notice any changes in the color, shape, or size of a mole. You may be referred to a dermatologist who can determine the cause of the changes and the appropriate treatment, if any.
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Concerns: Breast & Skin Tips
MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Skin Cancer
BREASTS & SKIN DURING PREGNANCY: ACNE OUTBREAKS
Acne can flair up during pregnancy. Your skin may become more oily than usual or dry, or a combination of the two, depending upon your individual body system. Do not use makeup on your skin if it is broken out. Keep your skin as clean as possible.
Acne Skin Products
MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Acne
BREASTS & SKIN DURING PREGNANCY: STRETCH MARKS
Use a moistening cream or lotion, Elastin cream and/or Cocoa Butter around the abdomen and breasts to guard against stretch marks as much as possible. Use sunscreen on skin areas exposed to the sun. Try the following recipe for preventing stretch marks:
STRETCH MARK PREVENTION RECIPE
1/2 cup Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 cup Aloe Vera Gel
6 capsules of Vitamin E, cut open
4 capsules of Vitamin A, cut open
Mix all the ingredients together in a blender.
Pour the mixture into a jar and store it in the refrigerator.
Once a day... Apply the oil externally all over the abdomen, hips and thighs - all the places where stretch marks commonly appear (breasts too, if needed).
Rub Olive Oil, Sweet Almond oil, Lanolin, or Comfrey Root Ointment into the skin, breasts and nipples throughout the latter part of the pregnancy and the beginning weeks of nursing.
Apply Cocoa Butter and/or Elastin Cream topically as directed on the product label. These substances are very good for stretch marks.
SKIN MOISURIZING BUTTERS
Cocoa Butter: An aromatic solid butter pressed from the roasted seeds of the Cacao tree (Theobroma cacao) and further processed to yield a warm color and delightful odor. Will soften at body temperature and adds a rich, creamy, and thick consistency to lotions, soaps, creams, and toiletry items to help reduce cutaneous dryness and for the improvement of skin elasticity. A soothing ingredient commonly found in most cosmetic preparations and now fair trade certified.
Illipe Butter: Expeller pressed and rendered from whole Illipe nuts (Shorea stenoptera) this exotic butter adds regenerative and moisturizing properties to your handmade creations. Illipe butter is renowned for its incredible moisturizing properties and its ability to restore elasticity to the skin. It is quite comparable to cocoa butter in its constituents, and is beneficial for the treatment of numerous skin and hair disorders.
Kokum Butter: A highly prized and under-rated butter from the Garcinia tree. This naturally white and incredibly smooth butter has enormously high compositions of beneficial materials to help regenerate tired and worn skin cells and further supports elasticity and general flexibility of the skin wall. A great ingredient to add to healing lotions, creams, and body butters. It can be directly applied to the skin in its solid state, but it may require a mild amount of heating to improve applicability. Highly recommended to those that are crafting cosmetics with the intent of producing a skin healing end product.
Mango Butter: Expeller pressed and rendered from the seed kernel of the Mango tree, this highly prized butter is an exceptional quality base ingredient for body care products and soap making recipes. Mango Butter has beneficial moisturizing properties for lotions and acts as a mild lubricant for the skin, and is very similar in color and texture as cocoa butter making it an exotic and fun alternative for toiletry products. Great source of essential fatty acids.
Shea Butter:This raw unrefined butter is derived from the vegetable fat of the Karite Tree. The first choice in natural skin care and fine body care products, our certified organic shea butter forms a breathable, water-resistant film and is the leading natural product for moisturizing. A wonderful base for cosmetic recipes or used as a stand alone application, this comes highly recommended for those concerned about naturally healthy skin. Our shea butter is hand harvested, certified organic, expeller pressed, and is imported directly from the processor.
Almond (Sweet) Herbal Oil Aloe Vera Herbal Products Cocoa Butter Herbal Products Comfrey Herbal Products Elastin Skin Products Illipe Butter Herbal Products Kokum Butter Herbal Products Lanolin Products Mango Butter Herbal Products Olive Herbal Oil Products Shea Butter Herbal Products Sunscreen & Sunblock Skin Products Unscented Creams & Lotions Vitamin A Supplement Products Vitamin E Supplement Products
BREASTS & SKIN DURING PREGNANCY: SORE OR SENSITIVE NIPPLES
Lanolin cream made with pure lanolin is helpful for nipples. These need to be "toughened up" for breast-feeding after the baby is born. Massage some lanolin into the breast nipples a few times each day. This is also good for after the baby is born and has began to nurse. It prevents cracked and bleeding nipples.
BREASTS & SKIN DURING PREGNANCY: ITCHING SKIN
One of the most irritating nuisances of pregnancy is itching skin. In general, this is caused by an overtaxed liver. A good recommendation is to take Dandelion Root tincture (Taraxacum officinale) twice daily. As the liver is nurtured and strengthened, the itching will stop, or at least lessen considerably. Yellow Dock (Rumex crispus) is also a good treatment for itching. Both these plants are mildly cathartic (help empty the bowels) and diuretic, which is useful for removing toxins from the stressed liver. Liver Cleanse & Detox Formulas are available with combinations of herbs and nutrients that help liver health.
NOTIFY YOUR MIDWIFE OR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER
If you or a family member has questions about pregnancy, skin and breast care. If skin becomes irritated, infected, or worse after treatment, consult a dermatologist.
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Concerns
MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Acne
MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Allergies
MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Dermatitis
MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Dry Skin
MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Hives
MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Oily Skin
MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Psoriasis
MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Skin Rash
MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Sunburn
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information: Pregnancy Information & Survival Tips
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information Index
MoonDragon's Womens Health Pregnancy Information Index
MoonDragon's Pediatric Information Index
MoonDragon's Parenting Information Index
MoonDragon's Nutrition Information Index
QUALITY SUPPLIES & PRODUCTS
SKIN CARE SUPPLEMENT PRODUCTS
Acne Skin Products Almond (Sweet) Herbal Oil Aloe Vera Herbal Products Brewers Nutritional Yeast Products Calcium Supplement Products Cocoa Butter Herbal Products Comfrey Herbal Products Dandelion Herbal Products Elastin Skin Products Folic Acid Supplement Products Illipe Butter Herbal Products Kokum Butter Herbal Products Lanolin Products Liver Cleanse Supplement Products Mango Butter Herbal Products
Molasses Products Olive Herbal Oil Products PABA Supplement Products Prenatal Multivitamin Products Shea Butter Herbal Products Skin Lightening Products St. John's Wort Herbal Oil Products Sunscreen & Sunblock Skin Products Unscented Creams & Lotions Vitamin A Supplement Products Vitamin B-12 Supplement Products Vitamin D Supplement Products Vitamin E Supplement Products Wheat Germ Products Yellow Dock Herbal Products
AROMATHERAPY: ESSENTIAL OILS DESCRIPTIONS & USES
Allspice Leaf Oil Angelica Oil Anise Oil Baobab Oil Basil Oil Bay Laurel Oil Bay Oil Benzoin Oil Bergamot Oil Black Pepper Oil Chamomile (German) Oil Cajuput Oil Calamus Oil Camphor (White) Oil Caraway Oil Cardamom Oil Carrot Seed Oil Catnip Oil Cedarwood Oil Chamomile Oil Cinnamon Oil Citronella Oil Clary-Sage Oil Clove Oil Coriander Oil Cypress Oil Dill Oil Eucalyptus Oil Fennel Oil Fir Needle Oil Frankincense Oil Geranium Oil German Chamomile Oil Ginger Oil Grapefruit Oil Helichrysum Oil Hyssop Oil Iris-Root Oil Jasmine Oil Juniper Oil Labdanum Oil Lavender Oil Lemon-Balm Oil Lemongrass Oil Lemon Oil Lime Oil Longleaf-Pine Oil Mandarin Oil Marjoram Oil Mimosa Oil Myrrh Oil Myrtle Oil Neroli Oil Niaouli Oil Nutmeg Oil Orange Oil Oregano Oil Palmarosa Oil Patchouli Oil Peppermint Oil Peru-Balsam Oil Petitgrain Oil Pine-Long Leaf Oil Pine-Needle Oil Pine-Swiss Oil Rosemary Oil Rose Oil Rosewood Oil Sage Oil Sandalwood Oil Savory Oil Spearmint Oil Spikenard Oil Swiss-Pine Oil Tangerine Oil Tea-Tree Oil Thyme Oil Vanilla Oil Verbena Oil Vetiver Oil Violet Oil White-Camphor Oil Yarrow Oil Ylang-Ylang Oil Aromatherapy
Healing Baths For Colds
Using Essential Oils
AROMATHERAPY: HERBAL & CARRIER OILS DESCRIPTIONS & USES
Almond, Sweet Oil Apricot Kernel Oil Argan Oil Arnica Oil Avocado Oil Baobab Oil Black Cumin Oil Black Currant Oil Black Seed Oil Borage Seed Oil Calendula Oil Camelina Oil Castor Oil Coconut Oil Comfrey Oil Evening Primrose Oil Flaxseed Oil Grapeseed Oil Hazelnut Oil Hemp Seed Oil Jojoba Oil Kukui Nut Oil Macadamia Nut Oil Meadowfoam Seed Oil Mullein Oil Neem Oil Olive Oil Palm Oil Plantain Oil Plum Kernel Oil Poke Root Oil Pomegranate Seed Oil Pumpkin Seed Oil Rosehip Seed Oil Safflower Oil Sea Buckthorn Oil Sesame Seed Oil Shea Nut Oil Soybean Oil St. Johns Wort Oil Sunflower Oil Tamanu Oil Vitamin E Oil Wheat Germ Oil
HELPFUL RELATED MOONDRAGON NUTRITION BASICS LINKS
MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Amino Acids Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Enzymes Information MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Herbs Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Homeopathics Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Hydrosols Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Minerals Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Mineral Introduction MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary & Cosmetic Supplements Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary Supplements Introduction MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Specialty Supplements MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Introduction
NUTRITION BASICS ARTICLES
MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: 4 Basic Nutrients MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Foods That Contain Additives & Artificial Ingredients MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Is Aspartame A Safe Sugar Substitute? MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Guidelines For Selecting & Preparing Foods MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Destroy MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Heal MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: The Micronutrients: Vitamins & Minerals MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Overcooking Your Foods MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Phytochemicals MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Increase Your Consumption of Raw Produce MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Limit Your Use of Salt MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Use Proper Cooking Utensils MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Choosing The Best Water & Types of Water
RELATED MOONDRAGON HEALTH LINKS & INFORMATION
MoonDragon's Nutrition Information Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Therapy Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Analysis Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Diet Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Recipe Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Therapy: Preparing Produce for Juicing MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Additives Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Safety Links MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Index MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Articles MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Back Pain MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Labor & Birth MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Blending Chart MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Essential Oil Details MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Links MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Miscarriage MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Post Partum MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Childbearing MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Problems in Pregnancy & Birthing MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #1 MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #2 MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Tips MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Uses MoonDragon's Alternative Health Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health Information Overview MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Touch & Movement Therapies Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy: Touch & Movement: Aromatherapy MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Touch & Movement - Massage Therapy MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Therapeutic Massage MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 1 MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 2 MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Nutrition Basics Index MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy Index MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Massage Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Hydrotherapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Pain Control Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Relaxation Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Steam Inhalation Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy - Herbal Oils Index
MOONDRAGON'S MERCHANT VENDORS & PRODUCTS
Educational materials and health products are available through Amazon.com.
Use the search box provided below to search for a particular item.
MOONDRAGON'S REALM - WEBSITE DIRECTORY
A website map to help you find what you are looking for on MoonDragon.org's Website. Available pages have been listed under appropriate directory headings.