Hi guys !
Some of you have asked me to blog more about my pregnancy.
I was quite at a loss when I read those comments / ask.fm questions because I am definitely no expert on pregnancy and I’m also not the kind to spend hours reading websites about pregnancy and baby-rearing or breastfeeding etc. I am an impatient person and I have nearly strangled my husband after I found out he was spending two to three hours every night researching strollers (this is after he has dragged me to at least 4 Mother Cares and watched countless stroller videos).
Some of the things that mattered the most to be during my pregnancy so far may seem frivolous, vain or superficial but I think every pregnancy is different just as every mummy is unique ! So.. please don’t judge! Or, if you’re judging, don’t let me know lol.
For me, the health of Princess Peanut is of course my number one priority, but if I were to be brutally honest, there have been many points during the past five months when I have felt like complete crap and asked myself honestly what I was thinking going into the family way and the business of being a mother.
The first big blow was my skin.
I developed some really bad eczema all over my thighs, stomach, and even on the insides of my arms in my first trimester. It was, frankly, disgusting. I couldn’t wear all my short-shorts. It itched like nobody’s business and to top it all off, hormones were making me super emotional. It was not uncommon for K to come home to find me sobbing over my skin and trying to scrub away the patches of eczema with my Korean spa scrub.
That was a big mistake. If you have eczema during pregnancy, DO NOT SCRUB. DO NOT SCRATCH. It will just make it look worse and you will feel even more like you have leprosy than before. Instead, on the advice of my mum, I switched to using Cetaphil, which is pH neutral and very very gentle on my skin.
Of course, I didn’t believe her. I was all like, give me the steroids, make them go away. Unfortunately, I was strongly advised against using any kind of steroids while pregnant. But here’s the surprise – using Cetaphil really stopped the itchies ! My skin felt soothed. I took to bathing in lukewarm water thrice a day using only Cetaphil and the eczema stopped spreading and itching. If you have extra time on your hands, switch to applying a pH neutral moisturizer like PhysioGel in place of your regular moisturizer – it will work wonders !
I’ve also got backne (back acne) now from the hormones and I’m trying the Cetaphil method too, as much as I am dying to dig my nails into them back pimples. Never had a problem until now. I feel disgusting.
Of course, once the eczema was at bay, my comedone problem happened.
Yup, my second biggest nightmare – unpredictable complexion.
After years of religiously following a super strict facial routine, eating skin supplements and finding the best makeup for my skin, pregnancy gave me the finger and undid everything.
Overnight, my skin became super oily at the T-zone and super dry on the cheeks. My usual products made me break out and my makeup wouldn’t stay because of the oil or look cakey on my forehead because of the dryness. I got PIMPLES. Plural. I have not had more than a pimple every other month for at least a year and then they all decided to have a party on my face.
I was brave. I didn’t cry.
Until I went for my monthly facial at DRX and had extraction done – for the first time ever, it was excruciating.
I have always been a bit smug about how painless extractions are for me and never got it when people talked about crying when their blackheads were being squeezed, etc. This time, it was so bad that I cried through the entire session and then still teared everytime I touched my face for the rest of the day. According to my facialist, I had a severe comedone problem which is apparently really common during pregnancy when hormones cause oil production to hit puberty levels, clogging my pores.
She recommended the DRX Comedone Formula, which I religiously use every night now. It helps gently push out the comedones each time you apply it so that they naturally come out when you are washing your face. I was skeptical in the beginning but after two months, my face is smoother, much less bumpy, and makeup is going on and staying put. Lifesaver!
If I can offer any tips, please don’t exfoliate your skin with anything coarse or rough, both on your face and your body. Your skin is extra sensitive during this time and scrubbing it can really irritate your skin and cause breakouts. I use just the comedone formula and a gentle moisturizer / whitening emulsion from Laneige – nothing thick or intensive anymore.
Finally – stretch marks.
I can’t say what its going to be like for the rest of my pregnancy because I heard they only really start in your third trimester but so far, so good, except for these new silvery stretch marks which have appeared only on my left thigh and made me unable to wear a bikini for the rest of my life.
If I sound bitter, I am.
But anyway, action has been taken and K now slathers and massages me like an oversized Kobe cow every night with Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Stretch Mark Intensive Formula. He then follows up with Tummy Butter on my baby bump. Prevention is the only way when there is no Cure.
I heard great things about Clarin’s Stretch Mark Lotion and Oils, but I have tried them both and broken out badly – my boobs have not recovered from the angry rash.
I also tried Bio Oil which C and Mum so thoughtfully bought for me when I was in Sydney but it made me really really itchy. I’m not sure if it was because my skin was stretching to accommodate a rapidly growing Peanut at that point but I stopped it for a while and have started using it again on my thighs during the day. It’s supposed to be a miracle so we’ll see how it goes !
Luckily for me, my skin seems to have calmed down somewhat and besides larger pores and a really red Rudolph honker of a nose, things are more or less back to normal.
Let me know if you guys need any tips or want to know where to get the products !