The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
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What to do Bathing or showering less frequently and using tepid water and a mild soap can help minimize itching, Berson says. Another tip: After showering, while your skin is still wet, coat your belly with a
Possible problem Acne
“Hormones can stimulate the sebaceous glands, triggering outbreaks,” Berson says.
What to do First, treat the symptoms by washing less frequently and using a mild face cleanser. If that doesn’t help, consult a dermatologist. Some doctors recommend using topical erythromycin.
Possible problem Aching
“The extra weight of the pregnant uterus can cause hyperlordosis, an increase in the curvature of the lower back that can be quite painful,” says Letha Griffin, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon and team physician at Georgia State University in Atlanta.
What to do Girdlelike garments specially made for pregnant women can support the back and relieve tension. Sleeping on your left side with a warm water bottle against the small of your back also can soothe sore muscles. Don’t forget massage. If you don’t have a willing participant, many day and destination spas now offer prenatal massage. Just be sure the therapist is licensed to perform it.
Possible problems Redness and itching
“Certain skin conditions, especially eczema, may occur during pregnancy,” Berson notes. It can be pronounced on the hands and exacer-bated by dishwashing detergents, hot water and other agents that dry or irritate the skin. Another itchy condition known as palmar erythema is also a possibility, especially among fair-skinned women.
What to do Use a rich hand cream. If the condition worsens, consult your doctor.
Possible problems Swelling, soreness and itching
“The glandular tissue in the breasts is becoming bigger, preparing the milk ducts to begin production,” explains Elise Carman, M.D., an attending physician in obstetrics and gynecology at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey.
What to do “Wearing a supportive bra helps reduce aching,” Carman says. To relieve itching, slather on a mild body oil daily.