Becoming a mum is a wonderful experience and one of the most incredible things we can do but, according to research, most of us feel that one of the biggest challenges is losing our sense of identity along the way.
Dedicating time to a newborn, paired with such a big change in lifestyle, means we often forget to spend time on ourselves and start to feel more like ‘mum’ and less like ‘us’.
Staying in a good place physically and emotionally is such a key part of motherhood. No mum should feel guilty about self-care or feel a need to compromise.
By spending a little bit of time on ourselves, we will feel happier and more confident. This has a hugely positive effect on our family life. When we feel great, we can be stronger and more supportive to our loved ones, especially our children.
Of course, there won’t always be someone to babysit or lend an extra hand, but there are several things you can do to give yourself a little ‘lift’ when you need it most and make you feel more like ‘you’ again.
One of these things is skincare.
We experience a very different set of skincare issues during pregnancy and after the birth of our baby. As our bodies change, we may get stretch marks or have water retention, or even simply find that we don’t have as much time for a regular skincare routine after our baby is born.
Having time to soak in the bath, put on a face mask, or even to simply moisturise twice a day, can be a total luxury.
That’s why the mums at Mum & You have kindly shared their useful tips for looking after your skin during pregnancy and motherhood, to keep your feeling great on the inside and out.
- Choose midwife approved products
Some women find that their skin becomes extra sensitive during pregnancy. This can be due to the changing hormone levels, as well as skin being stretched in certain areas to accommodate the growing bump.
Make sure your skincare products are dermatologically tested, gentle on skin and midwife approved. This way, you’ll know it will be soft on your sensitive skin.
- A little lift is better than nothing
Finding time for yourself between feeds, nappy changes and spending quality time with your baby can feel like an impossible task, but it’s important to make time for yourself – even if that’s only a short 5 minutes here and there.
If squeezing an hour of ‘me time’ into your day feels like mission impossible, then don’t worry. Instead, concentrate on the ‘little lifts’ – the small things that care for you and your skin.
Pop on a super nourishing face mask that only takes 60 seconds or give your tired legs some TLC with a soothing water retention milk. Doing so will only take a minute or two, but it will leave you feeling better and put a spring in your step for the rest of the day.
- Go au naturel with your skincare
Natural skincare products are much kinder to skin and don’t contain harsh chemicals, which makes them better for you, your skin and the environment.
Mother nature has the answer for several pregnancy skincare challenges too:
Tired skin can be revived with bentonite clay to stimulate skin cells and remove impurities from pores, while daikon radish will reduce blemishes and age spots to improve skins glow.
For stretch marks, choose natural ingredients that promote elasticity and moisture. Grapeseed and kahai oil prevent scarring while helping moisturise and regenerate the skin. Sourced from the nuts of the Cacai tree, kahai oil is also packed with vitamin E and F to help reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
If water retention is getting you down, choose products that have natural anti-inflammatory ingredients. Green coffee extract, for example, reduces swelling when applied to heavy legs. Cucumber extract is also great for helping your skin cope with swelling, due to its proteins, lipids and Vitamin C.
After baby is born, a moisturiser or gel containing oils rich in Omega 6, such as safflower seed oil, will prevent the degradation of collagen. Turmeric extract is also known to promote skin evenness and radiance.
Finally, soothe sore or cracked nipples caused by breastfeeding with products containing aloe vera, which has analgesic properties. Wheatgerm oil also helps to improve skin moisturisation with a high concentration of fatty acids.
- Choose gels over heavy creams
When you’re in a rush to moisturise your body, the last thing you want is to have to wait a long time for the product to absorb into the skin. Gels have a lighter structure than creams and can provide the same – if not greater – levels of hydration. If you’re giving your body some TLC, a hydrating gel is therefore a better choice and won’t leave a greasy residue.
- Prioritise your wellbeing
Finally, never feel guilty about prioritising your own wellbeing over other tasks. The housework can always wait until later, that chore you’ve been putting off can wait another day. Pregnancy and the first few months with a newborn is a special time, so enjoy giving your baby – and yourself – the time and love you both deserve.
About Mum & You
Mum & You is one of the UK’s leading family brands, with products designed by mums, for mums.
A talented collective of mums (and dads) have poured all their baby and motherhood experiences into creating products for their own families, which they now offer to all parents. From biodegradable baby wipes that are kinder to the planet, to eco-nappies that will help mums’ bond with their babies.
The Mum & You skincare range ‘For Mum’ has been designed to give busy mums and pregnant women the opportunity to pamper themselves – all in under 60 seconds.
Dermatologically tested, each product in the range is made by mums, for mums using a blend of carefully selected natural ingredients that work quickly to give a little ‘lift’ when it’s needed most.