How to love your pregnant body

Ways to embrace your expanding waistline, stretch marks, and all.

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Sure, you expected the baby bump, but what’s with that other stuff happening to your once-hot bod? Don’t sweat it, we show you how to love the way you look.

Skin

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If, rather than that fabled pregnancy glow everyone raves about, you’re breaking out like a teenager, remember that it’s just a phase. Extra hormones can make skin
 go haywire. And, while your complexion might be oily, you may be struggling with dry patches elsewhere.

Show the love Keep your skin as clean as possible, and cleanse with a gentle, oil-free cleanser or pH-balanced soap. Many over-the-counter spot treatments aren’t suitable in pregnancy, so ask your GP. For dry patches, use a natural face oil, such as Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil.

Mouth
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Don’t panic if your gums bleed more than usual due to hormonal changes. Your teeth also become weaker as a result of your growing baby’s calcium needs. See your dentist regularly and protect your teeth by brushing as usual, but the secret is to wait an hour after eating, so any enamel weakened by food or drink isn’t brushed away.

Show the love Switch to a soft-bristled
 or electric toothbrush as these put less pressure on sensitive gums. If you experience a metallic taste in your mouth due to changes in your sense of taste, chew sugar-free gum or neutralise it by rinsing with an alcohol-free fluoride mouthwash.

Boobs
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Well, hello, girls! From around 12 weeks, your breasts begin to fill out. Your nipples will get darker and might start 
to leak colostrum once you’re into your second trimester. Your breasts will also release a unique scent, which your baby will recognise and root for after birth.

Show the love Get yourself measured regularly for non-wired maternity bras throughout pregnancy. Wearing a crop top in bed may stop your breasts feeling sore, too. If you’re leaking, avoid staining clothes by placing breast pads in your
 bra. To repair skin weakened by breastfeeding, the Mustela Bust Firming Serum ($38/75ml) should help give you a boob "lift". Available at leading pharmacies and baby specialty stores.

Bump
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You’ll probably notice stretch marks appearing on your tummy — lines on your stomach caused by your skin stretching too rapidly from growing a baby in there. Also, get ready for that thin, dark line, called the linea nigra, running from your tummy to your pubic area — caused by an increase in the skin pigment melanin. It’s completely harmless and should fade within weeks after birth. Your tummy may also start to itch because the skin is stretching. However, see your GP if your bump constantly itches and you experience itchy hands and feet, as it can be a symptom of obstetric cholestasis, a potentially dangerous liver problem.

Show the love For mums-in-waiting and new mothers who want firm, well-toned skin, check out the new Mustela Maternité skincare range of seven hypo-allergenic products. Stave off pregnancy stretch marks with Stretch Marks Prevention Cream ($49.50/150ml) - featuring avocado peptides, the rich easily absorbed treatment adds suppleness to skin. Available at leading pharmacies and baby specialty stores.
On top of that, mums should fill up on foods rich in vitamin B6, such as sunflower seeds and salmon. These boost collagen production in the skin, which will help keep it supple.

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