You may have heard of the term pregnancy glow or been told that you have it. While it’s true that your skin can appear more luminous due to a variety of medical reasons, not every pregnant woman may experience this acclaimed “glow”. In this guide for all mums and mums-to-be, we break down what it really means to have a pregnancy glow.
It is traditionally believed that pregnancy glow is caused by one’s overwhelming happiness during the pregnancy, or from the gender of the baby.
However, there are several biological causes that can create that coveted pregnancy glow that occur due to the changes your body is undergoing. Read on to find out how you can achieve this coveted pregnancy glow.
Your body produces more hormones during pregnancy including progesterone, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), and estrogen which can brighten your skin. Sometimes, they can also make your skin look flushed, giving you that glow.
Your baby needs blood, and your body starts producing more blood during pregnancy to keep up and support your growing baby. Hence, your heart pumps more blood while your blood vessels dilate to facilitate the increased blood volume. This can cause your skin to have that reddish tinge and give you the pregnancy glow. Your skin may also look fuller and brighter as a result.
The fluctuations in hormone levels and an increase in blood volume can trigger the skin to produce more oil and sebum. A light layer of oil can give your face a luminous glow and make it look shinier, but excessive production of oil can lead to an acne breakout in some pregnant women. If you have a history of acne, oily skin, or combination skin, you may be more prone to increased oil production.
Your body temperature will naturally increase due to the fluctuations in your hormone levels and the additional weight you’re carrying because of your baby.
You may experience hot flashes or heat rashes and sweat more. This can add redness to your cheeks, which can appear as a glowing and radiant look.
If you already have skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, or rosacea, pregnancy may worsen your symptoms.
This is because your hormone levels are changing while your blood flow is increasing. The affected skin areas may look redder due to flare-ups which can be mistaken as a pregnancy glow.
Pregnancy causes your skin to look tauter because it is stretching to accommodate the growth of your baby. Combined with the changes in your hormone levels and increased flow of blood, skin stretching can contribute to your pregnancy glow.
You are more likely to experience the pregnancy glow during the second trimester when your body is undergoing the most number of changes. However, there is no set timeframe as to when you will start to see the glow.
Often, the pregnancy glow is only temporary and goes away once you have given birth.
Not all women get the pregnancy glow and if you don’t get it, it does not mean there’s something wrong with you. Your skin may just be having a different reaction to the changes in your body. Ultimately, the pregnancy glow goes away once you have given birth, and when your hormone levels return to normal.
Some women experience blemishes and acne due to the increased oil production by the skin instead of getting a pregnancy glow. In this case, they can opt for gentle cleansers to avoid dehydrating the skin which can trigger even more oil production.
Other women get melasma or the “pregnancy mask”. This presents as brown spots that appear on your skin due to increased melanin production during pregnancy, resulting in hyperpigmentation.
Exposure to the sun typically worsens these brown spots but they usually go away after giving birth when your hormone levels normalize.
Women who get melasma often have to be especially careful to put on sunscreen regularly to prevent hyperpigmentation from getting worse.
Pregnancy glow isn’t a myth and there are underlying medical causes as to why women have it. However, not all women get pregnancy glow and there’s nothing wrong with you if you don’t experience it. Pregnancy and changing hormone levels can affect people differently.
Often, pregnancy glow is due to the changes in hormone levels your body is experiencing during pregnancy, and the increased flow of blood. Heat rashes, increased oil production, pre-existing skin conditions, and skin stretching can also contribute to the pregnancy glow.
Some women may experience acne or the “pregnancy mask” instead depending on how pregnancy changes affect their body. They may have to take measures to reduce these conditions.
If you are concerned about the changes you are experiencing during pregnancy, consult your O&G specialist to address your concerns.
Established in 2011, Singapore O&G Ltd (SOG) was formed with the vision of creating a specialist medical and surgical group catering to the healthcare needs of the modern woman, her children and her family. With clinics strategically located throughout Singapore, we give women and children easy access to high-quality, trusted healthcare services with a personal touch.
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