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skin care during pregnancy | the podcast episode 14

Hello and welcome to Baby Dribble which is brought to you from Sweet Dreamers HQ by the SweetDreamers team. Baby Dribble is a fun, friendly and FREE parenting advice “channel” for new and expectant parents and caregivers. We aim to offer knowledge, support and insight into to the wonderful world of parenthood with industry expert guests and medical professionals.

Lynda here again and welcome to this week’s podcast. As you may notice we’re not in our usual studio today, we’ve taken our podcast on the road and are at the Sandown Park Baby and Toddler Show. Also, we have a very special guest with us, we are joined by Jan from Motherlylove. Jan is here to tell us about all things skincare during pregnancy and we couldn’t be in more expert hands! Jan is a midwife with over 40 years experience and she’s here to share her expertise as a midwife, clinician and aromatherapist. You can find out more at www.motherlylove.co.uk

Jan from Motherlylove is a dual qualified nurse and midwife, so we are in expert hands here on the baby dribble podcast. We’ll be covering everything from perineum massage, stretch marks, to our instagram questions.

Welcome back to the baby dribble podcast, as you may notice we are not in our usual studio today, we have taken our podcast on the road. We are at the Sandown Baby Show and we have a special guest with us today, we are joined by Jan from Motherly Love. Jan is here to tell us about all things Skincare during pregnancy and we couldn’t be in more expert hands, Jan would you tell us a bit about your background and the Motherly Love brand.

‘My background.. initially I was a nurse and then I became a midwife. I was in Africa for nearly 20 years working and when I came back I discovered I really enjoyed midwifery in the UK. I ended up taking a Bachelor of Science degree in Complimentary Therapy at Greenwich University and that helped me to understand massage. I also went down the aromatherapy route, which was very interesting for me and I realised the potential and help I could give to pregnant ladies. So, we set up a clinic in the hospital I was working in offering complimentary therapy for induction of labour and when I retired I suddenly realised I would rather pursue the aromatherapy and oils, and this is where Motherly Love was born. Using natural oils and blending oils specifically for pregnancy is great. Although anyone can use the oils, the fact that is safe during pregnancy is the important part. Motherly Love has been established for 6 years and we are now in Thailand and have a distributor in Poland, so we are moving on now’

Great thank you Jan, I know you have lots of different oils to offer however, we wanted to ask you about a few specific oils developed for common pregnancy issues. Firstly, could tell us about stretch marks? And what can we do to help minimise stretch marks?

‘Stretch marks are one of those things whereby you can help to avoid them, but sometimes you can’t just remove them totally. Stretch marks are where the cells burst in the skin as mum gets bigger, and in fact I think I used to say as a community midwife to go to your pantry for the olive oil, which wasn’t bad advice, but I realised I could do better when I did my Bachelor of Science degree. There are different qualities of oils and what we use is a very high quality oil that we know scientifically absorbs into the skin, which allows for that give and stretch. Our cells are like bricks and you need to moisturise to create elasticity in them. If you were to use a mineral based oil like a petroleum or from paraffin, it won’t absorb and it will sit on top of the skin’

Why do pregnant women get leg cramps? And what can we do to help reduce cramps in the legs?

‘It is very annoying when you get legs cramps and if you’ve ever suffered you realise everyone suffers as everyone wakes. Leg cramps, restless legs and just hot tired swollen feet and ankles, often happen when baby is getting bigger and the extra weight can send your muscles into spasm. This normally happens at night as this is when your muscles are relaxing and this sends them into the spasm. The best way to avoid this is to have a gentle foot and leg massage and to do this before you go to bed. A simple tip when you do get a leg and cramp is to flex the feet and point the toes up towards you, so you tense the leg then let the foot drop forward relaxing the muscle and then back up to tense again’

What are the benefits of perineum massage?

‘This is part of an area that nobody likes to talk about, its taboo in the UK so I am just going to dive straight in there. As a baby’s head comes down, the area just by the head is liable to tear and this can be the reason why women have what’s called an episiotomy, a small surgical cut of the perineum and this is because it hasn’t stretched enough. So, to massage the perineum with good quality oils that absorb into the skin will give it the elasticity when baby is being born. You only do this from 34 weeks onwards and around 2-3 times a week and the studies show that if you do this, you are less likely to tear’

What is labour massage? What oils are best to use for this?

‘The usual labour massage is a back massage and it is a gentle but firm massage. It helps as it stops the lady breathing too fast and hyperventilating. It helps to relax the body and not to tense up which in turn can shorten the labour. You can use acupressure points on the lower part of the back which the midwife can point out to you. I use mandarin and camomile oils which are calming and good for muscle joint pain. I would just say not to use clary sage oils as these oils are very complex. The chemistry is so concentrated that they could tone the uterus and unless you were a trained midwife or trained in aromatherapies and knew the medical history, I would not use these on a labour ward. You need to speak to someone who knows what they are talking about and knows the complexities of the oils’

As with all our podcasts we asked our Instagram followers a series of myth busting questions, which Jan will help us to today, so thank you to everybody that voted and let’s get to it….

You can avoid stretch marks by ensuring skin is moisturised throughout pregnancy?

95% True or 5% False

Yes, we spoke about this earlier, so I would certainly say to moisturise. It is genetic and as we cannot determine how big we are going to be when pregnant, I would say to try and avoid stretch marks use a good quality oil and you can start from around 13/14 weeks.

You glow when pregnant?

68% True or 32% False

Whilst it is true that pregnancy can make some women can glow, lots of women experience lots of hormones zinging all around their body and it can cause symptoms such as dry skin, so unfortunately this is false as some ladies can suffer.

Sunscreen is bad for pregnant women?

20% True or 80% False

This is false, it is important to use sunscreen. I would suggest looking for good quality sunscreens and keep out of the hot sun to prevent skin damage.

Thank you to everyone who voted, we hope these answers have helped. That’s everything for today, a big thank you to Jan for joining us.

Thanks again and by for now.

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