Sunday, July 18, 2010

Beauty advice for pregnant women

I promised to give beauty advice to preggy women but I keep forgetting to do so! So now I'll dash off a few tips before I totally forget. But first, I want to tell you why we must try to look our best while pregnant and especially when we become mommies.

In my first trimester, my face and back broke out into a hundred pimples, my hair became lank and oily and--throwing up all the time--I was pale and tired. Everyone noticed and seemed to tell me with pleasure: "Oh, you're having a boy. You're so ugly!" You don't tell a tired, hungry, hormonal woman that she's ugly, people!

So, as soon as the first trimester was over, I went off to my dermatologist who told me that a lot of procedures and topical treatments are actually safe after the first trimester. But, to be safe, she advised me to:
  • Stay away from anything with retinol and hydroquinone, which can cause birth defects when consumed in large doses. The word is "consume," meaning you'll have to drink the stuff. These aren't really harmful when applied on the skin--the skin is a barrier--but if you put it on every day, well, the skin just might absorb a good amount so, to be safe, just avoid it.
  • Another thing I was told to avoid is whitening products. You'll be tempted to use these because hormones will darken skin. Don't worry--skin will return to their regular color after pregnancy.
  • The skin may be more sensitive when pregnant--all those hormones! So take care of your skin with gentle products. You'll just have to try and test everything. For example, a friend of mine got really itchy with Palmer's Cocoa Butter while my skin loved it. She had a better time with Indigo Baby's Stretch Mark Oil but I got allergic to that one.
I also am very lucky to have a husband (hi, Vince!) who encouraged me to look good. Pregnant women (and mommies, too) know very well that beauty is the last thing on our minds because all we want to do is sleep! So we need to be prodded by our partners to take a shower, run a brush through our hair, apply the stretch mark lotion and buy nice new clothes. With an encouraging hubby and fabulous gorgeous friends who helped me by giving me beauty products and accompanying me to salons, getting pretty soon became easy!

However, I noticed--to my puzzlement and annoyance--that people always said, "You look so nice... for a pregnant woman." And when I ask, "Why do you say it like it's a strange thing?", I always get this reply: "Well, pregnant women and mommies never really look good."

To my fellow preggies and mommies, this should upset you! Are they saying that we are ugly??? Is that why when husbands cheat on their wives, everyone's so understanding and they put the blame squarely on our shoulders because we're moms and are ugly?

I have two reasons why I want to be as pretty as can be, especially now that I'm a mommy:
1. I want people to know that marriage and motherhood are fantastic! But I won't be able to show them that if I look horrible.
2. My mother was the most beautiful thing that walked this planet. If you knew her, "vain" and "shallow" are the last words to describe her because all she cared about was serving God. But she made sure she took care of herself because, as she said, "God gave me this body and it is His temple. He lives in me." So that's the example I follow, folks!

To end this, here are my tips:
  • Let a dermatologist care for your skin. You'll usually feel better about the stuff you use on your hair and skin if a good doctor gave you a go signal.
  • Ask your OBG, too. My OBG is very conservative--she doesn't like it whenever I beg to have my hair colored, for example. But she allowed me to have manicures and foot spas (although she cautioned me to make sure the therapist doesn't massage my feet--pressing on the heels and ankles may trigger labor.)
  • Waxing is perfectly safe. And when one of your preggy symptoms is extra hair in alarming places, get thee to a waxing salon! You do not want people staring at your mustache!
  • Some women are lucky to have all that lush hair growth on just their head. If pregnancy makes your hair oily and lifeless like mine, a regular trim and a good shampoo for oily hair will do wonders.
  • Apply those lotions! Pregnancy can make your face and scalp oily and the rest of you extra dry. To prevent stretch marks and cracked skin, diligently apply those deliciously rich creams and oils!
  • Take your prenatal vitamins and eat healthy food. Yup, at the end of the day, it all boils down to your nutrition! My nails have never been stronger, for example. And my hair grows two inches a month.
That's all I can think of actually. It's easier to enjoy your pregnancy if you look good at the same time... and I must admit that it takes extra effort now. But do try. You want your husband and your baby--when your baby's finally placed in your arms--to have a gorgeous woman in their lives.


  1. This is a very helpful entry, Frances! I am normally and naturally vain and it didn't stop when I was pregnant with both kids. We, women, should really take time to take care of our bodies and juggling several things at time doesn't give us an excuse to look losyang. For me, at least. We work so hard for our families and other people but we should also not neglect ourselves :)

  2. Go, beautiful! I've always thought you were beautiful, even thought you were a Pond's girl before, F :)

  3. So noted Frances. I'm not yet a mom (hopefully sooner than later though), but I'm planning to be still as rocking as ever when I get preggers hehe! :) I'll bookmark this post! :D

  4. With the unsolicited advices coming from different people, comments like that really upsets me too. I'm not vain but I make it a point to look good for my husband, dress nicely because it makes me feel good about myself. Ayaw ko maging losyang after I gave birth. My mom also made sure na hindi cya malolosyang. She's still beautiful even in her 50's, pinagkakamalan kaming magkapatid. I want to be like her too!


  5. I will definitely reread this article once I get pregnant! super helpful mommy-o! :)

  6. This is all pretty valid. I always made sure I look pretty and fresh for my husband, and even when I was pregnant with my 1st boy, everyone said I looked great, getting comments such as "you cook really well" (referring to the bun in my oven) and "I wish I looked that good", up to my 9th month! Even during labor and delivery, I had to make sure I looked good and fresh. When I felt labor was about to start, I started putting on my bareMinerals and just enough pure makeup to make sure I still look fresh while huffing and puffing and after all the shenanigans. One even commented "you're the prettiest mom-who-just-gave-birth I know (commenting on a pic taken just seconds after holding my newborn). It may sound vain, but pregnancy is hard work, and emotionally taxing, so hearing nice compliments like that really goes a long way for us moms. We don't have to work extra hard for that, just a few here and there, enough to make us presentable and feel good. I am now pregnant with my second boy and want to make sure I look as good as I did with my first one. So far, so good.

  7. Most of my friends made gorgeous pregnant women - I think it's something about being able to glory in your stomach for once - so I think the person you talked to was completely out to lunch ;).
    Great advice!

  8. Hi Frances, ever since I got pregnant I've been reading your blog. Well, first it's just Topaz Horizon but now, I can totally relate to pregnancy matters.

    Yey, I've been meaning to get a Brazilian wax since my first trimester but based on what I read, it's not advisable. =(

    Jelly Bean is one lucky baby for all the gifts showered upon him and of course a fab mommy to boot. =)

  9. Hi. I like reading your blog. I'm pregnant with my third and I've been told that I look more beautiful now. Kinda made me think i was ugly when i wasn't pregnant. I'm a sucker for moisturizers but with the first trimester blues, I was so picky with the products especially when they're strong-smelling. I would love to go way pass this stage so that once again I can wear my fave products but still keeping in mind the safety of my baby. More power to you.


  10. Sorry for replying only now but thanks for your comments! =)

    Ambquezada, lucky you! I was ugly only in the first 3 months and then the last month. But the mid months, oh I don't think I'll ever be that gorgeous again!

    Badet, thanks!!! As for waxing, if sanay ka na sa Brazilian, ok lang. If never ka pa nagpa-wax, don't do it. Baka manganak ka sa sakit!


This is all pretty new to me so please feel free to share your mommy wisdom!