Category «Heal Care»

How To Effectively Benefit From Using Essential Oils During Pregnancy

Though there are several ways that one can benefit from essential oils, not every essential oil that you can find available online or in the market will be safe for pregnancy. So, how do you determine the best Essential oil for pregnancy? Read on to know more about this alternative therapeutic method.

Essential oils have a long history. These highly concentrated chemical compounds, when used properly, can have significant effects on the body. That is the reason why most of these essential oils are identified as GRAS or generally recognized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. These aromatic essences been used for ages not only as beauty enhancers but also to serve other purposes like those which will be mentioned later.

Many have experienced the benefits of these essential oils. As such there has been an increase in consumer desire for alternative natural health and hygiene products like these essential oils. This demand has also increased the varying information as well as misinformation on the safe use of these oils.

These indicate that to maximize the benefits of any of the essential oils that are using (as long as they are pure-grade or of high-quality), you need to make sure that you are using the oil properly.

There are certain rules for safely and effectively using essential oils during pregnancy.

Precautions when using essential oils

Precautions when using essential oils

While you may be wanting to use lavender, lemon, or peppermint oils to relieve nausea, vomiting, and other pregnancy-related conditions during the early phase of your pregnancy, many health experts that recommend avoiding essential oils during this period. Your baby’s physical development is not yet complete during this time of your pregnancy. Moreover, there’s some risk that certain essential oils could cause uterine contractions that may negatively affect your baby.

Once you have reached the second and third trimesters there are certain essential oils that can provide relief from many pregnancy-related symptoms, however. There are many cases where conditions like nausea, swollen ankles, stretch marks, abdominal pains, varicose veins, and other related pregnancy symptoms are relieved using these essential oils.

Essential oils that can provide relief during pregnancy

Here is a list of essential oils that can safely provide relief to pregnancy-related symptoms:

frankincense, geranium, grapefruit, juniper, lavender, mandarin, marjoram (sweet), neroli, petitgrain, sandalwood, orange (sweet), tea tree, ylang-ylang.

Essential oils that should be avoided during pregnancy

While some essential oils are safe for use while you are expecting, many are not. The following oils are those that you should NOT use when you are pregnant:

  • Bay
  • Cinnamon Bark or Leaf
  • Clove Bud
  • Citronella
  • Cumin
  • Lemongrass
  • Lemon verbena
  • Oregano
  • Tagetes
  • Thyme
  • Aniseed
  • Birch
  • Camphor
  • Hyssop
  • Mugwort
  • Tansy
  • Parsley seed or leaf
  • Pennyroyal
  • Tarragon
  • Wintergreen
  • Wormwood

For a more comprehensive list of essential oils that may cause adverse effects during pregnancy as well as other related information, check the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy’s pages.

Essential Oil Safety Tips for Pregnancy

  • Using essential oils may also trigger allergic reactions on those who have very sensitive skins. To make sure that you can safely use a particular oil, it is best to perform a small patch test. You also need to stop using any essential oil once an irritation occurs.
  • If you have any type of inflammatory or allergic skin condition, do not use any of those essential oils that are known to trigger such condition like lemon, lemongrass, Melissa, fir, birch, and basil.
  • For oils that can increase photosensitivity such as pine, oregano, nutmeg, elecampane, clove, cinnamon, cassia, and black pepper, do not apply the oil within the 12 hours that you need to spend time directly in the sun.
  • Do not apply even diluted essential oils on open or damaged skin, wounds, burns or infected scrapes. They are more penetrable and may be highly sensitive to dermal reactions.
  • NEVER apply essential oils to the eyes or ear canals. If any of these oils get into the eye, place a few drops of a carrier oil in the eye then blink until the oil clears out. Wash your hands thoroughly after using oils to avoid spreading them into your eyes.
  • Apply a small amount of vegetable oil or cream to areas where allergic reactions are observed. Immediately discontinue use of all essential oils for a few days.
  • Use only a very small amount of the essential oil (one to two drops will be enough) and should be diluted into a carrier oil before using.
  • Always read labels carefully to ensure that the oil is appropriate for a specific purpose and that the proper way of preparing for use is followed thoroughly.
  • Use 100 percent pure oils. Using less low-quality essential oils increases the likelihood of an adverse response.
  • Always consult a doctor on the proper use of any essential oil if you are taking prescription or over-the-counter medications. Those taking heart medications, like blood thinners, should avoid using these essential oils: clary sage, cypress, eucalyptus, ginger, rosemary, sage and thyme oils.

Wondering how these essential oils can help ease your pregnancy? Here are a few ways you can also use essential oils.

  • For stretch marks. Mix 2-3 drops of lavender or rose oil with your favorite carrier oil (coconut or almond oil will be great options). Apply to the affected area once or twice a day.
  • For nausea caused by “morning” sickness. Diffuse sweet orange or mandarin oil or inhale directly from the bottle.
  • For discomfort associated with that growing baby bump. Mix a few drops of lavender oil with a carrier oil and massage all over your abdomen.
  • For relief from swollen ankles and feet. Place diffused 3 to 5 drops of lavender or geranium oil into a roller ball and massage into the swollen area several times a day.

Conclusion

There are many other ways that you can use essential oils. With proper preparation and the correct application, you can enjoy every application of any of the essential oils mentioned.

Choosing the Best Beauty Products For Pregnancy

A baby in your tummy means a huge change in your life.

You have to go about each day thinking about how the things that you will be doing will affect your baby’s development and health. It’s not easy being a mom-to-be. There are just so many that may not be beneficial for you as well as your baby. But how are you going to choose the best beauty products for pregnancy? How will you determine, for instance, which is the best face cream for pregnancy, or what is the best hair products to use, or perhaps the ingredients that you need to take note when deciding which will best benefit you and your baby during pregnancy?

There are just so many products available in the market today that it makes it quite difficult to identify which one will just be the best. Many offer a lot of benefits, but can they really measure up to the quality that you need to provide for your baby? Every possible marketing tactic will be used to lure customers to buy a product or two from a brand. If you are a first-time mom, it will be even more challenging to decide on every product that you will use may have an effect on your baby’s development. Hormonal imbalance that is ever-present and pressing during pregnancy will also instinctively trigger you to find the best beauty products for the best results that you want.

Your Skin and Hormonal Changes During Pregnancy

Dermatologist Ellen Mamur, MD explains how hormonal fluctuations affect the skin of a pregnant woman.

“For the first twelve weeks, the growth hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) surges to prepare the placenta and increase the blood volume in the body. (This can create a flushed, healthy complexion as the blood flow becomes more robust.) In the second trimester, progesterone is on the upswing, which can generate acne. Another possible, and common, consequence of increased progesterone and estrogen is melasma, a brown discoloration above the upper lip and on the cheeks and forehead, which is why it’s known as “the mask of pregnancy.”

Hormonal changes during pregnancy have an overall impact on the skin. As noted from Dr. Mamur’s explanation, the hormones in the female body go into hyperdrive while pregnant making it quite difficult to treat the skin during this period. You just can’t use the products that you use during pre-pregnancy to manage any skin problems that surface as a result of the hormonal imbalance. Doing so may just put your baby’s development and health at risk.

So, how do you determine which are products will best suit your condition?

There are so many products available on the market today that promises to give radiantly beautiful skin. But will they pass the safety test? Remember that your condition makes you all the more sensitive to everything that touches your skin. When choosing the best beauty products during pregnancy, check whether the product that you intend to buy contains any of these toxic ingredients. If they do, be ready to say NO.

  1. Topical retinoids. Products that may have these substances may include just about any cream or serum you have in your collection. Look for anything that says retinol or retin in every product label. If the product label says that it contains a synthetic vitamin A, better stop using the product. Topical retinoids, which is also known as over-the-counter retinol is definitely to be avoided during pregnancy. Although studies indicate that the amount of retinoids absorbed more than skin deep is very low, there are some reports that have found an association between birth defects and the use of topical retinoid (especially prescription-strength tretinoin). The connection may be controversial, but there won’t be anything wrong if you just avoid it to be safe.
  2. Hydroquinone. This substance is commonly added to hair straightening products or as a component of skin-lightening agents. Although there are no strong studies to show a predictable adverse effect on pregnancy with the use of products containing hydroquinone, the high absorption rate (indicated in studies to be about 35-45 percent) urges specialists to recommend NOT to use products with this substance when pregnant.
  3. Benzoyl peroxide. Acne build up is also one of the common skin problems that affect pregnant women. The common treatment used to treat this skin issue contain benzoyl peroxide which, should also be avoided during pregnancy. Instead of looking for synthetic drugs to cure acne, why not turn to natural treatment alternatives like the tea tree oil. When in doubt, always consult a doctor for the proper drug recommendation.
  4. Formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen or a cancer-causing agent. Studies have also indicated that using products with this compound could cause infertility or miscarriage. It is a common ingredient found in many nail polishes. So, if you feel like having your nails done, opts for brands that offer colors that do not contain toxic chemicals like OPI, Essie, Kiara Sky, and SNS. These brands offer nail polish that does not contain Toluene, Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Formaldehyde, Camphor, along with other toxic ingredients.
  5. Beauty Enhancers. Botox, Restylane and a number of other beauty enhancers that come in needle form have been a favored beauty management alternatives for many women. Though they are considered generally safe, you may still have to say NO to injectables if you are pregnant. Wait to schedule your next appointment when you are no longer nursing.

Your condition may require you to use beauty products like facial cream, moisturizers, sunblock, and so on. When looking for the best alternatives, consider brands that creates products formulated with healthy and natural ingredients. Following instructions indicated in product labels is also a must. As always, if you have a health condition that may be aggravated if you use a specific beauty product, talk to your doctor. He/she might have a product alternative for you instead.

Best Shoes For Pregnancy

Pregnancy may bring a lot of excitement not only to you but to everyone close to you. Everyone would like to have their share of the joy and may offer unsolicited advice on how you should take of yourself and your baby. They may also recommend items that you should have, even things that you can wear to make your pregnancy a lot better.

During pregnancy, you experience a lot of changes. That includes the unexpected pain caused by the growing baby inside your belly. The skin and your body expand to accommodate the developing fetus. As a result, you may feel pain in certain parts of your body, like at the lower back, on your hips, in your joints, on your thighs, and even on your feet.

As you decide which pieces of garments in your wardrobe need to go or be kept for some time, you will also need to find a replacement for your footwear.

Edema and Pregnancy

Having swollen ankles are normal during pregnancy, but they can really be frustrating. The swelling (or “edema”) in the ankles and feet appear as a result of the extra fluid in the body as well as the pressure from the growing uterus. The swelling has a tendency to get worse as pregnancy progresses, especially near the end of the day and also during hotter weather.

You can do so much to alleviate the pain. You can avoid standing longer than necessary. Propping up your feet when sitting and stretching your legs often will also allow your feet to relax and make the blood to circulate better on your legs and thighs. Drinking plenty of water will also allow your body not only to release the toxins but also lessen the possibility of having more fluids retained on your legs.

Even after constantly doing all these, you would still need something to cover those feet. As you will feel heavier as your pregnancy progresses, you will need something comfortable to have on your feet while you are walking about or doing your daily routines. As such, it is essential that you find the best shoes for pregnancy.

Finding the best shoes for pregnancy

Changing your heels for low, well-built heels, or flats can actually help ease the aches that you nay experience with your pregnancy. Just like looking for the appropriate maternity clothes, it is essential that you invest in a few pairs of maternity friendly shoes.

They do not have to be too expensive. However, they need to be of good quality and provide the right fit for your soles, so you will feel comfortable wearing them wherever you are.

If you are prone to have swollen ankles and feet, it is best that you find a pair or two that are either a size or two larger than your regular shoes. This will give more room for your feet if ever they get swollen or are painful.

Don’t be in a rush to find the best fitting shoes for your soles. Try to get the pair in and off your feet and walk with them on your feet. This will allow you to really see if they really fit your feet.

You also do not need to settle for something that is less than what could make you feel happy. Opt for a pair that will enhance the look of your feet. It does not mean that since you are pregnant  you will have to let go of your fancy for all things beautiful. Just as you choose your clothes, you also need to find a pair of shoes that will make you look best in them. Don’t settle for something that may provide you with great support, but will make your feet look drab.

There are also maternity shoes that are made with straps for added support. If you think you will feel comfortable wearing them, by all means, get a pair for yourself. It is also best to buy shoes during the latter part of the day or in the evening when the feet have already expanded or have been carrying much of your weight throughout the day. It is best that you pick a slip on and avoid heeled shoes as they may just make the pain worse.

Shoes that you can find online and in the mall are usually available in various colors, materials, and texture. Opt for shoes that not only provide good support for your feet, will look good on you, but they must also be made to last your pregnancy. Play with the colors available. Opt for those that you can wear with several of your pregnancy outfits. That way, you won’t have to buy on several pairs since you can just have a pair or two to match with many of your maternity clothes.

Shoes For Every Pregnant Mother’s Need

If you need to stay long at work, it will be best to buy flats for your feet. Loafers, moccasins, and ballerinas will be your perfect aid during this time. If you need to wear some heels for an important event or meeting, make sure that it will be low enough to be comfortable for those swollen feet. It will also be smart to bring a pair of flats that you can wear once the event or you are done with work.

For a pregnancy that touches the summer season, you can find a good-fitting pair of sandals or canvass shoes that you can match with a summer maxi dress.

In case you become pregnant during the colder months, it is best that you find a good pair of shoes or boots that can keep your feet warm throughout the day. It would also help if you will put on a good pair of socks.

Your feet take on a lot of challenges like all the rest of your body during pregnancy. You need to make sure that they are taken care of properly. Finding the best shoes for your feet may also make the swelling and much of the pain a lot easier to bear. You need to make sure then that you find the best that will make your feet feel comfortable throughout your pregnancy.

Stretch Marks: What Are They and How to Get Rid of Them

Also known as striae, stretch marks are a form of scarring with an off-color hue that may or may not disappear over time. They may appear as stripes or narrow streaks on your skin and caused by a sudden stretch. They’re perfectly common and aren’t a serious cause for concern. Many women also suggest that using the best belly cream for pregnancy can help prevent them.

Anyone can have stretch marks. However, they tend to appear more on women than in men.

They may also be found on different parts of the body. Commonly affected areas include the hips, thighs, upper arms, breasts, lower back, and stomach.

Stretch marks occur when the skin has been stretch out too much that it can’t resume it’s normal form. This is often due to pregnancy, weight loss, rapid weight gain, or puberty. More than half of women get stretch marks during pregnancy.

Quick Facts on Stretch Marks

  • They form when skin is stretched too rapidly.
  • Pregnancy, weight gain or weight loss, and puberty can cause stretch marks.
  • There is currently no strong evidence showing the effectiveness of stretch mark treatments today.
  • They often disappear over time even without treatment.
  • They don’t pose any serious long-term health risks.

What Are Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks can also be known as striae, striae distensae, striae gravidarum, or striae atrophicans. They’re a form of scarring or disfiguring lesions.

The areas that are commonly affected by stretch marks:

  • Buttocks
  • Thighs
  • Hips
  • Abdomen
  • Breasts
  • Flank

Although not a physical threat, stretch marks can still cause problems with an individual’s self-image. For some, it can be a very problematic cosmetic issue that can affect daily living by causing anxiety and low self-esteem.

Common Signs and Symptoms

Before stretch marks appear, the skin may feel dry and itchy. You’ll then notice thin and pinkish lines emerging.

The marks will then appear wrinkly. The streaks may also show more obvious hues, such as purple, red, reddish-brown, or dark brown. The color of your stretch mark will largely depend on your own skin tone. After a while, the stretch marks may reduce visibility and flatten out. What’s left will be a pale or silvery scar that may or may not disappear completely. Some stretch marks can take years before they become less noticeable.

Common Causes and Risk Factors

Abrupt skin expansion or shrinkage is the most common cause for stretch marks. Other causes may also include:

  1. Pregnancy – 50-90% of pregnant women will have stretchmarks during or after the birth of their baby.
  2. Puberty – Because puberty can also cause rapid growth in girls and boys, you may also experience some skin stretching, which in turn leads to stretch marks.
  3. Rapid weight gain – If you gain weight in a short amount of time, your skin may have trouble adjusting to the fat that accumulates in your body. This expansion may stretch out your skin faster than it can handle, which also leads to stretch marks.
  4. Medical conditions – Cushing’s syndrome or Marfan syndrome may also cause stretch marks. This is because Marfan syndrome can reduce your skin’s natural elasticity, while Cushing’s syndrome causes you to gain weight rapidly due to an overproduction of a certain hormone.
  5. Using corticosteroids – The prolonged use of corticosteroid creams or lotions can decrease the elasticity of your skin. This is because it reduces the levels of collagen, which is responsible for strengthening and supporting your skin. More collagen means you’re less likely to get stretch marks on your body.

When stretch marks do appear, their appearance will start to change after some time. They either fade to white or something silvery. They’re also more likely to develop or get worse when your body contains a high level of cortisone, or if you use a cortisone-based cream. Your body naturally produces cortisone too because it converts the stress hormone, cortisol, which is produced by your adrenal glands.

Risk Factors

Evidence shows that the following factors may contribute to an individual’s likelihood of developing stretch marks:

  • Age
  • Chronic diseases
  • Family history
  • BMI (body mass index) before a woman’s pregnancy
  • Baby’s weight upon birth

Obese women, for example, may carry larger babies. Also, your age plays a crucial part in determining the amount of collagen in your skin.

Diagnosis

Stretch marks can be easily diagnosed through a skin examination. The doctor will likely ask for your medical history and ask questions based on the signs and symptoms you experience. You’ll also be asked to share any existing medical conditions or medications you’ve used in the past or now.

In some rare cases, stretch marks may be a symptom of an underlying medical problem that requires immediate treatment or monitoring. But in general, they are not usually viewed as a threat and don’t lead to problems aside from possible aesthetic ones.

Treatment and Prevention

The treatment for stretch marks can be expensive and not always effective. The results vary from person to person.

Unless the cause of the scarring is an underlying condition, your insurer isn’t likely going to cover the expenses of the treatment. Because, more often than not, stretch marks are more of a cosmetic issue than a health one.

Creams, oils, and topical applications

Scientific data doesn’t show relevant evidence that applying any type of cream, oil, or lotion can help with preventing stretch marks. Although many mothers swear that using the best belly cream for pregnancy can do wonders to prevent or even heal stretch marks.

Prevention

The best way to prevent stretch marks from appearing on your body is by doing the following:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Avoid rapid weight loss or gain, like from yo-yo dieting
  • Eat a diet rich in vitamins and minerals.
  • Increase your intake of vitamins A and C to support skin health, as well as zinc and silicon
  • Control your weight gain during pregnancy
  • Drink plenty of water every day to avoid skin dehydration

Key Takeaways

Stretch marks generally pose no health risks to the individual. They do affect a person’s physical appearance, but they’re manageable and can usually be prevented depending on your self-care routine, diet, and family history. If you’d like to prevent stretch marks, consider getting the best belly cream for pregnancy and check the reviews from moms-to-be who have tried it themselves.