If you’re expecting your first child, there are probably a lot of things you weren’t expecting about pregnancy! One of those things might be the level of stress you suddenly feel as life is changing. Between morning sickness, financial considerations, and preparing for the baby to come home after delivery, life is suddenly a lot more complex than it was before.
Stress can affect your health, and especially your skin, during pregnancy. As stress levels rise, hormones can go out of whack, causing all kinds of changes to your skin. Cortisol is a primary factor in the changes our skin can go through during times of stress. Because the skin has receptors for cortisol, increases in the hormone can cause inflammation or increased oil and sebum production. Cortisol can also lower the ability for skin to resist infection or recover from wounds.
Additionally, stress can trigger an inflammatory response in the gut, which can manifest outwardly as skin inflammation, acne, rosacea, etc. Lowering your stress level can help promote healthy skin by promoting a healthy gut microbiome.
To prevent pregnancy skin problems before they even start, stress management is essential during pregnancy! To encourage healthy skin--and a healthy pregnancy--we will be focusing on a few different stress reduction techniques this week. If the stress of pregnancy has got you weighed down, take a deep breath. You got this.