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Describe Personal Hygiene in Pregnancy

By Joanna Ehlers ; Updated July 18, 2017

Pregnancy is an exciting time in which a woman's body goes through remarkable changes, inside and out. During pregnancy, dry skin, acne and engorgement of her breasts can make a woman feel uncomfortable as her body prepares for the baby's birth. Simple changes in a mom-to-be's normal grooming and bathing regimen can keep her comfortable while she awaits the arrival of her little one.

Bathing Before Baby

Dr. M.D. Mazumdar for the website Gynaeonline advises pregnant women to take a cool shower daily because the thermogenic pregnancy hormone, progesterone, increases body temperature. Bathing early in pregnancy may help women relax and help with insomnia, although baths may create a falling hazard for a woman in later pregnancy as her center of balance shifts. The use of bubble bath, however, is not recommended, as the chemicals and fragrances may cause irritation to vaginal tissue.

Have a Healthy Smile

Dental health is a crucial component to delivering a healthy baby. Pregnancy hormones can cause changes in saliva production and encourage the growth of harmful bacteria that cause gum disease and tooth decay, according to the U.S. Army Medical Department. Women can minimize these problems by brushing their teeth at least twice a day, flossing regularly and eating healthy snacks consisting of fresh produce. A visit to a dental professional early in pregnancy can rule out any concerns, and minor procedures, such as fillings or extractions, can be performed safely. Avoid anesthetics and analgesics, however, and postpone dental surgery or other major procedures until after the birth.

Caring for Breasts

As a woman's body prepares to feed her new baby, her breasts may become enlarged and tender. Doctors at Brookside Associates advise women to wash their breasts daily with water to remove dried colostrum and prevent nipple irritation. Air dry your nipples or dry them with a hair dryer after washing to toughen them. If a woman is planning to nurse her infant, lanolin applied to the nipple area can soften the skin by preventing the evaporation of sweat. As a woman's breasts enlarge, her cup size will increase, requiring a larger bra size. A well-fitting bra worn at all times and equipped with pads to absorb leakage will keep breasts supported and dry as pregnancy progresses.

Prenatal Skin and Hair Care

Some women may find that their skin is prone to acne breakouts during pregnancy. The condition usually clears up after the baby's arrival. Exfoliating cleansers and abrasive products may be too harsh for a pregnant woman's sensitive skin, so experts at the website Ask Dr. Sears recommend gentle, oatmeal-based face wash you can find at nutrition stores. These scrubs are mild and help unclog oily pores. The prescription anti-acne drugs Accutane and Retin-A should not be used because of the risk of birth defects, according to Ask Dr. Sears. You may need to wash your hair more frequently during pregnancy due to active oil glands, and, due to its fast growth, your hair may require frequent trimming.

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