Pregnant? Here's what you need to know about Collagen...
So, you're pregnant! Congratulations! Whether you fell pregnant at the drop of a hat, or struggled for years to make it happen, regardless of your individual journey, pregnant women only have one thing on their mind during this time, how can i keep my baby, and myself, healthy and thriving during the most magical, challenging and transformative years of your life, emotionally, physically and spiritually.
While the female body is designed for pregnancy, there's no argument that growing and carrying a baby can be very tough physically for some women. Alongside hormonal changes, the body must stretch and expand in extraordinary ways. We associate pregnancy with stretch marks and skin elasticity, but deeper layers such as fascia, ligaments, and muscles are all affected as the body changes.
One question we have been asked for years: ''Is collagen safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding?''. The answer is YES! - our special pregnancy and breastfeeding safe formula, GLOW Youth Elixir, is safe and essential and has helped hundreds of pregnant women have an incredibly healthy journey.
Just because you can no longer rely on botox to reduce the wrinkles (ouch), or lasers or infra-red saunas to reduce the bloat, does not mean your self care regime needs to suffer. Our beautiful bespoke formulas, partnered with our free skin and gut healing guide, can do all of the above, and then some.
Hormones ramp up during pregnancy, which can lead to skin pigmentation in about 3 in 4 women and can also exacerbate acne. Marine collagen helps to regulate hormones, and clear skin from within. It also pays to use a plant milk alternative, and use a calcium supplement instead.
Prevention of stretch marks is big business, with skin care brands promoting creams and oils that claim to keep skin elastic. The truth is, no cream or oil can prevent stretch marks as they occur, due to rapid expansion and weight gain which are common during pregnancy.
Currently, there are no known cures or preventative methods that are guaranteed to work, but research shows there is huge potential for the use of marine peptide collagen during pregnancy to support the skin and body of mum-to-be.
Tackling skin internally and externally is your best option. When skin is hydrated, the skin is more supple and stronger and able to cope with the stretching of growing your bubba over the course of 9 months.
By strengthening the dermis and bolstering natural collagen and elastin stores with collagen supplementation such as GLOW Youth and GLOW Gut, the skin structure is strengthened and elastic, preventing the tear of fibres.
Using peptide collagen through pregnancy and breastfeeding will also support fascia (connective tissue), ligaments, and joints as the body grows and carries excess weight and stress.
GLOW Youth and GLOW Gut are approximately 95% pure protein/amino acid content which is essential to boost nutrient and energy levels as your body is lacking due to it's need to nourish your little miracle.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
These pure and potent hydrolysed peptide formulas are absorbed into the bloodstream and carried to cells in the body, where it sends a signal that stimulates fibroblast cells to promote the formation of new collagen.
The placenta is not the barrier that we once thought – over 287 chemicals have been found in the umbilical cords of babies, associated with chemicals being used by mum either in her personal care or household cleaning products. Women can use an average of 168 chemicals including reproductive and developmental toxins – they are found in the average of 12 personal care products women use daily.
Toxins found in beauty products have been linked to pre-term birth, low birth weight, developmental delays and altered gene expression. This is just what we know of – many of the toxins have not been necessarily been tested on pregnant women for good reason. With an increased rate of autism, allergies and asthma in newborns and children it makes sense to start looking more closely at what we are putting on and in our bodies.
WHAT TO AVOID
Parabens are used in beauty products as a preservative; they extend the shelf life of products. When it comes to pregnancy, studies have reported parabens are capable of crossing the placenta, infiltrating breast milk, and disrupting the growth of fetuses. Look for paraben free skincare.
Most synthetic fragrances on the market use chemical fixatives such as phthalates to make scents adhere, lift and linger in the air. Phthalates, unfortunately, have been found in studies to disrupt hormones, contribute to infertility and inhibit fetal development, which is why pregnant and nursing women are advised to avoid synthetic fragrances. I personally don't use synthetic fragrances... ever!
3. RETINOIDS / RETINOL
Retinoids can be sold over-the-counter in a weaker form called retinol, retinyl linoleate or retinyl palmitate. Physicians also prescribe topical retinoids such as tretinoin, tazarotene and adapelene, which are more potent. These substances work by penetrating your skin, stimulating your cells to divide more quickly and encouraging the growth of collagen, and elastic fiber in your skin.This is because high dosages of vitamin A can affect an unborn child, potentially leading to birth defects, according to BabyCente. If you currently use these medications, talk to your physician about your skin conditions and health during pregnancy.
4. SALICYLIC ACID & BHAs
Look for skincare with less than 2% salicylic acid and avoid synthetic peels which may contain BHAs which leave the skin sensitive to UV exposure, in particular during pregnancy. Salicylic used in high doses have been shown to cause birth defects and pregnancy complications.
5. SYNTHETIC COLOURANTS
Mostly found in lipsticks and eye shadows are often are a source of lead. Over 60% of lipsticks contain lead which has been linked to miscarriage and reduced fertility. Lead has also been found in cosmetics such as foundation and toothpaste.
Found in nail polishes along with phthalates and formaldehyde. Proven carcinogens which cause reproductive and fetal development toxicity in animal studies. These are toxins that you want to avoid at all times, especially during pregnancy.
7. ESSENTIAL OILS
Some essential oils are highly concentrated and need to be used with care. Avoid oils such as tea tree, rosemary, jasmine, clary sage. Essential oils such as sweet orange, ginger, grapefruit and spearmint are generally safe when used diluted externally. The thing with essential oils is there is a lack of research on whether they are safe to use during pregnancy or not, so they are best avoided during the first trimester.
In closing, keep your pregnancy skin care routine as simple as possible. Products that contain a huge list of ingredients aren't necessarily any better than ones that are simple. If you can't pronounce the ingredient name on the label, then you probably shouldn't be using it. Green beauty is best.
YOUR BODY, YOUR CHOICE
We would like to leave you with a gentle reminder that only YOU know what is best for your baby and YOUR body. What is unsafe for one pregnant woman, may be completely fine for the next. Take all the well intended advice with a grain of salt, using what works for you, and discarding what doesn't.
Look after yourself, Mama. Growing a little human is the most precious gift anyone can ever receive. Wishing you all the best in your motherhood journey!
**As with any supplement during pregnancy and lactation, we recommend you run it past your midwife or GP first.