Pregnancy Glow

Pregnant woman showing signs of the pregnancy glow.

There are many physiological changes and common concerns that comes with pregnancy such as nausea, fatigue, or swelling. However, the pregnancy glow is one of the physiological changes many women look forward to while they are pregnant. The pregnancy glow is one of the skin changes that is caused by the changes and increase of hormones during pregnancy. If you are experiencing the pregnancy glow, count yourself blessed and enjoy it awhile you can.

What Causes the Pregnancy Glow?

The specific cause for the pregnancy glow is not concrete, but there is solid educated explanations that suggest it is related to a couple of physiological changes that occur during pregnancy. As noted above, many of the skin changes are attributed to the influx of hormones. These hormones cause your glands to produce more oil, which makes your face more shiny.

Another contributing factor is the increase in blood flow. During pregnancy, your body increases the production of blood by approximately 50%.  The proposed theory is that this increase in blood flow and circulation leads your face to be brighter, or more fuller.

How Can You Manage the Pregnancy Glow?

As noted above, the pregnancy glow is a natural part of pregnancy. Most women appreciate the glow or shine that is revealed in their faces. Many people call this physiological change one of the blessings of pregnancy. However, the increase in oil can make your skin too oily and sometimes trigger acne, also known as pregnancy acne. If this proves to be the case, you are welcome to use an oil-free cleanser to clean your face and reduce the amount of oil on your skin.

Hopefully, you will be able to display your pregnancy glow and avoid the mask of pregnancy. Unfortunately, one of the physiological changes during pregnancy is the change in pigmentation of skin. This “mask of pregnancy” involves brownish spots or patches that develop around the neck and face. Many women find these to be less desirable than the pregnancy glow.

The good news is the mask of pregnancy usually disappears after giving birth. The bad news is, so does the pregnancy glow.  Ultimately, the most important thing you can do is have good skin care practices on a regular basis, whether you are pregnant or not.

Compiled from the following resources:

(1994). Robert V. (Ed.), Mayo Clinic Complete Book of Pregnancy & Baby’s First Year (281).  New York, NY: William Morrow and Company, Inc.

Cunningham, F. Gary, Leveno, Kenneth J., et al (2005).  Maternal Physiology in Williams Obstetrics 22nd edition (126). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.