BD’s guide to pregnancy-safe mum & baby care

So you've taken a pregnancy test (we recommend First Response Early Result Instream Pregnancy Test) and seen your doctor and confirmed you're expecting! Now you're facing the joys of navigating the world of the dos and don'ts of pregnancy, specifically around your beauty routine.

There can be a lot of confusion around skincare routines and what is safe and what you should avoid, for you and bub!

To make things a little easier, BD has broken down the top skin concerns for mother and baby, and with some expert advice thrown in, here’s our guide to pregnancy-safe mum and baby care.

Concern: Safe ingredients

Lullaby Skincare founder Kirsty Gow-Gates understands the pressures to find safe ingredients for baby skincare, saying: “experts say up to 60 per cent of what goes on your baby’s skin is absorbed into their bloodstream within minutes.

"Babies and children are at greater risk to the dangers of carcinogens (toxic ingredients), and that infants up to age two are, on average, ten times more vulnerable to carcinogenic chemicals than adults; and for some cancer-causing agents are up to 65 times more vulnerable."

She notes that key ingredients to look out for and avoid are: Parabens, Phthalates, Sulfates, PPG’s, Dye, Petroleum, Triclosan, Bisphenol A (BPA), and Formaldehyde Donars. Why?

"Chemicals such as preservatives, formaldehyde and parabens used in creams may build up in baby’s skin and disrupt the natural hormones in baby’s body. This may cause growth and reproductive problems as well as disrupt normal endocrine functioning. With the immune system at such an early developing stage, skin rashes may easily be caused by harsh skincare products."

Products recommended:

Lullaby Calming Body Wash is specially formulated for sensitive and eczema-prone skin, this soothing body wash cleanses without stripping baby’s skin of its natural moisture and nutrients.

QV Baby Moisturising Cream is a concentrated moisturising cream that hydrates skin, relieves dryness and seal in skin’s natural moisture. The pH-balanced, low-irritant formulation is free from fragrance, colour, lanolin and propylene glycol. 

Swisspers Baby® Soothing Moisturiser is enriched with Australian cotton milk to be extra gentle on baby’s sensitive skin. Infused with the natural goodness of certified organic aloe vera, nourishing organic shea butter, plus natural vitamin E. Hypoallergenic, dermatologically tested, suitable for sensitive skin. Vegan friendly, not tested on animals and Australian made and owned.

Concern: Stretch marks

Lloyds Pharmacy pharmacist and skincare specialist Jo Carey says: "Stretch marks affect around 90 per cent of pregnant women. This is simply due to the amount the skin has to stretch as the baby bump grows. Nine months might feel like a long time, but in terms of the skin stretching from day one till due date, it is a fast process."

There are a number of methods for preventing and/or fading stretch marks, including the use of vitamin E and vitamin C creams, or supplements like zinc and silica. Carey also mentions that while dieting during pregnancy is dangerous, the myth of "eating for two" should be ignored.

"If more weight is gained during pregnancy then the skin will need to stretch even more so stretch marks can become more of a problem."

Products recommended:

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Tummy Mask for Stretch Marks is a pure cotton hydrating sheet mask developed specially for pregnancy that helps reduce the appearance of stretch marks and soothes dry, itchy skin.

StriVectin® Intensive Concentrate for Stretch Marks & Wrinkles helps stimulate DNA repair, improve energy within skin cells and strengthen the skin’s natural barrier to generate healthier epidermal layers. 

Weleda Stretch Mark Massage Oil is an oil treatment that minimises the development of stretch marks on the stomach, thighs, bottom and breasts when massaged in regularly.

Concern: Dryness

Gow-Gates also acknowledges that "It is very common that babies experience dry skin. This is most common in babies who are delivered after 40 weeks and it generally improves within days. The main reason for our little ones getting dry skin later on is that they are spending time in air that is either too dry, too cold, or overheated."

So don’t panic if your baby is experiencing dryness, it can be easily fixed with gentle, natural skincare. As for mothers post-pregnancy, dryness can be an issue too – look out for products with nourishing ingredients like rosehip or jojoba oil and feminine body washes that help to balance out your pH levels.

Products recommended:

Femfresh Sensitive Wash is a wash for mum that is formulated to care for the intimate skin. The low pH of the intimate area is designed to protect against irritation, which can be upset by ordinary washes, soaps and shower gels. 

Sukin Naturals Baby Gentle Body Wash Fragrance Free is a body wash formulated for babies. It contains a combination of botanicals, such as aloe vera, chamomile, avocado and evening primrose oils, to leave skin soft and smooth. 

Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Creamy Wash is a tear-free creamy wash, specially formulated to gently cleanse and soothe dry skin. It is enriched with colloidal oatmeal to care for baby’s sensitive skin.