Changes to Your Appearance As Pregnancy Progresses

Pregnancy hormones can bring about changes to the skin, hair and nails. All of these changes are normal and will resolve soon after the birth of your baby:

  • Higher levels of estrogen, progesterone and pigment-stimulating hormones can cause skin to darken somewhat on the breasts, genitals, armpits, inner thighs and sometimes on the face.

  • Often, a dark line called the linea nigra appears along the midline of the abdomen, stretching from the pelvis to the ribcage.

  • In rare cases, women develop small, slightly itchy rashes while expecting. This condition is called pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP), which can be quite uncomfortable.

  • Some women notice more and darker hair on their face, arms and legs, while the hair on their scalp may be thinning, especially around the face.

  • Nails may become brittle or form grooves.

This message is not intended to provide individual medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have about your health or medical condition, your breastfeeding issues and your infant's health. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you have read in our emails, webpages or other electronic communications.

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