If you have all the icky pregnancy side-effects just listed, then poor you! You're having an uncommonly tough pregnancy. What's not unusual, though, is developing sore or uncomfortable skin.
Here come five super-easy, natural tips to manage your skin and keep it comfortable.
Demand a Daily Massage -
Prolonged stress is intimately connected to many of our bodily functions, often in negative ways. For example, cortisol, the 'stress hormone' may increase the amount of oil produced by your skin, leading to acne. Other skin conditions are caused by autoimmune problems which, again, can be triggered by stress.
Karen Mallin, PsyD, of the University of Miami, is a lecturer in psychiatry and dermatology. She notes that "The mind and skin are connected on many different levels ... Psychodermatogy is a [growing] field that addresses the impact of an individual's emotion as it relates to the skin."
You've got a strong case, so convince your partner to whip out the organic coconut oil and give you a daily back rub.
Maximise Your Sleep -
Blood flow to your skin increases as you snooze. Get a good sleep and you're more likely to wake up with a healthy complexion. The problem is you can never guarantee eight hours sleep during pregnancy. Those pesky trips to the toilet, or the sheer awkwardness of getting comfortable despite your bump, make it a bit hit-and-miss.
To give yourself a fighting chance, try burning some lavender essential oil. Don't go for the cheap stuff which is often just perfume. Instead, treat yourself to some pure, organic lavender oil.
Next, invest in a decent pregnancy pillow. This can be a lifesaver. Even if you previously tried and didn't get along with one, take another look. There are many different shapes and sizes, so it's worth finding one that works best for you and your bump. I've written a whole guide on pregnancy pillows and how to choose the right one if you'd like to learn more!
Drink plenty of water -
Yup, you knew this one was coming! And, no doubt, you are well aware that during pregnancy it's important to stay hydrated. I won't labor the point here (excuse the pun), but will quickly mention that our skin is about 65% water and, put simply, skin cells function best when they are properly hydrated. This leads to healthier-looking skin. Another reason to keep on top of your fluid intake during pregnancy.
Stretch marks -
As your boobs and belly grow, you may find that you develop stretch marks. Try not to worry too much. Firstly, if you read around, you'll soon discover that most guys don't mind them. More than that, many men find them sexy. (Not that I'm advocating self-esteem and body image based on what men think!) There are also lots of natural ways to reduce or avoid stretch marks altogether.
If you're into DIY, then try mixing organic coconut oil, coconut butter and shea butter together. You'll need to warm them up first. Then add a few drops of Vitamin E and organic lavender oil. (Heck, if you make enough of this, then you can use it for your daily massage, too.)
If, on the other hand, you want to save time and keep it simple, then there are some conscientious companies making decent organic stretch mark creams.
Eat Dark Leafy Greens -
These wonder foods contain beta-carotene along with lutein, potassium, fiber and folate. This is great for all sorts of things, but in terms of your skin, the folate is an important nutrient for repairing DNA. This helps to keep your skin looking great.
There You Have It. Pregnancy is a wonderful time but comes with some niggling side-effects. Give these five tips a shot and, hopefully, bad skin won't be one of them. In fact, with a little help from your surging hormones, you may even attain that elusive "pregnancy glow".
Neve blogs at WeTheParents.org where she seeks to bring out the humour in parenting and gets nerdy researching and reviewing the gear that mums and dads (apparently) need. You can also catch her on Facebook and Twitter.