Pregnancy & Melanoma: What every mom needs to know

At The Spoiled mama, it’s all about safety first. We talk a lot about the dangers in common household products, cosmetics and pregnancy skin care; however, a new report has worrying news on yet another maternity scare: skin cancer.

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Melanoma, the fifth common cancer in the United States, seems to be increasing among young women, with a great risk found in expectant or newly postpartum mothers.

A new report from the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology reveals that in a study of 462 women, those who were pregnant or recently postpartum  were nine times more likely to have melanoma return, and five times more likely to die from the cancer.

According to researcher Brian Gastman, M.D., the results were a bit of a surprise:

“The rate of metastasis, recurrence and death in our findings were astounding — as the rates were measurably higher in women who were diagnosed with melanoma while pregnant, or within one year after delivery.”

Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, and researchers believe pregnancy hormones may be responsible for fostering the cancer.  Additionally, pregnancy weaken a woman’s immune system, which may exasperate cancer growth.

Sooo, what’s a Mama to do?

If you’re pregnant or had a baby within the past year, make sure to regularly scan your body for new spots or changes in an existing freckle or mole.

In addition, women given the diagnosis of melanoma during or within 1 year after childbirth, regular follow-up and monitoring for recurrence are recommended.

With melanoma rates on the rise for the past 30 years, here are some skin care tips from the Mayo Clinic to reduce your risk of skin cancer:

  • Avoid the sun during mid-day. For US Mamas, the sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Wear sunscreen…always. This is probably our most important beauty and pregnancy skin care tip. Not only does daily use protect skin from premature aging, a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 15 will help filter the sun’s harmful UV rays. (P.S. If you’re using a mask of pregnancy treatment, sunscreen is an absolute must!)
  • Wear protective clothing. Opt for wide-brimmed hats, dark and tightly woven clothing and sunglasses when possible.
  • Skip the tanning lamps and beds. While you may get a “healthy” glow, tanning lamps and beds emit UV rays that can increase your risk of skin cancer. (Bonus tip: Tanning also exasperates the appearance of old stretch marks, and deters the healing of new pregnancy stretch marks.)

Let us know, does this change the way you address your skin care or health care? What are your favorite SPF products? Share below!

spoiled-mama-xoxo

The Ultimate Valentine’s Day Gift (You’re Welcome)

 We’ve really outdone ourselves this year. After a bit of brainstorming, we’ve figured out the ULTIMATE Valentine’s Day gift for the pregnant or postpartum Mama (or really, almost any romantic partner) in your life.

It’s so simple, that it’s going to be a little anticlimactic (sorry). However, it’s so easy, that anyone can do it with a little effort and planning (not sorry).

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But first, a little back story…

Have you heard of the five love languages? If you haven’t, we’re about to change your personal life and how you look at all your relationships — romantic or not.

Continue reading

Happy National Hot Tea Month (+ special offer!)

National Tea Month

At The Spoiled Mama HQ, our kitchen is stock high with oodles of tea: from matcha to chai and breakfast mixes, we just can’t get enough of the stuff…until happy hour begins, of course!

January is National Hot Tea Month, so we wanted to make a toast to one of our favorite drinks. Here are 8 reasons why every Mama should incorporate a cuppa to your daily routine.

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  1. For postpartum weight loss, tea can boost exercise endurance. Catechins found in green tea extract helps your body burn fat as fuel, particularly in the belly region that so many postpartum Mamas struggle with.
  2. Antioxidants found in tea may help protect against cancers in women, such as breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
  3. Though the caffeine in tea makes it a diuretic, it is much more mild than coffee. The British Dietetic Association has suggested that tea can be used to supplement normal water consumption, which can make it easier for pregnant & breastfeeding women to get the extra cups of water they need daily.
  4. Forgot the sunscreen? Duck into the closest cafe for a cup of green tea! Studies show green tea may help protect skin from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays.
  5. Got pregnancy brain? Polyphenols found in green tea may help improve your memory and learning, while helping you relax and concentrate.
  6. For centuries, people have used herbal teas for medicinal purposes like aiding digestion, boosting moods, detoxing and reducing pain and inflammation. However, careful to self-medicate if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding! Always check with your OB/GYN before drinking herbal teas for medicinal uses.
  7. Green tea may improve bone mineral density and bone strength, which stagnates for women between age 30-50, but then rapidly depletes.
  8. Drinking black tea every day may reduce plaque build-up and control bacteria, while green tea has been shown to help blast cavities.

If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, we have a tea for you! In celebration of National Hot Tea Month, we’re giving FREE tea ball strainers* with every order that includes a Spoiled Mama drinking tea. Each tea is made with 100% organic ingredients, and features whole leaf herb to get the most nutritious impact in every sip.

Simply add any of our pregnancy or breastfeeding teas to your online cart, and use the following codes:

Free tea ball strainer with your order of a morning sickness tea:
happyam16

Free tea ball strainer with your order of a third trimester tea:
3tritea16

Free tea ball strainer with your order of a breastfeeding tea:
mlkpls16

Which type of tea is your favorite? How do you like to enjoy your brew? Share below!

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* Free tea ball strainer with every order of a Spoiled Mama herbal tea. One per order, while supplies last. Offer expires Jan. 31, 2016. Does not apply to previous purchases. Other restrictions may apply. Only at www.thespoiledmama.com

Best body ever: 5 Postpartum skincare resolutions for 2016

Last week, we went over 5 pregnancy skin care resolutions for a happier, healthier 2016. However, this week we’re delving into postpartum skin care for new Mamas dealing with skin problems after pregnancy. Trust us, we know the struggle is real!

Here are five post-pregnancy beauty & skincare resolutions for you in the new year:

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Be realistic about your new body.  Many first-time Moms overestimate how easy it will be to get their bodies back to “normal.” However, a healthy postpartum recovery should be slow and unforced. For example, it may take 6-8 weeks for your uterus to return to its pre-pregnancy size, meaning you may be stuck with a round Buddha belly much longer than you expected.

Additionally, the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NIH) says mothers should plan to return to your former weight 6-12 months after delivery.

During this period, focus on a steady, healthy recovery.  Do NOT skip meals, go on crash diets or exercise too soon. Consult with your doctor on a healthy diet and exercise plan designed around your personal needs, especially if you are breastfeeding.

Make “me-time.” Many women believe being a good Mom means playing the self-sacrificial lamb to her kids and partner — this isn’t so! Being a “good” mom isn’t a contest, and you’ll burn out quickly if you’re always giving 110% of yourself to others.

Especially after delivery, we strongly encourage moms to accept the help of others, delegate tasks (Chinese delivery, anyone?) and set aside personal time to do the things you enjoy. Spend time with girlfriends, catch up on last season’s “The Affair” (so good!), or just go get a mani/pedi done — you deserve it.

Get proactive with your stretchies. If you’re one of the lucky Mamas who made it through the nine months without pregnancy stretch marks, count your blessings! However, don’t get too comfy yet. Stretch marks occur during rapid weight gain or weight loss, which means new moms are fertile grounds for postpartum stretch marks.

To prevent stretch marks after birth, lose weight at a steady pace and introduce elasticity to your belly with a tummy butter for stretch marks or pregnancy stretch mark oil.

For moms who have new stretchies that are purple/red and raised in texture, begin treatment NOW! We recommend spot treating with stretch marks removal serum like The Spoiled Mama’s Remodel, which is made with a fine molecular structure to penetrate skin and encourage cell turnover. Follow up with an allover treatment of belly butter to help diminish the look of scarring and repair damaged skin.

Commit yourself to a healthy diet. This is especially true for breastfeeding mothers, as everything you consume will be reflected in your breast milk. However, for those who aren’t nursing, committing yourself to a healthy, well-round diet will improve your energy and help make your skin flawless.

To make sure you’re eating healthy, consider meal planning for 2016 — it’s a great way to save on time and alleviate the stress from cooking!

Show your postpartum stomach some love.  For Mamas who deliver via C-sections, expect  a longer physical recovery than those who deliver vaginally. During the 4-6 weeks following birth, be extra careful as you recover from the surgery (no heavy lifting or exhaustive exercise!). We highly recommend getting a belly band to wrap your midsection, since it gives support while reducing the swelling of your uterus.

To help reduce the size and appearance of your C-section scar, apply tummy butter to abdomen up to two times a day. Enriched with tamanu oil and sea buckthorn oil, the cream helps treat damaged skin and promote healthy skin cells for a beautiful belly!

Which of these 2016 skin care resolutions will you be taking on? Is there anything we missed? Share below!

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Best body ever: 5 Pregnancy skincare resolutions for 2016

Happy 2016, Mamas! With a new year upon us, it’s time to reevaluate our not-so-stellar habits and commit to a better self. When it comes to skincare, all of us have bad days and lazy moments. So for the expecting mom, here are our pregnancy skincare & beauty resolutions to take on this year!

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Trash your toxic skincare & beauty products. Tests have found more than 200 toxins in a baby’s umbilical cord blood. Since everything put on your body affects your baby’s health and development, it’s time to purge all your chemical-laden, toxin skincare and beauty products.There’s a wealth of information on the web about toxins to avoid, but here’s the gist — steer clear of anything with:
–  Parabens
– Sulfates
– Phthalates
– Synthetic Fragrances
– Harsh Surfactants
– Artificial Colors
– Petroleum Derivatives

Fill your cabinets instead with toxin-free cosmetics, pregnancy skin care and personal care items. Finding  gentle, safe alternatives will keep you, your baby and the environment happy.

Embrace your natural beauty! The list of pregnancy skin care and beauty no-no’s are long (buh-bye spray tans, adios Botox, acne meds and hair dye!); however, instead of mourning lost creature comforts, it’s time to embrace your natural, God-given beauty. Even if it’s just for nine months, make peace with your worry lines, pale skin and laugh at that awful pimple on your chin!The truth is, motherhood is going to be a tailspin at times — it’s best to love your flaws, laugh at the absurdity and see the beauty in all things imperfectly perfect.

Get serious about stretch mark prevention. If we had a penny for every time a Mama told us, “I wish I knew about your company when I was pregnant with my other kids! Now my belly looks like a zebra!”, we’d be gazillionaires.  We firmly believe that prevention is the BEST cure, so we tell new Mamas time and time again to start your stretch mark prevention early.

Just like exercise, proper skin care takes time to see results. As soon as you find out you’re expecting, begin nourishing your skin for the journey its about to go on. This includes a well-rounded diet full of gelatin, omega-3s and vitamins A, C and E to give yourself truly healthy skin. Give your skin an extra daily boost by using a toxin-free belly butter and/or pregnancy stretch mark oil to add hydration and lock in moisture.

Thou shalt not scratch…no matter how itchy you get. One of the worse skincare sins is scratching your itchy pregnant belly. As your body stretches to make room for baby, your skin can become extra dry and prone to severe itchiness. In its delicate state, voracious scratching can lead to tears and stretch marks — yikes!

To soothe your itchy pregnancy belly, moisturize and apply a toxin-free anti-itch cream. For an all-in-one, The Spoiled Mama’s value-sized Tummy Butter for Stretch Marks uses cocoa butter and shea butter to penetrate parched skin and nourish it with vitamins and essential fatty acids. The tummy butter is enriched with tamanu oil, which naturally helps alleviate dry, damaged and itchy skin.

For a bathtime treat, a gentle soak in colloidal oatmeal  soothes dryness. Consider purchasing a humidifier for your bedroom as well, which will help add moisture to the air and ease dry skin conditions.

SPF 30+, everyday. At this point, everyone knows the importance of using SPF everyday; however, laziness can get the best of us on this one. Daily use of a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with SPF 30+ or higher is crucial in protecting skin from premature aging, skin cancer and hyperpigmentation. For pregnant mothers who are concerned about melasma (aka “the mask of pregnancy”), daily SPF with a toxin-free treatment for melasma are your key weapons against dark spots.

Which are of these 2016 skin care resolutions will you be taking on? Is there anything we missed? Stay tuned next week for our list of New Year’s resolutions for the postpartum Mama!

spoiled-mama-xoxo

 

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Thoughts on pregnancy and motherhood from your favorite maternity skincare line