The end result of pregnancy is a miracle, but for many women, the journey to get there may not feel like it.
We don’t often talk about it beyond the occasional reference to “morning sickness” (Ha! More like every-second-of-every-day sickness!) but for first time moms, many of the changes our bodies experience can be quite frightening.
Pregnancy is harsher on some bodies than on others and for all our strides in modern medicine, researchers still don’t really know why. For many women, most of these symptoms, like nausea and joint pain, will be temporary, confined either to a particular trimester or likely to subside once the baby is born. Knowing this, often the best advice doctors can give is to just wait it out.
But 40 weeks is not a short amount of time, and, tormented by their symptoms, many women will seek natural remedies. Before our founder, Anahit, started Nairian, she had been experimenting with essential oils and aromatherapy because of the nausea and aversions to synthetic smells she experienced in her second pregnancy with her second child. It was perhaps her body’s way of firing the alarm bell regarding the safety of these chemicals for the fragile baby growing inside of her.
To honor our roots, we've put together a few of Anahit’s essential products that are safe for pregnancy and may offer some relief to those who need it. Please keep in mind that every woman’s body is different and will respond in its own unique way to different smells and therapies. What works for some may not work for others and that’s okay.
According to research, approximately 90% of women will experience nausea at some point in their pregnancy. For some, it’s a blip on the radar, and will subside by the end of the first trimester. For others, it can be debilitating, and last the entire duration of their pregnancy. (The latter is symptomatic of a terrible condition called hyperemesis gravidarum, and if you fall into this category, I encourage you to seek help and know that you’re not alone.)
For many women, this is the most frustrating symptom, because there’s not really much you can do until it’s over (though there are nausea medications your doctor can prescribe if you're desperate).
It's often smells that cause the waves of nausea in many pregnant women. This is where the aroma therapeutic properties of our products come in. Nairian’s hair serum in particular, made with essential oils of Damask Rose and Lavender, as well as carrier oils from Rosehip, Jojoba, Sea Buckthorn, Pomegranate, and Castor. This obviously isn’t how this product is advertised to be used, but it’s actually fitting that its aromatic properties are so healing.
The hair serum, unfortunately, hasn’t arrived in the US yet, but the Rosehip Day Serum contains similar properties, described later in the section on Stretch Marks.
During pregnancy, many women may notice spots appearing on their skin seemingly out of nowhere. This is a common symptom of pregnancy, and (like pretty much all unwelcome symptoms) is a consequence of the new cocktail of hormones your body is releasing in preparation for growing a child.
Some women will try to tackle this symptom using cleansers and face washes, which contain salicylic acid, a beta hydroxy acid, which has been studied in pregnancy. High doses of the acid in its oral form (it's an ingredient in aspirin) have been shown in studies to cause birth defects and various pregnancy complications. So when looking for a facial wash or cleanser, make sure it contains no more than 2% salicylic acid.
We recommend Nairian’s Calendula Cleanser, one of our best-selling products. It contains no salicylic acid or any other harsh components and yet thoroughly cleans the skin while moisturizing it and as its made with citrus peel oil, its smell is incredibly refreshing and healing, and was another smell that provided a pleasant reprieve from my nausea.
After you cleanse, you can apply some gentle Nairian Rose Toner, made with rose water, and moisturize. (We recommend the Firming Cream.) If you want to address specific spots, you can apply the Nairian Spot Treatment to the affected areas.
One of the greatest fears about pregnancy is how it will change women's bodies for the long run. Some will gain just a few pounds or hardly show. Unfortunately, that is a very atypical experience (so don't go around bragging).
Gaining such a large amount of weight in such a short period of time can really do a number on your body’s largest organ, your skin, pulling and stretching it out and creating the conditions for stretch marks to occur. A stretch mark is a type of scar that develops when our skin stretches or shrinks quickly. The abrupt change causes the collagen and elastin, which support our skin, to rupture. As the skin heals, stretch marks may appear.
This is perhaps the area in which Nairian can be most useful, because nearly every product offers something beneficial. Nairian’s anti-aging line comes in particularly handy. Both the Firming Cream and the Night Serum are very powerful moisturizing agents that boost collagen production and restore skin elasticity. But depending on the size of your bump, it can require quite a bit of product to cover all the bases, which for me, made those options not so economical.
During showers and baths, we recommend the Ylang Ylang Shower Oil, which nourishes skin with a luscious layer of healing oil. (We cannot recommend sitz baths highly enough to help soothe achy pregnant lady joints: the epsom salts from Epsoak, a brand of San Francisco Salt Co. are especially healing). Outside the shower, consider applying some healing Day Serum, which is also part of the anti-aging line, and is jam packed with antioxidants and collagen boosting compounds.
This article focuses on how to use Nairian products to make yourself more comfortable during a special but, all things considered, quite uncomfortable time in life. But it goes without saying that the first person you should be consulting is your doctor or midwife, who can prescribe helpful medications or therapies to help you in your journey, should you need them.
If you are someone who is struggling through a difficult pregnancy, please know that you’re not alone. Let’s take a moment to consider both the miracle and the medical reality of childbirth. To all the moms out there, you are heard!