Is it Safe to Put Baby Oil on Your Belly While Pregnant?

During pregnancy your skin changes at a rapid rate. Hormones, stretching skin and the sun all have an effect on your skin, leaving you scrambling for various home remedies that often promise to prevent common pregnancy skin ailments. Baby oil is a safe product made with mineral oil, so it's highly emollient and sometimes suggested as a remedy for dry skin, stretch marks and other pregnancy skin conditions. Before you use baby oil on your body during pregnancy, ensure that it's both safe and effective for the intended application.

Baby oil isn't just for baby's skin. (Image: Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images)

Keep It In the Shade

The years of sun-seeking and cultivating the perfect tan are over, now that more is known concerning sun damage and the risk of skin cancer. Whereas once baby oil was used to attract sunlight for a deeper tan, it doesn't contain sunscreen and should not be applied in lieu of SPF protection. When pregnant, your skin is prone to hyperpigmentation and discoloration such as melasma, or pregnancy mask. Sun exposure deepens the appearance of darkened skin, so always use proper sunscreen when out in the sun and leave the baby oil at home.

Hydrate Thirsty Skin

Your fluctuating progesterone and estrogen levels often result in changing skin qualities, which means that even if you had oily skin before pregnancy, your skin could become dry and itchy during your nine months. Baby oil makes for a safe and effective emollient moisturizer, thanks to its high oil content. Since baby oil isn't noncomedogenic, it could clog pores, so stick to using it on areas of the body without much natural moisture, such as your legs, arms and hands, rather than your face.

Stretch Mark Help

A whole slew of stretch-mark prevention creams are available to pregnant women and many list mineral oil as one of their ingredients. Stretch marks are the result of skin elasticity, so while you cannot increase the natural elasticity of your skin, it stands to reason that more moisturized skin stretches more effectively. Even still, applying baby oil on a daily basis, while safe, likely won't prevent you from getting stretch marks in the later weeks of your pregnancy. Your skin elasticity is genetic, so your mother's stretch mark situation is a better indicator as to whether or not you'll see the streaks crop up on your skin.

Massage Away Stresses

The aches and pains that occur as a result of your changing body benefit from the occasional massage since it works to relax your sore muscles and relieve minor pain issues. Baby oil is slick and sweet-smelling, making it an ideal massage oil during pregnancy. Since you can't lie on your belly, lie on your side and use a pillow to support your belly. Have your partner warm baby oil in his hands before sweeping them across your back for an effective and relaxing prenatal massage.

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