Focus on the ways that pregnancy makes you beautiful -- from your nails to your glowing skin.


OK, so you may not fit into the little black dress in the back of your closet, but you can still look and feel beautiful. Start with your clothes. Have you gotten into the habit of wearing the same two or three maternity outfits all the time? Treat yourself to a new blouse even though you'll only wear it for a few more weeks. Or dress up your old clothes with a bright-color scarf or some pretty jewelry.

Next, look at your fingernails (and your toenails, if you can still see them). Pregnancy hormones make nails grow faster than usual. If you've been so busy preparing for your baby's arrival that you've neglected your nails, treat yourself to a manicure and pedicure at a beauty salon. Or do your own manicure, but spring for the pedicure; a good pedicurist will give you a soothing foot massage.

Now for your skin. If you're lucky, you have the beautiful, rosy glow of pregnancy that some women have. If you're not so lucky -- and most women aren't -- you look ruddy and puffy. Minimize puffiness by avoiding salt and drinking plenty of water. Makeup will help with the ruddiness, and a free makeover is as close as your nearest department store cosmetics counter. Many dermatologists suggest nontoxic chemical peels to improve your mood and your skin.

How's your hair? Though you may be tempted to spring for a drastic haircut, resist the urge and get a trim instead. Your face may be bigger now than it will be a few weeks after your baby's birth, so wait until your non-pregnant face returns before making any big change.

Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.

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