How to stay tan while pregnant

tanner for pregnancy

Many healthcare professionals are recommending the reasonable sun tanning process to darken or tan the skin. If you are a health-conscious person, then you have to know about the overall importance of the sun bathing and decide on how to be successful in your approach for sunless tanning. As a pregnant woman, you have to be aware of the safe self tanner for pregnancy and follow guidelines from healthcare experts. Though there is no clear proof that tanning in a tanned bed or outside directly harms the baby-to-be, the ultraviolet radiation in these two methods is the same. You have to remember that ultraviolet radiation from indoor tanning leads to various health problems like the skin cancer, premature aging and wrinkles.

Risks of tanning

There are loads of issues of tanning during the time of pregnancy. The UV rays can cut down the decisive building block folic acid required by the baby to develop the healthy nervous system. In general, a baby is prone to negative effects of the ultraviolet radiation during the first trimester as well as starting of the second trimester. The brain development’s foundation is laid during this time. The maximum risk period for the baby-to-be is from second to seventh weeks after conception.

Women who tan during their pregnancy get various health problems in particular health problems associated with the sensitive skin. This is because the sensitive nature of the pregnancy hormones. If you do not wear a sunscreen outside and go to a tanning bed, then you may suffer from various health problems. You may develop chloasma during your pregnancy and require the best treatment to heal dark patches on the skin known as the mask of pregnancy. An excessive sun exposure worsens the chloasma.

Self-tanning lotions

Self-tanning lotions are safe during pregnancy as the important chemicals in the self-tanners do not absorb the first layer of the skin. You can concentrate on the guidelines to pick and use the pregnancy self tanner recommended by satisfied users and healthcare professionals. You will get the absolute guidelines and make positive changes in your approach for using the self-tanning lotion during the pregnancy.

Dihydroxyacetone is an important chemical used in the self-tanning lotion designed to make the brown pigment on the skin. This chemical does not actually get absorbed beyond the first layer of the skin. You can consult with your doctor before using the self-tanning product.  You must avoid using the spray tans as chemicals in these products could reach the baby when pregnant women breathe such chemicals in.

Reduce the radiation exposure

Pregnant women cannot avoid every category of radiation exposure. For example, they are exposed to a small amount of radiation during the ultrasounds. They must understand the risk of excessive exposure to the radiation and limit the unnecessary ultraviolet radiation exposure. Though they like to look their best, they have to be conscious on products and techniques they use to maintain their appearance as good as possible. They like to get the glowing bronzed skin tone so as to look attractive in terms of physique. They consider the best approaches to get and maintain the exuberant tan without compromising the safety and health of their baby.

Vitamin D content in sunlight is very important for pregnant women. On the other hand, an excessive exposure to the sun is very dangerous to everyone especially those who are pregnant. Pregnancy causes various physical conditions as well as imbalances like the making the skin sensitive to the sun. Women who are pregnant nowadays are susceptible to the chloasma or hives, heat rash and other health problems. They are willing to keep up-to-date with the best techniques used to improve the overall health of their baby-to-be and enhance their routine efforts to be healthy further.

Easy-to-follow suggestions about how to choose and use the sunscreen lotions with the best skin protection nowadays encourage almost everyone to pick and use one of these products. Pregnant women must be close to the shade or bring an umbrella to protect them from the ultraviolet radiation of the sun. They have to avoid exposing to the sun for a long time. They can consult with healthcare professionals and improve their approaches for tanning as safe as possible.

The Window To My Soul ~ An Update.

Diabetic Retinopathy

An idea of how the world currently appears to me.

It’s been six weeks since my last major eye haemorrhage. My vision has slowly been deteriorating, even as my eyes begin to adjust more to limited vision.

I have constant bruises on my body from where I bump into things, and misjudge doorways and bench tops. Being visually impaired whilst living with a three year old is like competing in a crazy obstacle course, blind folded. I end every day with pain killers, for the splitting headache caused by constant eye strain.

I did manage to pull myself out of the depression that was threatening to engulf me. Admittedly through seeing the Dr to increase my medication, but hey, whatever it takes to keep that Black Dog at bay.

I am not defeated any more. I am determined.

My eye specialist told me he thinks I should have a vitrectomy, surgery that I have already had on my other eye. (basically remove the vitreous gel from my eye, that is full of blood from the haemorrhage) If it was successful, it could mean clear vision for the first time in over four years. I may be able to drive again. The specialist even believes it may be possible for me to fall pregnant again, without the risk of blindness.  (A big maybe, but still – hope!)

Can you imagine? Can you imagine how incredibly life changing it could be if the surgery worked?

If you can imagine that, then I’m sure you can imagine how completely devastating it was when the surgeon had a quick flick through my (very thick) file and said no. No, he thinks I should wait. Apparently waiting for FOUR FUCKING YEARS is not long enough. Bye bye, on your way, see you in a few months.

After I cried all the way home, I realised, NO.  I need to stop feeling defeated, I need to fight for the quality of life I deserve, that my family deserve. This surgeon who looked at my history for all of 10 seconds, has no idea what it is like to live like this. He has no idea how it feels to not remember what life looks like when your vision isn’t clouded by blood. He has no idea what it feels like to have never seen your own daughter, with clear vision. He has no idea of what if feels like to be given hope for a life that had been all but given up on.

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On Wednesday I am travelling in to the city to see a new surgeon, and get a second opinion. And I will not leave his office, until I am satisfied that he has a damn good idea of what my life is like; what it has been like, for the past four years. And surely, SURELY he can’t deny me that chance?

Please send me your prayers, positive vibes, strength, hugs, whatever it is you believe can help me, because I am getting ready to fight. I have spent my whole life feeling defeated by my circumstances, not this time.  There is nothing more dangerous than a person who has nothing to lose, and something to hope.

The Window To My Soul.

The eyes are the window to the soul

My windows are broken, and the shards are tugging and tearing at my soul.

Yesterday I had another haemorrhage in my eye, the worst I’ve had in a long time. (You can read more about my battle with Diabetic Retinopathy here)

The blood has clouded my vision so badly, I can barely see. As usual, the specialists have no answers. They can’t tell me why I have had another bleed. They can’t tell me why years of laser therapy hasn’t stopped the haemorrhages. They can’t fix it. They can’t tell me if it will get better, or worse. All they tell me is I have to wait. Wait to see if the blood reabsorbs. Wait to see if it bleeds more.

I feel broken, and defeated. I’m 33 years old, and I already can’t drive, I already can’t carry more children. I feel like I am edging closer and closer to blindness, and I am terrified. I am scared and angry. It’s taken me half an hour just to write these two paragraphs, because I just. can’t. see.

I don’t know what to do. I don’t have time for this. My whole life is focused on helping my girl, getting her through each day, fighting for her, tackling one hurdle after another with her.

And now I can’t see? What the fuck?

My eyes are the window to my soul, and the view ain’t pretty.

One Moment Of Time.

*Trigger warning: This post may raise issues for readers who have experience with depression and/or suicide.*

lifeline

 

I’m lying in bed writing this on my phone. I don’t know if I’ll publish it. I’ve always hated bloggers who appear to jump on a bandwagon. Turn a tragedy into blog fodder.

The thing is, I can’t stop thinking about Charlotte Dawson.

I can’t stop thinking about the fact that she has died. That there is no second chance, no opportunity for her to change her mind. She can’t hear all the wonderful things that people are saying about her. She hasn’t got a chance to believe them. In one moment of time, that insidious disease took her, in that one moment of time she was too defeated to fight it any longer.

I wasn’t privileged to know her personally, to call her a friend. I can’t fully explain why her death is keeping me awake at night, why I can’t stop crying.

Maybe because I wish I had known her?

I wish I could have said ‘Thank you.’ Thank you for being so honest about something that people can’t seem to talk about. Thank you for giving a voice to depression, thank you for saying sometimes it is just too fucking hard. Thank you for standing up for those who couldn’t fight back against the bullies. Thank you for fighting so damn hard against your own demons so you could offer hope to others fighting against theirs.

I wish I could say, ‘I’m sorry.’ I’m sorry that you didn’t know what you meant to people. I’m sorry that you couldn’t believe how loved you were. I’m sorry that when that black dog caught up with you, when it pinned you down, and stared you in the eye, there was no escape.

I’ve been that close before. I’ve been backed into that corner. I lived. I got that second chance. A few years later, my life is in a completely different place. I’m still running from the black dog, but I am stronger now. I got the time to change my mind. In one moment of time, I was lucky. I didn’t die. And in time, I didn’t want to any more.

I so desperately want to turn back time. I so desperately want to give her the gift of hindsight. That’s the thing. Suicide is forever. There is no turning back. It’s too late to realise you weren’t alone, that people cared.  You can’t argue with depression once you’re dead. It’s too late. It’s too fucking late.

*Edited to add- A petition has been started for the Australian Government to introduce Charlotte’s Law ~ Tougher Cyber Bullying Legislation. You can sign the petition here.   

If you need urgent support, or are worried about someone you can contact the following agencies for help:

Lifeline
13 11 14 – 24/7 telephone crisis support, as well as online one-one-one crisis support (8pm-Midnight AEST)

Kids Helpline
1800 55 1800 – 24/7 telephone counseling for young people 5–25 years, as well as online and email counseling (check website for hours)

Suicide Call Back Service
1300 659 467 – 24/7 professional telephone crisis support for people at risk of suicide, carers and bereaved, as well as online resources and information

R U OK? I wasn’t.

*Trigger warning: This post may raise issues for readers who have experience with self-harm, depression or suicide.*

This is the most difficult post I have written on my blog. It is a side of myself that I keep very private. What I am writing about will come as a surprise to most people I know, including some very close friends.  And that is kind of the point. Mental illness is not black and white. It is not always obvious. It can be very dangerous. It is possible to survive it though, and come out the other side stronger.

September 13th is R U OK? Day. A day to encourage people to ask friends, family and colleagues ‘Are you OK?’  Not just on this one day, but regularly, to open the channels of communication around depression, anxiety, suicide.R U OK? Day 2013

People often assume that they know what depression looks like. People like to think that they would notice if something was wrong, really wrong, with someone they are close to. That they don’t need to ask “Are you OK?” because surely a friend would tell them if they weren’t.

 

A few years ago, I was so far from OK that I thought I’d never be OK again.

I have always been honest and upfront about my depression on this blog. Regular readers are aware of my ups and downs, my battles with the Black Dog.

What I have never shared though, what I have been too ashamed to share, is that for three years, I was a self harmer. I regularly cut myself. I was not a teenager, an ‘emo’, or outwardly depressed or morbid. I was in my mid twenties, and worked as a coordinator. I would walk around the office, smiling and joking with my colleagues, with bandages on my thighs, hidden by tights and long skirts. I had close friends who I would regularly see during this time, go out to dinner, movies, have D&M’s about relationships. They still don’t know that I was a ‘cutter’.

The first time I cut was a few days after I left my first husband. I felt so sad, so lost, so out of control, I just didn’t know what to do. There was so much pain inside of me that I felt like I was being consumed. I don’t know what thought process occurred that night when I picked up a knife and cut my upper arm, over and over again until it bled. To this day, I can’t tell you why, just that I felt better after it. It was almost like a release, to see that blood, to feel the tangible pain of cutting, as opposed to the conceptual pain inside that ate away at me.

It became my coping mechanism. It was a way I could control my pain, on my own terms. I became smarter about it. I cut my upper thighs, which could be easily hidden. Once I finished, once I felt that release, I was taken over by the most incredible sense of calm. I would clean myself up, wash away the blood. I would apply antiseptic cream, to avoid infection, and would tightly bandage my legs up, to stop the bleeding. The next day I would replace the bloody bandages, and get dressed for work. If someone watched me very closely, they may have noticed I walked a little more slowly, perhaps more stiffly. They may have noticed a slight wince cross my face as I sat down and stood up. They would have thought I’d probably gone for a run the night before. Maybe to the gym.

I cut myself, on and off, for about three years. Sometimes I felt like I was watching myself from a distance. I was horrified at what I was doing. This was crazy. I was crazy. Who does this to themselves? It was dangerous. Sometimes the cuts were deep, and it was hard to stop the bleeding. I used to think to myself, “Is this what you want? To die like this, and everyone to find out how insane you are?”  but I didn’t know how to stop. I hated myself, I was disgusted by myself. A voice inside my head would tell me over and over ‘you are so fucked up’. I felt damaged beyond repair.

I was leading a double life. On the outside, I was so ‘normal’. There are people probably reading this right now, who knew me during that time, and I imagine they will be pretty shocked. The only outward difference was that I stopped wearing short skirts and shorts, stopped wearing bathers and started wearing long board shorts. Certainly nothing that would raise any alarm bells. There were a few people that I told at the time. I don’t think they knew what to say, how to help, understandably. Self harm is not something that is spoken about, or if it is, there seems to be a perception that it’s something teenage girls do for attention.

Did I do it for attention? I don’t know. I didn’t think so at the time, but maybe it was a cry for help? A scream for help? Looking back at that time of my life, I feel like I was balancing on the edge of insanity. On the one side there was the part of me that understood how crazy this was, how stupid, how dangerous. And on the other side was the part of me that had given up. That had decided that this was my life, this was all I was worth. That things would never get better, and it would always hurt this much, just to exist.

Then one day, I stopped. I was in an emotional state where I would normally resort to cutting, and I remember, so clearly, just thinking ‘No. I don’t want to do this anymore.’ I lay my head down on the table, and I cried and cried. And without realising it at the time, I chose life. I got rid of all the knives and scissors in the house, and eventually the urge to cut faded away. (I don’t mean to simplify what I went through, I was seeing a psychologist on and off throughout this time, and worked on a lot of issues. I am just trying to be succinct and to the point for the purpose of this post, otherwise you would be reading for days!)

Fast forward a few years, and how my life has changed. I am married to a good, kind man, and a mother to an almost three year old child. That time of my life is like a nightmare, I can’t quite believe that it was real. Except I carry the scars on my body, to this day. I still can’t wear bathers. If I buy a dress or shorts, I have to test them sitting down first, to make sure they don’t ride up and reveal my scars. I wont get my legs waxed or spray tans, in case someone asks about them. One day I will have to explain to my daughter how I got them, just like I had to explain to my now husband, when we first started dating.

My scars remind me every day how far I have come. How close to the edge I was, and how lucky I am to be living the life I am now. Believe me when I tell you, I never thought I would be where I am today. I didn’t think I would make it.

You think that you know the people around you. The people you work with, the friends in your social circles. You think you would notice if someone was struggling with life. But maybe you wouldn’t. And that is why R U OK Day is so important. Not because that’s the day where you go around asking everyone “R U OK?” but because it raises awareness and encourages people to start talking, and more importantly to start listening.

You can learn more about R U OK Day here.

If you need urgent support, or are worried about someone you can contact the following agencies for help:

Lifeline
13 11 14 – 24/7 telephone crisis support, as well as online one-one-one crisis support (8pm-Midnight AEST)

Kids Helpline
1800 55 1800 – 24/7 telephone counseling for young people 5–25 years, as well as online and email counseling (check website for hours)

Suicide Call Back Service
1300 659 467 – 24/7 professional telephone crisis support for people at risk of suicide, carers and bereaved, as well as online resources and information

I am OK now. Are you OK?

Safety In Numbers.

Last week, I felt myself slide into the dark hole that is guarded by the Black Dog.

It had probably been coming for a little while. Sneaking up on me. I tend to ignore it, as if that will make a difference. Like if I can’t see it, it can’t see me.

Until I find myself lying in bed, crying my eyes out, and feeling just so desperately sad. It is staring me in the eyes, and I can’t look away.

But what the Black Dog doesn’t realise, is that there is safety in numbers. It can only take you down, and hold you there, when you are alone. And I am not alone.

Thank you, for the beautiful comments left here on the blog, and on the facebook page.

Thank you to my friends; who messaged me, text me, checked in on me.

Thank you to my always amazing husband, who understands and loves me, even when I don’t understand or love myself.

The darkness has receded. I can smile again, and mean it. That Black Dog is no match for me and my people.

Thank you.

Smile

That Damn Dog.

It starts with the tiredness. I wake exhausted. Does the exhaustion cause the depression or does the depression cause the exhaustion? Doesn’t matter, because by then it’s too late.

Next come the tears. I am on the edge of crying every moment of the day. If I stop for a minute, and just think, the tears start to well. I can’t tell you why. Or I can.

Because he’s back. The black dog. When the realisation hits that is what’s happening, I feel the fear. That familiar fear, I don’t want to do this again. I can’t.

But I can. I do. I will. I am stronger than him. I just need to lay low, ride it out. Just keep breathing. Remember that I have done this before, I will do it again.

He will not take me.

How it feels.

Once again, I am down low. In the hole. In the jaws of the black dog.
How does it feel?
I feel like I don’t have the energy to exist. That functioning is just such hard work. If I stop for a moment, and think, I cry. I don’t know why. It feels like everything is just too hard, and I just don’t know why. Nothing has happened, there was no instigation.  No straw that broke the camels back. It just all got too hard. I want to crawl under my blanket and cry, and stay curled up in a ball until it all goes away.
I wake up in the morning, and have to make myself get up, get up, and function. Do what needs to be done, get from now, till I go back to bed, and not have a complete breakdown. Put one foot in front of the other, and just exist, until the end of the day. Then go to bed, and hope that when I wake up, the darkness will have lifted.

I know it will lift. It always does. For no reason that I can think of, I fall in these holes, I feel like I’m drowning, and then I get through it, because I have to, because I can. In my darkest days, I have to remember that this is not real. This is a trick, an alternate reality, that the imbalance of chemicals has created in my head. It will pass, and I will be able to breath again. Existing will become natural again, not something I have to force. I will smile, and mean it. There is always light at the end of the tunnel, just sometimes it takes a little longer to reach it. xx