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6 Pregnancy Hygiene Tips That Will Save Your Ass

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Just when you think you've got the whole "caring for your body" thing down, boom, there's another person growing inside it and things start changing really quickly. Due to ever-fluctuating hormone levels, a decreased immune system, and, you know, a giant growing belly, everything you thought you knew about hygiene suddenly changes. Luckily, there are a few must-know pregnancy hygiene tips that will make your self-care routine as simple as it can be.

Before you get too worried that you'll have to relearn everything you thought you knew about feminine care, rest assured that none of these hygiene tips are too far fetched or strange. However, to the newly pregnant woman, they might not be common knowledge. Whether you're a clean freak who has to shower multiple times a day and wash your hands every 10 minutes — you can tell that after two pregnancies my definition of "clean freak" is determined upon the frequency one showers — or you take a more relaxed hygienic approach, these tips are still equally important. They can mean the difference between not wanting to go out in public because you're not quite sure where that smell is coming from, and rocking your pregnant, changing body like the temple that it is.

1Stick To Cotton Panties And Bras As Much As Possible To Avoid Excess Sweat, Stink, And Infection

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Cotton is the most breathable of all the fabrics. It's the closest thing you can get to wearing nothing at all (every pregnant woman's ideal, I know). BabyMed noted that wearing anything except cotton panties can potentially breed bacteria growth, leading to stink, sweat, and even yeast infection. Infection of any kind can be dangerous for you and your growing baby, so a simple underwear switch is an easy change you can make for your own safety and health.

2Brush Your Teeth Often

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The American Pregnancy Association (APA) noted that pregnant women are especially susceptible to gum disease and cavities, since changing hormone levels can cause your gums to swell, bleed, and trap food more easily. An easy solution is to simply increase the frequency that you brush your teeth, and schedule a preventative dentist appointment when you learn that you're pregnant.

3Avoid Dry Skin By Putting Lotion On Immediately After Your Shower

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Dry skin is another side effect that plagues many pregnant mothers-to-be. A simple solution is to keep a supply of moisturizers on hand immediately after you shower. Healthline suggested using oils like jojoba or coconut oil, as they'll more effectively penetrate the skin than other store bought lotions.

4Wash Your Hands

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Although hand washing might intensify the dry skin issues, Baby Center noted that hand washing is the easiest way to prevent the spread of infection and sickness. Just be sure to keep your jojoba oil on hand afterwards.

5Drink Plenty Of Water

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The APA also noted that it's especially important for pregnant women to stay well-hydrated. Drinking enough water (so that your urine is light colored) can prevent issues like dry skin and overheating. It is also essential for the development of your baby.

6Avoid Cleaning "Down There" Too Rigorously

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The Bump noted that due to increased vaginal discharge, many women experience smelliness, itchiness, or wetness down there that may make you want to wash yourself more frequently. But it turns out that scrubbing away down there will only make things worse. Family Doctor noted that your vagina doesn't require any extra cleaning just because you're pregnant. Avoid douching or using scented soaps while showering, which can increase your risk of infection.

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