Preventing Stretch Marks During Pregnancy

Appearing often during pregnancy stretch marks can affect 50-90% of women. They also can affect non-pregnant women (or men) such as body builders, athletes, adolescents undergoing rapid growth spurts, in fact anyone who experiences periods of rapid growth or weight gain.

Pregnancy Stretch Marks

Stretch marks tend to occur on a women’s stomach from about 6 months onwards when rapid growth of the baby means that the skin on the stomach is stretched to the limit. A number of women also get them on their buttocks, thighs, hips, upper arms, lower back or breasts. Stretch marks tend to be appear in areas that store the most fat and thus have the most capacity to stretch.

Why Stretch Marks During Pregnancy

The chances of getting stretch marks are influenced by many factors. One major influence is genetics. So if your mother or sister got stretch marks during pregnancy you too are more likely to get them. Besides genetics, other factors include: ethnicity/skin tone (fair-skinned women tend to get them more), nutritional history (a healthy diet helps skin to stretch better), skin condition (dry skin usually is less elastic than well nourished skin) and the amount of weight gained during pregnancy (and how quickly).

Preventing Stretch Marks During Pregnancy

Preventative actions will help reduce the degree of pregnancy stretch marks you experience after birth. Gaining no more than the advised amount of weight and gaining it gradually may help reduce your chances of getting them. Gaining weight excessively or rapidly is likely to make the problem worse and thus you will have more in the end.

Make sure your skin well-moisturized beginning in the first trimester, this may help to prevent stretch marks. A nourishing lotion, oil or cream applied on a daily and nightly basis will moisturize your skin (and also reduce itching!). Products with ingredients such as vitamin E, vitamin A, emu oil, cocoa butter, wheat germ oil and lanolin help with stretch mark prevention. Moisturizing certainty helps to improve the skin’s elasticity, but unfortunately, the effectiveness of these products in preventing stretch marks have been shown to be rather limited.

A healthy diet containing plenty of fruits, vegetables and leafy greens is essential. This will help keep your developing baby healthy and your skin strong and supple. Eating foods such as those high in vitamins C and E, zinc and silica will help your skin to stretch and also help to bounce back quicker after giving birth. Taking prenatal vitamins and drinking plenty of water are also essential for a healthy baby and beautiful skin.

Pregnancy Marks Get Better Over Time

It is unfortunate that stretch marks are permanent and very hardly ever disappear. The good news is that stretch marks tend to become considerably less noticeable over time (naturally), eventually becoming a few shades lighter than your own natural skin tone. There are also many treatments available that will help fade stretch marks, that you may like to try.



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