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How To Prevent Pregnancy Stretch Marks During Pregnancy


For most moms the thought of pregnancy means morning sickness, sleepless nights, gaining weight and the ultimate insult... pregnancy stretch marks.

Pregnancy stretch marks are basically scars that can form anywhere on the body when the skin is stretched quickly and excessively. The reason for this is that the collagen in the skins deeper layers, breaks apart and tears before the healing process begins and this results in the scar tissue you see as stretch marks.


Initially stretch marks tend to have a deep red or purple colour and look like a fleck or streak in the skin. This is because the skin is stretched, making it more transparent, giving the appearance of the small blood vessels that lie deep underneath more prominence.


Don't worry, over time, they'll fade to a silvery white colour, although this may take up to 12 months to happen.


Pregnancy stretch marks often appear on the breasts as they enlarge in preparation for milk production and on the stomach as it gets bigger with the growing baby.


Unfortunately the hormones produced throughout pregnancy means that the skin becomes much softer meaning pregnancy stretch marks can appear much easier.


Being pregnant also leads to extra fat storage and this again stretches the skin in other areas which is why you may also notice stretch marks on the bottom, hips, thighs and arms as well.

If you gain weight quickly during your pregnancy, you'll be at a much greater risk of suffering from them. When you consider that rapid weight gain while pregnant is very common and almost unavoidable for a lot of women, it's understandable why the statistics for pregnant women suffering from them are so high.


How to Prevent Pregnancy Stretch Marks

Once you've got stretch marks they are permanent, because the skin has been damaged. However, after a few months they will fade and appear much less noticeable as they reduce in size and lighten in colour.


It isn't easy to prevent stretch marks from forming and there are no guarantees to avoid getting them, but here are a few time tested tips you can use: -


Healthy Living


As with many aspects of health it's vitally important that you don't gain large amounts of weight quickly. Doing so is almost certainly going to increase your chances of having them.


The following tips should be considered whilst attempting to prevent pregnancy stretch marks.  By following these simple guidelines, you'll help to ensure that you've given your skin and the treatment you choose the best chances of success.

  • Drink at least 2 litres of water each day
  • Keep your skin as healthy as possible by eating a balanced diet
  • Try to do a little gentle activity/exercise every day
  • Use a moisturizer all over your body each day
  • Supplementing with a pregnancy multi vitamin every day can help to cover any deficiencies in your diet.
  • Cut down on coffee and tea because of the caffeine they contain, instead drink herbal or fruit teas or decaffeinated coffee
  • Apply a sunscreen when exposed going out in the sun

Creams and Lotions

To this day, there are no conclusive studies that prove the application of a moisturising cream or lotion actually makes any difference to the appearance or the reduction of pregnancy stretch marks.


However many women are convinced that the reason they didn’t suffer from them is because they applied some form of moisturizing fluid to their skin.


If you decide to use creams or potions it's useful to bear in mind that most skin care experts would agree that whether you use shop bought products, herbal supplements or even medicines, that taking care of your body will help to maximize the effectiveness of whatever product you're using.


There are undeniable benefits to massaging your skin everyday with a moisturizer or a massage glove as it will help to improve blood flow to the skin, which encourages new cell growth.


Choose creams that contain vitamin E, vitamin A or alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). AHA’s contain plant extracts, but always check that the product you plan on using is suitable for pregnant women..


Lots of women use cocoa butter or olive oils and report excellent results but again no current studies have shown its ability to either prevent stretch marks, or to reduce their appearance once a stretch mark has already formed.


By far and away the most likely winner when it comes to stopping the blight of pregnancy stretch marks is quite simply to take care of yourself. Don’t massively overeat, yes you will need extra calories, but not thousands more a day.


Massaging and moisturizing the areas that tend to be prone to suffering such as breasts, stomach and legs etc will also help, but don't automatically think that an expensive cream will work miracles on your pregnancy stretch marks because sometimes even the simplest of solutions works just as well. Olive oil is the choice of many Mediterranean women who swear by its virtues.


Overall it seems that the best ways to prevent pregnancy stretch marks from appearing is by simply taking care of yourself.


‘The Essential Guide To Exercising After A Caesarean’ is a comprehensive guide designed for women who have just had a c-section which teaches essential exercises after c-section that are safe and effective for assisting a full and complete c section recovery