How to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy

causes and remedies to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy

The appearance of stretch marks is a very common occurrence among women during their final trimester of pregnancy when your belly expands rapidly to accommodate the growing baby inside. The scientific name(s) of stretch mark is striaegravidarum or striaedistensae which look like pink or purplish streaks on the surface of abdomen, thigh, hips or breast skin.

Stretch marks do not cause any serious problem although at times you may feel itchy in the area where they have appeared. Usually, women who have a history of stretch mark in their family tend to develop more than others. In most cases, they start fading after your baby is born but do not disappear completely.

If you take some precautions during your pregnancy, you can easily deal with this problem and enjoy your motherhood without stress. In this article, we are going to tell you natural and effective ways to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy.

Why do you get stretch marks during pregnancy?

how to prevent stretch marks while pregnant

During the sixth or seventh months of pregnancy as your belly grows bigger, you may find inundated scars on your abdomen.

According to some studies, during pregnancy, your body undergoes a series of hormonal changes. For that reason, your skin becomes more vulnerable and prone to scarring which usually disappears after childbirth. However, this is a much-debated issue but one thing is certain that stretch marks develop when your skin stretches beyond its elasticity limit and it is most likely to happen during pregnancy.

The number of stretch marks varies from woman to woman and you can even get along your pregnancy without a single stretch mark on your skin. It depends on the elasticity of your skin. If you have an elastic skin type, you will develop less or no stretch marks throughout your pregnancy.

Extensive research suggests genetics play an important role in deciding whether you will develop stretch marks or on your body. If your mother or grandmother had developed stretch marks during their pregnancies, you have higher chances of getting them.

When do stretch marks appear on your body?

Stretch marks develop on your skin at different stages of pregnancy. In the first trimester, your breasts start enlarging. As a result, you may find stretch marks on your breast before any other part of your body.

Your abdomen starts showing stretch marks by the end of the second trimester or at the beginning of the third trimester when your child grows faster inside your abdomen.

In addition to these common causes there are a few more that can lead to stretch marks during pregnancy:

  • If you have excess amniotic fluid
  • If you are carrying multiple babies
  • Baby is bigger than the usual size
  • Your weight has increased more than the normal range

home remedies for stretch marks

Most commonly during your pregnancy, apart from breasts and stomach, you will see stretch marks on your thigh and butts.

Do stretch marks really go away?

avoid stretch marks on breast during pregnancy

According to modern scientific reviews on a pregnant woman, stretch marks start becoming lighter from sixth to the twelfth month after childbirth. The pink or purple stretch marks when they first appeared converts into white stretch marks, lighter than the surface skin on which they appeared.

However, there are various treatment methods for stretch marks if you have already developed them. You can consult a dermatologist for better guidance.

Prevent pregnancy stretch marks with home remedies

The best way to combat stretch marks is to keep your skin soft and supple and make room for its stretching especially when you are pregnant. You can easily keep these scars on your body at bay simply by following these home remedies:

  • Increase your fluid intake

According to oglf.org drinking at least 12 cups of water per day is absolutely necessary during pregnancy for staying hydrated. If you feel uncomfortable in drinking a cup full of water due to morning sickness (usually during the first trimester), try taking water sip by sip. Instead of water, you can also include juices, soups, smoothies, shakes etc. for a change.

Intake of sufficient fluid also prevents you from UTI (urinary tract infection) which is a common problem during pregnancy.

  • Add Vitamin C to your diet

how to prevent stretch marks on hips in pregnancy

As your belly starts expanding making room for your growing baby, your abdomen skin may develop scars in the form of stretch marks if it is dry. To prevent such marks you need a good dose of Vitamin C in your diet while you are carrying a child. Vitamin C develops collagen which keeps your skin supple and soft.

Citrus fruits and vegetables can give you sufficient Vitamin C.

  • Get Vitamin D from natural sources

how not to get stretch marks on stomach when pregnant

A recent study by Koehler Zanella and other researchers suggest women who have a low level of Vitamin D during pregnancy are more prone to having stretch marks. This vitamin is easily available in nature and the best source is sunlight. Expose yourself to sunlight as your skin permits but make sure you are not sunburnt in the process.

You can get your required amount of Vitamin D from some fishes, cereals, dairy products and even bread.

  • Nutrients for skin

stretch marks during pregnancy

Pregnancy is the time when a woman requires maximum nourishment both for herself and her baby. It is during this crucial phase of your life when each and every part of your body needs special care.

Your skin which is made up of collagen and elastin fibres plays an important role in the development of stretch marks during pregnancy. Stronger these fibres are, lesser is your chance of having stretch marks.

Your diet should contain foods that have plenty of Vitamins (E, B2, and B3), silica and zinc that make your collagen fibres stronger and combat stretch marks from making your skin look blemished.

  • Exercise works wonder against stretch marks

pregnancy stretch marks causes

Exercise is one of the vital things you should include in your healthcare routine when you are expecting a child. As per a survey by The American Pregnancy Association, regular exercise with the advice of your ob-gyn specialist will prevent you from having stretch marks.

As you exercise your blood circulation improves and your skin receives more oxygen. As a result, it retains elasticity and stretches (when your baby grows inside) without developing any scar on your abdominal skin.

  • Control your weight

One of the major causes for the development of stretch marks in women during their third trimester is obesity added to pregnancy-related weight gain. In other words, if your weight during pregnancy is more than average (normal weight gain during pregnancy ranges between 22lbs-28lbs), your skin ruptures due to a sudden spurt in the expansion.

Although weight gain is an issue which varies from woman to woman, keeping your weight under control will lessen the extra strain on your abdominal skin and also reduce chances of stretch mark formation.

BUT, for weight reduction do not cut down your intake of nutrients. Instead, modify your diet according to your need and not according to your wish.

  • A healthy diet gives healthy skin

how to reduce stretch marks during pregnancy

During your first trimester, eating becomes an issue of concern if you have morning sickness or aversion towards any food. At the same time, your health (including your skin) requires more nourishment during this important phase of life.

Let us take a look at what you should include in your diet for a healthy skin:

  • Omega 3 fatty acids
  • Vitamins C, D and E
  • Zinc
  • Protein
  • Anti-oxidants

The best possible way to get all these nutrients is to eat unprocessed food in balanced proportions.

Prevent pregnancy stretch marks with natural elements

Nature has some really beneficial components that can work wonder in preventing stretch marks during your pregnancy. These ingredients are organic in nature and are readily available.

1. Aromatherapy

ways to prevent stretch marks while pregnant

For treating stretch marks aromatherapy has beneficial effects as suggested by various scientific studies. These oils are taken in very small amount and mixed with base oil and applied by an expert aromatherapist.

Some of the essential oils which you can use on your skin are wheat germ oil (contains Vitamin E), grape seed oil and sweet orange oil.

2. Aloe Vera

home remedies to prevent stretch marks when pregnant

It is a succulent herb which is widely used for its healing properties. The gel inside the leaves of an Aloe Vera plant contains Vitamins, Minerals enzymes and fatty acids that help in preventing the formation of stretch marks on your body.

If you have this plant in your home, slit open the upper layer of the leaf and squeeze out the gel from inside. Gently massage on the affected area and leave it on your skin to absorb.

You can use Aloe Vera gel available in the market for your convenience.

3. Coconut oil

coconut oil to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy

Down the centuries it has been used as a natural moisturiser which has almost miraculous effects on your skin. Coconut oil contains fatty acids and Vitamin E which penetrates deep within your skin and makes it super soft.

Massage coconut oil for 2-3 times a day for better results. Virgin coconut oil is the best option for preventing stretch marks.

4. Olive oil

how to prevent pregnancy stretch marks

Olive oil can be used both as a prevention and remedy for stretch marks as this oil has a high amount of anti-oxidants and Vitamin E- both of which are necessary for providing nourishment to our skin.

If you want faster results to use extra virgin olive oil and massage it on your abdomen with gentle strokes. It can treat your itchiness due to the stretching of your abdominal skin.

Advice!

Stretch marks once developed takes time to fade. However, regular skin care can make the process of healing faster. There are various ointments and personal care products for treating this problem. By following the measures and advice discussed above, you can definitely prevent pregnancy stretch marks in your body.

If you have already developed stretch marks during your pregnancy then you must consult a dermatologist and choose the best treatment for your problem!

Was this information helpful?

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here