Stretch marks are more common than you think
They can be genetic or appear during pregnancy. Many people don’t want to talk about them and getting rid of them is hard. They are very common in the general population and often appear on the belly, legs, thighs, hips, and bottom. Yes, we are talking about the everlasting problem with stretch marks.
Although people of all walks of life can develop stretch marks, they are quite common in pregnant women. Expecting moms, apart from their changing schedule, are also faced with many physical changes. These beauty marks start appearing somewhere around 13 weeks to 21 weeks pregnant, and almost 90% of all expecting women get these pink, red or purple streaks. If your mother had stretch marks, then you’re more likely to have them too. Women with lighten complexion develop pinkish stretch marks, while darker-skinned women get stretch marks that are lighter.
What causes stretch marks during pregnancy?
Stretch marks can appear when your body grows faster than your skin, causing the elastic fibers under the skin to break. As expecting women gain weight rapidly, they are more prone to getting stretch marks. According to experts, healthy pregnant women should gain 25-35 pounds. It’s suggested that pregnant women try to stay within this range and to also gain weight slowly instead of speedily. In other words, how quickly you gain stretch marks are as important as how much you gain. Moreover, you’re also more likely to get stretch marks if you’re carrying multiples, carrying a big baby, or have excess amniotic fluid.
Tips to help prevent stretch marks
Even if you have a family member that has stretch marks, or have already developed them, there are some things you can do to reduce your risk and treat the stretch marks you already have on your body.
- Watch your diet. As previously mentioned you should control your diet and put on weight slowly and steadily. Follow the general recommendations for caloric intake during pregnancy and remember that eating for two doesn’t mean eating as twice as much. Eat a healthy diet and try to get some exercise to manage your weight. Avoid overeating and keep cravings at bay. Whenever you feel like munching on something, have a little of the food you have cravings for, and mix it with a piece of fruit or vegetable.
- Drink plenty of liquids. Drinking plenty of liquids will keep your skin hydrated and soft, leading to less stretch mark. The daily recommendation of water intake for women is 72 ounces. Make sure you drink plenty of water and herbal teas, but avoid consuming coffee which can increase your chances of developing stretch marks. In addition, it’s also advisable to eat watery vegetables and fruits. Try eating celery, salads with cucumbers, honeydew, watermelon, strawberries, and other fruits and veggies that contain water.
- Incorporate a nutrient-rich diet. Reduce the development of stretch marks by incorporating nutrient-rich foods in your diet. Eating foods that are rich in vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, zinc, and protein, will boost your skin health. Include foods packed with antioxidants such as strawberries, blueberries and spinach, as well as Vitamin E-rich foods like broccoli, avocados, seeds, and nuts. Foods that are rich with Vitamin A include red bell peppers, sweet potatoes, carrots, and mango. Moreover, don’t forget to include food that is rich in Omega-3 and 6 that will make your skin glow, including eggs, nuts, fish oil, fish, and oysters.
- Exercise. Regular exercise is a win-win for the mom and the baby. The safest and most productive activities are swimming, brisk walking, indoor stationary cycling, yoga, step or elliptical machines, and low-impact aerobics. Staying active will help you lose a few pounds and feel better about yourself. Studies show that active women might put on 7 pounds less than pregnant women who don’t exercise. Moreover, exercise helps retain your skin’s elasticity by improving circulation.
- Treat your stretch marks. If you couldn’t prevent stretch marks from developing, you can still try to minimize their appearance and make them less noticeable. Try applying coconut oil after a shower to keep the moisture in. Coconut oil is well-known for its ability to nourish the skin. It’s also recommended that the use of oils can help improve skin elasticity and prevent stretch marks. These oils include olive oil, vitamin E oil, essential oils, and castor oil. Stretch mark serum is also exceptional at moisturizing your body and very effective for preventing and fading stretch marks. For an even more comfortable and healthy pregnancy, try a maternity support belt that helps maintain proper posture and prevent stretch marks. Pregnancy belts are designed to assist moms-to-be who wish to stay active from their first trimester through the postpartum recovery period.