Stretch marks are one of the irritating side effects of pregnancy! Just after you’ve passed (hopefully!) the worst of the morning sickness period, it can be a little disheartening to notice those red and silvery lines appearing. Though I’m sure that your main concern is to nurture and ultimately deliver a healthy baby, you probably also want to try and prevent your stretch marks, and you are not alone in feeling that way. Thankfully, there are a few tricks you can try which should give your skin more resilience and lower your chances of getting stretch marks.
The current recommendations from the Institute of Medicine for pregnant women it to drink 10 cups (2.4 liters) of fluid per day. Ideally, this should be 10 cups of water, but juices, thin soups and teas all count towards it. Drinking enough can be easier said than done when you are pregnant and battling morning sickness, but try to drink little and often By keeping hydrated, you are not only benefiting your baby and preventing nasty urinary tract infections, but also keeping your skin supple. This means it is more elastic and able to stretch around your blossoming baby bump.
Foods that are rich in Omega-3, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals are especially good for your skin, providing it with the nourishment it needs to give it more resilience. This includes oily fish, nuts, dark chocolate, fruit and vegetables. Eating healthily will also help you manage your weight gain better. Realistically you will put on a few pounds. Experts suggest a woman of healthy weight should expect to gain between 25-35lbs (11.3-15.8kg), but by gaining weight gradually rather than suddenly, your skin will have more time to be able to adapt and less likely to form stretch marks.
You can help your skin stay hydrated from the outside as well as from inside! There are many creams, lotions and oils that are designed to nourish your skin and moisturize it to prevent stretch marks. Plus, you can enjoy massaging them in (or getting your baby’s daddy to massage it in). You can increase how effective these creams are going to be by starting to use moisturizers early, before your bump begins to show, and continuing regularly the whole way through your pregnancy and even after you deliver.
You may find that products containing cocoa butter and aloe vera are the most effective, and they smell great too! On the other hand, if you are concerned about chemicals, there are some 100% natural moisturizers you can use too:
- Olive oil – rich in antioxidants and compounds which facilitate your skin’s natural healing process. It can really soothe any skin itches you have too!
- Aloe vera – renowned for its healing properties. It contains antioxidants, minerals and fatty acids. You can squeeze the gel straight out of an aloe leave and onto your skin.
- Coconut oil – contains natural vitamin E and fatty acids and gives you long-lasting hydration. It has a gentle fragrance and feels silky on your skin, rather than oily.
Overall the most important thing to remember is that if you can’t get rid of your stretch marks, they are a proud reminder of the amazing phenomenon that your body has achieved. They are perfectly natural and harmless, and up to 90% of pregnant ladies get stretch marks after their 6th or 7th month of pregnancy, so you are not alone.
If you are keen to find out more about the products that can prevent and reduce your stretch marks, check out the reviews we have written here. We have discussed what we consider to be the best stretch mark removal products on the market, with a range of price tags, on our website.