5 Ways To Prevent Pregnancy Stretch Marks
Roughly 9 in 10 women will see the appearance of pregnancy stretch marks after the pregnancy. Age, rapid weight gain, genetics and daily routines are just a few factors that contribute to the appearance of marks, and unfortunately, no one is immune to getting them. There are ways, however, to prevent excessive lines and minimize their appearance later.
What causes pregnancy stretch marks?
Skin cells are always at work and as the body grows, the new skin is created. Elastin, the protein that gives skin its elastic-like properties, is damaged during extremely rapid tissue growth, and since new skin isn’t able to regenerate as quickly, stretch marks appear.
A few additional characteristics that lead to stretch marks include:
Getting pregnant later in life, starting in your 30s
Bursts of weight gain.
It runs in the family
Are stretch marks preventable?
No cream, oil, or treatment is able to stop stretch marks 100% in their tracks. There are some women, however, who do elude them. The key is to prevent the extreme cases with early care.
These 5 tips will help you prevent and/or reduce stretch marks naturally.
1. Drink lots of water.
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Hydration is paramount for healthy skin. Remember, the skin is the largest organ in the body. When you drink the recommended amount of water each day, not only do you moisturize your skin from the inside out, but it helps remove impurities that may cause marks, blemishes, and lines. Water also helps you feel fuller, and may curb snacking binges that contribute to excessive weight gain.
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2. Massage oils onto your skin, especially areas where stretch marks are likely to occur.
Olive oil, avocado oil and coconut oil, are all great natural alternatives to use on skin. One option is to massage oils directly onto your belly, thighs and chest and remove in the shower. A second is to soak in a bath infused with oil and other skin softeners. Essential oils that have been diluted are also great and hold a number of healthy properties.
It is important to check with your doctor before using essential oils, as some may be irritating. One of the best choices for skin health is lavender. And on a fun side note, the aroma may help ease morning sickness.
3. Apply aloe vera.
Aloe can be purchased at the store, but the best way to get aloe gel is directly from the source. When you slice open the plant’s leaves, the gel can be squeezed out. Aloe gel can be applied to skin a few times a day and may provide relief for the itchy, dry skin that can lead to stretch marks. While studies suggest that aloe is safe to use topically during pregnancy, it is not recommended for oral consumption.
4. Daily exfoliation will help remove old, dead skin, so new skin can shine through.
Exfoliation can help speed up the process of skin regeneration by removing the layer of dead skin cells. For a natural exfoliator, try a sugar or coffee scrub. A sugar scrub is made up of 1 part sugar, half part natural oil, and a few drops of lemon juice. A coffee scrub is similar but substitutes sugar with used coffee grounds.
5. A healthy diet will help regulate weight gain.
Gaining a healthy amount of weight, slowly and throughout your pregnancy will be one of your best bets against stretch marks. So despite the fun in blaming our diets on “feeding for two”, continue eating for one and include a healthy combination of protein, carbs, healthy fats and vitamins. Consuming the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables will also help to absorb essential minerals and keep hydrated.
A little mindfulness can go a long way.
The best ways to naturally prevent stretch marks involve being healthy, inside and out. And in case they are inevitable, it’s always good to love the skin you’re in and continue treating it well.