Avoid Stretch Marks During Pregnancy
Among other things, researching ways we can avoid stretch marks during pregnancy is probably on the list of second and third trimester concerns. Those pesky streaks that appear on the growing breasts, belly, thighs, and butt make many people gasp at first site. Donning these signs of motherhood is something we truly all hope to avoid, but can we be proactive in avoiding them?
Just search “stretch marks” and you will be inundated with links to causes, treatment, pics, and stories from all over the globe! All walks of life and races are affected by striae gravidarum. Striae what? Stretch marks! They occur most commonly during a first pregnancy, but have been known to occur for the first time in a second pregnancy.
It’s estimated that approximately 50-90% of pregnant women have stretch marks to some degree.
So, what’s the skinny? Is there a way to avoid stretch marks during pregnancy?
The short answer is yes and no. Stretch marks are caused by rapid stretching of the skin. A possible lack of or reduction of the Collagen within your body is thought to be a factor as well. So, of all the times in a person’s life that they can develop stretch marks, pregnancy seems like the most likely. There may be a genetic link that makes one more likely than another to get them. However, that alone is definitely not the end-all be-all. Cortisone in the pregnant body also weakens the elastic-like fibers within the skin. Also, sudden and rapid weight gain can play a bigger role in the appearance of these purple tigress stripes.
So, by simply being pregnant it means you may see these little buggers make their debut! It sucks, but there are a few things you can do that will help you be healthier overall and may help you avoid stretch marks in pregnancy.
- Start pregnancy at healthiest possible weight that you can for your age and height. I know, sometimes that just isn’t the way it is. That’s okay I hope you love yourself anyway. Growing an entire human is pretty damn remarkable.
- Make healthy diet choices throughout most of your pregnancy. I say “most” meaning the norm. Please, don’t let worry of stretch marks stop you from throwing caution to the wind now and again to indulge in those crazy pregnant cravings!
- Stay active. That will mean different things for different people and depend on your level of activity before pregnancy. You’ll also want to have repeat discussions and follow any special recommendations or restrictions from your doctor. For most people swimming and walking are great activities that help to keep your body in motion and mind relaxed!
- Stay hydrated! Again, water if your friend! While this isn’t proven to reduce stretch marks directly it is proven to improve the body’s overall function and reduce itchiness during pregnancy. Plus, the more you drink the more you urinate and the quicker the baby’s amniotic fluid is cleaned out and replenished.
There are so many things people tell you “should” avoid during pregnancy: coffee, cold cuts, soft-serve ice cream, sushi, and the list goes on.
Avoiding stretch marks is like avoiding a new food sensitivity. You don’t know you have it until BAM one day it’s just there. You can do your best to avoid it, but if you don’t know you’ll ever develop stretch marks you’re probably worrying yourself unnecessarily.
As you progress through your pregnancy try not to fret to much over stretch marks.
Just because your mama and your mama’s mama has them doesn’t mean you’ll get them, and vice versa. Be proactive, by following the above recommendations and focus on the any enjoyable parts of your pregnancy that you can. With the majority of women who have stretch marks you can give society’s idea of normal two middle fingers and breathe a sigh of relief, they usually fade quite a bit with a little time. You’ll also be in the majority and join millions of women who don the tigress stripes of motherhood!
Happy Birth & Parenting!