Congratulations on your pregnancy!
During this time, you may be self-conscious about the way you look, as your body, diet and daily routine are all adapting to make way for your baby.
One dreaded lasting impression of pregnancy is stretch marks. Unfortunately, between 75 and 90 percent of women develop stretch marks during pregnancy.
pregnancy stretch marks
Stretch marks are common during or after pregnancy, due to the drastic weight change and the skin around the abdomen stretching out to accommodate a growing belly. A contributing factor is the hormonal changes in the body during pregnancy.
The unsightly marks typically appear on your stomach as well as breasts, thighs and buttocks, especially during the second and third trimesters.
prevent pregnancy stretch marks
Here are some key tips to prevent pregnancy stretch marks.
1. Moisturize Your Skin
You must also use a moisturizer to hydrate the skin on your abdominal area, as well as any other areas where you notice stretch marks developing.
moisturize your skin to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy
Coconut oil, cocoa butter, almond oil, shea butter and wheat germ oil are popular and effective choices to keep your skin moisturized during pregnancy. These oils are rich in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and support the regeneration of new tissues and healthy skin cells.
It is recommended to moisturize your skin in the morning after bathing and again at night. If your skin itches, moisturize that area more often.
Rub the oil of your choice on the affected area, then massage gently using circular motions so the oil penetrates deep into the skin.
Another option is to apply fresh aloe vera gel on the areas prone to stretch marks.
2. Watch Your Weight
Another way you can prevent stretch marks is by maintaining a healthy weight, despite the added pounds from the baby. During pregnancy, you’ll obviously gain weight over a relatively brief period of time. It is normal to gain about 22 to 28 pounds during pregnancy.
watch your weight to prevent pregnancy stretch marks
But you must avoid rapid and unhealthy weight gain, which can cause your skin to stretch more and make any stretch marks more prominent.
You should be eating more calories than you did before you were pregnant, but not twice as many. Also, the calories should come from nutritious foods, not fatty ones, to help ensure gradual weight gain.
Follow a healthy diet and exercise regimen as directed by your doctor to help manage your weight.