Stretch marks are one among a few things that we women dread about when it comes to pregnancy and childbirth. The common areas of stretch marks are your belly and breasts. They can also appear on buttocks, thighs and arms. If you are lighter skinned they get more easily camouflaged than if you are darker skinned.
What Causes Stretch Marks ?
Though skin is elastic, when it gets stretched too much and too soon, the skin breaks. Stretch marks are caused when your body grows much faster that the skin. So gaining too much weight and too soon causes it. They are also attributed to the elasticity of an individual’s skin which depends on genetics. So, if your mother did have stretch marks during her pregnancy, it’s highly likely that you will get them too. The fact also remains that the amount of skin around your belly will not be equipped to accommodate the inches of growth it experiences, especially in the last few months. No matter how elastic your skin around the belly, it does undergo a lot of stress. Around 90% of women get stretch marks during pregnancy and though you might not be able to totally avoid it, here are tips to minimise them.
Tips To Minimize Stretch Marks
Tip 1: Nutrition & Hydration
Foods rich in gelatin, omega 3 and 6, vitamins A,C and E, collagen like organic vegetables, meats, eggs and whole milk are both beneficial for skin elasticity and for healthy babies. During pregnancy your body has an increased demand for hydration as both blood volume increases and there is a demand for amniotic fluid. Your skin also needs to be hydrated for optimal skin elasticity. So, you must drink at least 12 glasses of water a day. Also keeping a healthy pregnancy weight gain will allow for your skin to stretch without breaks.
Tip 2: Topical Creams & Oils
Off the shelf creams made of shea butter, cocoa butter and natural oils keep the skin moist and hydrated. You can also choose natural remedies like coconut oil and almond oil and massage it around your growing belly. This promotes blood circulation and also hydrates your skin keeping it supple.
Tip 3: Belly Support
Wearing gentle compression or support belly bands will counter the baby belly weighing down due to gravity and while giving you comfort, will reduce breaking of skin fibres. Full belly panel maternity pants also work a similar magic.
While you do follow the above tips, there is high probability that you will get stretch marks. They do fade over time and they are not life threatening. They remain as a memory of the bond you shared with your little one in your womb. Practicing yoga and pranayama breathing techniques, will keep you calm and centred during pregnancy.
Embrace your motherhood with positivity and happiness !