Between 75 and 90% of all pregnant women have a high and unpleasant possibility of developing stretch marks. These scars can appear on any area of the body that has expanded along with the belly during pregnancy, such as the upper thighs, buttocks, breasts, and even arms.
Your personal predisposition to stretch marks can be influenced by factors that are beyond your control, namely genetics, skin tone, and skin condition. Fair-skinned women and ladies with dry skin, which tends to be less elastic than well nourished skin, have a greater chance of getting stretch marks. Furthermore, if you’re carrying multiples, carrying a large baby, or are naturally thin, you may have a higher than average chance of having stretch marks.
However, that’s not to say there’s nothing you can do turn your odds around…
Following these guidelines will go a long way in preventing unwanted stretch marks, something every woman, including you, could live without.
1. Maintain a good diet
Excellent nutrition contributes to the strength and health of the body’s largest organ, the skin. A diet containing plenty of fruits, vegetables and leafy greens is a must. Eating protein and foods high in vitamins C and E, zinc and silica promote good tissue growth, thus, helping your skin to stretch more easily and ‘bounce back’ quicker after you’ve given birth.
2. Gain weight the healthy way
Preventing sudden weight gain will allow your skin to stretch at a steady rate without any unexpected surges. When we have an abrupt upsurge in weight, it’s hard for our skin to stretch at a manageable pace.
Use a body brush or wash cloth to massage the areas where you have stretch marks, or where you want to prevent stretch marks from appearing. This will increase circulation to these areas, which helps to prevent scarring.
4. Drink plenty of water
Hydration is important… not only for your and your growing baby’s overall health and well-being, but also for healthy, supple skin.
5. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize
Keep skin liberally and effectively moisturized throughout your pregnancy and after delivery. There are many quality oils and creams available in the market to keep your skin supple and elastic.
The trick with creams and oils is to know how to use them for maximum effect. You should apply the oil shortly after taking a shower. Let it absorb into the skin naturally and apply it again after your next shower. This should be done daily. If your skin tends to be on the dry side, apply the cream twice daily.