Turned off by stretch marks? Here are some tips to prevent them

June 26, 2014 12:00 AM by

Although you're still in the early stages of your pregnancy, you've probably had a few questions come to mind – "How big am I going to get?" "How bad is labor going to hurt?"

But there's likely another topic that you're probably thinking about that's leading to an entirely new set of questions – stretch marks.

"Is there anyway to prevent them?" "Can I make them go away if I do get them?

Stretch marks are caused by rapid stretching of the skin. While most commonly associated with pregnancy, they can also be experienced in other situations such as rapid growth or weight loss.

They can also be influenced by hormonal changes that are running rampant throughout your body during pregnancy.

Tips for preventing stretch marks

  • Remember that oils and creams are your friend. If you want to prevent stretch marks, you'll need to keep your skin moisturized so that it's more flexible and pliable with your growing belly. There's no way to avoid gaining weight during this time, so you're skin is going to stretch, it's just a matter of how well you're able to prepare it before the stretching begins. Some of the best oils and creams you can get to put on your skin and keep it moisturized are cocoa butter, coconut oil, almond oil and bio oil. Try to apply it at least twice a day and any time you bathe to stay supple and soft.
  • You should already be drinking a lot of water to keep yourself hydrated and ready for the challenge your body is going to take on with incubating a baby for the next nine months. Water can also help to keep you skill cells more plump and less susceptible to developing stretch marks.
  • Although easier said than done, you should really try to avoid gaining too much weight during your pregnancy if you want to stave off stretch marks. The recommended weight gain for someone who was of normal weight pre-pregnancy is between 25 and 35 pounds and 15 to 25 pounds for someone who was overweight before they were pregnant, so really try to stay within those guidelines.
  • There are no miracle products that will help your stretch marks go away if you do happen to get them during your pregnancy. They never really "go away," but you can reduce their appearance by regularly using creams and oils to soften the skin.

If you do get them, don't always treat them as a negative part of your body and something that needs to be hidden – they're your "mommy stripes" and you earned them. Without them, you wouldn't have been able to grow a healthy baby.

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