Stretch marks – and what you can do about them

August 05, 2011 3:11 AM by

Being an expectant mom is an incredible time in any woman's life, and many are happy that they can carry memories of their pregnancies with them forever. For some, however, these reminders of being with a child can get a little too literal. If you don't want to end up with pesky stretch marks at the end of your pregnancy, there are some things you can do while you're expecting to help minimize your odds of ending up with permanent scarring.

One way to prevent stretch marks is by spreading your weight gain out over your pregnancy. While some of this may be beyond your control – that baby's growing on its own, after all – you can help by not pigging out on ice cream and cheeseburgers every chance you get. A 25-pound weight gain over nine months will be much gentler on your skin than a 50-pound weight gain over the first four months, so keep your diet and exercise routine going even while you're pregnant to prevent too much stretching.

When it comes to eating, you should also be sure that you're getting the right nutrients. Pregnancy puts a strain on your body, and if you're not taking care to give yourself all the vitamins you need, you won't have the extra energy to heal those stretch marks. Make sure you drink plenty of water and get lots of silica, vitamins A, C and E, zinc and lean protein. These can help increase your skin's elasticity, which will have you back in that bikini in no time.

For some women, stretch marks are unavoidable. If you try your best to prevent them but wind up with silvery scars anyway, all you can do is embrace them. They serve as a reminder of your body's incredible, life-giving power, so wear 'em proudly.

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