You’ve probably wondered whether or not you’ll get stretch marks after your baby arrives. Stretch marks can occur in any phase of life, but they are fairly common during pregnancy.
Getting rid of stretch marks completely can be difficult. But some methods can help stretch marks appear less prominently and fade faster.
Five Simple Methods to Avoid Stretch Marks During Pregnancy
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the most effective ways to avoid pregnancy stretch marks.
Stretch marks may develop when your skin pulls apart rapidly due to increased weight gain, such as during pregnancy. Although your body can change dramatically during pregnancy, you can slow down the process by controlling your weight.
- Engage in a light form of exercise every day for 30 minutes
- Focus on a nutrient-dense diet while avoiding sugar and processed foods.
- Abstain from alcohol and smoking.
You can also consult your doctor to determine the cause of your unexpected weight gain or loss while pregnant.
Your skin will stay hydrated and even soften if you drink enough water. Softer skin is less likely to get stretch marks than dry, rough skin.
The current Institute of Medicine guidelines for daily water consumption for men is 3.07 litres and 2.12 litres for women. However, consult your doctor to determine how much water you should drink per day because pregnancy can change your daily water intake goal.
You can stay hydrated by following these tips:
- Always keep a water bottle handy so you can easily sip from it throughout the day.
- Drink herbal tea, juices, or other healthy concoctions to keep yourself hydrated.
- Avoid caffeinated beverages, such as coffee, as they raise your risk of developing pregnancy stretch marks. Even if you drink coffee, limit yourself to two cups per day.
Get Your Nutrients
Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet is essential for your baby’s growth. Furthermore, stretch marks can develop as a result of a nutritional deficiency. Make sure to consume a diet rich in vitamins C and D, zinc, and protein to help prevent stretch marks.
- Vitamin C
Collagen helps to keep your skin elastic and firm. It helps reduce wrinkles but is also critical for avoiding stretch marks.
Vitamin C-rich foods can help with the development of collagen in your skin. Citrus fruits, broccoli, peppers, berries, and potatoes are among these foods.
- Vitamin D
According to one study, maintaining a healthy vitamin D level may lower your risk of stretch marks during pregnancy.
The best way to get vitamin D is through sun exposure. Thus, you can occasionally spend a short time in the sun throughout your pregnancy to get the extra vitamin D you need to prevent stretch marks.
However, it is critical to exercise extreme caution when exposed to direct sunlight, especially if you’re pregnant. Your skin becomes more sensitive during pregnancy. Furthermore, you should avoid becoming overly dehydrated or hot.
As an alternative, you can also consume vitamin D-rich foods such as bread, cereal, and dairy products like milk or yoghurt.
Zinc is a vital nutrient for healthy skin. It helps heal wounds and reduces inflammation. Although there is little evidence that zinc deficiency causes stretch marks, consuming zinc-rich foods like nuts, cereals, whole grains, and fish may help you maintain healthy skin.
Collagen is a protein that helps keep your skin elastic, making it necessary to avoid stretch marks during pregnancy. A lack of protein in your body can disrupt collagen production, increasing your chances of getting stretch marks. Therefore, increase your daily protein intake by including foods like eggs, fish, meat and dairy products like cheese, milk, and yoghurt.
Apply Over-The-Counter Creams or Lotions
Applying daily creams and lotions helps to keep your skin hydrated and healthy, which can help prevent stretch marks from developing in the first place.
However, numerous creams and lotions are available in the market to help minimise their appearance, which might confuse you. To avoid confusion, choose a product with the following ingredients:
- Moisturisers with high levels of vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, or collagen improve skin elasticity, which may help to reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
- Moisturisers containing shea or cocoa butter are hydrating and penetrate deep into the skin, allowing the skin to retain moisture and, as a result, fade the appearance of stretch marks over time.
Your doctor can also help you figure out what’s causing the stretch marks and advise you on treatment options.
Use Natural Remedies for Stretch Marks
Sugar acts as a natural exfoliator. Fine sugar grains can be used gently on the skin to scrub away dead skin cells, reducing stretch marks and smoothing the skin. It also encourages healthy blood circulation, which can hasten the healing process.
To make a DIY sugar scrub to avoid pregnancy stretch marks:
- Mix 1 cup of sugar with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil for moisture and elasticity, honey for tightening and hydrating, and lemon juice for lightening.
- Scrub the mixture gently over the affected skin area for several minutes, then rinse with water.
- Repeat one to three times a week.
- Aloe Vera
Aloe vera has been used for centuries to moisturise and calm skin naturally. The high water and nutritional content of aloe vera also contribute to its healing properties and ability to reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
According to a 2018 study, aloe’s skin-repairing properties can heal burns and wounds as well as prevent stretch marks, a type of scar caused by damaged skin.
How to use:
- If you have an aloe vera plant, cut off a stalk and apply the gooey inside to your stretch marks until they absorb. You can also purchase aloe vera gel from the market.
- Apply it to your stretch marks once a day.
- Coconut oil
Coconut oil is used in every Indian home to treat skin conditions. Coconut oil’s fatty acids can be absorbed easily by the skin. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and stimulates collagen production, which quickens the healing of stretch marks.
A 2015 study showed that gently massaging an oil over your skin may help prevent stretch marks. As a result, a gentle massage with coconut oil can help with stretch marks.
How to Use:
- Thoroughly rub virgin coconut oil onto stretch marks and let your skin absorb the moisture. You can also warm the oil before applying it to improve blood circulation.
- Leave it on overnight or wash it off after 20-30 minutes with lukewarm water.
- Apply once before going to bed each night to see results.
Coconut oil is less likely to irritate your skin. However, if you experience a reaction or prolonged redness, stop using.
Stretch marks are common during pregnancy. Maintaining a healthy weight, drinking plenty of water, applying creams or lotions, eating a nutritious diet, and using natural remedies as soon as the markings appear could help deal with them.
If you’re treating stretch marks caused by pregnancy, check with your doctor to ensure the treatment is safe.
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