Genetics will play a big part in whether you get stretch marks or not. However, there are ways to prevent them or minimize how severely they affect you. Rapid skin growth causes stretch marks. Improving your skin’s elasticity will help keep stretch marks at bay.
Let’s look at how you can keep your skin soft and supple when you’re pregnant.
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Preventing Stretch Marks during Pregnancy
Water fills every single cell in our body. If you don’t drink enough those cells will become dehydrated. When you drink more water, your cells work better and look better. Nice plump cells can withstand a lot more stretching, and the skin layers won’t tear as easily.
Try to drink at least 8 x 8oz glasses of water a day. If you can give up your vices, try switching to decaf tea, coffee or soda. A great alternative is green tea or wellness tea by Earth Mama Angel Baby. Both contain ingredients with cell healing properties.
2. Healthy Diet
We all know a healthy diet is the best way for your baby to get nutrients. However, the extra vitamins and minerals will improve the condition of your skin. Vitamins E and C are best for improving your skin quality. Foods rich in zinc, gelatin, and omega 3 fatty acids will help prevent stretch marks.
It’s important to regularly eat protein as it helps to repair your skin. We recommend eating more meat, nuts, beans and whole grains. If you feel your diet is lacking due to increased vomiting or lack of appetite, then meet your daily target with a prenatal vitamin. Check out our prenatal vitamin reviews for the best ones.
A great way to keep your skin soft and supple is to moisturize daily. A good stretch mark cream or oil will provide moisture for your skin. It can act as a barrier to stop water escaping. Taut skin can make you itchy, and moisturizers can ease this for you.
Specialist stretch mark creams are designed to absorb deep into the skin and improve its flexibility. It’s best to start using these as soon as you find out you are pregnant. Apply to areas where you easily gain weight such as your tummy, breasts, bottom, and thighs.
4. Fish Oil
A prenatal fish oil can improve your skin and prevent stretch marks. Omega 3 Fatty acids help to regenerate your skin and prevent inflammation. They also help keep your cells hydrated by holding onto water and getting rid of toxins. Fatty acids are found in some dietary sources such as oily fish and dark leafy vegetables.
5. Weight Watch
Stretch marks appear where there is rapid skin growth. The under layers tear when the skin is constantly stretching. It happens in places where you are more likely to gain fat. Tackle this by maintaining a healthy weight in your pregnancy. Don’t fall into the ‘eating for two’ trap.
For sensible weight gain during pregnancy check out the US health department recommendations by clicking here.
6. Exercise More
Regular exercise can help improve your skin’s elasticity. A 30-minute aerobic session will boost your circulation. Increased blood flow will bring nutrients to your skin cells and remove the toxins. Exercise can also help you maintain a healthy weight in pregnancy and slow down fat storage.
High impact sports may be problematic by the time you reach the second trimester. Try taking up low impact sports such as swimming or yoga. These activities will also help you to prepare your body for labor. Women who exercise in pregnancy take less time to lose any pregnancy weight gain once your baby is born.
7. Sun Protection
Sun exposure is well known to damage even the best of skin quickly. Pregnancy makes your skin much more sensitive to harmful UVA and UVB rays. Excessive sun exposure leads to dehydrated cells with reduced function. These cells are much more prone to damage.
Use a good sun screen with a minimum SPF 30, during sunny days. Alternatively, cover up, stay in the shade and avoid the sun between 11 am to 3 pm.
8. Avoid Hot Water
We apologize if you love a good long bath soak or shower. Hot water is the enemy of healthy, hydrated skin. In fact it can cause dry skin, which is much more likely to develop stretch marks. Lack of water in the skin cells will cause them to collapse. The heat can also cause excessive itching to the skin.
Try to keep the water temperature no higher than 98.6ºF (37ºC). This can cause baby to overheat as they are always 1ºC warmer than you are.
Regular skin brushing will help you remove dead skin layers and boost your circulation. A good quality skin brush will smooth out the top layers of skin. This can help to minimize the appearance of existing stretch marks.
Try to focus on areas which are problematic for you. Brush upwards in a circular motion, toward the heart. Dry brushing can also help you distribute fat sore around the body. It also improves your lymph system to remove more toxins from the skin. Be careful not to damage your breast or nipples as this area is more sensitive when pregnant.
Massage is a great way to boost circulation to your skin. It’s a great way for you and your partner to bond or pampering by a professional. You can also use oils to with skin friendly benefits. The best oils to use are Chamomile or neroli, and known as safe to use in pregnancy. Massage can help you to relax, de-stress and sleep better.