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How to Avoid Stretch Marks from Pregnancy

Updated on February 4, 2013
Maintaining a consistent routine will help you avoid stretch marks from pregnancy
Maintaining a consistent routine will help you avoid stretch marks from pregnancy | Source

The most important thing you can do to avoid getting stretch marks from pregnancy is to start a prevention routine early and be consistent with it. In order to prevent stretch marks, you need to strengthen your skin and increase its elasticity. Your skin elasticity is what allows your skin to grow and stretch and then to later regain its form. It takes some time to increase your skin elasticity, so my suggestion is to start a routine as soon as you find out that you're pregnant. Congratulations, by the way.

Newborn babies are miraculous
Newborn babies are miraculous | Source

It's corny, but true. Our skin is truly amazing. It has to stretch rapidly to compensate for the growth of your baby. After your baby is born, it has to readjust even faster. It is pretty awesome the our skin has this capability. Not to mention that you have a living being inside your tummy. That in and of itself is pretty impressive. Stretch marks are really a small issue in the grand scheme of things. I think we need to be more appreciative of the mothers who sport stretch marks and the miracle that those stretch marks represent. There. That's all the corny rants you get from me in this article.

Moisturizing and Exfoliating to Avoid Stretch Marks

Even though pregnancy is beautiful, stretch marks are one of the unfortunate side-effects.The rapid stretching and growing of the skin may cause tiny tears, which ultimately become scars, or stretch marks. For this reason, the best way to avoid or reduce stretch marks during pregnancy is to adopt a prevention routine. When your skin is elastic and toned, your chances of getting stretch marks are greatly reduced.

Not only is it common to get stretch marks on your belly during pregnancy, but also on your sides, hips and breasts. It is important to remember that you treat all of these areas, not just your belly.

Adopting a prevention routine involves time and consistency. Get in the habit of applying a good cream or oil at least twice daily. Another important part of a prevention routine involves massage.

Massage may not prevent stretch marks entirely. However, it may greatly improve the severity of them. If you combine pregnancy massage with the frequent use of oil or cream during your pregnancy, you may avoid getting stretch marks altogether, or their visibility will be greatly reduced.

Creams or Oils that Help Prevent Stretch Marks

NOW Sweet Almond Oil, 16-Ounce
NOW Sweet Almond Oil, 16-Ounce

I simply used almond oil for the duration of my pregnancy, which worked great for me. If you're worried about, you can purchase a cream that's specifically formulated to prevent stretch marks.


What Oil or Cream Should You Use?

You can use fancy stretch marks creams. These tend to be high in vitamins and nutrients that strengthen skin cells and improve elasticity. Some women swear by them. Personally, I found during my pregnancy that a high-quality almond oil was enough to prevent me from getting stretch marks on my belly. Coconut oil is also a great option. Use a cream or oil that is high in vitamin E, which is essential for skin elasticity. Apply your cream or oil of choice at least twice daily, more often if you have the chance.

Don't forget to treat all areas that are susceptible to stretch marks, including your hips, thighs, butt, belly and breasts.

Please note that some oils and creams contain ingredients or herbs that not approved for the use of pregnant women. Please consult your prenatal care physician if you have any questions.

Take advantage of massage while pregnant
Take advantage of massage while pregnant | Source

Indulge in Pregnancy Massage to Avoid Stretch Marks

Massage increases circulation to your skin while toning and improving skin’s elasticity. The skin needs to be very elastic to allow it to stretch without tearing.

I have found that using a body brush is extremely helpful when used to massage the skin to prevent stretch marks. Use a stiff-bristled brush with natural fibers before getting in to the shower every day. Gently brush in an upwards motion starting around your thighs, working your way upwards around your butt, hips and belly. You don’t want to scratch yourself, so start with a very light pressure. It’s OK if your skin is a little pink after brushing. This means the blood is flowing underneath the skin, which is what you want.

Body brushing also helps the skin become stronger and better toned. You’ll feel a big difference in your skin after about a month of consistent brushing. It might be a little uncomfortable to brush as first, but your skin will adjust before long and you'll probably start to enjoy it.

You can also massage the skin while applying your cream or oil. Gently apply your cream or oil and rub in small circles to really get your circulation flowing. You may also want to recruit your partner to do these massages for you so you can lay back, relax, and enjoy the pampering while including your partner in your pregnancy.

Along with the prevention of stretch marks,pregnancy massage has many benefits. It is a safe and alternative method to help relieve the aches and pains related to pregnancy.

But it's so itchy!
But it's so itchy! | Source

Itchy Skin during Pregnancy?

I know, I've been there. It's itchy because your skin is stretching, growing and repairing itself. Take it as a sign to use more cream or oil. If you get unbearable itches, use your cream or oil and rub vigorously. You also might want to try using your cream or oil with a washcloth for itch relief. Or do another round of body brushing and then apply a liberal amount of cream or oil.

Continue Your Skin Care Routine Postpartum

Continuing your routine even after your baby is born will help your skin to shrink back to normal. It will also help reduce the visibility of stretch marks if you did happen to get some during your pregnancy.

Staying consistent with your routine will help improve your skin elasticity or the ability of your skin to grow and then regain it's shape without scarring.
Staying consistent with your routine will help improve your skin elasticity or the ability of your skin to grow and then regain it's shape without scarring. | Source

Time and Consistency Will Help to Avoid Stretch Marks

The most important thing when avoiding stretch marks during pregnancy is to start early and stay consistent. The earlier you start, the better prepared your skin will be for the months of growth to come. If you get a late start, that’s OK too. When the stretch marks are red and purple is the best time to try to help them heal in order to reduce their appearance.

Sometimes it’s hard to tell if all this work is worth it because you don't notice if it's making a difference. But stick with it. For me, I know my routine worked because I didn't get stretch marks on my belly, but I did get them on areas that I neglected to take care of like my hips and breasts.

Don’t get discouraged if you do develop some stretch marks. In all likelihood, they will diminish over time. Also, if you have been consistent with a prevention routine during your entire pregnancy, it is likely that the severity of your stretch marks is a lot less than what it would have been if you hadn't taken care of your skin. There are also things such as laser treatments that may help reduce the appearance of stretch marks.

By using cream or oils and plenty of massage during your pregnancy, you may be able to avoid or greatly reduce the appearance of stretch marks caused by pregnancy. Stay consistent with your routine and, most of all, enjoy your pregnancy.


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