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How to REALLY avoid pregnancy stretch marks
Nearly drowning in my Google research I came across numerous sites, blogs, companies etc, all offering their products or advice for a pretty penny. I'm not saying that those may not work for you, but why pay an arm and a leg for a product that you are pressured to keep buying because it only lasts about a week. Moisterizers, creams, products that we don't even know if they are good for us and our growing fetus(es).
I've also learned that there are a couple myths about pregnancy stretch marks, which I'll address below. The first one is genetics:
I've been told, and possibly you have also come to believe, that stretch marks are hereditary. If your mother got them, then you will too. Not only did my mother get them, no surprise, she had nine children, but my sister did too. And they got a very generous amount.
Thick skin myth:
Another myth is that if you are one of the unfortunate souls who have thick skin, you are destined for stretch marks when pregnant. To test if you have thick skin just pinch your skin on your lower abdomen. My skin there is about an inch thick, that is considered thick skin.
Those lucky individuals with elastic skin usually have thin skin, which can be less than a centimeter.
Three tips that worked for me
1. Hydration is key
2. Weight gain
3. Organic coconut oil
Hydration is key
I did come across some very wise counsel, which is highly beneficial for every man, woman and child, that of keeping yourself properly hydrated. It's also important to understand how to stay hydrated. The best way, of course, is through drinking at least 8 cups of water per day. And don't count that cup of coffee in the morning or that tea at night.
Some people assume that if they go all day without drinking water but chug down 8 cups at they end of a day, this equals being hydrated. That is not the case. Of course, it's better to get your daily water quota this way as opposed to not at all, however, the proper way to be and stay hydrated is to continually drink water throughout the day. Try to get some water intake at least every couple of hours. You may find that this increases your visits to the bathroom, but your body will regulate itself in a couple of days. And you can take comfort in knowing that it is flushing out all those toxins we absorb throughout the day.
During my second trimester, when I saw that little bump growing, I made sure to drink the popular 8 cups of water a day. Then during my third trimester I upped it to 10-13 cups a day. And yes, with that baby pressure already on the bladder, this added water intake will take some getting used to. But it's worth it.
I am by nature petit framed with my pre-pregnancy weight being about 100 pounds. I didn't have any cravings during my pregnancy, and I'm sure that helped with a gradual weight gain. I did gain about 35 pounds by the end of my 41 weeks of pregnancy, which was gained slow but steady.
It's just as equally important to not gain too much weight as it is to not gain weight too fast. So monitor your diet by eating healthy, nutritious food.
Organic coconut oil
The one product that I admit to using quite religiously was coconut oil. I had a jar of recently expired organic coconut oil, that wasn't tasting as fresh as it should, which I used every day on my stomach. Since I didn't start showing a baby bump until about 4 months I only started using the oil around 5 months. I would faithfully apply the oil every evening before bed. I will caution you that the oil does stain material, and in my case the bed sheets and a few shirts were ruined due to this.
I also used the oil like butter on my morning toast. Ingesting the oil helps to soften the skin from the inside out, and tastes delicious too. It's a good tip to remember to eat natural fats like avocado, salmon, olive oil, etc, during pregnancy which can help to keep your skin from drying. This can be essential especially if you are pregnant during the winter months as the air can be a lot dryer due to heaters.
During my eighth and ninth month I often would apply it twice a day, in the morning and at night. And you can feel free to apply it as often as you like. I also give some credit to the oil keeping me skin from itching when being stretched during the last few months. I hardly suffered at all from scratching, and it's also suggested that scratching can increase the appearance of stretch marks.
I hope you find these tips work for you as they have for me. The only cost in this is the organic coconut oil which you can find for a very reasonable price at your local grocery store.