Stretch Marks During Pregnancy – What You Need to Know

by Samantha on Tuesday

Unfortunately, weight gain during pregnancy is unavoidable! The body undergoes extreme changes and there are a couple of factors leading to stretch marks during pregnancy. The vast majority of women develop these blemishes during this time but there are a number of things one can do to limit the severity of the marks.

Pregnancy is the number one contributor – Why?

The primary reason for developing stretch marks during pregnancy is that your skin stretches a great deal to accommodate the growing baby. This is especially so from months 6 to 9 when the skin is under the most stress.

An expanding body size is the main but not the only factor leading to stretch marks during pregnancy. During confinement, the body starts producing hormones as part of a wonderful process that prepares the body for childbirth. Without going into graphic detail, these hormonal changes facilitate natural child delivery and everything that goes with it. A side effect of this process is a reduction in the elasticity of the middle layer of the skin which leads to mini ruptures in the skin as the body expands.

Very few women are lucky enough not to develop stretch marks during pregnancy. It is widely believed that genetics and race play a part (some families are more prone to these marks and white women seem to be more at risk than Asian and black women). Of course, anyone who gains weight excessively will most likely develop these marks as well.

Some ways to limit the severity of these marks when expecting a child.

The best way to reduce stretch marks during pregnancy is to keep your skin well moisturized and hydrated with a good skin cream (there are many creams available but YOU MUST ENSURE THEY ARE SAFE FOR USE DURING PREGNANCY). Pay particular attention to areas known to be susceptible to stretch marks (breasts, abdomen, hips, thighs and buttox). A prolonged and gentle massage increases blood flow to these areas which seems to make the skin more resilient and able to handle the big s-t-r-e-t-c-h!

Remember that you will almost certainly still develop stretch marks during pregnancy but regular and gentle massage and application of good topical creams will help to limit the severity. Don’t forget that lifestyle choices like a healthy diet, regular moderate exercise and adequate rest and hydration are vital, not only for a healthy skin, but for your overall well being.

Irrespective of the cause or severity of these marks, be assured that they will fade and become less visible over time. If you take some of the precautionary measures discussed and watch your weight you certainly can limit stretch marks during pregnancy.

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