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How to avoid & reduce the formation of stretch marks

Hey, so your pregnant or considering it maybe and you want to avoid stretchmarks and we all know the most common cause of stretchmarks is pregnancy.  So that’s why when I found out I was pregnant I was determined to try my hardest not to get them, one of my first thoughts was stretchmark’s as my mum had them and so did my sisters all from pregnancy, so maybe I should be destined to have them right? Genetics? I mean I believe that to a certain point, but I do think you can reduce your chances. I do have some on my hips and bum from teenage which don’t bother me, and they’ve faded and look very light, but I was still determined to get minimal if I was going to get more of them.

After two full term pregnancies I didn’t get one, thank goodness. But I do think I would have if I hadn’t of done all the stuff I’m going to tell you, by the way there is never a time to late to start these tips as even in the last trimester these will still help to stop and minimise.

1 Use an oil whether it be coconut, bio or palmers whatever you like every morning and evening. My first pregnancy I did this from the start religiously with my second I started after the first trimester so month 4. Massage this into bump, bum, inner thighs breasts and lower back for just a minute or so. This alone will not avoid stretchmark’s no matter what the bottle says. It just helps relieve the itchiness which happens when the skin stretches, I got super itchy during month 7-9, but DO NOT scratch just apply the oil if you start feeling itchy. Carry a little oil with you. So, the oil will make your skin feel more elasticated and hydrated from the outside.

2 This tip is so important, hydration from the inside. Aim to drink two-three litres a day without fail. It’s not as bad as you think and after a month or, so you will gradually just get use to it.  You will be running to the toilet every twenty minutes but that’s very normal and a small price to pay plus your body will certainly thank you. I would constantly have a bottle of water with me where ever I went. Sip it, down 500mls a time what ever way to get 2 to 3 litres in every 24 hours, try to avoid an hour before bed just sip throughout the night. If you don’t like the taste of water, then mix it up with a light cordial. This will help you out with the dreaded constipation, blotchy skin and headache also.

3 Eating healthy to nourish your skin from the inside and to control your weight so you gain steadily. So of course, you aren’t going to go on a strict diet and try and lose weight pregnant but eating healthy is a must 80% of the time. You don’t need to increase your calories during pregnancy until the final trimester and even then, its just 200 extra more. If you are having multiple babies, then talk to your health professional.  Your diet must include lots of vitamin c to help build collagen so lots of bright and colourful fruits and vegetables. My favourites were red currents and kiwis. During both pregnancy’s vegetables repulsed me so I had to mix them up with a gravy, they repulsed me so much I didn’t think I would ever go back to liking them again but luckily that didn’t happen and after the babies I went back to normal.  Vitamin E is essential for healthy skin so lots of nuts and sunflower seeds and avocados. Try getting some zinc in there too so lots of lean meat and lentils. Of course, enjoy the diet you had before pregnancy just add these or replace to get them in.

4 Exercise where ever possible so do more walking instead of driving, take the stairs instead of lifts. If you worked out before falling pregnant at the gym then continue, only if you are having a healthy pregnancy. Talk to your health professional about concerns and whether exercise is ok for you. I designed my own pregnancy workout plan and used it up until 8 months that helped to have a plan to go by. Working out helped me with fatigue and nausea too.  Of course, there will be days you don’t feel like going while pregnant, believe me I know, but remember once you get there you will feel happy you made it even if your work out lasts for 10 minutes.                          

I also did pregnancy yoga with my first baby which I loved and everyone there was experiencing pregnancy too so it’s nice to know others can relate to how you are feeling.

Here are some other tips

  • Use a pregnancy pillow under your bump when laying on your side to hold the weight of your baby.
  • Don’t shower too hot, keep the temperature just warm to keep moisture in your skin.
  • Wear good supportive maternity bras even to bed. This helps more than you know and some of them are very comfortable. Just pick the right one.
  • And finally, if you do gain a stretchmark keep it moistened with oil to help it fade.

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