Stretch marks are an unfortunate result of pregnancy for many women. While some women consider them battle scars and aren’t bothered at all by them, other women are more concerned about how to prevent them. Some women are more genetically predisposed to stretch marks; others are not. For many women, even the most dedicated stretch mark prevention regimen may not work.
Ninety percent of all pregnant women will develop stretch marks. The medical term for this condition is striae distensae and it usually occurs on the abdomen; however, theses marks can also occur on the thighs, buttocks, and breast. The degree to which stretch marks occur will depend upon the elasticity of the skin, the weight of the woman, how much weight is gained while pregnant, and whether she is predisposed to such markings.
While there is no surefire way to prevent stretch marks, there are a few things you can do to help lower the severity of them. Here are a few of the most commonly recommended ways to help lessen the chances of pregnancy stretch marks:
Try to gain only the amount of weight needed to have a healthy baby. The more weight you gain, the more likely you are to develop stretch marks. When the skin stretches rapidly – as it does with pregnancy – you have a much greater chance of developing stretch marks.
Try some of the oils and creams available over the counter to help prevent and reduce stretch marks. Those lotions with cocoa butter are often highly regarded for lessening the appearance of stretch marks. However, there is no medical research to prove that any of the creams work. Even if they aren’t effective in preventing stretch marks, you may notice a significant reduction in the itchy feeling that may accompany your growing belly.
Massage may help as well. This can be a nice quiet time that you and your partner can share before the arrival of your baby. Couple the massage with some of the creams mentioned above to increase your chances of reducing stretch marks.
Try using warm compresses on your belly before applying the creams to help with the absorption of the creams. These compresses will also feel wonderful on your growing belly.
Drink lots of water. Drinking eight or more eight ounce glasses of water every day will help to hydrate your skin. This will, in turn, help your skin to maintain its elasticity, which will help reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
Eat a diet high in nutrients such as zinc and vitamins C, D, and A. You also need to ensure you have a diet that is high in protein so that it’s in top stretch mark fighting shape.
Continue your stretch mark treatment plan even after you’ve had the baby. There are several creams on the market nowadays that claim to reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Even if they don’t provide the results you dream of, they can certainly make your skin soft and supple.