How to Prevent and Minimize Stretch Marks
- August 21, 2019
- by Melissa Lawrence
One of the many joys of pregnancy includes stretch marks – just kidding. Let’s be serious: when pregnant, most of us worry about getting stubborn stretch marks that won’t leave our body when the baby does. Yet do not fear! Healthy remedies to prevent and reduce stretch marks can really make a difference, and when it comes to the prevention piece you want to start right when you first learn that you are carrying a baby. Here are a few ideas, and please weigh in with your own tips.
Drink Tons of Water
Pregnant women need to hydrate constantly both for their own health and that of the baby, and good thing too since hydration helps prevent stretch marks. Why? Well, quite simply: drinking a lot of water, herbal teas, and other healthy fluids helps keep your skin soft; and soft skin is much less inclined to develop stretch marks than dry skin. Avoid caffeinated beverages like coffee and soda, which drain water out of your body and dehydrate your skin. Make sure to have a stainless-steel or other safe bottle on hand at all times (your new best friend!) and fill it with ice cubes and water. You can even throw in a splash of lemon juice and aloe for some added nutrients and refreshment.
Treat Stretch Marks Right When They Appear
Early detection matters when it comes to treating stretch marks. As soon as you notice a new mark appearing, take action! Stretch mark creams and ointments can be found at most drug stores and online. Sample a few brands and then use them frequently and consistently. These creams and ointments can help the marks fade early on, before they grow in size and get darker. I actually applied stretch mark cream to my belly every morning and night during each pregnancy and I do think the consistency of this ritual helped a lot.
Vitamin C also works great for preventing and minimizing stretch marks, because it helps your body produce collagens. Found in the connective tissues of your skin, collagens boost elasticity and skin health. Incorporating more vitamin C into your diet can help your skin stretch better with pregnancy and reduce the appearance of stretch marks. You can eat foods high in vitamin C like oranges and juices, or take a vitamin supplement found at most food and drug stores. Your prenatal vitamin might even contain a vitamin C component. In any case, make sure to talk to your doctor before you start taking supplements. Topical vitamin C skin treatments can also really help prevent and reduce stretch marks.
A relatively new method of stretch mark treatment, dry brushing keeps skin soft and supple and keeps your skin cells active, thereby preventing and reducing stretch marks, and also generally aids circulation during pregnancy. Most experts recommend a firm, plant bristle brush for pregnant women looking to try dry brushing. Brush from left to right on your hips, arms, and legs, and in a small, circular motion on your belly. Stimulating your skin cells helps them produce collagens, which as mentioned boost skin elasticity. Dry brushing also opens up your pores to get rid of waste and dead skin cells, and allows for better absorption of lotions or creams afterwards.
There you have it! Keeping your skin hydrated, providing nutrients such as vitamin C, and stimulating your skins’ cells will do wonders to combat stretch marks during and after pregnancy. For more blogs and videos on pregnancy health, go here.
Stay hydrated, smooth, and happy!