The rigors and stress of pregnancy leave behind its signature on the body of the woman in the form of stretch marks that often remain with her throughout her life, though they fade with time to a certain extent. The mom-to-be already has enough on her plate in the form of anxiety, frequent urination, morning sickness, weight gain and other problems, and of course does not want the ugly stretch marks added to the list. The good news however is that following certain tips can help prevent stretch marks.
As the baby grows inside the uterus, the skin of the abdomen is stretched beyond its limit, which tears the supporting layers of the skin leading to thread like scars making their appearance. Initially they appear as dark lines, either red or purple in color, but later, fade away slowly leaving behind pale lines on the abdomen, thighs, and breasts. When it comes to stretch marks, prevention is better than cure, as there is no easy way to get rid of them once they make their appearance.
Factors beyond control: The one factor that influences stretch marks that cannot be changed is the genetic factor, which is known to highly facilitate its appearance. Other factors beyond the control of the pregnant woman are, carrying more than one baby, huge size of the baby, and excessive amniotic fluid present in the sac. Fortunately many of the factors that cause stretch marks are in the control of the woman and she can avert it by following certain preventive methods.
Control weight gain
Weight is inevitable during pregnancy, but the pregnant woman can control putting on weight too quickly or excessively. Quick weight gain does not allow the skin to adjust to the stretch slowly, thus bringing about tear in the supporting layers. Gradual and more consistent weight gain, that does not take place in spurts, and in the recommended amount, is going to prevent stretch marks to great extent.
Follow healthy diet
The notion that the woman will have to eat for two contributes a lot to weight gain and stretch marks. Healthy diet not only nourishes the skin but it also keeps tab on the weight. The extra calories needed for nourishing the growing baby should come from healthy food, not the fatty and unhealthy diet. Drinking plenty of water prevents dehydration, and helps in keeping it supple and elastic which prevents stretch marks.
Massage the skin
Massage is a good way to keep stretch marks away, since it improves blood circulation which in turn promotes growth of skin tissue. The new tissue will support stretching of skin without tearing. Body brush, wash cloth, massage glove and soft exfoliating rub are excellent massagers for improving blood circulation in skin.
Creams which contain alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) which are produced with organic plant products are good for elasticity and suppleness of skin.
Using good moisturizer, Vitamin E oil, almond oil, for massage which is combined with diet consisting vitamin A, vitamin C, silica and zinc prevents stretch marks from appearing.
Other products known to help in prevention of stretch marks are baby oil, cocoa butter, wheat germ oil, and coconut oil.