Most women love the thought of falling pregnant, but the thought of developing stretch marks on their body is not so appealing. Stretch marks can be a major, worrying concern for many women.
However, there are also mothers who proudly wear their stretch marks as their badge of motherhood and love! These tiny marks remind them of the baby they once had in their womb. As stretch marks may not be the most easily discussed topic during your pregnancy, the following information may be helpful in answering some of your questions.
Causes of Stretch Marks
Stretch marks are those tiny tears in the supporting layers of your skin’s tissue which emerge when your skin has been stretched and pulled to its limit. These marks are more likely to appear in the sixth or seventh month of pregnancy.
However, some women develop stretch marks before the sixth month as their belly begins to swell. Stretch marks can also be hereditary. If your mother has stretch marks, you may develop them too.
The rate at which your baby bump grows greatly dictates whether you will have stretch marks appear or not. If you are gaining weight too fast during your pregnancy then you can also expect to show visible signs on your skin.
Natural Ways to Prevent Stretch Marks
When you are pregnant, it’s comforting to know that there are natural steps you can take to help prevent stretch marks appearing, or at least reduce their appearance as much as possible. Here are a few tips to try.
There are foods you can add to your diet that not only boost your skin health but also improve your skin’s elasticity to help prevent stretch marks from appearing. Some foods can have protecting effects on your skin, while also providing the needed nutrition and nourishment during your pregnancy. These foods include spinach, strawberries and blueberries.
You also need to up your intake of foods that contain vitamin E, such as broccoli, avocados, collard greens, nuts and seeds.
Vitamin A is another nutrient that you should not ignore during your pregnancy as it is beneficial in repairing skin tissues. You can obtain vitamin A from mango, squash, red bell peppers and sweet potatoes.
Keep your skin cell membranes healthy by eating omega 3 rich foods such as eggs, fish, avocados, walnuts and other seafoods.
Another way of preventing stretch marks from appearing is to “plump” up your skin cells by increasing your fluid intake.
Besides drinking your recommended eight or more glasses of water each day, you can also drink herbal teas. Herbal teas are perfect for boosting your daily dose of antioxidants, while keeping your skin well hydrated throughout the day.
Another delicious way of increasing your fluid intake is to eat more watery fruits and vegetables, such as watermelons, cucumbers, celery, fresh bell peppers and strawberries.
Exercising on a regular basis is helpful during childbirth but it can also keep stretch marks at bay. Improve your skin elasticity by stretching, performing Kegel exercises, yoga, Pilates and other low-impact exercises.
Although it can be difficult to perform some physical activities as your belly grows, there are definite benefits from physical exercise during your pregnancy. If you stay active you will have a better chance at controlling your weight. This will help lower your chance of developing stretch marks from ‘fat’ weight, rather than ‘baby bump’ growth.