Some new mamas love their stretch marks and can’t wait to embrace their changing body through pregnancy, while others find they are a hinderance on their postpartum self esteem. No matter where you fall on the spectrum you might be wondering where stretch marks come from and if there is really anything you can do to avoid getting them.
Stretch mark causes include hormonal changes, genetics and weight gain, but ultimately it all boils down to the rapid stretching of your skin as your belly grows, which is where they get their name.
What are stretch Marks?
Essentially, stretch marks are scars caused by the stretching of skin. Lots of factors contribute to the likelihood of stretch marks appearing, but it is the rupture of collagen and elastin that create the red marks. Due to the nature of pregnancy, stretch marks are pretty common, between 50 and 90% of women will get them.
Can you prevent stretch marks?
Despite your best efforts, you may not be able to avoid gaining some stretch marks entirely. But the good news is, there is lots that you can do during pregnancy to avoid the likelihood, the amount, and minimize the appearance of those you do get.
Exercise: The hormone ‘cortisol’ is common in pregnancy, and is known to reduce elasticity of the skin. In order to maintain your natural elasticity levels, try to compensate in other areas. Exercise is a great way to this, and it’s a healthy habit for pregnancy anyway.
Eat A Healthy Diet: You’re going to gain some wait during pregnancy- obviously. And while we would generally avoid holding yourself overly accountable for how much weight you gain- after all, you’re growing a human- it is important to make sure you are gaining and appropriate amount of weight as outlined by your doctor. Rapid weight gain is the one of the main culprits in stretch mark development, so maintaining a healthy, gradual weight gain is an effort worth making.
Watch your Vitamin Intake: Collagen is the best combatant against stretch marks, and vitamin C plays a really important role in college development. Vitamin D, E and Zinc
can also make a notable difference, so make sure you are getting enough in your diet and supplement with vitamins when necessary.
Keep Hydrated: Everyone says that staying hydrated is the secret to having good skin, and that holds true when it comes to stretch marks. Dry skin can be common in pregnancy, and it is scientifically proven that dry skin develops more stretch marks than hydrated skin. So what does this mean? Make sure you are drinking your recommended daily water intake, and invest in a lotion to moisturize your belly regularly.
Okay, mama, so you tried everything and you still ended up with a few stretch marks. Not only is that totally okay, it’s also really common. If you choose to wear these new stripes as a badge of honor for growing you tiny human, that’s completely up to you- after all, they are a beautiful symbol of your pregnancy. If you would prefer to minimize the appearance of these marks, that decision is completely valid too- It’s your body and you deserve to feel confident and sexy, especially as you readjust to your postpartum phase.
The good news is, there are a couple things that will help.
Belly Cream and Belly Oil : While stretch mark creams won’t make them disappear completely, they will reduce their appearance and minimize redness, and that’s still a win. If you are looking for products that actually work, check out the newest holy grail: MTHR™ Belly Cream and MTHR™ Belly Oil - both carefully formulated to our highest standards, contains only the purest, all-natural ingredients chosen for their phenomenal skin benefits for use before, during and after pregnancy.
These include preventing the formation of stretch marks and reducing the appearance of existing ones, helping healthy cells to regenerate and replace damaged cells, soothing dry skin with anti-inflammatory properties to help keep skin calm and comfortable, hydrating and nourishing your skin with essential fatty acids anti-oxidants — among many other benefits. They both contain ingredients that are gentle yet effectively rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Natural Alternatives: Pure aloe Vera and coconut oil are some mama-approved favorites for reducing the appearance of stretch marks. Apply either after your daily shower for the best effects.
No matter what you choose to do to prevent (or treat) stretch marks during your pregnancy, just remember how strong your body is for bringing your beautiful baby into this world. That’s something worth celebrating mama!