The Ultimate Guide to Preventing Stretch Marks Through Pregnancy

The Ultimate Guide to Preventing Stretch Marks Through Pregnancy

Hooray, you’re pregnant!

But, boo for weight gain, hormones, and the dreaded stretch marks that can take over your belly and hips.

But don’t fret!

There are lots of things you can do to prevent these bad boys from happening.

Read on to learn about some prevention products, techniques, and other little things you can do to protect your body and prevent those unsightly lines.

1. Watch Your Diet

Yes, you’re eating for two. But, many moms make the mistake of over indulging on their diet.

Maintaining a healthy weight is the key to preventing stretch marks. You only need an extra 200-400 calories per day, depending on where you are in your pregnancy.

So, cheese fries, chicken wings, ice cream, and cookies sound delicious, but they aren’t good for your health overall, or your skin!

2. Stay Hydrated

Skin tends to stay supple, elastic, and firm when you drink plenty of water throughout your day.

Normally, it’s recommended the average person consume 8 glasses daily, but if you’re an expecting mom, be sure to try to get in 10 cups!

Carrying a water bottle around surely helps this.

3. Consume Gelatin

Gelatin is another word for collagen.

And, as you may know from reading the labels on your cosmetic product labels, collagen is responsible for restoring your skin, making it firmer and more supple.

Gelatin comes in a powder form, so you can sprinkle it into your drinks, or you can use it to make bone broth (and boil it with other foods).

Much like any kind of dietary “supplement,” be sure to get your doctor’s approval.

4. Try Coconut Oil

Coconut oils is great to use on your tummy, hips, chest, arms, and thighs, because it's loaded with saturated fatty acids that nourish the skin.

If your skin is nourished, it’s softer, smoother, and younger looking.

Because coconut oil is highly moisturizing, it may be best to apply a thick layer right before going to bed, so it fully soaks in and concentrates on your targeted areas.

For best results, apply the oil daily, from the moment you get a positive pregnancy test up to the day you deliver.

5. Increase Your Vitamin C Intake

Vitamin C isn’t just essential for your growing fetus and ideal for your immunity, it’s great for keeping your skin smooth and stretch-mark free.

Up your intake of strawberries, kale, bell peppers, and broccoli each day.

6. Take a Zinc Supplement

Studies show that if you lack zinc, you are more likely to get stretch marks during pregnancy.

By taking a daily supplement, you can help kick start your collagen production.

Also, consume more chicken, eggs, nuts, and beans on a daily basis to up your intake more naturally.

7. Invest in Cocoa Butter

Cocoa butter is one of the best and most loved stretch mark preventatives. An emollient, cocoa butter is filled with natural fat, which help stimulate new skin growth.

New skin means less stretch marks (if any at all).

8. Get a Massage!

Some doctors recommend that you massage your baby bump (one quadrant at a time) for about 15 minutes a day.

This helps make skin more elastic and may prevent the marks from forming all together!

9. Consider Hyaluronic Acid

This acid is found naturally in the body. And, overtime, it diminishes, which then make the skin and body age and sag.

Some doctors actually recommend using creams or lotions that contain this acid on your body to prevent marks.

Many moms-to-be use it in conjunction with massage techniques.

10. Get Aerobic

Aerobic exercise is not only a great way to boost your mood and energy level (and help you sleep), but it’s also great for circulation purposes.

So, consider participating in a spin class, aerobic session, or a brisk walk each day to keep stretch marks from forming.

11. Stretch!

In addition to exercising, there are a few important stretches you should be trying each morning and evening (or whenever you need a pick me up).

Hip thrusts are a highly effective movement that keeps the skin conditioned around the belly, hips, and thighs.

Lay on the floor with your knees bent. Push upward, making sure you feet stay on the ground. From there, lower your body back down and repeat.

This doesn’t just keep skin stretch mark free, but it helps strengthen the core, which is essential for an easier birthing process.

12. Exfoliate

When you use an exfoliator on your main areas, you get rid of dead skin cells, and stimulate new ones to grow.

You can use a homemade scrub (olive oil and sugar), purchase an organic one from the store, or use tools that are ribbed and rough to remove the skin on your tummy, hips, rear, and thighs.

Do it daily for maximum results.

13. Take a Multivitamin

Vitamins A, C, and E are known to play up your skin.

While you may eat your way to perfection in regard to making sure you have the right amount of nutrients for your little one (your doctor will specify how many milligrams you need of each, each day), you may also wish to take a prenatal vitamin.

How to Choose the Best Prenatal Vitamin

Taking a prenatal vitamin is one of the most important things you can do during your pregnancy! Check out our guide to choosing the best one.

Nearly always recommended by healthcare providers, prenatals helps ensure you get everything your body needs that your diet can’t or won’t cover (due to morning sickness).

The vitamins listed above are essential for preventing stretch marks from forming.

14. Lift Weights

By all means, do not bench press crazy amounts of weight. But, do consider lifting lightly to maintain a strong core, muscle tone, and posture.

This will help you look good, feel good, and also keep your weight down.

If you’re able to gain minimally (no more than 20 pounds by the end of your pregnancy), then you’re able to keep your body stretch mark free, because it won't have the need to stretch out and back to shape after the baby is born.

Eat well, and exercise often.

15. Go Organic

You may put a lot of time in at the gym when you’re pregnant, to keep stretch marks at bay, but if you don’t eat clean in conjunction with your efforts, you’re wasting your time.

Cut out foods that come in a box and cans, and eat whole grains, fruits, veggies, beans, and only food that have ingredients you can pronounce.

When you go organic, you’re also doing a huge favor to your skin, and this can impact the way the rest of your body looks.

How Do You Know if You Have Stretch Marks?

If you’re new to stretch marks, you’ll know right away what they are.

They are can appear pink in color and look flattened out, or even like a thin line.

Sometimes they tone down in color and appear silver or even pale white.

Where Can You Get Them?

Stretch marks can appear pretty much anywhere on the body, but they most commonly appear around the hips, on the inner thighs, on the rear, and across the tummy.

They can also be seen going down the side of your body, on the arms, and around the breasts.

If You Get Them, Will They Go Away?

Sadly, stretch marks don’t go away with ease (or even at all sometimes).

That’s why it’s important to try and prevent them!

Weight loss and hydration help conceal them, but often times they need surgical intervention from a professional to totally diminish their appearance.

This can be timely and costly in the long run.

Wrapping Up

Yes, stretch marks make some mommies proud because they serve as permanent reminders of their womanhood and pregnancy.

But, they can be combatted for those who wish to conceal them and never deal with them.

Consider some of the tips, strategies, and products that you can utilize to prevent stretch marks though your pregnancy, in order to remain confident, happy, but most importantly, healthy.

Kate Trout
 

Hi there, I'm Kate! I started Maternity Glow to be a place for new and expecting moms to come to for practical pregnancy advice, parenting tips, and baby care tricks.

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