You have probably wondered whether or not you will end up with stretch marks after your little one arrives. Stretch marks are fairly common after pregnancy, but there are some preventative measures you can take to avoid them. If you do end up with stretch marks, then try not let it affect your self-confidence. Those stripes should be worn as a badge of honor for the incredible achievement your body has accomplished.
Stretch marks are indented, often-vertical lines in your skin that can appear in a range of colors from purple to pink to light grey. You may only think about stretch marks on the area that would be stretched during pregnancy: your midsection. However, they can also appear on your legs, hips, chest, bottom, or thighs .
Some risk factors include being overweight and having a family history of stretch marks. While 50 – 90% of pregnant women develop some time of stretch mark during pregnancy, many of these will fade over time and become less noticeable. Even if you are more susceptible to get them, you can follow these 5 steps to avoid stretch marks while pregnant.
1. Get your vitamins
Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet is paramount for the growth of your baby. Furthermore, stretch marks may occur simply because you were missing certain essential nutrients. Vitamin C, E, D, and Zinc are some of the crucial elements of a balanced pregnancy diet that can help prevent stretch marks. Taking a prenatal vitamin can also help make certain these daily goals are met, and your OB-GYN can provide some guidance to help you find the best prenatal vitamin with the recommended amounts of nutrients.
Ensuring you consume an appropriate amount of protein is another key toward preventing stretch marks. In order to reach your daily goal of eating the appropriate amounts of nutritious foods, you should strive to eat a variety from each food group . Grains, fruits and vegetables, dairy products, and protein sources make up these groups. An example of a balanced meal could be a chicken thigh, sweet potato or slice of whole grain bread, and broccoli with cheese.
2. Stay hydrated
Drinking enough water is beneficial during pregnancy for many reasons. Water helps carry nutrients to you and your growing fetus. It can also aid in urinary tract infection (UTI) prevention, which is common during pregnancy. Additionally, a proper level of hydration can help with fatigue, prevent swelling, and even relieve morning sickness. In fact, if you become dehydrated during pregnancy, then you may experience headaches, nausea, and cramping. However, if you are well hydrated, that means your skin is well hydrated and even softer as well. Simply put, softer skin is less likely to develop stretch marks than dry, rough skin.
Check with your doctor on how much water is appropriate for you to drink in a day, as your activity level and the weather can affect this daily water intake goal. One of the best pregnancy tips is to keep a water bottle with you at all times so it is convenient for you to sip it throughout the day.
3. Gain weight at a doctor approved pace
Arguably the best way to avoid stretch marks is to not gain weight rapidly, since stretch marks occur when the skin is pulled apart quickly. Many opinions exist about how much weight gain is appropriate during pregnancy. Although you should not actually eat for two, you do get to increase your calories. Finding the balance of how much more to eat while not overdoing it is certainly possible.
Speak with your doctor about what is best for you, as the total weight gain can be different for every individual. This number will fall between 25-35 pounds for most patients . However, your ideal weight gain number can fluctuate based on whether or not you are overweight or underweight going into pregnancy.
4. Soak up some sunshine
Vitamin D can also help you avoid stretch marks during pregnancy. It is extremely important to be cautious when you expose yourself to direct sunlight especially while pregnant. Your skin tends to be more sensitive during pregnancy. You also should be careful not to get too overheated or dehydrated.
With this in mind, a few minutes in the sun here and there throughout your pregnancy can give you just the boost of vitamin D you need to help you avoid stretch marks.
5. Promptly treat new stretch marks
If stretch marks appear, then you can still act quickly to treat them. There are many creams and lotions available on the marketplace to help minimize their appearance.
The ingredients in popular stretch mark treatment lotions range from vitamin E to hyaluronic acid as well as shea butter and cocoa butter. Your doctor can also help better determine what may be causing the stretch marks, and give you some guidance on treatment options.
For more information
At The Woman’s Clinic, we are happy to provide prenatal and postnatal care for all expectant patients. To schedule an appointment or to learn more about our pregnancy care in Little Rock, contact The Woman’s Clinic at (501) 222-4175 today.