Many pregnant women worry about the changes their body will suffer. We’re going to talk about one of the most unwanted ones: Pregnancy stretch marks.
You may have some already: stretch marks appear when there is a big change in weight: They are pink, reddish or even purple little lines, that most of the times turn white-ish with time.
What are pregnancy stretch marks?
Pregnancy stretch marks are little tears in your skin that happen when it stretches too much or too quick. During pregnancy, your body will change in a dramatic way, and your skin may not have enough time to adapt to those changes without suffering those tiny tears. The belly is the place where you’re more likely to get them, although the hips and the breasts are also recurrent places as well.
Should I try to avoid getting pregnancy stretch marks?
Well – if that’s what you want! Your body is yours, so it is for you to decide if you want them there or not. But struggling so you body looks like the ones we see in the magazines will always be less productive than working on accepting and liking the one we have.
And if you decide to avoid them but you can’t and they end up making an appearance (which is what happens to most future mummy… Then try to embrace them anyway! After all, they are just a testimony of a wonderful thing taking place in your body, and they’re nothing to be ashamed of.
Society puts lots of pressure on women, and then we feel like we need to have the perfect body. Well, we don’t. Stretch marks are a remainder of your body changing to host your child – and if you get stretch marks for other reason (yes, it’s possible: any important change in your weight will make you susceptible of getting some), they will still be a remainder of what has happened in your life. Take a look at these women wearing their stretch marks proudly in the Instagram account Love your Lines, which celebrates this part of women’s body.
To sum up, it’s your body, so you can try to prevent pregnancy stretch marks if you want – but you can also decide to celebrate them, as the women who have sent their pictures have done.
A few more facts about pregnancy stretch marks
So, before you decide between embracing your body however it is, or trying to avoid stretch marks in pregnancy (two perfectly valid and not mutually exclusive options!), here you have some more facts about them that you may find interesting:
- This one is not surprising, considering that pregnancy stretch marks are a result of the skin rupturing after stretching too much, but if you gain weight really quickly during pregnancy, you are more likely to get them.
- Did you know that pregnancy stretch marks affect more fair-skinned women than dark-skinned ones? Those women with darker skin are less likely to get them and, if they do, stretch marks are less visible in dark skin!
- Some people state it’s a matter of genetics, although that hasn’t been proved.
- Pregnancy stretch marks are pinkish when they appear, but they fade with time: they will adopt a white-ish colour, which will mean that they’re healing – so yes, we could state that they can be “cured”. They will never disappear completely, but there could be a point when you would have to pay attention to notice them!
Maybe you do really hate your pregnancy stretch marks and you want to get rid of them asap. Well, there’s a way to speed up the process, or at least trying: Massage the affected area with moisturiser, since that will help the tissue grow faster. It’s the best stretch mark treatment!
How to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy
All this said, if you still want to try not to get these tiny tears, there are some things that you can do. However, none of the precautions you take during pregnancy guarantee that you will be free from pregnancy stretch marks. Some blunt ones may appear even if you are careful to follow all the recommendations available.
Here’s how to prevent stretch marks in pregnancy (or how to try!):
- Hydrate your skin at least twice a day. You can use your usual body milk o cocoa butter. There are special stretch mark creams, but they don’t work miracles – anyway, you can try them.
- Drink lots and lots of water. Anything that helps you be hydrated will improve your skin’s elasticity.
- Exercises. A good muscular tone will also help make your skin stronger, so don’t be sedentary. You can try swimming, prenatal yoga or these special pregnancy exercises.
- Avoid the sun. The sun makes your skin drier, so try not to spend too much time sunbathing if you want to avoid the stretch marks. Always use sunscreen and after sun cream.
- Massage the susceptible areas: breast, hips, thighs and, of course, the belly.
- Keep a healthy diet. Vitamin C is very good for the skin as well.
- Don’t use the Retinol A treatment offered by dermatologists. At least wait if you get the dreaded stretch marks; pregnancy is not the best time for doing such a treatment, it’s not safe.
So, what are you going to do about pregnancy stretch marks? Will you try to prevent them or get rid of them? Or are you embracing them instead?