Pregnancy is a magical experience to go through. Bringing a new life into the world is like a little miracle, but there is no sugar coating the fact that pregnancy can be extremely difficult. As well as all the fluctuation in hormones you will experience, your body goes through so many different physical changes.
One of these changes is that, as your bump grows, you will get stretch marks that can stay with you even after you have given birth. Stretch marks are nothing to be ashamed of, and they are something that you should embrace. They are a reminder of the little gem you made and held for 9 months.
However, if you are wanting to try and prevent yourself from getting stretch marks during pregnancy, then there are multiple natural ways that you can do this. This article will explain the best ways to prevent or reduce stretch during pregnancy.
#1 Drink Lots of Water
One of the easiest ways to prevent getting stretch marks during pregnancy is to make sure you are staying hydrated and drinking plenty of water.
This works because it keeps your skin supple and soft, and it is a lot harder for soft skin to develop stretch marks than it is for dry skin to. Try to drink at least 8 large glasses of water a day to really make sure you are keeping your skin and body hydrated.
Yes, you might find yourself needing the toilet a lot, but it will definitely be worth it, and it can bring so many benefits to the health of yourself and your growing baby too.
It is best to avoid drinks that are high in caffeine, such as coffee, as this can actually increase your chances of getting stretch marks.
#2 Get Plenty of Vitamin C
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that brings so many benefits to our body. Not only does it help us to fight off illnesses and infections, but it can also help to prevent you from getting stretch marks.
In order to keep our skin strong, supple and to maintain good elasticity, skin contains a lot of collagen. Collagen is a type of connective tissue, and a lack of it is part of what causes stretch marks. Vitamin C can help to aid and promote the development of collagen and can therefore prevent stretch marks from forming.
Unfortunately, our body doesn’t produce vitamin C naturally, and so we need to get it from other sources. Certain fruits and vegetables are the easiest way to get it, with red peppers and oranges being two of the best foods you can eat for vitamin C. Alternatively, you can take vitamin C supplements which are easy to find, and it means you can take one a day and feel rest assured that you have had the full amount you need. Although we prefer you to eat fruits full of vitamin C instead of the supplements.
#3 Treat Them with Retinoid Cream
Whilst there are loads of ways you can try to prevent stretch marks, sometimes there’ll always be those pesky few that manage to peek through. The best thing to do to try and get rid of stretch marks that have already appeared is to treat them as soon as possible with some retinoid cream. Retinoid cream contains vitamin A, which helps to rebuild the collagen in the skin on the area applied, and therefore reduces the appearance of stretch marks.
Try and ask a pharmacist about which one to get and make sure that it is definitely suitable for when you are pregnant. A good alternative if you can’t find a retinoid cream, is to find another cream that is high in vitamin A or to increase your vitamin A intake through foods. Carrots and broccoli are a great source of vitamin A that are easy to incorporate into your meals and are very healthy.
#4 Have Plenty of Zinc
Zinc is a mineral which helps keep your skin healthy, including by helping to prevent and reduce any inflammation. Therefore, making sure you are getting a good amount of zinc is a great way to help keep your skin strong and healthy, and therefore prevent you from getting stretch marks.
Beans and nuts are the best and easiest source of zinc, as you can just snack on them throughout the day!
#5 Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a natural ingredient that you can apply directly to your skin to help prevent or reduce the appearance of stretch marks during pregnancy. It works because it moisturises and hydrates the skin which, as mentioned previously, makes it harder for stretch marks to occur.
If you already have some stretch marks, then keep applying coconut oil on a daily basis and it should help to reduce their overall appearance, although it won’t get rid of them completely.
Exercise is another way you can help to prevent stretch marks. Stretch marks occur due to rapid expansion in your skin, and whilst your bump will cause your skin to expand quickly, exercise can help to ensure you keep off any excess fat to help maintain and limit how much, and how quickly, the skin grows to keep those stretch marks at bay.
Exercise also helps to keep all your muscles toned and can actually strengthen your skin to make it more supple and able to deal with the quick changes it will go through during pregnancy.
#7 Reduce Stress
Being under a lot of stress can actually promote stretch marks and make them more likely to show through. Whilst pregnancy can be a very stressful experience, it is so important to make sure you are getting plenty of rest and taking time to yourself to do something that relaxes and calms you. If work is getting too much then it is vital you take a step back and try to remove any unneeded factors of stress in your life, even if it is only temporary for whilst you are pregnant.
Reducing your stress levels gives your skin more time to heal and repair itself, and therefore means you are less likely to develop stretch marks.
So, there you have 7 natural ways you can prevent stretch marks during pregnancy. Make sure you are keeping on top of these tips every single day and you should come out the other side of pregnancy not only with a beautiful little baby, but with soft, smooth and stretch-mark-free skin too!