What I do to prevent them
We’re often told there’s nothing we can do to prevent stretch marks and that they’re genetic. I definitely don’t agree with this. Although I agree there is a genetic component to how elastic your skin is, I still believe there is a lot you can do that can help minimize the effect of stretch marks. Stretch marks occur when your body is growing faster than your skin, causing fibers under the skin to break. There are things to help minimize this by improving your skins elasticity. So here are my top tips to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy:
- Moisturize! It’s so important to keep your skin constantly hydrated. There are a lot of different moisturizers and oils that can help nourish your skin. Find something enriched with vitamin E and vitamin A. During my pregnancies I used both rosehip oil and bio oil twice a day all over my belly. I recommend also rubbing it on your boobs/bum/hips. I made the mistake of only using it on my belly and I ended up with a lot of stretch marks on my boobs but luckily they have since faded a lot. And don’t just start doing this when your belly gets bigger, begin doing it as soon as possible even before your skin has to stretch to get the most benefits.
- Drink A LOT of water. Majority of people aren’t drinking anywhere near enough water. It is recommended to have 8-12 glasses a day. Drinking more water will not only help with keeping your skin hydrated which helps elasticity, but has a million other benefits from clearing acne to reducing dark under eye circles. I like to carry a huge water bottle around with me everywhere.
- Eat a clean, nutrient rich diet. Eating clean fresh produce and lean proteins will help keep your weight gain steady so your skin doesn’t stretch more than it has to. You should also be eating for skin elasticity. Eating a diet rich in vitamin C, E, and antioxidants is a must and will help with this. I include lot of leafy green vegetables, beans, and nuts in my diet.
- Have steady weight gain and don’t ‘eat for two’. Obviously you’re going to gain weight during pregnancy, but you definitely should not be ‘eating for two’. You should actually be eating your usual diet all the way up until the second trimester. After that you should increase your calories by only around 300 per day for the rest of the pregnancy. When we’re pregnant we tend to give ourselves the excuse to eat whatever we want and eat however much we want. It’s important to try not to do this for the health of yourself and your baby. Of course it’s okay to have treats sometimes (I definitely did) but don’t overdo it and make sure your eating healthy the majority of the time.