How to Avoid Stretch Marks During Pregnancy

How to Avoid Stretch Marks During Pregnancy
by Truly Beauty

Whether you’ve just found out you're expecting or you’re a few months along, you might be wondering how to avoid stretch marks during pregnancy. Most women get pregnancy stretch marks. They’re perfectly normal and a sign that your skin has stretched as your body grows. 

Wondering how to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy? While you can’t completely prevent them from appearing, there are some things you can do to reduce the chances of stretch marks forming. Here’s how to avoid pregnancy stretch marks. 



What are Pregnancy Stretch Marks?

Pregnancy stretch marks, also known as striae gravidarum, are a common skin condition that occurs during pregnancy. These marks appear as streaks or lines on the skin, often with a reddish or purplish hue, which later fade to a lighter color. 

Stretch marks are caused by the stretching of the skin as the body undergoes rapid changes during pregnancy. They typically occur in areas where the skin is subject to the most stretching, such as the abdomen, breasts, hips, and thighs.

The baby’s growth and the accompanying weight gain cause the skin to stretch rapidly during pregnancy, leading to the development of stretch marks. Various factors, including genetics, the rate of weight gain, and skin elasticity, influence the formation of pregnancy stretch marks.

While they are extremely common, affecting around 8 out of 10 pregnant women, they can cause concern for some individuals due to their appearance. Although they may not be entirely preventable, there are ways to minimize the risk of developing stretch marks during pregnancy.



How to Avoid Stretch Marks During Pregnancy 

You can’t completely prevent stretch marks during pregnancy, but there are some ways to reduce the risk of getting them. Here are some tips for preventing stretch marks during pregnancy. 



1: Moisturize with Shea Butter

Shea butter is derived from shea tree nuts. It is rich in linoleic, palmitic, and oleic fatty acids as well as vitamins A, E, and F, that help to hydrate the skin, promote circulation, and stimulate healthy skin cell growth.

While you’re pregnant, it’s important to moisturize liberally twice a day to keep the skin plump and hydrated. Even better if you’re using a body lotion or butter that contains nutrient-rich ingredients like shea butter and cocoa butter as these may prevent stretch marks from forming.

 

how to avoid stretch marks during pregnancy | unicorn fruit butter

Truly’s Unicorn Fruit Whipped Body Butter

With acai, chia, and shea butter 

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2: Apply Essential Oils

Research shows certain essential oils may help prevent stretch marks and improve their appearance. Argan oil is one of them. A 2016 study found that argan oil helps increase skin’s elasticity, potentially preventing stretch marks. 

Bitter almond oil may also help when it comes to how to avoid stretch marks during pregnancy. In a 2012 study exploring the impact of bitter almond oil on pregnancy stretch marks, pregnant women applied the oil alone, received a 15-minute massage with bitter almond oil, or were part of the control group. 

Results showed that only 20 percent in the massage group developed stretch marks, compared to 38.8 percent using bitter almond oil alone and 41.2 percent in the control group. Thus showing that bitter almond oil and massage combined can be extremely effective in preventing stretch marks during pregnancy.

 

how to avoid stretch marks during pregnancy | stretch marks butter

Truly’s Coco Cloud Moisturizer

With argan oil, coconut milk, and vitamin E

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3: Stay Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water may help keep your skin hydrated, smooth, and supple. Hydrated skin doesn’t develop stretch marks as much as dry skin does, which is why it’s essential to stay hydrated both inside and out. According to the Institute of Medicine, women should be drinking 72 ounces of water per day (or 9 cups).

Caffeinated beverages like tea and coffee may actually increase your risk of developing pregnancy stretch marks. If you drink coffee, be sure to balance out your fluid intake with lots of water and other caffeine-free beverages.



4: Get Your Vitamins

How to avoid stretch marks during pregnancy? Get plenty of vitamins! One of the best ways to help reduce stretch marks during pregnancy is eating a healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C and E, as well as zinc and silicon. These all help to keep your skin healthy.

An easy way to ensure you’re getting a variety of nutrients is to choose healthy foods in a variety of colors. From broccoli to berries, oranges to bananas, getting plenty of colors means you’re getting a wide variety of nutrients—and ultimately, lots of skin-loving goodness. 



5: Soak up Some Vitamin D

Vitamin D can also help to prevent pregnancy stretch marks. One study found a link between low levels of vitamin D and the formation of stretch marks. While the research is limited, results suggest that maintaining healthy levels of vitamin D may lower the risk of developing stretch marks during pregnancy.

So go out and soak up some sunshine—where you’ll find plenty of vitamin D. This vitamin is also commonly added to food products such as bread, cereal, and milk. 



Best Stretch Mark Products for Pregnancy 

What are the best products for preventing stretch marks during pregnancy? We’ve rounded up our best bundles for keeping you smooth during and after pregnancy.

 

Truly’s Unicorn Blast Bundle

How to Avoid Stretch Marks During Pregnancy | unicorn blast

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Plump out stretch marks with this rainbow-swirled set. You’ll get: a whipped body butter, resurfacing polish, and lip balm enriched with shea butter, acai, and vegan collagen booster to rejuvenate skin and reduce the appearance of pregnancy stretch marks. 


Truly’s Nice Melons Edition

How to Avoid Stretch Marks During Pregnancy | nice melons

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Three steps for firm, hydrated skin. Get this made-just-for-your-boobs routine formulated with a blend of kiwi, kigelia and honeydew. It’s specifically designed to target stretch marks and sag on your boobs but can also be used on other affected areas like your belly and butt.


Truly’s Ultimate Glazed Donut Skin Set

How to Avoid Stretch Marks During Pregnancy | glazed donut set

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Remember how we said some essential oils are proven to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy? You’ll find many of them in this set. Lavender oil, grapeseed oil, and orange flower oil all work together to increase skin’s elasticity and prevent stretch marks. 



When Do Stretch Marks Appear in Pregnancy?

Stretch marks can occur at different times for different women, but they often become noticeable during the later stages of pregnancy. The majority of women notice them in the third trimester.

The exact timing can vary from person to person, and some women may develop stretch marks earlier in their pregnancy, while others may not notice them until after childbirth. It’s important to note that while stretch marks are a common and natural part of pregnancy for many women, they can fade over time. 

If you have concerns about stretch marks or other skin changes during pregnancy, consult with your healthcare provider for guidance.



Do Pregnancy Stretch Marks Go Away?

Now you know how to avoid stretch marks during pregnancy you might be interested in learning whether they go away. Since pregnancy stretch marks are essentially scars, they won’t go away completely. However, they will fade over time and become less visible.

According to dermatologists, these marks naturally fade six to twelve months following birth. That said, there are topical treatments such as creams and serums that can help speed up the healing process. Look for products that contain nourishing, skin-rejuvenating ingredients like shea butter, cocoa butter, almond oil, argan oil, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin E. 

Retinol isn’t safe to use while pregnant or breastfeeding. However, it can be effective for treating pregnancy stretch marks thanks to its ability to speed cellular turnover and improve skin’s elasticity. If you’re no longer pregnant or nursing, you can try incorporating retinol into your skincare routine to reduce the appearance of pregnancy stretch marks.




Feature photo by Daniel Reche, Pexels



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