Pregnancy triggers huge changes in a woman’s body. While some of these changes are positive, many others are upsetting to the majority of women who experience them. Unsightly stretch marks, for example, affect the vast majority of pregnant women, and unfortunately, do not go away on their own.
Let’s take a look at what you can do to reduce and prevent stretch marks during pregnancy.
Start Preventing Stretch Marks Immediately
The best way to prevent stretch marks is to keep your health in check during your entire pregnancy–starting as soon as you find out. Healthy skin is very elastic, and you can do your part by maintaining a healthy diet and drinking enough water.
Though you’ll need to consume some extra calories throughout your pregnancy (usually, it is 300 extra calories, but check with your OB/GYN), don’t use this fact as an excuse to eat junk food. Eat nutritious foods like fresh fruits and veggies and try to avoid gaining weight too rapidly, as this is a major cause of stretch marks.
Take Your Vitamins
Make sure you’re getting enough vitamins such as vitamin E, C, A, and omega 3s. This list suggests certain foods that are rich in these vitamins (http://www.wikihow.com/Prevent-Pregnancy-Stretch-Marks). Talk to your doctor beforehand about any supplements you wish to start taking.
Moisturize Your Skin
Though not proven to prevent stretch marks, moisturizing with lotions such as cocoa butter helps keep skin hydrated and supple. Additionally, massaging the skin has been shown to help prevent stretch mark damage.
Avoid hot showers, as this can strip your skin of natural oils and contribute to dry skin that cannot stretch easily with a growing belly.
Understanding the Genetic Link
While most women struggle with some stretch marks, there is a genetic component to their formation. If other women in your family experienced more stretch marks than average, than you’re more likely to suffer from them too.
Stretch marks may be the least of your body image worries if you’ve just given birth. Pregnancy stretches and separates stomach muscles and skin, often so much that they will not retract on their own.
If you’ve been struggling with “baby weight” or sagging skin on your post-pregnancy stomach, tummy liposuction or a tummy tuck could be good options for you.
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