Pregnancy: How to Prevent Stretch Marks

Pregnancy: How to Prevent Stretch Marks

Stretch marks are a reality that affects over 90% of women during pregnancy.

Yes, we’re nearing the end of 2020 and more and more women are advocating self-love—learning how to embrace this so-called flaw. But, while completely normal, beautiful, and even an empowering part of pregnancy, many are still self-conscious about theirs. With that being said, whether you prefer to embrace or cover them up is completely your call.

If you’re searching for ways to get rid of stretch marks, we have to be straightforward and say that you can’t. But, there are ways you can prevent them from forming or at least minimise their appearance and one of these involves the use of stretch marks cream during pregnancy.

What Causes Stretch Marks?

Also called tiger stripes, stretch marks are scars that happen when collagen and elastin—the fibres that keep your skin firm and together—stretch and snap due to sudden weight gain. These are the pinkish or sometimes purplish streaks that usually form in the following areas:

  • shoulders
  • chest
  • stomach
  • hips
  • thighs
  • bottom

They are particularly common during pregnancy, but anyone—both men and women—can develop stretch marks, most likely due to the following reasons:

The Risk Factors for the Development of Stretch Marks

Pregnancy: About 90% of women experience stretch marks during or after giving birth. As the baby grows and the skin stretches, pregnant women can get stretch marks on their bellies. They may also develop them on the thighs and breasts as they get bigger. These marks usually fade after childbirth, but they don’t always disappear fully.

Puberty: Growth spurts usually happen in kids going through puberty and this rapid growth may cause boys to get stretch marks on their shoulders and back. For girls, they may get it on their breasts, thighs, and hips.

Rapid Weight Loss/Gain: Putting on or losing a lot of weight in a short period may trigger stretch marks to develop. So, if you’re trying to build up muscle or cut down some fat through diet and exercise, do it slowly and steadily so you don’t put your skin under strain.

Underlying Health Condition: Stretch marks are often a symptom of rare conditions, such as Cushing’s syndrome where the body over-produces cortisol—a hormone that is believed to cause stretch marks. There’s also the Marfan Syndrome which is characterised by a faulty gene that weakens the skin and connective tissues, thus reducing their ability to stretch and making them more susceptible to stretch marks.

Medication: In some cases, stretch marks can develop after prolonged or inappropriate use of corticosteroids. A class of steroid hormones, corticosteroids are present in creams, lotions, and other topical products used to treat skin conditions like eczema.

In addition to these risk factors, some people are also more susceptible to stretch marks. If your parents or other relatives have them, you’re more likely to get them, too. The good news? Just as with fine lines, wrinkles, and eye bags, you can do your best to win against stretch marks.

3 Steps to Prevent & Reduce the Appearance of Stretch Marks During Pregnancy

3 Steps to Prevent & Reduce the Appearance of Stretch Marks During Pregnancy

While there is no scientific study to guarantee that you will not develop stretch marks during pregnancy, the following ways may help reduce the likelihood or keep the stretch marks at a minimum.

1. Watch Your Weight

As said earlier, stretch marks are the result of the body expanding dramatically faster than your skin is capable of keeping up. When you’re pregnant, it remains necessary that you keep an eye on the scale and put on weight slowly and steadily rather than in big spurts.

Studies recommend 25-35 pounds of total weight gain during pregnancy but this can vary based on your pre-pregnancy weight or BMI, so make sure to work with your healthcare provider to determine what’s right for you. Keep in mind that eating for two doesn’t mean eating twice as much.

2. Eat a Healthy Diet and Stay Hydrated

Eating a nutrient-rich diet is part of maintaining a healthy weight during pregnancy. Your diet should be rich in a variety of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables to get the right balance of nutrients for you and your baby. Make sure to load up on vitamins and minerals that may help boost your skin health as well. These include:

  • Vitamin C – an essential nutrient that helps boost the production of collagen—the main structural protein that keeps your skin firm and elastic.
  • Vitamin D – is crucial for skin protection, helping in skin cell growth, repair, and even prevents skin ageing. The easiest way to soak up some vitamin D is to get at least 10-30 minutes of sun early in the morning.
  • Vitamin E – is an antioxidant known for its anti-ageing properties and skin rejuvenating benefits. Adding vitamin E to your stretch marks cream may help boost its effects.
  • Zinc – is an important nutrient that keeps the skin healthy, helps reduce inflammation, and assists in the wound healing process.
  • Protein – is necessary for the production of collagen in the body. Add enough protein in your diet by eating foods like lean meats, poultry, fish and seafood, and dairy products.

In addition to this, make sure that you stay hydrated. Drinking enough water should help your skin stay supple and soft, which reduces the likelihood of stretch marks to develop.

3. Treat Stretch Marks As They Appear 

In terms of treating stretch marks, the earlier you start, the better your chances of minimising their appearance. Wait until they turn pale white and they will be more challenging to treat. This is where pregnancy stretch mark creams come in. 

Contrary to belief, creams, oils, and any other forms of topical products don’t prevent stretch marks. Instead, they keep the skin moisturised which may help reduce the risk and minimise its appearance. Moisturisers can also be used to reduce the itching that you may feel when your skin stretches. 

The best pregnancy stretch mark cream should be safe and effective, with any added perks like being all-natural, pleasant to smell, and easy to apply. Our Mother’s Skin Cream at Shealove London is a shea butter stretch mark cream specially formulated for pregnant women. Made with organic ingredients, it’s safe and easy to use for you and your baby! 

How to Use Shealove London Mother’s Skin Cream to Prevent Pregnancy Stretch Marks

Once you find out that you’re pregnant, you can already start moisturising the areas that are most prone to stretch marks—your belly, breasts, hips, thighs, and bottom. In the morning and at night, apply Mother’s Skin Cream on these areas to provide them with lasting hydration. 

Our signature cream has shea butter, sea buckthorn oil, and rosehip oil which are known for their moisturising, collagen-boosting, and anti-ageing properties. With its all-natural and organic formula, it’s guaranteed safe to use throughout and even after your pregnancy. All you have to do is be diligent about applying it daily and patient in waiting for visible results. 

Aside from preventing the appearance of stretch marks, its super moisturising formula can also be used to soothe dry skin, treat acne, and moisturise your baby’s delicate skin. You can trust this product to deliver! 

Join our community of mothers who have found the solution to keep their skin moisturised! Shop on our website today.