Stretch marks are a natural consequence of pregnancy, when the skin on the abdomen expands as the woman’s abdomen enlarges. At the beginning, these are red dashes that lighten over time. However, it is possible to avoid stretch marks during pregnancy, or at least to reduce their appearance. In this article, you will learn how to achieve this through lifestyle changes and skin care both before and after the baby is born.
Eat healthy and balanced. If you are pregnant, you are probably already eating healthy and balanced to make sure that your baby is getting all the necessary vitamins and nutrients. When you start eating foods that will help you improve the health and elasticity of your skin, you can completely avoid stretch marks. Start eating these foods:
Foods rich in antioxidants that nourish and protect the skin. Eat spinach, blueberries, strawberries and other fresh fruits and vegetables.
Foods that contain vitamin E, which protects cell membranes – nuts, seeds, avocados, broccoli and leafy vegetables.
Foods that contain vitamin A, which helps regenerate the skin. Eat carrots, sweet potatoes, mangoes, lettuce and red peppers.
Foods containing omega-3 fatty acids, which heal cell membranes and ensure firm skin. These include fish, fish oil, nuts, eggs and oysters.
Follow the drinking regime. Water detoxifies your body and turns off your skin, so your skin will be able to stretch naturally. Remember to still drink enough:
Drink at least 8 glasses of water every day. If you have trouble drinking clean water, bring a large bottle of water with you and refill it 2-3 times during the day to drink at least two liters of water together.
Drink herbal teas. When you drink decaffeinated tea, you add fluid to your body and you don’t have to drink clean water all the time.
Eat watery fruits and vegetables. Eat vegetables that contain a lot of water. Salads, cucumbers, peppers, or celery contain large amounts of water. You can also eat strawberries, watermelon and other watery fruits.
Exercise even during pregnancy. When you exercise, you improve your blood circulation and ensure that your skin retains its elasticity. In addition, thanks to exercise, you will not gain weight so quickly and stretch marks will not form. You should exercise every day. For example, try these types of exercises:
Exercise exercises suitable for pregnant women. Stretching, Kegel exercises and other simple movements will stir your blood and ensure that your pregnancy will be less unpleasant.
Try yoga designed for pregnant women and other slower types of exercise. Yoga and Pilates will stretch you perfectly without having to move uncomfortably.
Add gradually. Stretch marks form when you gain weight very quickly. If you gain weight very slowly and gradually, you will have a better chance of avoiding them.
Don’t eat for two. You should eat a little more than you did before pregnancy, but you shouldn’t eat twice as many calories unnecessarily.
If you fancy something, just eat a little and eat fruit or vegetables. You will satisfy your tastes and you will not want junk food.
Take care of your skin during pregnancy
Brush your skin every day. Get rid of dead skin cells with a dry brush that will stir your blood and keep your skin healthy. It is recommended to use it even on stretch marks that have already formed, but you can also brush them preventively.
Use natural fiber brushes. The bristles should be stiff but not too hard.
Start at the feet and work your way up towards the heart. Focus on areas where stretch marks could be a problem, such as the buttocks and abdomen. After brushing, take a shower to get rid of dead skin cells.
Don’t brush your breasts. The skin on them is too sensitive and you could damage it.
Do not use any chemicals. Commercial shower gels and soaps contain sulfates, which dry out the skin and reduce its elasticity over time. Use a natural oil-containing shower gel that adds moisture to your skin.
You can use coconut oil. Apply it on the skin, rinse with warm water and dry with a soft towel.
It is not necessary to use strong shower gels, especially if you have dry skin. Wash with lukewarm water and dry your skin carefully.
Use body lotions. It is important to add moisture to the skin and regularly paint the abdomen, hips, back, thighs, legs and other areas of the body where stretch marks could appear. By using body lotions regularly, you nourish the skin and add moisture to it, so buy milk designed specifically for pregnant women or use natural oil.
Organic oil, cocoa butter, almond oil, shea butter or coconut oil are effective and popular products that you can apply to your skin during pregnancy. Lanolin, which is made from sheep oil, also works great.
Apply milk or oil to your skin in the morning and in the evening. If your skin itches because it stretches, you should apply it more often.
Use sunscreen. If you go swimming or are going to spend time in the sun, apply a sufficient amount of sunscreen to your abdomen, hips, chest and other areas of the body. The sun’s rays damage the skin, so it is important to protect yourself well during pregnancy.
Take care of your body even after the birth of a child
Always eat healthy and take care of your skin. Keep eating fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish and other healthy foods even after your baby is born. The postpartum period is very important. When you supply your skin with enough vitamins, it will be able to recover and stretch marks will not appear.
You should not follow drastic diets immediately after birth. Lose weight gradually as you gain weight so that your skin has time to shrink.
Always drink as much water as possible to supply the body with the necessary fluids.
Start practicing. After the birth of a child, you no longer have to limit yourself in exercise as you do during pregnancy. Exercise four or five times a week and focus on the following areas:
Strengthening. When you have strong muscles, you will have firmer skin. Strengthen under the supervision of a trainer who will help you choose the most suitable exercises.
Aerobic exercise. Swimming, running and cycling will stimulate your blood and ensure that you have firm and smooth skin.
Take care of stretch marks. If you have stretch marks, which can happen even if you follow all the rules, start taking care of them right from the start. Buy a stretch mark cream containing glycolic acid and apply it to all areas where stretch marks have appeared.
Prescription creams contain retinoids that you should not use while you are breast-feeding. These creams are effective against stretch marks, but do not use them if you are breast-feeding.
If you use both glycolic acid and retinoid creams, you will get better results.
If these products do not help you get rid of stretch marks, you can undergo laser treatment.