Stretch marks: every pregnant woman dreads them, yet many of us accept that there’s little we can do about them. But, whilst genetics and body type of course have a part to play in whether you’ll get stretch marks whilst pregnant, there are a few things that you can do to lower the likelihood of the dreaded red lines appearing.
Use Bio Oil
Bio oil is well known for being effective in reducing stretch marks, scars, and other marks on the skin. You can buy bio oil online, or find it in your local pharmacy. This oil is designed to not only reduce, but to also prevent the appearance of stretch marks on the skin and it has been certified as safe to use during pregnancy. For the best results, they recommend applying the oil twice daily from the second trimester onwards.
During pregnancy, your body’s need for hydration has never been so great. Not only is your blood volume increasing, your baby is also taking a lot of the water. So, if you’re not drinking enough water, then it’s going to be your skin that suffers since it will not be getting the optimal amount of hydration that it needs to stay elastic. Pay attention to yourself and look out for the signs of dehydration; as a guide, you should aim to drink around 8-12 glasses of water per day.
Increase Your Vitamin C Intake
In the body, Vitamin C is used to form both collagen and cartilage, both essential for healthy and elastic skin. During pregnancy, you will see better results from getting more vitamin C in your diet from natural food sources, rather than taking supplements. Foods rich in this vitamin include kale, parsley greens, red and green bell peppers, and broccoli.
Get More Zinc
One of the most common reasons for women to experience stretch marks during pregnancy is due to a low level of zinc in their body. Zinc is a natural trace mineral that is used in the production of collagen and contains antioxidants. So, getting enough zinc in your diet when pregnant is more important than ever. Find it in foods such as beef, chicken, eggs, whole grains, nuts and beans.
Use Shea or Cocoa Butter
Shea and cocoa butter are some of the best natural moisturising products out there; they’re highly emolliating and work wonders for keeping your skin hydrated and moist. Cocoa butter is made from the natural fats in cocoa beans, whilst shea butter is made from the karite tree’s nuts. The fatty acids found in both these products stimulate skin renewal, promoting elasticity and helping to both prevent and reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
Lastly, don’t fall into the trap of ‘eating for two’ when you are pregnant! Although many women find that their appetite increases, it’s important to fill yourself up with healthy, balanced foods that promote both your health and that of your baby. Eating a balanced diet whilst pregnant and taking part in some light exercise regularly, such as yoga or swimming, can help you to avoid unnecessary pregnancy weight gain and keep stretch marks away.