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Stretch marks. Some Mamas wear them proud, even tattooing them like a badge of honor and some Mamas want to act like they never happened. Even though your baby may not even be here yet, they are leaving their mark on your belly, and maybe even your chest, hips, thighs or buttocks. When I was pregnancy with Willow, I got them on my chest in a nice purple color! Now, I know what you are thinking, will I get these lines of love and how do I prevent them???
Well here is the 411 on stretch marks… 50%-90% of women develop them during pregnancy. You are also more likely to get them if your mom, dad, or grandparents have them. So in terms of avoiding these linear beauties, genetics definitely trumps prevention. Now don’t go running to give your entire family a full body check just yet, there is some more information you need!
Stretch marks come from tiny tears to the underlying layers of tissue under your skin. There are many other factors besides genetics that determine if you or when you will get stretch marks. Such as weight gain during your pregnancy. Those that can maintain a steady weight gain throughout their 40 weeks have a less chance of developing stretch marks.
Age, this is my favorite factor in terms of stretch marks! It is the one time that it pays to be a little older! Studies show that women in their 30’s and 40’s actually have only a 30% chance of developing stretch marks, where as teens and women in their 20’s have a 90% risk. As a Mom in her 30’s this was music to my ears!
Finally, abdominal girth, and baby related factors like twin pregnancies and high birth weights may also contribute to those little linear lines. When babies begin to grow and your belly stretches to accommodate the little one it creates excessive tension on skin’s dermis.
Now that we know the factors and risks of developing stretch marks, let’s get on to the fun information…how can we prevent them???
Unfortunately, there is not much you can do to prevent your skin from stretching during your pregnancy, it is just a fact of life. However, there are some tips and tricks we can do to help our skin throughout our pregnancies.
- Maintaining a healthy weight gain throughout your pregnancy is a great place to start in the prevention of stretch marks.
- Hydrating your body will help your outer most layers of your skin maintain moisture. I cannot reach the deep underlying layers where stretch marks start, but it will help you feel less itchy as your body stretches to accommodate stretching. I have used Shea butter, coconut oil, and bio oil.
- Nourishing and hydrating your body from the inside out is a must! I drink at least 4 Liters of water a day to help me stay hydrated. Also vitamins C, D, E, and zinc have been shown to help form collagen which can help prevent dermal tearing.
So you may say stretch marks are inevitable, but know that they do fade with time and can become less noticeable with each day. Let me know your experience with stretch marks and what you have found to help them!