In order to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy, is important to understand what causes them. Stretch marks can be hereditary. Stretch marks are more likely to appear during pregnancy, puberty, and during periods of rapid weight loss or rapid weight gain. I am 9 months postpartum and I have no stretch mark on my belly and no new ones on the areas that I already had the stretch mark.
- Hydrate: Drink plenty of water, to keep the body hydrated from the inside. During pregnancy your body needs more fluids, so is important to drink water. Drinking plenty of water will also help your body retain less water. Retaining water liquids is one of the reasons we swell during pregnancy. Also, hydrate the body by applying lotion and oils. During pregnancy the belly, hips and breast, are the areas of the body, which tend to change the most. I used Aveeno body lotion to hydrate my arms and legs. At the end of the pregnancy, I switched to Palmer’s Cocoa butter because I felt it was more hydrating.I started to use Mama Mio Tummy rub butter and the Pregnancy Boob Tube at 8 weeks; after I found out I was pregnant. I had heard a lot about the brand and decided to try it. I first bought the starter kit, to try the product. The creams are very thick and hydrating. At 25 weeks I started to use Mustela Stretch Mark Double Action and the Specific Breast Support creams. I liked Mama Mio products, but I just wanted to try other products. I also thought Mustela would last longer than Mama Mio products, but in the term, it was the same. I like the smell of Mustela better, but I like Mama Mio’s consistency better.I used oils together with the cream and lotions. I loved Mama Special blend and Bio-oil. I liked applying oils at night before going to bed. I couldn’t decide which oil I liked more, so I would just use whichever one I felt like using. I used vitamin E mostly on my breast and hips. I used vitamin E oil to reduce the appearance of old stretch marks. I did notice a difference in these areas.
- Exfoliate: exfoliating helps prevent stretch marks because by exfoliating we get rid of dead skin, allowing for the new skin to the surface. I exfoliate twice a month by using a sugar-based scrub by Tree Hut. I like the Tree Hut scrub because is gentle and leaves the skin feeling soft and hydrated. On a daily basis, I would just use a regular luffa with Dove liquid soap as a gentle exfoliate. You can also create your own scrub using oils and sugar, or my especial favorite, coffee grounds and hair conditioner.
- Vitamin and Minerals: By taking our prenatal vitamins and eating healthy food we can also prevent stretch marks. Vitamin B2 and B3 help maintain and promote healthy skin. Collagen helps improve skin elasticity, which will, in turn, help the skin stretch without breaking. Vitamin C, silica, and zinc help with collagen production. Gelatin is not a vitamin but consuming gelatin can also boost the production of collagen. Vitamin E helps maintain the skin intact, by blocking free radicals. Vitamins C and vitamin A also block free radicals, which consume collagen.
- Increase blood circulation: Increasing blood circulation will help promote new skin tissues. We can increase blood circulation by exercising or keeping physically active. Massaging your skin using the lotions and oils. Massage the area in a circular motion to increase the blood flow.
- Gain weight slowly and stay physically active: One of the causes of stretch marks can be rapid weight gain. It is normal to gain weight during pregnancy as the belly grows. Our belly is not the only part of our body that gets bigger during pregnancy, and we must keep that in mind as well. By gaining weight slowly, we give our skin time to stretch and adapt to change. When I was pregnant I did not follow a diet, but I did try eating more nutritious. I wanted to make sure that whatever I ate helped both the baby and me. I stayed active by walking at least 30 minutes a day, or exercising at home. I write in more detail about my diet and physical activity in a separate post. Link to my post on taking care during pregnancy at the bottom.http://www.stephaniemirelesc.com/pregnancy-care-tips/
Consult your doctor on what exercises to try, and if it is safe for you to exercise. Also, ask about prenatal vitamins, and find out if is covered by your insurance. I gave the names of a couple of product I tried, but use any product you would like to try.