Stretch marks, also known as striae distensae or striae gravidarum, are scars that appear on your skin due to sudden changes in the body size. It usually happens during pregnancy, rapid weight gain or loss, or even due to puberty. However, stretch marks are more likely to occur due to genetic factors, than mere overstretching of skin.
Although not completely avoidable, here are 5 ways to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy:
- Stay Hydrated
Soft skin is less likely to develop stretch marks as compared to dry skin. Drinking plenty of water can help to keep skin hydrated and soft. The Institute of Medicine recommends that pregnant women drink at least 2 liters of water. However, caffeinated beverages can increase the risk of developing stretch marks. So, make sure you take them in moderation.
- Apply Coconut Oil
Applying coconut oil can moisturize and nourish the skin in a natural way. It is full of saturated fatty acids which do not contain any harmful free radicals. Coconut oil can be easily applied topically. Rub it generously on the skin and massage the area to aid absorption into the skin. Do this right after shower for best results.
- Eat a nutritious diet
A balanced diet that is rich in vitamins C and E, zinc, silica, and other nutrients can nourish your skin and prevent stretch marks during pregnancy. Vitamin C is essential for regenerating tissues and keeping the skin supple. Minerals such as zinc and silica help in collagen synthesis and production. Therefore, pregnant women must include foods like strawberries, blueberries, spinach, carrots, green beans, nuts and seeds in their diet.
- Gain weight gradually
Stretch marks occur when you gain a lot of weight quickly. When you gain weight slowly over a period of time during pregnancy, you can reduce the chances of stretch marks to a great extent. You can do so by eating more calories slowly, and not eating for two. When you’re craving, have little amounts of food that you really want, rather than eating a lot of it. This will satisfy your craving and not cause excessive weight gain.
- Exercise during pregnancy
Exercising helps improve your body’s circulation and retains its elasticity. It can also help prevent you from gaining too much weight too quickly and reduces the chances of stretch marks during pregnancy. Daily exercises such as stretches, Kegel exercises and other simple movements can help keep you comfortable during pregnancy. You can also try prenatal yoga or other low-impact exercises.
With certain lifestyle changes, skincare regimen and maintenance even after the baby is born, you can prevent stretch marks. For more tips, get in touch with the doctors at KIMS Cuddles.
*The opinions expressed in this article are not to be substituted for medical advice under any circumstance