Pregnancy is a good thing, and it is the joy of every woman to get pregnant and bring new life into the world. However, it changes not only your life but also your body, and it does so in many ways. One of those ways and perhaps what most ladies hate is the appearance of some nasty stretch marks.
The bad news is that they are inevitable during pregnancy because the skin on your belly has to expand to accommodate the uterus as it grows big. Although you can treat them with laser and chemicals after childbirth, the best way will be to prevent them before they form. Here are eight effective tips on how to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy that will help you avoid this annoying thing.
1. Drink Enough Water /Stay Hydrated
It is a fact that water is essential for survival, but it does much more to the body than this. Drinking a lot of water is good for your body, and if you want to prevent stretch marks, you should follow this golden rule and take between six and eight glasses every day. Water will help your skin to cope with the strain and expansion that comes with pregnancy and hence limiting the appearance of these nasty marks. If you are not a fan of drinking water, you can take green tea because it is caffeine free and rich in antioxidants that are very beneficial to your skin. Watery vegetables and fruits are also another great way to hydrate your body and skin.
2. Moisturize and Massage your Skin Regularly
Some parts of your body are more prone to stress when you’re pregnant than others. They include the lower back, legs and tummy and so if you want your skin to stretch without leaving marks you have to moisturize it. However, ordinary moisturizers will not be very helpful because they cannot penetrate deep into your skin and so you should use oils made for this particular purpose and other natural remedies. And so when you are pregnant you should gently massage these areas with these oils but do not apply too much pressure as this may cause more harm than good.
3. Exfoliate your Skin
Exfoliation helps you to get rid of dead skin from the top layers of your skin, and this, in turn, allows new cells to come up. These new cells enhance the circulation of blood and hence prevent the formation of stretch marks in that area. Experts recommend exfoliation because it is as effective as moisturizing your skin. And you can do it in many ways for example by using a brush with soft bristles on your entire body or scrub your body using a natural fiber material when taking a bath.
4. Control Your Weight Gain
Gaining weight during pregnancy is inevitable, but doing it fast is what causes stretch marks. Even doctors highly advice that you should gain your pregnancy weight as slow as possible to prevent other health complications. One way to avoid rapid weight gain is by avoiding the “eating for two” notion. It is true you need more calories than before, but this does not mean that you should consume twice as much. Another way is to snack on healthy vegetables and fruits when you get cravings for sweet foods.
5. Exercise Regularly
There has always been a debate on whether it is safe or not to exercise when one is pregnant. Although different people may have varied opinions, most experts recommend that a pregnant woman should do light exercises to keep her body fit. However, exercises will also help prevent stretch marks because it contributes to maintaining the elasticity of your skin. Apart from this it also increases oxygen intake which in turn improves blood circulation. Good blood circulation gives your skin the ability to stretch more and hence reduce the appearance of the stretch marks.
6. Use Sunscreen
It is important to use sunscreen when on the beach or anywhere else where you expose yourself to direct sunlight. Sun rays are very harsh on the skin, and they can cause a lot of damage to the cells and hence making it prone to the stretch marks. And so you should apply a generous among of sunscreen on your belly, chest, sides and any other area that can get stretch marks.
7. Eat Nourishing Foods
You should not give up on foods that nourish your skin if you do not want to have to deal with some annoying marks on your body after childbirth. Most ladies eat a healthy diet when pregnant, but you should also incorporate foods that are beneficial to your skin. These foods will improve your skin’s elasticity and hence make it stretch easily without leaving marks. And so you should add foods that are rich in antioxidants such as fresh fruits, spinach, and blueberries because they nourish and protect your skin. Other foods that you should have in your diet include vitamin E sources such as nuts, and broccoli, vitamin A and also those that are rich in omega-3s such as fish oil, walnuts, and oysters.
8. Treat the Marks Immediately They Start Appearing
Although this may not sound very preventative, it is still an effective way to ensure that you do not get the large marks that will be hard to remove. If you take all the above precautions and the marks still appear you should make sure that you treat them when they are still a little painful and red/pink in color. And the best way to do this is to apply coconut oil on the site regularly. You can also use prescription creams that contain retinol or glycolic acid, but you should consult your doctor first before using anything because some of these creams may be dangerous to your baby.
There may be modern ways to get rid of stretch marks but most are very expensive, and they also have some side effect. The best thing about the many ways of preventing stretch marks is that most of them will also have many benefits for the health of your baby. And so the best thing that a pregnant woman can do is to prevent them before they start appearing and this should be very easy with the tips above in mind.