How to Minimize Pregnancy Stretch Marks

The problem of pregnancy stretch marks can be approached from three angles, diet, skin care, and exercise, both during and after pregnancy.  

During pregnancy it is advisable to avoid the stretching process which causes the marks by keeping weight down. “Eating for two” is a myth.  You need to eat well, but not excessively.  A weight gain much in excess of  10 kilos or 22lbs is not really necessary unless you are carrying twins.  More than that is probably tissue fluid and fat and will cause problems in regaining your figure. The more body weight you gain, the more difficult it is to prevent stretch marks.

Excessive weight gain can also cause high blood pressure, leading to problems for the baby, with the real possibility of toxaemia and kidney damage.

Start early on a programme to keep the skin well-nourished and elastic.   This is best done from the inside by eating a well-balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, and unsaturated oils such as olive oil.  Drink plenty of water, too, at least eight glasses a day, and avoid excessive intake of strong tea, coffee and alcohol.  Smoking also dries and toughens the skin, as does too much sun.

External application of olive oil and vitamin E creams, coca butter or jojoba oil, and  even coconut butter can help enormously, enabling the skin to snap back easily to fit your slimmer shape after pregnancy.  Almond oil can also be used, but avoid aromatherapy essences unless supplied by consultation with a reputable therapist.  Some essential oils, such a bergamot, raspberry and hyssop can promote miscarriage.

Oils or lotions should be applied daily in a very slow, gentle,  circular smoothing motion from rib-cage to pelvis.  Anything more vigorous could cause nausea and even premature labour.  But giving a loving massage affords a father-to-be a delightful opportunity to be part of the ongoing process of creating his baby, and to bond with his partner and his unborn child.

Other problem area can occur in breasts and on hips and buttocks.  These areas can also benefit from massage.  Anywhere fat is deposited, subcutaneous tissue can expand and tear, leaving lines of thinner skin through which deeper tissue gives the appearance of purplish marks.

As the baby grows, support the weight of the womb with elasticated panties or support hose, rather than letting the burden hang, putting extra strain on abdominal tissue.  This will also help to prevent back-ache.

 Good posture is essential to keep the weight of the foetus inside the pelvic girdle, not thrust forward by high heels and curved spine.  Stand erect, with hips tilted forward and buttocks tucked in.

Exercise gently, but regularly.  Walking and swimming are the best methods during pregnancy.  Swimming is also very good for skin tone, especially in sea water.

After the child is born, continue with the massage and nourishing oils and continue to eat sensibly and exercise gently.  Within six weeks, the skin should firm up, and within six months all signs of the stretch marks should disappear.

Using this method, even after several pregnancies, you should not be left with unsightly, sunken purple furrows, but merely the most delicate of silvery trails on a firm, trim abdomen.

It should not be necessary to buy over-the counter remedies to erase stretch marks, but there are some products containing glycolic acid, vitamin E and herb extracts such as Arnica that can help where quicker results are required.

how Vitamin E helps to prevent stretch marks