Before giving birth, women will experience a stretching of the skin and underlying tissue in their abdomens. More often than not, constant erratic cravings have these poor mothers eating far more than they would like to, causing extra weight gain. Not only does the skin start stretching, but other changes take place as well.
Collagen deep within the tissue breaks apart and changing hormones cause a depletion of chemicals that help the skin retain its elasticity. As a result, pregnancy stretch marks occur in roughly 90% of all pregnancies. The underlying skin rips and tears, resulting in scar tissue that looks like thin reddish-purple streaks across the skin. Over time, these marks will lose some of their color and diminish slightly, but many women would rather practice stretch mark prevention as best they can.
Pregnancy Stretch Mark Prevention
One way to work at stretch mark prevention is to exercise! Walking and yoga are good low-impact exercises to keep the skin’s elasticity, not to mention make labor, easier.
While you should never deprive your unborn baby of what it needs, be aware that the healthy weight gain limits are between 25 and 35 pounds, so you will want to stay there to minimize the amount of stretching. You will also want that weight gain to be gradual.
Secondly, to prevent stretch marks, you will want to prevent scratching! Just as your mother told you to never scratch your chicken pox, you should also never scratch a stretch mark, no matter how itchy it feels. When your skin is stretched to maximum capacity, scratching pregnancy stretch marks is probably the worst thing you can do. Instead, massage in oils or creams, which will diminish itchiness, promote blood circulation and stimulate new skin cell growth.
Cocoa Butter Stretch Mark Prevention Lotion
Another thing you will hear a lot about, with regard to stretch mark prevention and treatment, is to keep your entire body moisturized!
Beginning in the first trimester, apply a nourishing moisturizing cream, a stretch mark oil or cocoa butter in the morning and at night. Check for active ingredients like vitamin E, vitamin A, cocoa butter, emu oil, wheat germ oil and lanolin. These products will help maintain your skin’s elasticity, will feed your skin and most importantly, keep itchiness at a minimum.
In addition, the circular massage motion while applying the cream for stretchmarks will increase circulation and hopefully collagen production as well. On message boards, many mothers cite that the less expensive creams work just as well as the top-of-the-line stuff when trying to reduce stretch marks.
It may turn out that your stretch mark prevention was all in vain. However, do not let the appearance of stretch marks trouble you too much. Over time, they will naturally become less noticeable, generally fading from purple to white.
There are laser and surgical procedures that may achieve added success to your recovery, but the most important thing is that you accept what you cannot change and find joy in the new life you have delivered to the world. In the end, that is all that really matters.