Becoming a mother is a milestone moment in any woman's life. This beautiful period is full of challenges started from morning sickness to changes in your diet as well as skincare woes. You’re a mother-to-be now, so everything needs extra attention. Your everyday life will have a completely new routine especially the skincare routine.
Many changes can occur on your body during the pregnancy period, especially on your skin and hair. These changes are related to the surge of female hormones which are estrogen and progesterone, the skin pigments, and blood vessels.
What Are Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks which are also called stria are long, thin, rippled indented streaks that appear on a range of body parts such as:
Any woman, who has stretch marks, probably wishes they’d go away. These rippled lines in your skin are not physically dangerous and they will not affect your health, but they aren’t beautiful things to look at, either. The reason for those stretch marks is that when your body grows quickly for any reason especially pregnant women as they gain weight and a surge in hormones that weakens skin fibers. They will never go away and disappear but they might fade over time or by using certain products and procedures.
Signs and symptoms
When stretch marks start to appear, the skin will be thin and pink. Also, a woman would feel irritated or itchy.
In the beginning, it would appear as wrinkly thin, rippled lines with purple, pink, reddish-brown, or dark brown, depending on skin color. These streaks will tend to change to a silvery color over time. Stretch marks may gradually become unnoticeable and fade, but this can often take years.
3 Tips to Help Prevent Stretch Marks
1- Control your weight
Stretch marks appear when you rapidly gain or lose weight. so, maintaining a healthy weight is one of the most helpful things you can do to protect yourself from stretch marks, whether you’re pregnant or not. You can easily notice stretch marks after gaining weight as your skin pulls apart quickly. On the other hand, stretch marks are a frustrating side effect of losing weight. Eat healthy food and exercise more and visit your doctor if you do notice rapid weight gain or loss to find out why.
2- Eat a nutrient-rich diet
Stretch marks may also appear in the case of nutrition lack. So, you have to eat foods that boost skin health. Make sure your diet includes foods that are rich in:
- vitamin C (Vitamin C is an important nutrient for the development of collagen)
- zinc (plays a role in the wound healing process)
- vitamin D
- vitamin E
3- Use a moisturizer
There are no creams or oils proven that will 100% prevention of stretch marks. However, if you keep your skin supple, it may be helpful for you to reduce the risk in some people. Also, moisturizers can help reduce the dryness of the skin that happens because of changes during pregnancy as the skin stretches. Recent research found that creams and oils would help to prevent stretch marks.
3- Exercise during Pregnancy.
In addition to increasing energy levels, reducing mood swings, improving sleep patterns, and boosting an individual's overall self-image, exercise can also help prevent stretch marks. Exercising improves blood circulation, which maintains the skin's elasticity and ability to stretch as it grows. Fortunately, stretch marks can reduce their severity and even disappear after losing weight and returning to "normal" body size, but this is not always the case for everyone.
Remember: Having a baby is a big deal. During this journey, your body will go through a lot to bring your little one into the world. You have no reason to be ashamed of those stretch marks as they are a testament to what you went through.