Pregnancy is the happiest moment in a woman’s life. However, there are some pregnancy woes that make her worry all the time, one of these is stretch marks during pregnancy. Though not a significant health issue, many women ask their doctor for ways to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy. Stretch mark is more of a cosmetic problem. The satiny scars appear more on the abdomen during pregnancy as a result of weight gain as well as stretching of skin caused due to growing size of uterus. Some women may also develop stretch marks on their breast, buttocks and thighs during pregnancy.
The skin of abdomen expands during pregnancy as a result of mild build up fluid, widening of pelvis and gradual increase in the size of baby bulge. All these factors collectively lead to breakage of collagen fibers in the skin. Researchers also blame it on genetics. If your mother had stretch marks during pregnancy, the odds are that you will be also having the same.
Collagen is a natural substance, a type of protein found in skin which helps to maintain its elasticity. During pregnancy, the abdominal skin stretches itself beyond its limit as a result of factors we just now discussed.Disruption and damage to the underlying collage fibers leads to loss of skin elasticity. Women prone to such changes are more susceptible to stretch marks. In the beginning they are red in appearance but gradually become white and shiny. In dark skinned women, pregnancy stretch marks usually appear brown.
How To Reduce Pregnancy Stretch Marks Naturally?
Complete avoidance of stretch marks during pregnancy is practically not possible; however, the good news is that there are ways which when implicated can prevent them to certain extent.
Some of the natural ways that you can always try to reduce the possibility of stretch marks during pregnancy are:
- Eat food that is rich in vitamin E. Vitamin E, also called tocopherol, promotes elasticity of skin. A more elastic skin is able to stretch more and thus reduce the breakage of collagen fiber. Foods that contain vitamin E are mustard green, Swiss chard, Kale, almonds, walnuts, papaya Kiwi, Broccoli, pumpkin, sunflower oil etc.
- A pregnant woman can also apply vitamin E oil on the skin before the pregnancy stretch marks develop.
- Eat foods that contain essential fatty acids. Eat oily fish such as mackerel and salmon, flax seeds etc. It also helps in preventing formation of parallel silvery lines on the abdomen at the time of pregnancy. Use olive oil in your cooking medium. A word of caution, discuss with your doctor before consuming fish when you are pregnant as some fish may contain fractional amount of mercury.
- Also eat foods that are high in Zinc. Zinc helps in production of healthy collagen fibers. Foods containing Zinc are grains, fish, red meat, poultry, ginger etc. Presence of silica in foods is also valuable to reduce pregnancy stretch marks. Green leafy vegetables, beets, soybeans whole grains are all rich source of silica.
Natural Ways To Prevent Stretch Marks From Pregnancy
- Water: drink enough water to keep your skin well hydrated. A well hydrated skin remains smooth and supple than dry skin. You have to drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water in a day.
- Many pregnant women are not aware about exercise and its benefits during pregnancy. One of the benefits of exercise (though light) is maintaining good skin health. It accelerates the growth of cells, and increases the circulation every organ of the body. This includes skin as well.
- Exfoliate those areas which are susceptible to stretch marks during pregnancy. While bathing use a exfoliate cloth or loofah. You can moisturize the skin with olive oil or almond oil and gently scrub the skin area prone to stretch marks.
- Regularly massage the abdominal area, breast, buttocks and thighs with almond oil from the beginning of pregnancy to prevent stretch marks.
- Prepare a homemade stretch mark cream and apply it regularly to reduce the incidence of stretch mark while you are pregnant. Mix cocoa butter, wheat germ oil, almond oil together and store it is a jar. Apply it two times in a day.
Though it is difficult to prevent pregnancy stretch marks in totality, following the above precautionary measures can substantially decrease the development of stretch marks while you are pregnant. And if at all they appear they may be light and less visible.