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Mommy How-To: Prevent and Treat Stretch Marks During and After Pregnancy

Stretch marks are an unfortunate consequence of one of the happiest moments of a woman’s life. During pregnancy the body can grow at a fast rate, resulting in stretching and pulling of the skin in many areas. The most common areas that stretch marks appear are on the hips, abdomen, breasts, arms, and thighs. Your skin is made up of many tiny elastic fibers that will stretch and grow during your pregnancy, however the most common precursor to stretch marks is family history. Stretch marks are hereditary, therefore if your mother had stretch marks, you most likely will too, but you can still reduce the appearance of them.

There are several ways to prevent the occurrence of stretch marks before they happen! You can’t beat biology, but you can give it a good shot. Similarly, these options can be used if you already experience stretch marks and are looking of ways to minimize the appearance and erase their existence.

  • Moisturize: During pregnancy, most importantly, moisturizing is key. This may seem too simple an answer, but moisturizing is a very important step for over all skin health. All forms of moisturizers keep the skin supple, elastic, and flexible, allowing your skin to stretch easily and evenly. Moisturizing also helps to bring pigmentation back together and erase the signs of stretch marks.


  • Cocoa Butter: A remedy that has been used for ages, cocoa butter, helps keep skin soft and flexible. Apply at least twice a day, preferably before sleep and after a shower to keep the body moisturized for best results. A great home recipe for a cocoa butter cream is half a cup of cocoa butter, teaspoon of wheat germ oil, apricot kernel oil, vitamin E oil, and two teaspoons of beeswax, apply three times a day. This recipe can be used to prevent and treat stretch marks.


  • Hydration: Drinking plenty of water is very important in preventing stretch marks. Your body demands a larger supply of water when you are pregnant, due to increased blood volume and the large sack of amniotic fluid you are making for your baby. Water going into your body is primarily being used for these functions, so water needed to keep your skin elastic is in short supply. This means drinking more water than you may be used to is essential. Drinking at least 10 glasses of water, preferably more, is recommended. If you feel tired, have dry lips, or experience headaches you may be dehydrated.


  • Vitamin C: The body uses Vitamin C to make collagen. Collagen is what makes skin supple and flexible. Eating foods high in vitamin C and taking a Vitamin C supplement will help your body use the Vitamin C it needs to make the optimum amount of collagen.


  • Oil: Is another way to keep your skin moisturized. Lavender Oil is a great option, it not only helps keep your skin moisturized, and encourages skin elasticity, but it is calming and smells good!


  • Zinc: Many women are actually deficient in Zinc, which is one of the most common deficiencies that leads to stretch marks. Zinc is what the body uses to produce collagen. Try and find foods high in zinc, spinach, pumpkin seeds, and nuts, or take a zinc supplement everyday with your prenatal vitamins.


  • Eat for Elasticity: There are many foods that promote the production of collagen including bone broth, gelatins, omega 3 foods or supplements, foods high in Vitamin A, like sweet potatoes and dark leafy greens, Vitamin C, like citrus fruits, and Vitamin E, such as spinach and almonds, and free range, grass fed dairy, meat and eggs.


  • Egg Whites: There is a lot of protein in egg whites, this helps with skin rejuvenation, healing, and helps promote new skin growth. Take the egg white and massage into the areas affected, let it dry, and repeat twice a day. In as little as a month, you will see significant results.


  • Aloe: Aloe helps promote new skin cell regeneration. Using an aloe leaf, scrap out the pulp and apply to affected areas. This method can help reduce the appearance significantly in just two weeks! Drinking 1 cup of aloe juice everyday increases those results and produces the best results.


  • Lemon Juice: Lemon juice is a natural bleaching agent, so applied regularly, twice a day for a least a month, the dark skin pigmentation of the stretch marks will lighten and help bring pigmentation back together and appear more evenly for light colored skin


  • Honey: You can use a honey scrub to help rejuvenate and even out skin pigmentation after the appearance of stretch marks. Using regular honey, smooth honey over the affected areas with a clean cloth and let dry. Wash with warm water, and repeat twice a day. Using a honey scrub, scrub for 5 minutes and rinse with warm water.


The most important thing to remember is to keep your body moisturized. Moisturizing is the key step is maintaining soft, elastic, and flexible skin. Following these additional steps will help prevent and treat your stretch marks so that your post baby skin is as soft and smooth as your pre-baby skin!


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