Stretch marks during pregnancy: All you need to know.

Stretch marks during pregnancy

Stretch marks are one thing that everyone dreads during pregnancy. It doesn’t affect everyone but could appear in a large majority of women.

What are stretch marks during pregnancy?

Stretch marks are actually miniscule tears in the supporting tissue under your skin as it’s pulled taut during pregnancy. They show as small, depressed streaks on your skin, most often on the stomach area especially during the later stages of pregnancy when your belly is rapidly expanding in order to accommodate your growing baby. Some women may also see them on their thighs, hips, and breasts.

How can I know if I'll get stretch marks?

Genetics plays a huge role in your susceptibility to it. So ask your mum if she got them. Chances are, if she did, you are likely to as well. Rapid weight gain or weight loss can can also make getting stretch marks likely. Also, darker skinned people don’t get them as often as their lighter-skinned counterparts.

How to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy

  • Moisturize. Whether it helps with stretch marks or not, it’s never too bad an idea to moisturize. Cocoa butter won't hurt. It will at least prevent your skin from itching out of dryness.
  • Nourish your skin from the inside. Include vitamin C -rich foods in your diet to help keep your skin toned, and less susceptible to stretch marks.
  • Watch your weight. Gain weight slowly and not rapidly to keep stretch marks at bay. So monitor your weight regularly.
  • Wait it out. Even though you’d like them to disappear yesterday, remember everything is slow and steady. They will eventually fade out.

How can you reduce stretch marks later?

You will not be able to get rid of stretch marks altogether, but if your stretch marks are a source of bother after your delivery, talk to your dermatologist about how you can minimize them. There are a variety of treatment options.

Topical ointments like tretinoin and glycolic acid may help.

There's also been seen that laser treatments could help restore the skin's elasticity and it could also change the pigmentation such that the stretch marks better match the rest of your skin thus making it much less obvious.

Know that the presence of stretch marks is considered to be more of a cosmetic issue. It is nothing to do with being a health hazard so insurance might not cover the treatment.

There's no tried and tested way to prevent them or really treat them. Take heart in that they won’t appear as vivid and tend to fade away once you’re done with your pregnancy. Meanwhile, consider them your tiger stripes, mama, and wear them with pride. Roar!