How to Prevent Pregnancy Stretch Marks


If you are reading this article, you probably are pregnant and concerned about the possibility that you may be the recipient of stretch marks during your final phases of pregnancy. If you want to prevent the occurrence of the marks, you need to make sure that you don’t gain weight too fast.

Be Sensible When Gaining Weight

Many women who get stretch marks sometimes consume too much food as they believe they are eating for two. However, you have to also understand that the baby you are carrying is not the same size as you. If you use some constraint and practice good nutrition, you have a better chance of prevention.

The Development of the Marks – How It Suddenly Happens

Stretch marks occur because of hormonal changes, although the name would suggest otherwise. When you are pregnant, the extra manufacture of hormones causes your body to produce less collagen and elastin. Collagen and elastin are needed to keep the skin supple. Therefore, when you gain weight too quickly, the second layer of skin may rupture, which results in the unsightly purplish and reddish marks. As time goes on, the marks fade to a grayish or whitish tone, depending on the hue of your skin.

As a result, stretch marks really occur because hormonal changes during pregnancy alter the manufacture of collagen and elastin. This change causes the skin underneath to more easily give way whenever there is a rapid weight loss or gain. Typically, the breaks occur because the patient gains weight rapidly. That is why you want to follow the doctor’s guidelines and gain weight reasonably.

Blame It On DNA

Stretch marks can also occur when someone is lifting weights or during puberty. Both these incidences, again, are related to hormonal changes in the body. Stretch marks can also happen more readily when you are pregnant if your mother or sister had stretch marks during their pregnancies.

Keep Your Skin Moisturized

However, that being said, you should still try to prevent stretch marks if you can. Again, gaining weight at a reasonable rate will help in slowing down their occurrence. Also, it helps to keep the abdomen moisturized during pregnancy. Keeping the skin soft and pliable will lessen the possibility that the skin beneath the surface will rupture or break.

Expect to see stretch marks then when your body or abdomen is growing faster than what the skin can keep pace with. When this happens, the elastin can only stretch so far before it breaks. According to statistics, a woman will gain around 30 pounds during the first 9 months that she is pregnant. Therefore, even at that rate, stretch marks may be inevitable, especially if it is part of your family history or DNA.

Besides, the abdomen, the marks can appear on the breasts as well as both these areas grow the most during pregnancy. The marks can also show up on the areas of the upper arms, buttocks or thighs. While they appear purple or reddish at first, again, they will gradually fade to a gray or white.

Slowly Gain a Moderate Amount of Weight to Play It Safe

Experts say that pregnant women of a healthy weight should stay within the range of a 25 to 30-pound weight gain. Also, the weight should be gained slowly and steadily versus gaining the weight in fast spurts. That way, you have less of a chance that the skin will expand too fast, causing the second layer of dermis to ultimately break. Therefore, when it comes to the occurrence of the marks, how rapidly you gain weight may be just a detrimental as to the overall amount of the weight gain.

Women whose complexions are lighter will have more pinkish-hued type marks at first while darker-skinned women will exhibit marks that are lighter than their skin tone. If you do all you can to prevent the occurrence of the marks and they still appear, they will still not be as noticeable if you continue to moisturize your skin and follow a nutritious diet or exercise routine.

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