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How Do I Prevent Stretch Marks When I'm Pregnant?

How Do I Prevent Stretch Marks When I'm Pregnant?

Overview

The Expectant Mother's Guide reports that between 75 and 90 percent of pregnant women will get stretch marks. They usually crop up in the last trimester and are the result of the skin stretching so quickly as a woman's stomach grows with the growth of the baby. Stretch marks usually fade over time and become less distinct and visible. There is some debate regarding whether stretch marks can be prevented, but some practices can reduce the odds that you will end up with them. Most women experience stretch marks on their stomach, hips, butt and breasts. There is no way to know beforehand whether you will get stretch marks, but a few steps can help you reduce and prevent them.

Step 1

Talk to your doctor. Discuss with your obstetrician what is an appropriate amount of weight gain for you because too much weight gain can result in stretch marks. The Expectant Mother's Guide says that this is usually between 25 and 35 lbs. but can be more or less if you are underweight or overweight.

Step 2

Eat a healthy and balanced diet. Being sure to eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, lean meats and whole grains will help you gain weight at a slow, steady pace so that you're stomach doesn't expand too rapidly. Gaining a lot of weight quickly contributes to stretch marks, so gaining weight gradually over the course of pregnancy can help prevent them from occurring. Take a prenatal vitamin every day because it will provide your body with necessary nutrients to keep your skin healthy and less susceptible to stretching.

Step 3

Drink lots of water. Keeping well-hydrated throughout your pregnancy will help keep your skin healthy and pliable, reducing the chances that stretch marks will appear as your skin stretches to support your growing baby.

Step 4

Use moisturizer. While most medical experts say that products designed to prevent stretch marks aren't effective, many pregnant mothers have used them with success. Most of these products contain cocoa butter and are sold for this specific purpose. Either way, keeping your skin well-moisturized and healthy will cut down on the chances that you will get stretch marks as your pregnancy progresses.

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