Stretch Marks And Ways To Manage It During Pregnancy

Editorial Team

Stretch marks are probably the bane of every woman’s existence, we do everything possible to avoid. But realistically stretch marks are the souvenirs of maternity, which means even though we try to avoid it they are almost inevitable.

WhatToExpect defines stretch marks as tiny tears in the supporting layers of tissue under your skin as it's pulled tight to the limit during pregnancy. Chances are, if your mother got them, you probably will too.

According to WebMD, Stretch marks happen when your body grows faster than your skin can keep up with. This causes the elastic fibers just under the surface of the skin to break, resulting in stretch marks. Stretch marks can show up on your belly, breasts, thighs, buttocks, and upper arms. For pregnant women stretch marks usually appear from the 13th or 21st week of pregnancy. 

Many women wonder if there is any way to avoid stretch marks but the truth is there is no way to avoid it especially if you are genetically predisposed to have it. Although whether or not you get pregnancy stretch marks is usually a matter of genetics but there are a few ways to try avoiding them (or at least to slow down the stretch).

According to Jumia Travel, here are five ways to avoid stretch marks,

  • Keep your body hydrated, your body needs to be hydrated for maximum skin elasticity. Skin elasticity is the skin’s ability to stretch and then go back to normal. So, drinking between 8 and 12 cups of water daily can help skin elasticity and thus prevent these stretch marks. Generally, it is not good for pregnant women to be dehydrated.
  • Creams and moisturizers can be used to keep the skin moist and damp. It is advisable to use creams that contain Vitamin E or Vitamin A. This types of cream cannot cause any damage to the skin and can also prevent these marks. You should use it preferably after having your bath. Important, avoid using harsh chemicals on your skin.
  • Don’t eat for two. Yes, you are carrying an extra life in your belly and the temptation or craving will be there to eat for two. You should eat a balanced diet. Eating for two or eating too much during pregnancy can cause stretch marks. It is important you eat enough for you and your baby.
  • Exercise during pregnancy, although not all pregnant women will be disposed to exercise during pregnancy. But it is good you try to do it as exercising help retains skin elasticity by improving the circulation. The exercises you perform should not be intense.
  • Gain weight gradually. This is perhaps the quickest way to get stretch marks. The faster you gain weight, the more you are vulnerable to stretch marks. You should follow your doctor’s recommendation for slowly gaining weight.

Thankfully in today’s society a lot of women are beginning to embrace their stretch marks. It is important that you don’t base your expectation on what you see on social media because a lot of the things we see are unrealistic.

As women and mothers we should always be proud of our body, flaws and all. Stretch marks are every mother's badge of honor and it should be worn with pride.