There are few things more beautiful than a pregnant woman’s body – what a wondrous miracle-making machine! – and while it’s imperative to look after bub’s home base for the duration of your term, taking good care of your skin is also essential, particularly when it comes to the prevention of (much-dreaded) stretch marks.
You may remember from your teenage years that stretch marks are the result of your skin not being able to keep up with the rate your body is growing, meaning it stretches beyond its limits of elasticity. Stretch marks are scars that form deep within the skin layers and can be purple, white or silver. They’re harmless, if not slightly itchy when forming, and won’t harm little one at all, but that doesn’t mean we want them appearing all over our bellies, boobs, and bums!
Here are some ways to help keep stretch marks at bay.
Water is your best friend at the moment, and drinking at least 6 – 8 cups a day is going to really help keep your skin supple.
Try to sip small amounts often to maintain your hydration levels, particularly if you’re suffering from morning sickness.
The Caramello Koalas may be hitting those cravings in all the right spots, but munching on foods that are good for your skin is going to be much more beneficial in the long run.
Fill your diet with goodies that are rich in fatty acids, vitamins, zinc and antioxidants
Fill your diet with goodies that are rich in fatty acids (oily fish, chia seeds, and avocado), vitamins (lots of fresh fruit and veg, nuts and seeds), zinc (poultry, red meat, spinach and nuts), and antioxidants (sweet potato, broccoli, and – great news! – dark chocolate).
Manage weight gain
While weight gain during pregnancy is inevitable, by eating healthily and getting at least a bit of exercise daily, you can help prevent extra strain being put on your skin because of weight gain, and reduce the formation of stretch marks.
Get your daily dose
A 2015 study found a correlation between low vitamin D levels and the occurrence of stretch marks, and while more research is needed, we can’t help thinking a 10-minute stint in the sun each day is good for mind, body and soul.
Massaging topical creams and oils onto your skin during pregnancy can help hydrate and protect problem areas, as well as stimulate blood flow which can help increase skin’s strength.
Apply liberally throughout your pregnancy for best results.