5 Ways to Prevent Stretch Marks

1. Eat a healthy, diverse and balanced diet that keeps your weight gain within the recommended range of 25 to 35 pounds. Excellent nutritional status is vital for your developing baby, but it also contributes to the strength and health of the body’s largest organ: the skin. What’s more, a controlled and steady weight gain, without any wild upward swings, will let your skin stretch at a steady rate without any unexpected jolts.

2. Use a body brush or wash cloth to massage the areas where you have stretch marks, or want to prevent stretch marks from appearing - this will increase circulation to the area, which may be helpful.

3. Drink plenty of water. Hydration is important for your overall health and well-being as well as that of your growing baby, and it is critical to healthy skin.

4. Take your vitamins. This is one more way to ensure proper nutritional status, which is critical for your overall health and well-being, as well as beautiful skin and a healthy baby!

5. Keep skin liberally and effectively moisturized beginning in the first or second trimester and through your recovery to your pre-pregnancy weight, perhaps with one of the many oils and creams marketed especially for stretch mark prevention. These moisturizers will help keep your skin supple and elastic plus serve as “food” (and vitamin supplements) for your skin.

The various vitamins and oils used to create these formulas are designed to help enhance collagen production and support the dermis, to keep skin intact despite the rigorous stretching. Remember that it is important to take care of yourself during the postpartum period as well. The dramatic weight loss makes your skin susceptible to stretch marks once again.

In addition, you certainly need to keep your whole body strong to cope with the stresses of recovery from childbirth and the demanding duties of motherhood. If you do follow all of these guidelines yet still develop stretch marks, don’t despair. They will fade in time to small silvery lines, and become much less noticeable. Yet for the relatively small price of a few minor imperfections in your skin (and perhaps a few lingering bulges around your midsection), you will have the overwhelming privilege of serving as mother to the tiny, helpless little bundle of joy you hold so gently in your arms.