Written by IALH Editor
Image by @badgalriri
The minute you tell people you’re pregnant you get one of two questions (or both!):
Are you going to breastfeed?
Are you worried about getting stretch marks?
I get it! They’re both pretty big deals during pregnancy, but they can add undue worry. Not everyone will develop stretch marks, but lots of people do and we’re here to give you some straightforward ways to hopefully keep them at bay. Although if you do get a few, don’t be ashamed! Wear them like a badge of honour, you’ve just given a tiny person life after all!
Always consult with your doctor or midwife before using or taking any medication or supplements.
1) Gain weight at a steady pace
Slow and steady really wins the race here. Contrary to popular belief you don’t actually NEED to eat for two, though the occasional treat never hurt anybody. But generally maintaining a healthy, balanced diet full of vitamins that your baby needs to grow is the best option – and you don’t need anymore more calories than normal until the third trimester (28 weeks) – and even then you only need an extra 200 a day.
Eating more food than is necessary and particularly ones high in sugar, salt and processed fats can cause issues like gestational diabetes and high blood pressure. it can also result in undue weight gain.
2) Stay hydrated
Drinking plenty of water during pregnancy has SO many benefits. it can help prevent nasty UTIs, help prevent any swelling you may experience and stop you from feeling dehydrated or getting severe headaches. But for your skin, it’s also going to work wonders. Well hydrated skin means softer skin and softer skin keeps things supple! And your skin is less likely to develop stretch marks if you keep it like this than letting it get dried out.
3) Get that vitamin D hun
Soaking in some sunshine can make a lot of difference. While you must be careful and always wear plenty of high factor SPF, getting some sun while pregnant is no bad thing. If you live in a country that isn’t super sunny or you’re pregnant during colder months, many pregnancy supplements contain vitamin D and you can get it through foods like cereal, milk and yoghurt.
4) Moisturise from day one!
And I don’t just mean your growing belly. Get that cream, oil and / or body butter over your stomach, thighs, bum, chest and hips. Basically anywhere that gains fat and weight during pregnancy. There are so many to choose from but here are some of my faves..
Mama Bee Nourishing Body Oil
New Mother Set
Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula
Tummy Butter for Stretch Marks
5) Use products containing retinoids AFTER pregnancy and breastfeeding
Products containing retinoids can help reduce the appearance of stretch marks. But they are not safe to use while you’re carrying the baby or breastfeeding as they can harm the baby. It’s best to use it on fresher stretch marks as you’ll notice more of a difference.