Moms and Dads

Stretch Marks in Pregnancy: How to Help Lessen Them

Studies show that 8 out of 10 women are affected by stretch marks during pregnancy. Here’s how you can help lessen or prevent them!

Stretch marks during pregnancy are actually a lot more common than we think. In fact, according to studies, this physical change occurs in 8 out of 10 women! They’re often characterized by narrow, streak-like lines and are sometimes called tiger stripes. Depending on your genes and skin tone, they can be pink, red, purple, or brown. As the pregnancy progresses, they’ll usually appear on the tummy, upper thighs, buttocks, and even breasts.

How Stretch Marks Occur During Pregnancy

It usually happens whenever the skin is stretched as your belly bump grows. This is because your body is growing a lot faster than your skin can keep up with. Additionally, hormonal changes in pregnancy can affect the skin—making it more likely to develop these tiger stripes. Genes play a big factor as well. If you’re one of the lucky ones, then your skin may be more elastic compared to others.

Moreover, you’re likely to get stretch marks if your weight gain is more than average when you’re pregnant. It’s recommended that pregnant women gain about 25 to 35 pounds although this varies from woman to woman.

How to Help Lessen Stretch Marks During Pregnancy

While dermatologists and OB-gynes say that there’s no reliable evidence when it comes to using creams, lotions, and balms, below are some tips to help lessen those stretch marks.

1. Gain Weight Slowly and Steadily

Aside from staying within the recommended weight gain range, it’s important to gain slowly and steadily as opposed to fast spurts. You can do this by eating a healthy and balanced diet. No need to deprive yourself of your favorite desserts but be sure to consume them in moderation. It also helps to eat small, frequent meals a day instead of three big meals that can cause bloat and even indigestion, which is another common effect of pregnancy.

2. Keep Your Skin Hydrated

stretch mark creams and lotions

While creams, lotions, and balms can’t promise to prevent stretch marks, it’s still important to keep your skin hydrated. This will make your skin feel better, and look smoother and more toned. Plus—it can help with the itchiness! We recommend Mustela’s Stretch Marks Cream (P1,950) or Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula for Stretch Marks (P375).

3. Drink Lots of Water

Another way to keep skin hydrated is by drinking lots of water. Pregnant women should drink about 8 to 12 glasses of water daily. That’s about 64 to 96 ounces. To help you consume your water intake for the day, try investing in a water bottle that keeps your water cold for up to 24 hours. The 64-ounce insulated stainless steel tumbler from local brand, Hydrofied, is a good bottle to have since you only need to fill it up once or twice within the day.

4. Focus on Fading the Stretch Marks Instead

While some stretch marks fade naturally over time, others may remain darker. The best time to treat them is while they’re still in that reddish stage. Try applying a hyaluronic acid lotion or cream (like the HADA LABO Hydrating Lotion, P685) generously all over the affected areas twice a day. You can also check with your doctor if it’s okay to drink collagen supplements to stimulate collagen production. Doing so can help lead to plumper, healthier skin. Lastly, getting a microdermabrasion procedure from your trusted skincare clinic can renew the skin, too!

Embrace Those Pregnancy Stretch Marks Anyway

stretch marks in pregnancy

For some women, the stretch marks might stay permanently. While it may take some time to get used to, it helps to remember that those tiger stripes represent something wonderful. They’re a beautiful reminder of what your body is capable of and what it went through as you carried your baby for nine months. So, embrace those pregnancy stretch marks with pride!

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