Pregnancy brings a lot of changes to your body. While it’s a fun and exciting time, not all of those changes are welcome — particularly those stretch marks that can begin to form around your stomach. While stretch marks are perfectly natural and nothing to be ashamed of, many women would prefer not to have them.
The best way to reduce the appearance of pregnancy stretch marks is to avoid getting them in the first place! If you are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant, here are some tips for staying healthy and keeping your tummy stretch mark-free!
Changing Your Diet Helps Prevent Stretch Marks
When you’re pregnant you want to make sure to maintain a healthy, balanced diet. While eating healthy is good for your baby, it is also good for your skin. Certain foods can actually help you prevent stretch marks! Some vitamins and nutrients you may want to incorporate include:
– Vitamin E: Almonds, tofu, spinach, avocados, shrimp and broccoli
– Vitamin A: Carrots, mangos, red bell peppers, fish oils, sweet potatoes, kale and squash
– Antioxidants: Strawberries, spinach, blueberries, nuts and kale
– Omega 3s: Fish oils, walnuts, flaxseed oil, eggs and peanut butter
All of these foods work together to nourish and protect the skin, repair skin tissues and keep cell membranes healthy.
It’s also important to drink lots of water while pregnant. When your body is hydrated, your skin cells are hydrated, making them healthier and more resistant to stretch marks. Drink at least eight glasses of water a day and eat plenty of watery fruits and vegetables.
Avoid Stretch Marks With Regular Exercise
Working out while pregnant can help your skin retain elasticity. It will also help prevent gaining too much weight too quickly. Try some low-impact exercises like the elliptical or yoga to get yourself moving, without harming your baby.
Be sure you speak with your obstetrician before you begin exercising. To learn more about working out while pregnant, check out our blog on the topic, here.
Take Care of Your Skin
Once you are pregnant, you’ll want to start a new skincare routine to prevent stretch marks. Here are some tips to follow:
– Exfoliate your skin daily. This improves your circulation, protecting your skins elasticity. Use a dry brush with stiff bristles. Exfoliate your entire body, working your way from your legs up. Be sure to skip your breasts, as they are more sensitive and may be harmed by the stiff bristles.
– Stop using products with sulfates. These can dry out your skin, reducing elasticity.
– Moisturize your skin daily. Focus on areas that are prone to stretch marks, such as the belly, legs, lower back, sides and breasts. Choose a moisturizer with natural oils like cocoa butter or shea butter.
Stay Healthy and Happy During Your Pregnancy
The important thing to remember is to love your body and your baby! When you’re pregnant, your body is going to change, and that’s fine. In the end, you’ll have an adorable little bundle of joy to show for it. While you can take steps to prevent stretch marks, there is no reason to worry about getting a few. It’s all part of the pregnancy experience.
Have any more pregnancy questions? Contact OB-GYN Women’s Centre of Lakewood Ranch! Our experience healthcare professionals are there for you through every stage of your pregnancy. Give us a call or request an appointment online today!