Pregnancy Stretch Marks – Information & Advice

All About Pregnancy Stretch Marks

Many women get stretch marks during pregnancy. They’re caused by the stretching of the skin’s elastic tissue as your body grows to accommodate your baby. You can't completely prevent stretch marks from appearing, but don’t worry too much, because stretch marks usually fade with time. Download our pregnancy guide to learn more about other symptoms and milestones to come during your pregnancy.

What Are Pregnancy Stretch Marks?

When Do Stretch Marks Appear in Pregnancy?

How Can I Prevent Stretch Marks During Pregnancy?

Is It Possible to Get Rid of Stretch Marks After Pregnancy?

What Are Pregnancy Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks are striations or streaky marks on the skin that can range in colour from pink or reddish to purple or brown. The medical term for stretch marks is striae gravidarum, and they are very common, typically appearing on the abdomen, breasts, thighs, buttocks, and even upper arms.

Genetics play a role in whether you get stretch marks and how visible they are. You are also more likely to get them if you are a young mom; if you put on a lot of weight quickly during the pregnancy; or if you are expecting twins or multiples. Other indicators include if you’ve had these marks before being pregnant, or if other members of your family have them. Changes in hormone levels during pregnancy can also make some women more susceptible.

When Do Stretch Marks Appear in Pregnancy?

You might be wondering when stretch marks appear during pregnancy, but it can be different for everyone. Stretch marks often appear later during pregnancy as the skin stretches due to weight gain and to accommodate the growing baby and uterus. Some women may start to get them later in the second trimester, while others might see them at around 30 weeks pregnant, and still others may not notice them until the last few weeks of the third trimester. Some women don’t get any at all.

How Can I Prevent Stretch Marks During Pregnancy?

Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to completely prevent stretch marks during pregnancy, and there’s no miracle pregnancy stretch mark cream that makes them go away. Here are some ways to help reduce the risk of getting them and to help minimize their appearance:

  • Keep weight gain at a moderate amount (about 25 to 35 pounds or 11 to 16 kilograms), and try to gain this weight gradually over the course of your pregnancy.
  • Follow a healthy pregnancy diet.
  • Drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
  • Keep up with your pregnancy exercise regimen.
  • Although using creams and oils may not prevent stretch marks, they can help hydrate your skin and prevent itchiness, a pregnancy symptom you might also notice as your skin stretches.

Is It Possible to Get Rid of Stretch Marks After Pregnancy?

Stretch marks may not disappear totally, but after pregnancy is over, they can eventually fade to a less noticeable, silver colour. Be mindful of any misleading claims about creams, lotions, and oils promising to remove or prevent stretch marks during pregnancy. Some women consider laser treatment in consultation with their doctors, but do keep in mind that this treatment is typically considered a cosmetic procedure, so the cost may not be covered by your insurer.

You might be worried about the changes your body goes through during pregnancy, but your body’s doing an incredible job protecting your little one as he gets ready to meet the world. These stripes are a testament to all you’ve done to help him grow. While you’re getting ready to meet your baby, have some fun brainstorming possible names with our Baby Name Generator. The big day will be here before you know it!

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