Our body changes in million bizarre ways during pregnancy. From gaining weight, to having our breasts pumped up with a few sizes or loosing our natural skin blend: they are all kind of dramatic and hard to accept. And what’s worse: some of these changes turn to be more persistent than we expect and we end up dealing with them even after we give birth. Like stretch mark, for instance.
Now let’s talk about why do they appear in the first place? Stretch marks happen when your body grows faster than your skin can handle it. This causes the elastic fibers just under the surface of the skin to break, resulting into long, narrow streaks, stripes or lines called stretch marks.
How much damage you will do to your skin depends on a list of things:
How much weight you’ll gain during the 9 months: the more weight you gain, the more your body grows and the more your skin has to stretch to accommodate the new shapes.
What type of skin you have: dry, sensitive, thin skins usually get stretch marks more easily and need more attention, and care.
What you eat: the health of your skin depends on your diet.
Genetics: if your mother had stretch marks, then you're more likely to have them too, since genetics play a big role.
Getting rid of the stretch marks is impossible (unless you take advantage of plastic surgery). You can improve them, change their colour and intensity, but once you have them you cannot erase them completely. So it is important to know how to prevent them. Here are some simple rules for that:
You cannot expect to have a healthy, glowing and elastic skin when eating highly-processed, non-natural foods. So embrace a balanced diet: not only for your own sake and you skin’s sake, but also for your baby’s health sake. Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, especially leafy greens. Include vitamin C, vitamin E, omega 3 fats and lean proteins in your regular diet (animal and plant-based). All these will improve elasticity, increase collagen production, and help in tissue repair and growth.
Anything over 12-15 kg is considered not healthy. Watch your weight!
If your whole body is hydrated your skin will be hydrated too, also more elastic and naturally moisturized.
Keep the body rejuvenated and the blood circulated by working out, walking or doing yoga regularly. Just find something that makes you feel good and that your body can handle without a lot of stress or a sense of fatigue. Be gentle to your body and listen to what it has to say to you.
Keep the probable affected areas (stomach, thighs, chest) hydrated and moisturized with rich lotions, creams, oils and butters. Moisturizing your skin with natural ingredients helps in enhancing the elasticity of the epidermis. Here are some great natural skin-care suggestions for you:
pure unrefined coconut oil
pure almond oil
pure peach oil
Elancyl Stretch Marks Care Oil
Neal’s Yard Remedies Mother’s Balm
Exfoliate your skin at least once a week. What we recommend is to make your own natural, homemade exfoliator by mixing brown sugar and your favourite oil.
For more prenatal health, wellness and beauty tips check YOGA AND PILATES: THE BEST PRENATAL PRACTICES.
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