Avoiding Stretch Marks During Pregnancy

Although not necessarily a given, stretch marks during pregnancy could very well be an unavoidable byproduct of human gestation. In fact, nearly 90 percent of pregnant women can develop these unappealing skin striae during or after their pregnancy. For many women, the degrees of severity will vary; however, the feelings of displeasure at their development will be the same.

Pregnancy Stretch Marks

Pregnancy stretch marks, also called striae gravidarum, are often caused by two things – the hormonal disruption of pregnancy and rapid growth of their abdomen. Some women tend to deposit fat into their hips, thighs and buttocks during their pregnancy contributing to the development of stretch marks in these areas as well.

Stretch Marks During Pregnancy

If stretch marks appear during pregnancy, it will most likely do so during the third trimester when the baby has grown the most. This growth will place a lot of stress on the skin. In time, this skin will expand and deplete essential proteins as well as collagen and elastin, causing the connective tissues that lie just below the skin's surface to tear. Women who experience massive breast growth due to milk production will also note stretch marks on their breasts and around their areola.

Post Pregnancy Stretch Marks

Many women may also note that while they did not see any noticeable stretch marks during their pregnancy, a slew of them showed up after the baby's arrival. This is often due to the fact that the skin, which may have been stretched taunt, folds and relaxes after delivery, creasing a bit to indicate the stretch marks that may not have been visible before. Read our tips on preventing stretch marks during pregnancy.

Stretch Mark Cream

Some stretch marks can be prevented by the use of a quality stretch mark cream during after pregnancy. (Always consult your doctor before putting anything on or in your body.) Keeping the skin hydrated and moisturized will lessen tearing throughout pregnancy and a combination of exercise and proper skin care will lessen any damage that you weren't able to prevent.

As soon as you learn you are with child, look into a stretch mark cream with ingredients that will be safe to use during pregnancy. Post breastfeeding, you may wish to expedite your stretch mark removal with a cream containing stronger ingredients.

We tested all the leading stretch mark removal creams. See which ones are most effective for stretch mark removal and which creams are a waste of money.

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