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Pregnant mom

5 simple tricks to reduce stretch marks in pregnancy

So you are pregnant!! And you are faced with a common concern of all to be moms- stretch marks! The appearance of stretch marks can leave many moms-to-be feeling less than glamorous. While stretch marks are a natural part of the pregnancy journey process, there are proactive steps you can take to minimise their impact. Here are five practical and research-backed tips to help prevent stretch marks during pregnancy:

1.Water helps with reducing stretch marks

It might sound common sense, but how hydrated is your skin? In pregnancy, the water intake should naturally increase to 2.8 to 3 litres daily. This hydration is super essential for your skin! Though there is no direct link between drinking water and stretch marks, a 2015 research paper on dietary water intake and skin hydration published in National Library of Medicine concluded that the experimental group which consumed more than 2 litres of water had significantly better deep skin hydration

2. Does using certain oils reduce stretch marks?

Certain oils have been proven to promote skin elasticity and hydration. Incorporate natural oils like almond oil, coconut oil, or cocoa butter into your daily skincare routine. I know you will be thinking, yes your gynaecologist did tell you to apply coconut oil or olive oil, but the question is when and how often to apply! That will change the game about whether you get stretch marks!

How to apply oils to reduce stretch marks:

  • After a bath, gently massage these oils onto areas prone to stretch marks, such as your belly, hips, and breasts. 
  • Do not miss a single day! You can start applying from your 2nd month of pregnancy, but the earlier you start the better!
  • The secret is to apply right after bath when your skin is moist and will absorb the oils!
  • Aim to apply atleast twice a day for best results!
best oils to reduce stretch marks

Secret tip to reduce stretch marks!

Here is something nobody will tell you but its a secret to preventing or reducing stretch marks! Continue applying the nourishing oils even after you have delivered your baby! As skin comes back to its original size, the nourishment helps maintain elasticity! Regular application can enhance your skin's ability to stretch without leaving lasting marks.

3. What foods reduce stretch marks?

Research shows that a diet rich in vitamins A and C, zinc, and collagen can contribute to skin health. Include foods like carrots, sweet potatoes, citrus fruits, nuts, and leafy greens in your meals. These nutrients play a crucial role in maintaining skin elasticity, which can help prevent the formation of stretch marks. Here are 10 food items you should include:

  • Strawberry
  • Spinach
  • Bell pepper
  • Citrus fruits
  • Carrots
  • Papaya
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Flax seeds
  • Sweet potato
  • Fish oil supplement

4. Gradual weight gain reduces stretch marks

While it's natural to gain weight during pregnancy, a gradual and steady approach can contribute to healthier skin. Rapid weight gain increases the likelihood of stretch marks. 

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) provides general guidelines depending on your pre-pregnancy weight:

  1. Underweight (BMI less than 18.5): 28 to 40 pounds
  2. Normal weight (BMI 18.5 to 24.9): 25 to 35 pounds
  3. Overweight (BMI 25 to 29.9): 15 to 25 pounds
  4. Obese (BMI 30 or greater): 11 to 20 pounds

It's important to note that these are general recommendations, and individual needs may vary. Gaining weight within the recommended range can contribute to a healthier pregnancy and reduce the likelihood of excessive stretching of the skin, which may lead to stretch marks.

5. Low cost home remedies to reduce stretch marks.

Sometimes the best solutions are found in our kitchens and gardens and extremely cost effective. These are totally natural and can be used even if you have started seeing stretch marks forming already. These remedies have een known to lighten and heal stretch marks.

  • Aloe vera: Take the sticky gel from inside the leaf and apply. Keep it for 20 minutes and then shower.
  • Apricot powder: Grind apricots into a smooth paste without the seed. Apply the paste for 15 minutes and then rinse it off in a bath.
  • Potato juice: Potato juice contains enzymes which help to heal and nourish the skin. Apply the juice and pulp of a potato to stretch marks prone areas and let it dry for 30 minutes. Wash with cold water.

Will the tips really work to prevent stretch marks?

Preventing stretch marks is about nurturing your skin and body throughout your pregnancy. By adopting these researched strategies into your daily routine, you can enhance your skin's resilience and minimize the impact of stretch marks. Let me know in comments if this works for you, or any other tips you swear by! Enjoy being pregnant, it goes by so fast!

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