Are you worried that stretch marks will ruin your body after your baby is delivered? Although many women learn to love their stretch marks, sometimes nicknaming them "tiger stripes," this doesn't mean you have to consider them an inevitable part of motherhood. The following tips can help you avoid stretch marks, or at least lessen their appearance or help them fade more quickly.
Tip #1: Don't Skimp on the Moisturizer
Get in the habit of daily massages of your abdomen and breasts as soon as you realize you are pregnant. Use a moisturizer or a cream made for combating stretch marks and rub it into your skin with a circular motion. The moisturizer helps keep the skin supple, which makes it more elastic and less likely to develop stretch marks. The goal is to make sure the skin stays smooth and doesn't dry out. You can continue to use stretch mark creams and massage even if the marks have already formed, since the continued hydration from the cream can help the marks be less severe and help them fade more quickly. Click here for more information about stretch mark creams.
Tip #2: Stay Hydrated
You also need to keep your body moisturized from the inside out, which means drinking plenty of water. The standard recommendation is eight glasses of water a day. This is typically sufficient to ensure you are hydrated. When you become dehydrated, the cells that make up your skin become less elastic, which makes them more prone to stretching and developing scars, or stress marks.
Tip #3: Watch Your Weight
Putting on too much weight too quickly, especially during the early days of your pregnancy, is more likely to cause your skin to stretch too quickly and result in a stretch mark. Work with your doctor to determine a healthy rate of weight gain for your specific pregnancy and situation. Don't try to limit you calories or weight gain without speaking with your doctor first, since this can affect the health of your unborn child.
Tip #4: Surgical Removal
Surgical removal is an option if you have already developed stretch marks. Laser treatment is one method that can work well with mild stretch marks, although it may take multiple treatments to work successfully. For severe stretch marks, such as those that become rope-like and cause irritation or pain, surgical removal of the scar tissue is another option, but this option isn't typically recommended for just cosmetic reasons.