How to Minimize Stretch Marks During Pregnancy

Stretch marks are ugly, frustrating and inevitable. At some point or another in her life, every woman is going to have stretch marks. Many different things can cause stretch marks, but one of the most common, of course, is pregnancy. The impact that pregnancy has on a woman’s body will be felt for years to come, and one of the ways that it will be felt is with stretch marks.

What makes the whole stretch mark situation even more frustrating is the fact that there isn’t a whole lot you can do to cure stretch marks. Prevention is also difficult, especially during pregnancy. While there are some stretch mark deterrents available over the counter, the fact of the matter is that many of these products may not work for every woman, and some of these products may not work at all.

Some of these products are designed to help stretch marks to be less visible. Some work best when stretch marks first appear. These treatments for stretch marks usually rely on something called retinoids, which are derived from vitamin A.  It is thought that retinoids are not an effective treatment for stretch marks once they have already faded.  Other lotions and creams that are designed for the treatment of stretch marks may be based on ingredients like glycolic acid or L-ascorbic acid.  These applications tend to work better as treatment for mature stretch marks.

On top of all of that, these products have often not undergone sufficient testing to be shown to be safe for use by a pregnant woman. There are some natural and herbal products that might help to minimize stretch marks during pregnancy, however. These products rely on ingredients such as olive oil and a variety of natural butters, including avacado butter and shea butter. Vitamin E is another favorite ingredient in creams and lotions used to treat stretch marks.

The fact of the matter is you may have to learn to live with stretch marks after your pregnancy. The good news is that, for most women, your stretch marks will fade, at least in color, over time.

Leila Pereira
Leila Pereira
I work in occupational therapy and occupational science. I specialize in early intervention pediatrics for children from birth to three years old; with an emphasis on children with autism. My goals are to support the achievement of developmental milestones in your child while collaborating with caregivers & parents; including play skill development, education, leisure, rest and sleep, feeding, nutrition and social participation. Licensed by the California Board of Occupational Therapy

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