Being able to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy is a common quest for expecting women. Nothing is more empowering as a woman than being pregnant. You are growing a new little life inside of you!
Your body has to change to accommodate your little baby. You are preparing your home and life as well as preparing yourself mentally and physically to love and care for your new little one.
It’s a given that some changes and symptoms during pregnancy are less than appealing. Stretch marks fall into the category of pregnancy changes that are less than appealing.
It’s not unusual to wonder if you are going to get stretch marks and if there are ways to prevent them.
A skin expert Laura Dyer MSHS, PA-C, a dermatology and aesthetic specialist in New York City said, “staying hydrated, maintaining a healthy weight, and eating foods rich in vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, and zinc will help.”
Having dry skin and gaining weight quickly during pregnancy can make you more susceptible to getting stretch marks. Whether you have recently given birth or you want to prevent getting stretch marks in the first place choosing a good stretch mark cream is your first step!
Below are some ways to help you battle those pesky stretch marks and how to pick the best stretch mark cream for your bump or post bump.
This post is updated as of April 9, 2020. This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to see my affiliate disclosure.
In This Article
How To Prevent Stretch Marks During Pregnancy
1. Limit Rapid Weight Gain
During pregnancy, you are going to gain weight as your baby gets bigger and bigger. You should never try to lose weight or try to avoid gaining weight during pregnancy unless you were told otherwise from your doctor.
It is healthy and normal to gain weight during pregnancy. However, excessive weight gain during pregnancy can result in getting stretch marks.
For a guide on how much weight you should gain, WebMD says “A woman who was average weight before getting pregnant should gain 25 to 35 pounds after becoming pregnant. Underweight women should gain 28 to 40 pounds. And overweight women may need to gain only 15 to 25 pounds during pregnancy.
In general, you should gain about 2 to 4 pounds during the first three months you’re pregnant and 1 pound a week during the rest of your pregnancy. If you are expecting twins you should gain 35 to 45 pounds during your pregnancy. This would be an average of 1 ½ pound per week after the usual weight gain in the first three months.”
Try to eat a healthy and well-balanced diet and get regular exercise. There are studies that have been done that say pregnant women who eat a healthy diet and get regular exercise during pregnancy have an easier birth and postpartum recovery.
Make sure to talk to your doctor about healthy weight gain during your pregnancy.
2. Stay Hydrated
Staying well-hydrated during pregnancy is important. It is also a great way to help you combat any development of stretch marks. You should aim to drink 8 cups minimum to keep your skin well hydrated.
3. Eat Healthily
Some food have nutrients in them have what is called collagen, which can help to increase the elasticity of your skin. Which may reduce the chance of you getting stretch marks.
Here is a list of nutrients that has collagen in them:
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin C
- Omega-3 fatty acid
Not only does exercising help keep you healthy and avoid unnecessary weight gain during pregnancy, but it also increases your blood flow. Increased circulation can improve your skin and help prevent you from getting stretch marks.
You may not get much exercise during your first trimester so once you enter into your second-trimester start incorporating a simple workout into your morning routine.
Throughout your pregnancy message tropical creams or oils into your skin. Mainly in the areas where you are more likely to get stretch marks. Look for good moisturizing creams that have shea butter, vitamin E and aloe vera in them they seem to be the most effective.
The sooner you start using stretch mark creams or topical cream/oil the better! If you already have a few stretch marks and don’t have any stretch mark cream then BUY SOME NOW and apply the cream to your stretch marks and other parts of your body.
Before applying any creams or oils, exfoliate stretch mark prone areas first. This will help to remove any dead skin that may prevent any creams or oils from getting to the deeper level of the skin.
Exfoliating also promotes new skin cells to grow which can help keep any stretch mark-prone areas stretch mark free!
Make sure to exfoliate at least once a week!
Below I have created a list of some of the best-reviewed stretch mark creams to use during pregnancy.
What Are Stretch Marks And How Do They Form?
Knowing what stretch marks will help you understand why they happen. Stretch marks are small scars that are located in the middle section of your skin. They are visible on the top layer of the skin. When you experience rapid weight gain and hormonal changes that stretch the skin then that is how stretch marks are formed.
You may be wondering if you do get stretch marks of you can repair them. The answer is no when you first get stretch marks they are a purple-red color but over time they start to lighten up but they won’t go away since that area of the skin has stretched beyond its ability to repair itself.
Keep in mind that every women’s body and every pregnancy are different. If you do happen to get stretch marks that they usually don’t start to hop up until the second trimester or maybe even the third trimester.
If you do start to get stretch marks. They usually form on your stomach, thighs, bottom, hips, and chest.
Are Stretch Marks Painful?
If you have never had stretch marks before. You may wonder if they are painful or even a little dangerous. The good news is that they are not painful or dangerous!
I am sorry to break it to you but, most women during their pregnancy get stretch marks. The only thing you may experience when stretch marks start to form is itchiness. The area where stretch marks form can become a little itchy. If your stretch marks are itchy try using a good moisturizing lotion to help soothe the itchy feeling.
Best Stretch Mark Prevention Cream During Pregnancy
When you are pregnant you only want the best and safest things to put on your body. Since you will be caking stretch mark cream all over your belly and body you want to make sure that it won’t affect your baby.
I love this belly butter because it is 100% organic! You will feel completely at ease to put this on your body. It is also vegan and cruelty-free which fits with a lot of lifestyles.
This belly butter is made with organic shea and cocoa butter which will give you max moisturize.
It is unscented which I love and any pregnant mamma would since our smells are maxed to 100! It also does not contain parabens which can mimic estrogen, no synthetic ingredients, no phthalates, no sulfates, and no artificial fragrances!
This is a great stretch mark cream for any expecting mama!
If you want to try something even more natural than the typical oils or creams then you should try Bio-oil! It is one of the most widely trusted brands.
Bio-oil has absolutely no preservatives and provides the highest moisture to your skin. You may shy away from using oil since oil tends to leave residue but that is one thing that is so great about Bio-oil. It does not leave your skin greasy and oily!
It can help prevent any stretch marks or more from developing because it helps to rehydrate and restore your skin to its natural elasticity. Many expecting mothers use Bio-oil since it has been clinically proven to reduce the appearance of both scars and stretch marks!
Keep in mind that Bio-oil is more effective on newer stretch marks. You may not see much of a change on older stretch marks.
You can even use this stretch mark cream on sensitive skin since it is considered hypoallergenic. This is nice since for some reason during pregnancy your skin can become a little bit more sensitive.
One last thing about this amazing stretch mark oil is that it is FRAGRANCE-FREE!
Earth Mama does not contain anything that could be harmful to you or your baby. It is perfect for your growing belly (and other body parts).
This belly butter helps to prevent stretch marks which every pregnant mamma wants right? it is extremely nourishing and hydrating to your skin. Also, it can help relieve any itching you may have as your belly gets bigger and bigger.
It has shea butter, organic herbs, and essential oils which help to restore your skin’s elasticity plus it helps prevent the appearance of stretch marks and helps reduce the severity of existing ones! It is the complete package!
You can even use this belly butter after your baby is born to help restore elasticity to your skin.
Spoiled Mama is one of my favorite sites to get any type of skincare during and after pregnancy. Their stretch mark cream is amazing! Especially this tummy butter.
It is perfect to help prevent stretch marks at any stage of pregnancy. This tummy butter is vegan, toxin-free, and completely organic!
It contains pure cocoa butter formula blended with 11 organic oils. This belly butter helps promote collagen and increases cell regeneration for firmer skin! You can get one 4 oz container or a large 8 oz container so you never have to worry about running out!
There are many things and products you can get to help prevent getting stretch marks. Remember that every expecting mother’s body is different. You may get stretch marks despite using stretch mark cream.
If you do get stretch marks and are using stretch mark cream you may get less than you would normally get if you weren’t using stretch mark cream. Plus there are things you can use after having your baby to help fade your stretch marks.
No matter what your mamma warrior marks are beautiful!