Having a baby for the first time can be both exciting and daunting. Basically, your whole life will now change as you welcome your little bundle of joy into the world and into the family. Changes come in many forms such as a shift in your daily routine as well as your new found responsibilities. Other changes will come too, namely in a physical form. One of the most common during pregnancy is rather unsightly and referred to as stretch marks. This is actually a pretty common side effect of being pregnant for most women. So what exactly is a stretch mark? How does it form and can it be removed?

Stretch Marks


Stretch marks can form if your body expands quickly leaving little time for your skin to adapt to the sudden change in size. The results are stretch marks which are breaks on the surface of the skin when it is stretched past its normal elasticity. The outer layer of the skin, the dermis stays intact, but the underneath epidermis, tears, causing the damage. A pregnant woman can gain up to 30 pounds in just 9 months. This usually does not give the skin enough time to adjust and will most likely lead to the development of stretch marks after giving birth. Pregnancy can leave stretch marks on any part of the body, but mainly appear on the stomach and breast areas as these are two areas of the body that will grow the most during pregnancy. It can also appear on the upper part of the arms, buttocks and thighs. You can distinguish 'new' stretch marks at the beginning from their purple or reddish color that look quite ferocious, which will then turn gray or white overtime, as they become older. What is important to note is that how fast you gain weight is just as important as how much weight you gain. As pregnancy will lead to weight gain, it is best that you try to keep it at a slow and steady pace to let your skin cope better with the increased growth.

Chances Of Getting Stretch Marks During And After Pregnancy

If you discovered that you have stretch marks after pregnancy, do not worry as 90% of all women actually develop stretch marks during the sixth month of pregnancy. This is a pretty common occurrence, especially if your mother had stretch marks during their pregnancy as this is very likely to be hereditary.

Preventing Stretch Marks


The bad news is that there is no sure fire way to prevent stretch marks from appearing. There is no known ointments or cream in the market that helps prevent stretch mark. Although there are several steps you can do to help lessen the risk of stretch marks. The most important is to stay hydrated all the time by drinking plenty of water as well as applying moisturizers over the areas that are commonly affected by stretch marks to boost elasticity. Keeping yourself hydrated both inside and outside helps the skin remain supple and smooth in order to help mitigate breakage once the expansion of the body begins. What you do need to focus on is lightening the appearance of the stretch marks. The best time to do this is during the early stages of development. When the stretch mark is still reddish or purple you should apply treatments to help fade the appearance and reduce the redness of new stretch marks.

Final Thoughts On Pregnancy Stretch Marks

Stretch marks are tricky things. There is no definitive way to remove them but you can help lower the chances of it happening by staying healthy during pregnancy, drinking lots of water to stay hydrated and using a moisturizing cream to aid elasticity of the skin. Slowing down the weight gain is also a good way to start. There are many ointments that you can use during the early stages of stretch marks to prevent them from getting worse. Once the stretch marks are there, a good option you implement is to fade/lighten them using key ingredients known to treat scars such as onion bulb extract and certain natural oils like emu oil and safflower oil to name but a few. Look for these ingredients in high-quality supplements, such as this one

Researched and written by experts, brought to you by our team at Mommy Authority.

Shana Henson is a writer and blogger based in New York. She has contributed her work and research in many fields regarding general well being, fitness and nutrition. Shana studied Nutrition and Psychology and has a masters in writing. She now writes for MommyAuthority on all topics regarding motherhood.