bout Pregnancy Stretch Marks

Pregnancy Stretch Marks – What‘s Wrong with My Body?

So you’ve recently given birth to your healthy bundle of joy and you are now at home relaxing and adjusting to your new life as a parent. As your body begins to slowly return to your pre-pregnancy norm, you may begin to notice some slight changes in the overall appearance of your figure. One of the most common changes, and something you may have started to experience in your last trimester of pregnancy, is the appearance of large pregnancy stretch marks in your skin which are most commonly purplish in color. These marks appear more often and more vividly in women with a petite body but can also affect those of us who are of a normal height and weight. While they are not, medically speaking, harmful to you other than causing minor itching, redness and swelling, they can cause severe image issues and embarrassment for those of us who suffer from them in an extreme form.

So what is the fundamental cause of this body-altering stretching? As your body begins to increase in size during your pregnancy, your skin will begin to stretch in order to accommodate the natural expansion of skin around your stomach, hips, waist, thighs, and breasts. This natural progression will, around 90% of the time, coincide with the appearance of streaks in your skin in these areas. These streaks, commonly referred to as stretch marks, represent locations in your skin where the elasticity has broken down due to expansion. As if pregnancy wasn’t painful enough already, right?

How Do I Prevent Pregnancy Stretch Marks?

If your stretch marks, or the potential to get them later, concern you, you have probably already started doing some basic research online. These days, who isn’t an arm chain physician with the abundance of medical information available online? If you scan around the internet long enough, you will inevitably discover many products on the market that promise to remove stretch marks entirely. Unfortunately, a majority of these “miracle cures” do not work at all or will only provide limited results and many of these alleged treatments will make a severe impact on your wallet as well. Therefore, it is absolutely vital that you work as hard as possible to prevent your inevitable stretch marks from becoming a concern in the first place. After all, the best defense is a good offense!

So what can be done to prevent stretch marks or at least make them less noticeable when and if they do appear on your body? Based on a body of available research, one of the most effective ways to prevent stretch marks is to moisturize! By using a lotion that contains a moisturizer known as cocoa butter, you can achieve some amazing results. There is a catch though as with all things good. You absolutely must use this product throughout the day, multiple times a day for the entire duration of your pregnancy. It is also especially important to moisturize your entire body when you get out of your bath or shower. This constant application of moisturizing lotion, although time consuming and potentially annoying, will do wonders for your body. This is especially true when it comes to making your stretch marks far less noticeable because this method actually helps preserve the elastic qualities of your skin and can make the stretching of pregnancy far less problematic. Keep a bottle of moisturizer next to your bed and make it a morning and nightly ritual to rub it all over your body. I’m sure your significant other will be more than willing to help you out.

Another method that you definitely need to consider as a preemptive approach to avoiding stretch marks is to watch your diet. It may seem obvious on the surface, but many women lose sight of the fact that the amount of weight you gain during pregnancy may be directly proportional to the amount of stretch marks you experience. A lot of women I’ve spoken to subscribe to the age old myth that you must give in to your food cravings during pregnancy. Do you really think you need to wash down a triple beef patty hamburger and large fry with a super-sized chocolate shake? I sure hope not for your body’s sake. This is completely false and counterproductive to maintaining a healthy weight during the duration of your pregnancy. If you are packing on excessive pounds, expect to see large stretch marks crop up in your butt, hips, thighs, breasts and stomach.

The last method I want to discuss here to prevent stretch marks before they appear is the importance of taking a warm bath or shower. I know when I was pregnant, I was constantly hot and the last thing I wanted was a hot shower. In fact, it was a constant struggle for me to get cool. However, the heat from the bath water can actually help open your pores and promote great blood flow and circulation. This has the added benefit of improving the health of your skin, especially in the vital areas mentioned above. Do this routinely and you might just find that those annoying stretch marks may not be as bad after you give birth.

Treatment for Pregnancy Stretch Marks

If, for some reason, the above prevention techniques had no effect or if you did not realize the importance of prevention early enough in your pregnancy, there is still hope. Most women who can’t find relief from pregnancy stretch marks have to resort to advanced laser therapies and invasive surgeries. Beware though, both methods can be time consuming and extremely expensive. Laser Therapy works by attempting to repair the damaged tissue and has shown some positive results. Most women typically need four to six sessions each costing around one thousand dollars. Surgery, although a last resort, can improve the overall appearance by removing the affected areas entirely. This can be expensive though. Expect to pay around six to ten thousand dollars and spend three months recovering.

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