Stretch marks can be such a huge worry of women when they become pregnant. If you are already prone to them, you may worry even more. The changes that our bodies go through when we get pregnant, all the way through having a baby, are absolutely crazy and amazing and really miraculous. We are creating a life and we shouldn’t be so worried about the way that our body looks, but I know that is so much easier said than done. Stretch marks can’t 100% be prevented, but there are so many things that you can do to help prevent them to a degree. Now if you have stretch marks, this is not at all me saying you did something wrong. Our body stretching and growing and moving and changing for our tiny miracle is totally normal! I’m going to teach you the best possible ways how to prevent stretch marks in this post!
Stretch marks can happen to anyone, big or small, tall or short. This post is not to shame you if you have them or get them, let’s start there. Do not feel bad if you have or get them!!
Stretch marks are also hereditary. Did you know that??
Does your mom have stretch marks? Did she when she was pregnant with you? Did they go away?
I am lucky enough to say that my mom doesn’t have any stretch marks & she never got stretch marks when she was pregnant with me and my brother. And it’s just that, luck! But this is something to note: if your mom had stretch marks that remained, you may have stretch marks that remain after pregnancy. If your mom has minor stretch marks, you may be safe if you use these methods!
Ok, on to the content you came here for: STRETCH MARKS.
While stretch marks are totally normal, they can be avoided to an extent or reduced! Let’s talk about how.
After you’ve read these tips, make sure you check out my comprehensive guide to holistic pregnancy and motherhood.
How to Avoid Stretch Marks During Pregnancy
You are what you eat.
Your skin cells are literally made of what you eat. Eat high protein foods & healthy fats: get at least 80g of protein a day while pregnant. My first midwife actually had me keep a log of what I ate to make sure I was getting enough of what I needed. I highly recommend doing this yourself, just for a season, so you can be aware of how much you need and how much you’re getting.
Most of us will find that we’re not getting enough protein. Not getting enough protein can starve your cells and can make them retreat into self-preservation mode, therefore causing stretch marks.
Eat foods known to increase elasticity in your skin to prevent stretch marks
The first and more important thing to address is your diet and nutrition! These things are known to increase elasticity and can be added to your diet easily:
- Sweet potatoes
- Seeds and nuts
- Leafy greens, raw and cooked
Our bodies are incredible things. If we don’t eat enough to nourish ourselves AND baby, your body will take the nutrients from you and give it to baby. This is one major reason to stay on top of the things you’re eating. You may find that you’re more achy or you’re having teeth issues/pains or you’re feeling extra hungry or tired during pregnancy. This typically means something is missing in your diet. Take a look at my post 5 Supplements for a Healthy Pregnancy to see the supplements I take that were recommended to me by multiple midwives over my last 4 pregnancies.
Take collagen protein.
This is the second most important element to prevent stretch marks. A really good Type 2 collagen. This is my favorite brand and it has very minimal ingredients. It’s been my go-to throughout this whole pregnancy. I usually just take a spoonful, put in my adrenal cocktail or in a smoothie. This helps with skin elasticity from the inside out. This can not only be how to prevent stretch marks, but it helps a lot with the comfort of your body stretching and things moving around in there while they make room for baby. Think about how much our bodies stretch and recover during birth. Collagen helps everything pop right back into place.
Don’t gain too much weight too quickly.
There are so so many medical reasons that you gain weight during pregnancy and this isn’t a time to fret about your weight or fret about how to prevent stretch marks. Believe me, seeing that number climb and climb as you get closer to meeting your baby can be so hard. That is totally a mental thing. Don’t focus on it mama. You’re creating a miracle. A tiny life. Your body is beautiful and strong at whatever weight!
Stay active & healthy.
Remaining active or starting activity when you get pregnant can help a lot with this. Obviously don’t start anything strenuous that you weren’t doing before and ask your doctor before starting a new routine. I’m not recommending that you become a runner or start doing crossfit when you find out you’re pregnant. I’m recommending that you start walking – walk 1/4 mile and start small if you have to. Work up to it & work up slowly. Your body will thank you.
Don’t use pregnancy to eat whatever you want. You should certainly experience food freedom, not a diet mentality & it’s not all about looks, but for me, it’s about health! Everything in moderation, fill your tummy with healthy foods before having dessert – the usual things people recommend even when you’re not pregnant. But mama, if you’re hungry. EAT. Don’t let the worry of stretch marks keep you from eating. This is actually worse because your cells will be come less nourished & that can actually cause stretch marks. If you’re trying to learn how to prevent stretch marks, it’s actually best to listen to your body and eat when you need to!
Moisturize to prevent stretch marks!
I love Palmers Coco Butter Stretch Mark Kit! It comes with everything you need to prevent and treat stretch marks if you see them popping up! Actually, it’s funny because the scent of this has become “the scent of pregnancy” to my husband haha! It’s such a familiar smell in a good way! It’s funny, when I pulled it out for the first time this pregnancy & put it on, the smell immediately took me back to all my best pregnancy memories.
Vitamin E Oil
If you see stretch marks start to pop up, you can use Vitamin E oil to help them not grow. This can also be a treatment for after delivery to treat existing stretch marks!
Drink a lot of water!
You want your skin cells to be voluptuous and full of fluid. This allows them to stretch & your skin to stay hydrated from the inside out. I intentionally carry a water bottle with me everywhere I go. I keep water with me around the house, since we’re not really going anywhere right now.
Another pro-tip for drinking enough water is to get new water bottles every once in a while. There’s something about having a brand new water bottle that makes you want to drink water. You can even flavor the water with fruits. Infuse the water with herbs – anything to change up the flavor if you’re getting bored.
If you haven’t visited your vitamin regimen to make sure you’re taking the best vitamins possible for you and your baby, check out this post to see what I recommend based on 3 pregnancies and three different midwives’ recommendations.
There is so much that goes into whether or not you get stretch marks, whether or not they’ll show up in the future, whether or not they’ll go away, how deep they’ll be, etc. There’s a reason you’re reading this blog post – you either have stretch marks or it worries you. And I’m here to tell you: don’t let it define you mama. Your body is incredible and was created to create this tiny human. You’ve got this. Do what you can to prevent them. And if you can’t, rock those stretch marks like a champ! They’re your fierce tiger stripes. You earned them. There is nothing to be ashamed of!