Early in my pregnancy (about 2 months) we met with our close friends for brunch to celebrate our news and they surprised me with our 1st baby gift: Stretch Mark Oil and a breastfeeding book. While I knew of stretch marks, I felt relatively ill informed on: 1) What causes them 2) How to prepare my skin. I stated researching relying on multiple sources to develop my point of view and approach.
What Causes Them?
‘Your Pregnancy Nutrition’ explains that stretch marks during pregnancy occur when the stretching of your skin – most commonly: stomach, hips, thighs & chest – goes beyond the abilities of your skin’s elastin (which makes your skin ‘elastic’ or stretchy).
When Do They Happen?
Online research via webmd.com suggests“ “About 90% of women will get them sometime after their sixth or seventh month of pregnancy, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.”
How to Prepare Your Skin?
While marks might start to appearing later in pregnancy, I started taking action to prepare my skin during my 2nd moth of pregnancy. I followed advice from ‘Your Pregnancy Nutrition’ including:
- Moisturizing skin daily with creams and/or oils
- Ensuring you and your diet are not deficient in:
- Zinc: Eat pumpkin seeds, lamb, natural yogurt
- Vitamin C or Vitamin E (help your body make elastin) – Eat berries, avocados & leafy greens
- Omega-3 Fats (keep skin moisturized from inside out) – Take a vitamin/supplement
My Personal Approach
In the 1st & 2nd trimester, I kept my skin supple via daily application of: Aloe Vera & Magnesium Body Butter on my belly & chest post-shower. I also took a daily Omega 3 supplement with DHA to ensure I was getting enough essential fatty acids. In my 3rd trimester, I discovered Pai’s Strech Mark System and switched to using their cream in the morning and oil at night. I love this dual system and was very excited to see the majority of the ingredients are organic: cream = 70% organic & Oil= 98% organic. I continue to take an Omega 3 supplement and use the Magnesium Body Butter on my arms & legs to ensure sufficient magnesium levels. Finally, I focused on incorporating recommended foods (see above) into my diet.