How can I prevent stretch marks in pregnancy?

Being pregnant is a wonderful thing but it brings with it a few discomforts such as tightness, itching and stretch marks. The skin, particularly on the stomach, hips, thighs, upper arms and breasts, is subject to extreme stretching during pregnancy.

It is this stretching that causes stretch marks – fine fissures in the muscle fibres of the subcutaneous tissue.

Which women are more prone to stretch marks?

This is unfortunately down to our genes, and is determined by our skin type and its elasticity. Younger skin, for example, has collagen with less stability than older skin. There is greater risk of stretch marks with multiple pregnancies, because the stomach and other areas stretch more quickly, and in pregnancies where there is excessive weight gain. There is no secret formula that will give a 100% guarantee that you will not get stretch marks. But there are things that you can do to prepare your body for the changes to come, and so help avoid stretch marks.

Here are our top tips:

Healthy diet

It’s not just you who will benefit from a healthy, well-balanced diet – your baby will, too. Another benefit of a good diet is that it can help you avoid gaining too much weight during the pregnancy. Make sure you get plenty of vitamin E. Vitamin E is known as the ‘skin vitamin’ and is found in olive, rapeseed or wheatgerm oil, for example, and also in beans, chillies, nuts, sunflower seeds and linseeds.

Drink, drink, drink

Drinking enough fluids balances the moisture levels in the skin, improving its elasticity. You should drink at least two litres of fluids per day to keep your skin supple.

Physical activity

Sport or physical activities such as a short walk in the fresh air will help stimulate the metabolism. Swimming is especially good for combatting the feeling of tightness of pregnant skin.

Looking after your body

To prevent and avoid stretch marks, it is important to look after your body. Many pregnant women complain of dry, raw, itchy skin, which is crying out for some care.

So treat your skin to some daily relaxing TLC. Ardo Natal Anti-Stretch combines proven natural ingredients to make sure your skin stays supple and to relieve those feelings of tightness. Hyaluronic acid provides long-lasting moisture and stimulates the formation of new cells. Wheat germ oil softens the skin and improves its elasticity. Rubbing the cream into your skin also stimulates the circulation, which in turn means that the ingredients can be better absorbed.

This ensures that the skin stays smooth and supple, providing it with moisture and vitamins. Another good option for improving the circulation are Kneipp therapies. This simple therapy of alternating hot and cold showers is easy to incorporate into your daily routine. In the shower, you can also massage your body with a brush or a loofah sponge. Simply massage the relevant area with circular motions.