Any time we experience rapid growth or weight gain, the possibility of stretch marks arises. As women, pregnancy is just one of those times when our burgeoning bellies cause our skin to stretch beyond it’s “normal elasticity”, potentially resulting in stretch marks. Beyond our bellies, these lovely scars tend to appear wherever we are gaining weight including: breasts, thighs, hips, and buttocks. Though some scientists claim that stretch marks are pre-determined by genetics, I believe most of us will play our odds and hopefully benefit from a few ways to prevent these unwanted imposters.
1. Eat a healthy diet with lots of skin promoting vitamins. Include foods rich in zinc (sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, shrimp, crimini mushrooms); vitamin A (carrots, spinach, sweet potato, kale, turnip greens, winter squash, swiss chard, bell peppers); vitamin C (parsley, broccoli, bell pepper, strawberries, oranges, lemon juice, papaya, cauliflower, kale, mustard greens, and Brussels sprouts) and protein rich foods (beans, lean proteins and tempeh).
2. Drinks lots of water to keep your skin soft, subtle and hydrated. If you still have caffeine in your diet, remember it is dehydrating you and your skin. Drink even more water. Another great reason to leave the java behind and opt for refreshing water!
3. Massage to increase circulation in areas where you feel stretch marks might appear. This is a great excuse to get regular prenatal massages and for taking extra long showers with yourself massaging loofah.
4. Moisturize your belly to encourage collagen production and keep it well lubricated throughout your pregnancy and postapartum. Be sure to use a chemical free lubricant like Earth Mama, Angel Babies Natural Stretch Oil.