Pregnancy Stretch Marks

No matter how diligently you apply creams, lotions, oils or how expensive they are, there are times when there just is no avoiding those stretch marks of pregnancy. The abdomen expands rapidly from month four on and it is this rapid growth that causes the stretch marks. You will either get them, or you wont get them. There are some factors that may give you an early indication of whether you may get them or not. These early stretch mark indicators include:

Family history – ask your mom or sister if they had stretch marks during their pregnancies if they had them, the chances are good that you will too.

If you had a previous pregnancy and had stretch marks, chances are good you will have them again in future pregnancies. Future stretch marks may show color again in old marks (which will fade in time) and may extend the length of them with future pregnancies.

Risk Factors

  • If you gain a lot of weight rapidly in the current pregnancy you will make your chances greater for stretch marks.
  • If you have poor nutrition or are poorly hydrated during the pregnancy this will increase your chances for stretch marks.
  • Skin tone – the darker the skin tone the less your chance for stretch marks.
  • Dry skin increases your chances for stretch marks so stay well hydrated.
  • Stretch marks are not painful and they do not decrease the functionality of the skin in any way. The skin around the stretch mark can be tingly or itchy, especially if the skin is dry.

    Most Common Areas

    Although the most prevalent area for stretch marks to appear on the pregnant woman is her abdomen, they can also appear on her arms, breasts, buttocks, hips and her thighs. Light skinned women tend to have pink colored marks and darker skin colored women they are lighter in color than the surrounding skin. Stretch marks can be pink, red, reddish-purple, purple or brown.

    Celebrity moms swear by Bellamama cocoa butter for during the pregnancy to be rubbed on several times a day in a circular motion. After the baby is born moms recommend StriVectin-SD.

    Some women notice that they can even get stretch marks during the postpartum period (from after the baby is born until about 6 weeks).

    Do They Fade?

    The general rule is that stretch marks fade with time most will fade noticeably by the time the baby is 6 months old. A popular prescription that obstetritions will give moms post-birth who are not breastfeeding to apply to stretch marks is: tretinoin cream or as most know it as by the trade name – Retin-A. This prescription should not be taken by nursing moms, as there is no conclusive study on how it might affect breastmilk.

    If you do not want to wait for your stretch marks to fade or the sight of them bothers you, you can opt for laser therapy. There are different types of lasers that can be used depending on the color of the mark. One type will stimulate production of pigment-making cells in stretch marks that are already faded. The newest laser therapy is able to stimulate the production of collagen, which will help the skin to restore its elasticity.