30 Weeks Pregnant Chalkboard + How to Prevent Stretch Marks During Pregnancy

By Kate Horney 

How to Prevent Stretch Marks During Pregnancy

How far along? 30 Weeks, 1 Day

Maternity clothes? Bella band & some stretchy stretchy workout gear!  Cheers to yoga pants!

Best moment this week: We took Jackson to the park to play, take a walk, and feed the ducks. It was so simple, but was SO much FUN to see him having a blast… and then to think that in just a couple months, we’ll have the joy of watching TWO boys explore the world.  Motherhood can certainly be exhausting, but children really are such a blessing- even in the small daily joys.

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Miss Anything?  The belly is starting to make bending a bit more difficult.  Tying shoes is becoming more of a challenge, and when it comes to painting my toes… I’m not going to lie, I love the new excuse for a pedicure!

Movement:  Baby H #2 really loves to be up in my ribs.  I didn’t experience this much with Jackson, so it’s a new (and weird) feeling!

Food cravings:  Blueberries, blueberries and more blueberries.  Also loving burgers on the grill (with cheese) and some grilled corn on the cob.

Looking forward to:  Heading to the STRONG fitness mag camp and photo shoot this weekend. It’s going to be so fun to connect with some great inspirations from the fitness industry, and I’m excited for some fun time away with my guys as well.  This will most likely be the last trip we take before Baby #2!  Next time we fly… it will be as a family of FOUR!  (crazy!)

How to Prevent Stretch Marks During Pregnancy

Biggest Struggle this Week:  Stretch Marks. 

Most pregnant women fear them, but the truth is stretch marks definitely aren’t the end of the world.  (A sweet baby is totally worth whatever battle scars may be left behind).  While I can’t say they’re something I FEAR (I’m much more concerned about bringing a healthy, happy baby into the world) I also can’t say that I think of them as quite the “badge of motherhood” that they are. If they can be avoided (and that’s a big IF) I’ll definitely do what I can…. Just in case.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology…

About 90% of women will get stretch marks sometime after their sixth or seventh month of pregnancy. 

You’ll most likely notice them across your belly, butt, thighs, hips, and breasts.

Stretch marks are actually tiny tears in the supporting layers of tissue under your skin as it’s pulled tight to the limit during pregnancy. Susceptibility has lots to do with genetics: Chances are, if your mother got them, you probably will too – but studies do show that rapid pregnancy weight gain can also make you more likely to get stretch marks. And darker-skinned women are less likely to get stretch marks as fair-skinned gals (plus they’re not as visible on dark skin).

I was fairly fortunate in regards to stretch marks with Jackson. I actually already had stretch marks on my hips from my teenage growing  years, but…

I only got a few small marks right around my belly button when I was pregnant the first time around.

 And when I got back to my pre-baby shape, the marks I did get around my belly button become almost none existent. 

I’m hoping (Lord willing) to be lucky this time around as well.  But as my belly has REALLY started popping in these last few weeks, I’m doing everything I can to ensure my skin stretches as safely as possible.

Solution:   How to Prevent Stretch Marks During Pregnancy

Fist, you must know… that try as you might to avoid stretch marks, there’s no official proven way to treat them or to stop them from zigzagging their way across your body.  

The good news is, that- like I said- they won’t stay so bright and noticeable forever. After delivery, they usually fade to a less noticeable silvery gray color…. I barely notice the marks around my tummy from Jackson.

Whether or not you get pregnancy stretch marks is usually a matter of genetics…

But there are a few ways to try avoiding them (or at least to slow down the stretch). 

When I was pregnant with Jackson I did everything I could to learn how to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy.  Here are a few things that I did during my first pregnancy, and am again following this time around to ensure the healthiest skin possible as I continue to stretch…

How to Prevent Stretch Marks During Pregnancy

6 Tips to Prevent Stretch Marks During Pregnancy:

1)  Massage with Coconut Oil.  I’ve been using coconut oil like crazy, and while it’s not proven- it certainly won’t hurt (though no stretch mark cream is the miracle cure it’s sold as). If nothing else, moisturizing daily will help with the dryness and itchy skin associated with pregnancy!  I typically mix some vitamin e oil into the mix as well, and if you don’t like the sent of the coconut oil (personally, I love it) you could also add a drop or two of  lavender essential oil!  During pregnancy the areas that are most prone to stretch marks are your tummy, sides, lower back, thighs and legs since these areas undergo the most strain as your baby grows. Therefore, in order to help the skin in these area stretch without forming marks the skin needs to be well moisturized. But your ordinary moisturizer might not be able to do the trick, since they will not be able to penetrate deep enough into the skin. During your pregnancy gently massage the areas most prone to stretch marks with coconut oil twice a day. Remember you don’t need to apply much pressure, just rub the area repeatedly till the oil disappears.

2)  Eat Right.  I make it a point to nourish my skin from the inside as well. You’re probably already eating healthy, balanced meals to make sure your baby is getting enough vitamins and nutrients. Incorporating foods that are especially beneficial for the health of your skin can improve your skin’s elasticity, which helps prevent stretch marks from forming. Add the following foods to your daily diet:

  • Foods rich in antioxidants, which help nourish and protect skin. Eat plenty of spinach, blueberries, strawberries, and other fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Foods containing vitamin E, which protects skin cell membranes. Eat nuts, seeds, avocados broccoli, and collard greens.
  • Foods containing vitamin A, which repairs skin tissues. Eat carrots, sweet potatoes, mango, squash, and red bell peppers.
  • Foods containing omega 3s, which keep cell membranes healthy and make your skin glow. Eat fish, fish oil, walnuts, eggs and oysters.

3)  Exercise During Pregnancy. Exercising helps the skin retain its elasticity by improving your body’s circulation. As an added benefit, exercise will help prevent you from gaining too much weight, too quickly, nipping stretch marks in the bud. Incorporate exercise into your daily schedule- even if it’s just a walk. I always focus on exercises that are meant to make pregnancy easier on my body. Stretches, strengthening exercises, and other simple movements can help keep your blood moving and keep you more comfortable during pregnancy. (If you’re not sure what’s safe or where to start, I’m uploading all of my own personal workouts that I’m following right now into the BeyondFit Life Club)   

4)  Watch Your Weight. Keep an eye on that scale during pregnancy and put your pounds on slow and steady instead of in big spurts. Keep in mind that eating for two doesn’t mean literally eating twice as much – so as much as possible, try to keep weight gain to a healthy level.

5)  Stay Hydrated.  We have all heard that drinking water is great for the body, and this rule applies doubly-so when you are pregnant. Water helps detoxify the body and helps your skin cope with the stress of stretching. Ideally, you should drink at least ½ your body weight in ounces of water in a day. Including foods with high water content into your diet is also a great way to stay hydrated and keep your skin stretch mark free. Include foods like water melons, strawberries, cucumbers etc into your diet to help your skin stretch easily, keeping stretch marks at bay.

6)  Avoid Harsh Chemicals. Many commercial body washes contain sulfates, which can dry out your skin and reduce its elasticity over time. Choose a cleanser made with natural oils that will hydrate your skin, rather than making it lose too much moisture. Coconut oil can act as a healthy skin cleanser, and that’s typically what I use. Rub it over your skin, rinse with warm water, and pat your skin dry with a soft towel. 

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P.S. Want More Fit Pregnancy Tips?

Your baby is a REASON to make a healthy choices priority… not an excuse for why you can’t!

If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to a FIT PREGNANCY, join us over at the BeyondFit Life Club where I upload all of my personal workouts (100% safe during pregnancy) and share all the best fit mom recipes, tips & tricks!

 

 
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