As your baby bump becomes obvious, there are also some red streaks getting obvious under the bump. These red streaks are called the stretch marks during pregnancy. They are common and normal to appear because the tummy gets bigger over time as the pregnancy stage approaches the full term.
Stretch Marks, What Are They?
In the pregnancy stages, the body, especially the tummy area, grows bigger at a faster rate. Normally, the skin stretches in a slow rate, but during pregnancy, the skin stretches rapidly as the baby grows inside.
Because of some hormonal factors, the elastic fibers of the skin in the bottom part of the belly and the natural collagen are greatly reduced. The skin tends to become dry and the elasticity of the fibers break away, which cause the red streaks under the bump.
Majority of the pregnant women are affected of this skin condition. Although there are some women who maintained the elasticity of the skin even during the pregnancy stage, 75% of women are estimated to have the stretch marks. The streaks may not be visible on the first and second trimester of pregnancy term but will be more obvious as the pregnancy full term is approaching. It is normal to have the stretch marks if you are pregnant. Do not feel any insecurity because of these marks.
Who Are At Risk of Stretch Marks?
Pregnant women who weigh a bit heavier are the ones who are most likely to have those stretch marks under the baby bump. The big increase in weight, probably due to the pregnancy or because the mother is having a twins or more than a single fetus, is the factor behind the occurrence of stretch marks.
Those young women, especially on their teen age years, are also likely to develop stretch marks because their skin is not yet fully developed to be elastic. The condition of their skin is at risk of stretch marks compared to those who became pregnant in their late 20’s.
On the other hand, there are also some women who already have stretch marks even before they get pregnant. They are also at risk of pregnancy stretch marks because the skin lacks natural collagen and elasticity.
Genetic factors also put some women at risk of stretch marks. If they came from a family who has stretch marks during pregnancy, they are also likely to experience the same.
How to Identify Stretch Marks?
Because the signs of stretch marks vary from woman to woman, it may be easy to identify stretch marks. Depending on the weight gained during pregnancy and the tone of the skin, the stretch marks may appear differently in women.
As the baby bump grows bigger, the stretch marks appear in pink or red lines and sometimes in reddish-brown lines. The middle layer of the skin tears up showing the blood vessels, thus the red lines.
To some women, the stretch marks may appear on the belly part only, while some also have the stretch marks in the legs, thighs, and other parts of the body that change during pregnancy.
Can Stretch Marks Be Prevented?
Preventing stretch marks does not really depend on one guaranteed way. Even if there are products that claim effectiveness in preventing or reducing the stretch marks, the effects really depend on the condition of the skin.
Most of the products are used by simply applying to the external layer and surface of the skin, which is not really the main problem. What the skin needs is a product that can penetrate to the inner layer of skin.
There are also some measures and precautions to take to prevent or reduce the effects of stretch marks to the skin. For pregnant moms, you may do these tips before or during the first stage of pregnancy while the baby bump is not yet visible.
Watch your cravings
If you are craving for unusual foods, make sure to practice self-control and discipline. It is best to be healthy even in your cravings. If you want unhealthy foods, go for it within the limit. Too much fat will only stay in your body as stored fats and increase your weight, which puts you at risk of stretch marks.
For a healthy pregnancy, opting for a healthy and balanced diet will not only keep you and your baby healthy, but will also provide nourishment to your skin and prevent stretch marks.
Toxins and fats will be easily flushed out from the body and skin if you keep your body hydrated before, during, and after pregnancy. Drink eight to ten glasses of water every day to ensure that your skin is hydrated and to ensure that the elasticity of your skin is maintained.
You may not be able to do all your regular exercises during pregnancy, but you can opt to be fit and be in proper shape by simply doing some of the recommended exercises for pregnant women. As you tone down and keep the fat away from your body, you are also preventing the risks of stretch marks.
Use coconut oil
By applying coconut oil to the skin, the stretch marks can be prevented safely and effectively. It has been proven for almost centuries that the coconut oil can help strengthen and make the skin elastic and healthy, preventing stretch marks and being dry.
The coconut oil is known to have properties that moisturize the skin. There is organic and natural coconut oil available now, but try to avoid one that is mixed with chemicals and fragrances to prevent your skin from being affected.
Are There Medical Risks Associated to Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks are not good to look at and it may also give you insecurities, but in terms of medical or health risks, there is nothing to worry about because stretch marks are superficial. By taking care of yourself even before you become pregnant will give you the assurance that your skin will not be affected. Proper diet and being fit during pregnancy is always a big help in preventing stretch marks.