3 Daily Habits for Preventing Pregnancy Stretch Marks
Pregnancy is a time for glowing, growing, preparing and waiting for your sweet newborn to arrive. Yet, on the nine-month journey it takes to grow your bundle of joy, a lot of changes happen to you physically. And I’m not just talking about that adorable bump.
Pregnancy stretch marks are a reality for a lot of mamas. If your own mama had stretch marks during pregnancy, the odds of you getting them is even higher. What you may not know is that there are some things you can do to help prevent stretch marks in the first place!
I’m Liesel, a Labor and Delivery nurse and the face behind Mommy Labor Nurse. Today I’m excited to share three daily habits to prevent stretch marks. As an added bonus, these tips will help you have a healthier, more comfortable pregnancy, too!
So whether you’re a first trimester mama looking to prevent stretch marks before they start, or you’re hoping to minimize the appearance of stretch marks on your already growing belly, you’re in the right place!
Photo Credit: @the_floridagirl
Drink Plenty of Water
Proper hydration is one of the best things you can do for your overall health during pregnancy. There are SO many benefits. Drinking plenty of water prevents constipation, ensures that essential nutrients are being transported to your baby, helps with the production of amniotic fluid, AND can help prevent stretch marks.
What does hydration have to do with stretch marks? When you are well-hydrated your skin is softer and more elastic than dry skin. This means that as your body changes and your skin begins to stretch, you may be less likely to develop stretch marks.
Aim for ten 8 oz. glasses of water per day to start. But if you’re still feeling thirsty, you exercise regularly, or the weather is especially hot, drink more! You really can’t overdo it, and hydration is super important.
Apply Tummy Butter for Stretch Marks
Just like hydration plays a role in keeping your skin soft and increasing its elasticity, applying tummy butter, or stretch mark oil has a similar effect! By moisturizing your growing bump you can help prevent stretch marks from forming in the first place. As an added bonus, it will prevent an itchy tummy––which can be a common discomfort during the third trimester.
Photo credit: @laurenhasz
What you may not know is that you can start applying tummy butter to your bump before you even have a bump! It’s great to make this a part of your daily routine as early in pregnancy as early as possible to keep your skin soft and supple.
And don’t think it’s just for the tummy! Some mamas are prone to stretch marks on their arms, thighs, hips, boobs and booty during pregnancy, too. So be sure to apply it liberally all over.
Incorporate Exercise and Eat Right
Aside from keeping your skin soft and well-hydrated, another key aspect for stretch mark prevention is targeting a healthy weight gain. This will look different for different mamas depending on your weight and activity level before getting pregnant. If you haven’t already, discuss this with your provider at your next prenatal appointment!
To help achieve a healthy weight gain, you should emphasize a healthy diet that’s full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Check out my Pregnancy Cookbook for some great nutrition info and recipe ideas!
Additionally, aim for moderate exercise 3-5 days per week. This might be in the form of a brisk walk, prenatal yoga, swimming, or a prenatal exercise program.
In addition to preventing stretch marks, a healthy weight gain can help keep many pregnancy discomforts (such as back pain, fatigue, and swelling) at bay.
Add these habits to you daily routine right away!
By adding these tips to your daily routine, you’ll be doing a lot to prevent pregnancy stretch marks from forming. Like I mentioned earlier, stretch marks are often hereditary and for some mamas, can’t be avoided entirely, but the right habits can decrease their intensity or deter them entirely in some cases.
Here’s to a healthy, happy, and comfortable pregnancy, mama!
Liesel Teen is a labor and delivery nurse (L&D RN), mama, the face behind the popular pregnancy Instagram page @mommy.labornurse and creator of the online childbirth class, Birth It Up. Birth is something she’s been passionate about for as long as she can remember, and she loves sharing her nursing knowledge to help mamas-to-be learn more about pregnancy and birth. She lives in North Carolina and is expecting her second baby in August 2020.