Tips To Prevent Stretch Marks During & After Pregnancy
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Nicole Palmer, DO
For many women stretch marks are inevitable during and after pregnancy. When your skin stretches, indented lines or narrow pink/purplish streaks may appear on your pregnant belly, breast, and other areas of your body. Try to think of these marks as an honorable badge for this beautiful moment while your body is creating a baby.
Try not to let these pregnant belly stretch marks affect your self-confidence. Luckily, there are pregnancy stretch mark oils, balms, and lotions available to help prevent stretch marks on your pregnant belly.
We will discuss tips to avoid and treat stretch marks while pregnant, the best oil for pregnant belly, and the best natural belly balm for pregnancy.
★ WHAT ARE STRETCH MARKS?
Stretch marks are small indented, narrow streaks that most often appear on the abdomen, breast, buttocks, hips, and other places on the body. These marks start out pink, purple, reddish brown, or dark brown, depending on your skin. They’re common in the later stages of pregnancy when the baby belly bump is rapidly growing to accommodate your growing baby.
★ WHAT CAUSES STRETCH MARKS?
Stretch marks happen to anyone, whether you have sensitive skin or not. These marks occur when you drastically gain or lose weight in a short period of time causing the middle layer of your skin (dermis) to tear apart. Poor hydration and itchy, dry skin are other possible adverse effects. Stretch marks aren’t harmful or painful. While you can never get rid of stretch marks, they may gradually fade and become less noticeable with the help of the right products.
Even though stretch marks don’t go away, there are ways to prevent them. One of the best ways to avoid long-term stretch marks scarring during pregnancy is by improving skin elasticity with a plant-based pregnancy oil or belly balm organic products.
★ CAN YOU AVOID STRETCH MARKS DURING PREGNANCY?
The best way to avoid stretch marks is to gain pregnancy weight slowly and steadily. Find a food regimen to nourish you and your developing baby the nutrition for a healthy pregnancy. Also, be active to avoid gaining too much weight. Taking a 15-minute stroll a couple of times a day can help with pregnancy swelling.
★ WHEN TO START USING STRETCH MARK CREAM DURING PREGNANCY?
You don’t have to necessarily see stretch marks to start using preventive creams. It is helpful to start to use the best oil for pregnancy stretch marks and belly balm for stretch marks early on in your pregnancy. Many stretch mark products work as preventive measures and can be used throughout pregnancy and after childbirth.
Stretch marks tend to appear on your belly around the end of the second trimester until childbirth, between 6-9 months. They can also appear earlier on in pregnancy. Stretch marks affect around 8 out of 10 pregnant women and appearance will be different from woman to woman.
★ TIPS TO PREVENT STRETCH MARKS DURING PREGNANCY
TAKE A DAILY PRENATAL VITAMIN- Stretch marks may occur from deficiencies in Vitamins C, E, D, and Zinc. Which are some of the crucial nutrients that may help prevent stretch marks. A daily prenatal vitamin, such as Feed Mom & Me Complete Prenatal Vitamin with DHA, along with a nutritionally healthy, well-balanced diet can help you achieve your daily requirement.
STAY HYDRATED- Drinking 8-10 glasses of water a day hydrates and softens your skin, making it less likely for skin to be dry and develop stretch marks.
GAIN WEIGHT AT A SLOWER PACE- Since stretch marks occur when you rapidly gain weight, causing the skin to quickly pull apart. Find the balance of a nutrient-dense diet and not overeat. Ask your healthcare provider what is the ideal total weight gain for you.
SOAK UP SOME VITAMIN D- Vitamin D may help stretch marks during pregnancy. A few minutes of sun throughout pregnancy supply you with enough vitamin D to help avoid stretch marks.
TREAT NEW STRETCH MARKS- Quickly treating new stretch marks with products containing key ingredients such as argan oil, coconut oil, sweet almond oil and cocoa butter, or shea butter, can help keep skin soft and prevent scarring from the skin quickly stretching.
EAT FOODS HIGH IN ZINC- Zinc plays an important role in skin health. It plays a role in the process of wound healing and is an anti-inflammatory.
★ WHAT OILS CAN I USE ON MY PREGNANT BELLY?
It’s important to make sure any essential oils and products you use or ingest during pregnancy are safe and effective. Coconut oil, argan oil, sunflower oil, sweet almond oil, grapeseed oil, and more work exceptionally for skin repair with their anti-inflammatory and healing properties. Antioxidant properties in extracts such as rosemary help stretch marks and nourish the skin. Caprylic acid is useful for dry skin and inflammation.
★ ARE THERE ANY OILS I SHOULDN’T USE ON MY PREGNANT BELLY?
Most belly oil and balm products are safe while pregnant, but you should keep an eye out for retinoids and hydroquinone in the skin and cosmetic products. There have been a few reports of birth defects possibly associated with retinoid topicals. Pregnant women are advised to stay away from retinoid products. Use of hydroquinone, a skin-lightening, and depigmenting agent isn’t recommended for use during pregnancy due to being highly absorbed into the skin.
★ WHAT IS THE BEST PRODUCT TO PREVENT STRETCH MARKS DURING PREGNANCY?
We’ve tested many products for stretch marks and believe we saw the best results with Irene Organics products. They have the best oil for stretch marks during pregnancy and the best belly balm for pregnancy.
Irene Organics Belly Oil is a fast-absorbing certified organic oil treatment rich in antioxidants and collagen-producing ingredients. This unscented oil, not fragrance-free, soothes your itchy belly and helps prevent pregnancy and postpartum stretch marks by hydrating your skin and increasing elasticity on your expanding belly. This non-greasy formula absorbs quickly and helps reduce and fade existing stretch marks.
Made with Grapeseed Oil, Borage Seed Oil, Rosehip Seed Oil, Argan Oil, Vitamin E Oil*, and Calendula Oil, all USDA certified organic ingredients. This formula is Non-toxic, Gluten-Free, Petroleum-Free, Mineral Oil-Free, and Lanolin-Free, contains No Artificial Fragrances, Vegan, Cruelty-Free, and is Eco-Friendly.
Irene Organics Belly Balms stretch marks formula with Vitamin E and essential fatty acids can help defend against pregnancy stretch marks. Made with USDA Certified Organic ingredients rich in antioxidants and anti-aging properties it helps promote collagen production and increases cell regeneration making skin firmer and more supple.
This specially formulated balm helps soothe itchy pregnant bellies as it penetrates deep into your skin to hydrate and prevents pregnancy stretch marks. With no artificial fragrances, this unscented balm can be used daily as a great moisturizer. It also soothes sunburns & stressed skin!
Made with Coconut Oil, Shea Butter, Beeswax, Grapeseed Oil, Borage Seed Oil, Rosehip Seed Oil, and Calendula Oil, all USDA certified organic ingredients. This formula is Non-toxic, Gluten-Free, Petroleum-Free, Mineral Oil-Free, and Lanolin-Free, contains No Artificial Fragrances, Vegan, Cruelty-Free, and is Eco-Friendly.
To help moisturize and reduce the appearance of stretch marks, massage both belly oil and belly balm in a circular motion onto your pregnant belly, hips and breast at least twice a day and after you shower, to be readily absorbed into the skin. For maximum stretch mark treatment, and prevention, combine belly balm and belly oil throughout pregnancy.