Pregnancy can do strange things to your body. Some women suddenly get very thirsty, others have cravings for pickles. Some can’t sleep, others can’t stay awake. Some feel very emotional, others feel very horny! If there’s one thing we know, it’s that no two pregnancies are the same.
So, when it comes to issues like pregnancy stretch marks much like everything else in pregnancy, it’s a very personal issue. However, it’s estimated that between 50% and 90% of pregnant women will experience stretchmarks either before or after birth.
If you’re curious about whether this may affect you and if so how to manage it, read on....
What are stretch marks? 🤔
According to the NHS pregnancy stretch marks are identified as “narrow pink or purplish streak-like lines that can develop on the surface of the skin.” Postpartum, these can fade into white-coloured scars, sometimes they go away, but not always.
These can happen at any time of life, but are quite common during pregnancy.
For better or worse, they tend to appear on the tummy area during gestation – although some women also find them on their thighs and breasts.
While these aren’t harmful, you may experience some itchiness localised to the area.
So why do they occur? Well simply put, as the name suggests, they are a by-product of your skin stretching. Also, according to the NHS it can be due to hormonal changes in pregnancy which affect your skin making it more prone to pregnancy stretch marks.
Now here’s the fun bit......Not everyone gets pregnancy stretch marks - it’s all a bit of a lottery, coming down to your skin type. Those with greater elasticity are less prone to them however. Another factor is how much weight you gain.
👩🔬 For the official science explanation pregnancy stretch marks occur when the middle layer of skin, also known as the dermis, becomes stretched and broken.
There’s another factor to consider too: genetics. Speak to your mum, if she had stretch marks, then it’s likely that you may have them too.
Help is at Hand ✋
Thankfully, there are a few ways to minimise the effects of pregnancy stretch marks.
Anne Chapas MD, a clinical instructor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center, suggests drinking plenty of water since keeping hydrated is good for overall skin health.
Expert Mary Lupo MD, a clinical professor of dermatology adds that although nothing can specifically prevent pregnancy stretch marks, it’s a good idea to keep your skin hydrated with a “rich lotion or cream.” This may in itself help with some of the itchiness that comes with a growing bump.
We are obviously biased, but you should try our cult beauty product Scar Saviour – an organic vitamin-infused balm helps to keep your body hydrated and includes lots of lovely natural ingredients such as turmeric, liquorice and marshmallow root. Its exotic blend of goodness can help to minimise the appearance, colour and texture of scars.
So, there you have it, the lowdown on pregnancy stretch marks – just think of them as tattoos from your pregnancy! 💪🙌