Preventing Stretch Marks During Pregnancy
The hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy affect not only the body, but the hair, nails and skin. Nurturing yourself during this joyous time is not only important for baby, but it’s important to maintain a healthy outcome for mother too.
Taking care of your skin at this time is essential. As your baby grown so does your belly – stretching the skin until it can feel uncomfortable and itchy. Stretch marks happen when your body grows faster than your skin can keep up with. This causes the elastic fibers just under the surface of the skin to break, resulting in stretch marks.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, about 90% of women develop stretch marks sometime after their sixth or seventh month of pregnancy. Keeping the skin hydrated, and your tummy conditioned and moisturized with these simple recipes can help prevent stretch marks and relieve the itchiness of a growing belly. It can also help the skin return to a normal, healthy condition after the baby arrives.
Basic Skincare Regimen for the Tummy
When you are ready, take a shower – no baths or hot tubs at this time. Use a mild chemical-free soap or this skin calming Tummy Wash. You will need:
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup water
- 2 tablespoons oatmeal (old fashioned, not instant or steel cut)
Warm the milk and water in the microwave. Add the oatmeal and allow the mixture to cool a little before washing your abdomen with the mixture using a soft washcloth. Follow with a nourishing lotion or oil to condition the skin.
Either of the recipes below will condition the skin and help minimize the appearance of stretch marks which can appear on the tummy, thighs, or buttocks. Select your favorite recipe and use where necessary each morning after your shower.
Cocoa-E Butter Lotion for Daily Use
- 3 vitamin E capsules
- 1 tablespoons Cocoa Butter
Cut off ends of Vitamin E capsules and squeeze oil into a small bowl. Add the cocoa butter and stir well. Cover tummy, thighs, hips and buttocks and gently massage into the skin.
The cocoa butter is softening and hydrating and the healing effects of the Vitamin E help prevent stretch marks from forming.
Flawless Skin Oil
- 1 teaspoon Sesame Oil
- 1 teaspoon Apricot Kernel Oil
- ½ teaspoon Honey
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Apply to tummy, hips, buttocks and thighs and massage gently into the skin. The Vitamin E content and apricot kernel oil help maintain skins’ elasticity, while the sesame oil help the skin remain soft and supple. Honey is a natural healing ingredient that conditions and calms the skin.
- 2 tablespoons dried Lavender
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup plain Yoghurt
- 1 teaspoon Olive Oil
In a small pan bring water to boil. Add the dried lavender and steep for 10 minutes. Strain and cool. Add the yoghurt and oil to the lavender water and blend well. Apply the nourishing mixture to your belly every night before bed.
Once a week it would be a good idea to gently exfoliate the skin on your tummy, thighs and buttocks to remove dead skin cells to keep the skin supple and soft. Our Tummy Mask recipe not only acts as an exfoliant, the cucumbers calm the skin while the potatoes are packed with Vitamin C which is a natural anti-inflammatory. You will need:
- 2 small Cucumbers
- 1 Potato
- 2 Teaspoons Sea Salt
Peel then shred the cucumbers and potato. Place and a bowl and add the salt. Mix well. Gently massage the mixture into the skin and then relax for 15 minutes. Wash off with warm water and apply your favorite conditioning lotion or night-time moisturizer recipe from above.
Other ways to prevent stretch marks include:
Maintaining a healthy weight and drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated from within
- American Academy of Dermatology
- Return to Beauty: Old World Recipes for Great Radiant Skin. Narine Nikogosian.