5. Avoid Caffeine
During pregnancy, your body has an increased demand for hydration, as your blood volume is increasing and your body is building a huge water sack around your unborn baby. Caffeine has a dehydrating effect on the body, so avoid foods and beverages containing caffeine like coffee, tea and soda.
If your body is not properly hydrated, your skin loses some of its elasticity and becomes more prone to tears associated with stretch marks. Also, it can cause an increase in free radicals in the body.
Reducing caffeine intake during pregnancy is also good for your baby’s health.
No matter how much you crave coffee, tea and soda, try to avoid them. Instead, you can drink herbal tea, fruit juices and other caffeine-free fluids.
6. Eat a Skin-Nourishing Diet
The food you eat plays an important role in maintaining skin elasticity. Health experts recommend following a diet that nourishes your skin from within.
At the same time, don’t go on a crash diet to lose weight after you’ve given birth. Lose it gradually, just as you gained weight gradually, to help your skin tighten and return to normal.
- Eat foods rich in antioxidants like spinach, blueberries, strawberries and other vegetables, which help nourish and protect the skin.
- Foods containing vitamin E, which protects skin cell membranes, are also important. Vitamin E-rich foods include nuts, seeds, avocados, broccoli and collard greens.
- Foods containing vitamin A help repair skin tissues. Vitamin A-rich foods include carrots, sweet potatoes, mangos, squash and red bell peppers.
- Foods rich in omega-3s like fish, fish oil, walnuts, eggs and oysters are also good for your skin. When eating fish make sure it is low in mercury, such as salmon, tuna, shrimp, and cod. Avoid eating undercooked fish or eggs.
7. Use Dry Brushing
Exfoliating your skin using a dry brush technique is another good way to control stretch marks during pregnancy. Dry brushing improves your circulation and keeps your skin healthy.
It also helps the skin better absorb moisturizing oils, creams and lotions.
- Before bathing or showering, brush your bare skin with long, sweeping strokes toward the heart.
- Do this for about 5 minutes, especially on your thighs, arms, abdomen and buttocks.
- Do it daily or every other day.
Always use a brush made from natural fibers for dry brushing.
- In some cases, stretch marks are genetic. But with proper care, you can still reduce their appearance.
- Always use oil on your skin that improves skin elasticity to prevent stretch marks.
- Don’t use harsh chemicals on your skin. Use skin products made with natural oils that will hydrate your skin.
- Apply a stretch mark salve containing glycolic acid on your abdomen, sides and wherever you notice stretch marks. Follow the directions on the package for appropriate use.
- Use a topical product specifically formulated to maximize the skin’s elasticity. Ask your doctor to recommend some products.
- Always be sure that any stretch mark products you use while pregnant or nursing are safe for use. Ask your doctor whenever in doubt.