Pregnancy loves to leave some enduring sign of your baby’s time in-utero; stretch marks, especially. But is it guaranteed you’ll get them? And if you do, are they forever?
Stretch marks happen when skin stretches more than the tissue’s elasticity can accommodate. It typically occurs in the case of rapid growth—hence why many women’s baby bumps and breasts are afflicted during pregnancy.
The marks start off as red, brown, or purple striations, sometimes itchy, and then, post-birth, will gradually fade into less visible silvery lines.
Regardless of what miracle cream marketing may have you believe, preventing stretch marks isn’t really a reality: it’s luck of the draw when it comes to stretch marks. Some skin types are blessed with more elastin than others, sailing through burgeoning baby bumps unmarked.
The only real control you have is to try regulate your weight gain—no eating for two, just eat healthily. (Of course, this won’t mitigate the sudden stretch wrought by massive baby growth spurts!)
Experts also advise keeping hydrated and eating a diet rich in leafy greens and yellow veg (high in vitamin A), to boost cell regeneration, and thus healing.
If you’re still keen to try out a lotion or cream claiming to zap stretch marks, make sure it’s pregnancy-safe, and especially free from essential oils—save those for once baby is out!