There is nothing vain about wanting to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy. Yes, they are beautiful and show that we brought life into this world. However, it is perfectly OK to want to try to prevent them.

I come from a family of mama tigers so I fully anticipated that even with all of my hard work, I would end up with tiger stripes of my own. I gained nearly 40 pounds during my pregnancy. And when I didn’t get the stretch marks I expected to see, I knew I wanted to share these tips with other expecting moms.

Before we get into it, I want to preface this by saying that I am not a medical professional; this is purely my experience. These are the steps that I took that I believe helped to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy. You should always seek medical advice before implementing anything you read on the internet.

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Steps to Prevent Stretch Marks During Pregnancy

Below are the exact steps I took to prevent stretch marks during my pregnancy.

1.) Drink Lots of Water

Water helps to keep our bodies hydrated and is excellent for our skin. Think of it as a way to moisturize our skin from the inside-out. Not only is drinking water beneficial for our skin, but it’s also super healthy during pregnancy.

Our skin needs elasticity to stretch and make room for the growing baby in our belly. Some believe that by drinking water, it does help our overall elasticity in our skin. And water certainly doesn’t hurt!

I drank no less than three regular water bottles a day. I usually drank one in the morning, one to two throughout the afternoon and one at dinner time. Essentially, I tried my best to stick to the recommended water intake for women throughout the entirety of my pregnancy.

2. Apply Lotion

Some people swear by expensive lotion or oils, but I honestly did not have that experience. I actually asked my husband to pick up cocoa butter lotion on one of his shopping trips. Now, he is the type of person that always buys the cheapest option out there for these types of products. So, naturally, he came back with a store brand lotion.

I fully anticipated needing to go out and purchase a “premium” lotion later on in the pregnancy. But truthfully the store brand lotion worked out perfectly fine. I primarily used the lotion to help with itching and to moisturize my skin.

To help prevent stretch marks during pregnancy, I applied a generous amount of lotion every morning and night. I began this ritual right around the three-month mark. This helped it become habitual so that I stuck with it throughout those big growing months.

3. Paws Off the Belly

As your belly grows, your skin stretches and can cause your belly to itch. Resist the urge to scratch your belly. As noted at HealthLink, “dry, stretching skin tends to be itchy”. The key word in this sentence being “dry”.

If you are drinking your water and applying lotion daily, then your skin has a better chance of staying hydrated. However, don’t be surprised if your belly does become itchy even if you are doing all of the above. Instead of scratching at your belly, apply lotion to help ease the desire to scratch.

4. Watch the Diet

Prevent stretch marks during pregnancy by eating healthy, balanced meals. Picture of a healthy breakfast.

Ugh. I hate even talking about this one. Mostly because as a pregnant woman, our bodies are already going through so much. So, if we want some comfort food, we should be able to enjoy it.

But the truth is that stretch marks generally appear when our skin begins to grow rapidly. One way to combat this is to make sure that we are eating a balanced diet, especially while pregnant. It is not only healthy for us, but for our growing baby, as well.

How much you need to eat to provide nutrition for both you and baby will depend on a number of factors. Talk to your doctor, ask for their advice and try to come up with a plan that is in align with their advice.

And ladies, I’ve been there, my doctor once told me that I was gaining weight too quickly. At first, I was annoyed because, well hello, I was pregnant – like let me live lady. But looking back, I am thankful something was said. It really made me be more aware of my eating habits. Our doctors are really trying to look out for our best interests.

Every Body is Different

Everybody’s body is different. And it is important to remember that what worked for one person may not work for everyone. These are the exact steps I took to prevent stretch marks during my pregnancy. With that said, there is just simply no way to guarantee that you will have the same outcome.

If you do obtain beautiful tiger stripes, embrace them. It is said that, with time, they will begin to fade and be less visible. Growing a baby, while miraculous, is also exhausting and takes a toll on our body. There is no shame in your stretch marks; be proud of the miracle you created!

So I would love to know. Are there any tips I didn’t mention that you are currently doing to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy? Let me know in the comments below!

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