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I remember one of the first things I couldn’t get off my mind after finding out I was pregnant was when to expect stretch marks during pregnancy!
It was one of the most talked-about symptoms all my mom friends told me and honestly, I was worried.
I went my ENTIRE pregnancy without a single mark on my body. That is until the 36th week came.
At week 36, I started getting all these stretch marks around my abdomen and just under my butt. I mean, really? Needless to say, I got myself this stretch mark cream and began saying some prayers (jk I didn’t pray about my stretch marks, but I did feel a little self-conscious).
Here I was thinking I’d be one of the lucky ones, then bam, reality came crashing in. So when should YOU expect to see some stretch marks during your pregnancy?
Make sure to read until the end to find out every detail about those pesky marks!
When to expect stretch marks during pregnancy
What are stretch marks?
To put it simply, stretch marks are formed when your skin is stretched out farther (extreme skin stretching) then it’s normal ability. Typically due to weight gain or hormonal changes.
They usually appear as long or narrow lines/stripes in areas around the stomach, thighs, hips, breasts or buttocks.
In addition, family genetics have been shown to play a large part in why some people develop stretch marks.
What do the first signs of stretch marks look like?
If you’re wondering what the first signs of stretch marks look like, fear no more!
Typically, your skin may appear a bit more thinned out and sometimes you’ll notice a pink discoloration.
Eventually, the skin will darken and develop more of a wrinkled texture to it. From there, you’ll begin to see what you commonly know as ‘stretch marks’.
Over time, they will begin to fade and lose their color. Sometimes, they’ll just completely go away!
How to prepare your skin for pregnancy?
Believe it or not, stretch marks are just ONE of the many side effects your skin might be dealing with throughout pregnancy!
I’ve seen moms in some of the various facebook groups I ask if there’s any way they can prepare their skin for pregnancy?
The short answer is yes, of course! The best way to prepare your skin for pregnancy is simply to take care of your overall health & skin!
Taking care of your overall health & skin looks like:
- Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet.
- Drinking enough fluids and stay hydrated daily.
- Using a good quality moisturizer (I personally love Palmer’s moisturizer as someone who usually has very dry skin) to help improve your skin’s elasticity.
- Try using a full-body exfoliator (I got this cheap one off amazon and it works so good!) weekly to help remove any dead skin cells building up.
- Taking a quality prenatal vitamin to ensure you’re getting all your micronutrients.
Why do some women get NO stretch marks during pregnancy while others get them all over?
With new studies popping up, it’s pretty apparent that our genetics plays a much larger role in people who develop stretch marks.
You can read more about this information here if you’d like.
All in all, I think it’s safe to say that each person and each pregnancy is always going to be different. This means each individual will have different side effects throughout their pregnancy, including stretch marks.
Can you feel stretch marks forming?
It is not common to feel stretch marks as they form. Most women don’t even realize they have them or have begun forming them until they see them in the mirror.
However, if you rub your fingers along those wrinkly little lines, you will definitely be able to feel a specific outline of the mark itself.
Does lotion help with stretch marks?
As mentioned above, using a quality moisturizer for your skin can definitely help to hydrate your skin, in turn, improving its elasticity!
Unfortunately, there have not been enough studies to definitively show whether or not lotion can prevent stretch marks as a whole.
From my own personal experience, I used the Palmers Moisturizer and Oil Kit throughout my entire pregnancy. I had developed really dry skin and I never saw a single stretch mark show up until week 36.
That being said, I have no idea if my skin survived that long due to the excessive moisturizing it was getting or because it’s purely genetics, but I can say that lotion DID HELP with the dryness significantly!
How to remove pregnancy stretch marks
So you developed a bunch of unwanted stripes and now you’re here looking for a way to get rid of them! I feel you!
The downside is that there really aren’t enough ways that have been truly proven to take your stretch marks away despite there being a large market of products advertised to ‘take your stretch marks away’.
Some of the more proven ways (which tend to be on the more expensive side) include microdermabrasion, laser therapy and a more affordable option of using Tretinoin Cream(s).
With tretinoin cream, it is considered a topical retinoid that is NEVER recommended for use by pregnant or nursing moms.
Are there supplements to prevent stretch marks?
Similar to the creams, there isn’t one supplement out there that will just get rid or prevent stretch marks.
Some believe that taking Vitamins A, E, and C can help promote the reconstruction of collagen, in turn, helping your skin repair itself.
However, others will argue that you should be getting enough of these vitamins just by consuming a well balanced healthy diet.
What are the best creams for stretch marks after pregnancy?
If you opt to try using a cream to help lighten or get rid of your stretch marks AFTER pregnancy, you could try one of the creams listed below as they’re much more affordable then laser therapies and what not.
Now, I’m sure some women may have some positive results by using these products, so here’s some of the most highly rated & reviewed creams:
As I mentioned, I personally used the Palmers Moisturizer and Oil Kit during my pregnancy and throughout the first few months postpartum. Although I can’t say I noticed any major differences in my stretch marks, it did keep my skin beyond soft and hydrated!
Does vitamin c for stretch marks help during pregnancy?
Vitamin C contains antioxidants that help your body with the development of collagen.
More collagen means stronger, more elastic skin which can help with preventing stretch marks or at least minimizing them.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, most studies show that “many remedies said to prevent stretch marks don’t actually work.“
When do you get stretch marks during pregnancy?
Well…it can happen at ANY time.
However, for MOST moms, they tend to see them start popping up throughout the 2nd & 3rd trimester of pregnancy.
But like I mentioned earlier, there’s no “set time frame” as to when they occur…heck, some of you lucky mamas may never experience them at all!
There you have it mamas, all the information you need to know about when to expect stretch marks during pregnancy!
Hopefully, this post helps you in some way deal with or get rid of those pesky stretch marks we all spend forever hoping we won’t get!
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Thanks for reading when do stretch marks appear in pregnancy
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