Pregnancy is a beautiful thing, but you may find some of the effects it has on your body to be not so beautiful.
We’re talking about stretch marks, which occur when your skin undergoes severe stretching but lacks necessary moisture and elasticity, thus leaving behind red streaks that eventually turn white if left untreated.
Some women get stretch marks on their stomach and breasts, as these areas naturally grow during pregnancy, while others are more likely to get them on their hips, thighs and bottom. Fortunately, there are some natural ways to prevent them from occurring.
Eat for skin elasticity
As you want your baby to be as healthy and nourished as possible, you’re probably already eating a nutritious and varied diet. However, there are some foods that are particularly beneficial for your skin’s elasticity, and the more elastic your skin is, the less likely it is that stretch marks will form.
Foods that will make your skin more elastic include those that are high in antioxidants, like colorful fruits and vegetables, foods containing Vitamin E, like nuts, seeds, and avocados, and foods containing omega 3 fatty acids, like fatty fish, flax seeds, walnuts and eggs.
Drink more water
While keeping hydrated is always important, drinking a lot of water is especially important during pregnancy. As you’re basically creating a huge water sack for your baby to develop for nine months, this process can use up some of the water that would normally be used in other ways in your body—like keeping your skin elastic and hydrated.
It is recommended that you drink 8-12 glasses of water per day during pregnancy for complete body and skin hydration.
Supplement with gelatin and vitamin C
Collagen formation is essential for keeping away stretch marks, and gelatin is essentially a form of collagen. Although collagen creams do very little when applied topically, taking gelatin has been shown to improve skin health and appearance in in a myriad of ways, and also to increase the body’s production of collagen. To get more of this nutrient, start consuming bone broth if you’re not already.
Vitamin C is also important in the body’s production of collagen, so be sure to eat foods high in vitamin C during your pregnancy, such as cherries, dark leafy greens and citrus fruits.
Although food sources are best, gelatin powder and vitamin C supplements are also thought to be safe during pregnancy. However, be sure to speak to your doctor about what you’re taking while pregnant – and if you do supplement, make sure you have a high quality source you trust.
Organic, extra virgin coconut oil is the best moisturizer to keep your skin feeling moist and elastic. Rub the oil all over your belly, hips, bottom, breasts and thighs every day in the morning and before bed. It can also help to relieve the itching sometimes cause by skin stretching.
If, despite all these preventative measures, some stretch marks do show up, be sure to treat them as soon as they appear. The best way is to apply vitamin E oil daily directly to the marks.
These tips are not only good for preventing stretch marks, but for the overall health and elasticity of your skin in general, so be sure to keep up your routine even after giving birth.
-The Alternative Daily