Thursday, September 04, 2008

Pregnancy and Stretch Marks

Stretch mark is so common in pregnancy. It's almost like a package that comes together with the bun in the oven along with... well, let's see - nausea and vomitting, swollen hands and feet, darkening of nipples, linea nigra, the list goes on. I don't mind all of those bcoz they're only temporary and will be gone after the pregnancy is over, but stretch marks? Not quite so.

I googled about what causes those horrible streaks a.k.a stretch marks and basically, it's all about skin's elasticity and collagen build. Here's an excerpt taken from this website:

The loss of skin's elastin and collagen is responsible for causing stretch marks. This loss can occur in two ways. First, hormonal changes caused by such things as prolonged steroid use or Cushing's syndrome can result in stretch marks. Perhaps the most common reason stretch marks form is because the skin is stretched more than normal, leading to a breakdown of tissue fibers. When this breakdown of tissues is present, a stretch mark develops and can be seen in the top layer of the skin.

Rapid growth frequently results in stretch marks. If an individual gains weight rapidly, he or she may develop them. Upon losing weight, the skin is no longer overstretched and the marks may become less obvious. Like all scars, however, they do not disappear completely.

Pregnant women may also develop stretch marks. The rapid increase in weight and girth that a woman undergoes during pregnancy can cause stretch marks to form. Even if a woman size doesn’t increase enough to overstretch her skin, she can develop stretch marks due to the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy. But if neither the physical nor hormonal causes are present, a woman may survive a pregnancy stretch mark free.

So is there any ways to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy?

Well, I did some research online and found out that:

1) Genetic plays an important role whether or not you will get stretch marks. I asked my mom and was relieved when she said she didn't have any stretch marks when she was pregnant. She only developed a minor one during her 4th pregnancy, tu pon dia kata sebab dia dah malas sapu cream. So there's a glimmer of hope for me to be stretch-mark-free in pregnancy!

2) Women who gained excessive and drastic weight during pregnancy are more prone to stretch marks than those who gained the recommended amount of weight and gaining it slowly.

3) Sensible diet helps the skin to stretch better and contributes to the strength and health of your skin so that it bounces back quicker after giving birth. Elastin and collagen found in our skin work together to support the body's tissue, so the more elastic your skin is and the more collagen you have, the less susceptible your skin is towards stretch marks. The good news is, there are food that helps in collagen building and those foods are: soy products (more reason to drink Herbalife shake during pregnancy!), dark green vegetables, red fruits and vegetables, and omega fatty acids (fish oil and avocados). Read here to find out how these foods help to build collagen.

Oh, that reminds me of another thing. My mom used to crave for soy products when she was pregnant with me, and she must have soy bean drink and tofu every day. Perhaps that's one of the reasons dia takde stretch marks kot?

4) Dry skin is less elastic than oily skin, so it's more prone to stretch marks. Keep the skin well-moisturized (the earlier you start, the better) especially your belly and boobs bcoz those are the areas that are bound to "membesar bagai johan" during pregnancy!


I'm on my second bottle of Elemis Oil, and this time I purchased 200ml - which means... I love it! I did try Bio-Oil and used it until it's finished (1 bottle lasts me for 2 weeks). There's nothing wrong with it. I just prefer Elemis Oil more bcoz the oil is thicker and it moisturizes better. I had a rough spot on my left arm so I applied Bio-Oil. But even after finishing the bottle, the rough spot was still as before. Then I continue using Elemis Oil and walla~ it only took 3 days to heal!

Another reason why I love Elemis Oil is bcoz it's rich in plant collagen. Anything with collagen sounds reassuring to me, especially now when I need it the most!

Regarding stretch marks, I can't say much about that. So far the texture of my belly is still the same as before despite the growing size. I haven't got a single stretch mark, but then again, I'm only in my 6th month of pregnancy. Anything can happen. Stretch marks can appear without warning like waking up to a horrible zit!

So I'm doing everything I can. I started applying and massaging oil religiously, at least 2 times a day all over my body ever since I was in week 10 or 12 of pregnancy and never missed since then. I take vitamin supplements like Fish Oil, Vitamin C and Vitamin E (just to name a few) bcoz those are good for the skin. I love veggies and I eat them pretty much everyday (in fact, I think I eat more veggies than fruits kot). I drink Herbalife shake so I supposed my diet is sensible enough. And I make sure I'm gaining just enough weight for my pregnancy. So if it happens that I do get stretch marks in the end... well, what to do. I've done everything I can and if that's the price I have to pay to have a baby, so be it. I'll try not to whine and complain about it later on! ;p


She slipped off her pink stilettos at 10:52 PM |