Best Stretch Mark Prevention During Pregnancy Every Expecting Mom Should Know

by Holly
best stretch mark prevention during pregnancy

My Secrets To Having Zero Stretch Marks After Two Pregnancies

Are you looking for the best stretch mark prevention tips during pregnancy? You’re not alone!

Many women worry about getting stretch marks, especially during their first pregnancy. While there is no guaranteed way to prevent stretch marks, there are some things you can do to minimize your risk.

I’ve been very conscious about developing stretch marks during my pregnancies. My mom has horrible stretch marks. Literally. She has stretches marks on her belly, arms, thighs, and hips. I was so afraid that I’m prone to get these awful lines due to genetics so when I found out I was pregnant, the first thing I searched was how to prevent stretch marks.

The good news is that there are ways to prevent stretch marks and remedies to get rid of them before they become permanent. The earlier you start implementing these stretch mark prevention tips, the better! It’s also important not to forget about them daily in your routine.

This post is all about best stretch mark prevention during pregnancy.

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The Ugly Truth About Stretch Marks

Stretch marks are not pretty, but they are a sign that you’re growing bigger. They may appear on your belly or any other area where the skin is stretched during pregnancy; such as breasts, upper arms, lower backside, hips, and thighs – all due to gaining weight.

In most cases stretch mark color changes from pink to silver and then into brown if left untreated. It’s important not only to prevent existing stretch marks to get darker in color but to prevent them before they appear.

Here are the tried and true best stretch mark prevention during pregnancy every expecting mom should know.

1. Eat Plenty Of Fruits And Vegetables For Antioxidants And Other Nutrients

Fruits and vegetables are packed with nutrients that can help keep your skin healthy and prevent stretch marks. Antioxidants work by reducing the free radicals in the skin, which helps to prevent damage and improve elasticity. Some great antioxidants found within foods like beta carotene or vitamin C are good choices when looking at preventing stretch marks. These foods are not only antioxidant-rich but also meets the nutritional needs of your growing baby:

  • blueberries
  • strawberries
  • kale
  • spinach
  • colorful peppers
  • sweet potatoes
  • papayas
  • citrus fruits
  • broccoli
  • carrots

2. Drink lots of water to keep skin hydrated from the inside out

The easiest way to avoid stretch marks during pregnancy is by staying hydrated. When you drink enough water, it makes your skin more elastic. So as your skin stretches, the collagen and elastin, which support our skin, are less likely to rupture, leaving unwanted marks.

Staying hydrated also improves the baby’s overall health, reduces the risk of birth defects, and prevents miscarriage.

I make sure I meet my daily 96 oz daily quota by drinking from my 48 oz tumbler. I carry my tumbler with me wherever I go. When I get two refills, I know that I had 96 oz of water that day.

3. Use A Combination of Cream And Oil To Keep Skin Hydrated

Pregnancy can leave your skin stretched, itchy, and dry. Moisturizing daily can improve your skin elasticity so that it is less likely to tear and form stretch marks when your skin stretches.

Choosing the right skincare for stretch mark prevention really depends on your current skin condition. What works for my skin may not work for you. You really need to try out different ones to determine the best ones to use.

How to moisturize skin to prevent stretch marks

To make sure my body is well moisturized, I always put on stretch marks prevention cream first and seal with oil. Because moisturizer is part water and part oil, they help skin retain moisture whereas oils help lock it in.

The best time to moisturize is right after the shower when pores are open for optimal absorption. I lather on my stretch marks prevention cream all over my body and use a heavier cream for places that get the most stretches – belly, breasts, upper arms, lower backside, hips, and thighs. Lastly, apply oil over my body.

During the summer when the air is not as dry, I will apply cream and oil only to the parts I feel dry (for me, it’s my belly and hips).

Best Creams And Oils To Prevent Stretch Marks When Pregnant

Anything you put on the skin will be absorbed and potentially passed on to your baby. A general rule of thumb is to use products from well-established brands that are dedicated to pregnancy and baby skincare. Mustela, Bio-oil, Palmers, Mama Mio, and Belli are all popular brands.

In general, I look for products that contain pregnancy safe ingredients such as:

  • nut butter (such as cocoa, shea, or jojoba)
  • vitamins A and E
  • hyaluronic acid
  • coconut, argan, or rosehip oil
  • aloe vera
  • peptides

I also avoid anything with synthetic ingredients, artificial colors, and strong fragrances.

I’ve gone through so many bottles of moisturizers and oils (both store-bought and homemade) and my top picks are:

Between both pregnancies, I’ve used about 5 tubes of this Mustela Stretch Marks Cream. Although I can’t say that not having one single stretch mark on my body is due to this cream, I really think this moisturizer is key.

Mustela is a well-known French brand that has been making skincare products for expecting moms and babies for over 70 years! This means that all of their products are formulated with natural ingredients, 100% breastfeeding compatible, and EWG Verified.

This stretch mark cream is fast-absorbing. It’s thick but won’t leave you feeling greasy. The cream comes in 2 versions, lightly-fragranced or fragrance-free.

This pregnancy oil is greasy but absorbs super fast. It’s rich in vitamin E with a blend of wheat germ, almond, and jojoba oils which are superstars in nourishing the skin and preventing stretch marks.

After showering, I lather on my Mustela Maternity Stretch Marks Cream all over my body and seal with the Weleda Pregnancy Massage Oil. The only downside is that this bottle is fairly small and I go through it pretty fast.

All of Weleda’s products are free from synthetic compounds or toxic chemicals.

When I first got pregnant with baby #2, I immediately stocked up on this tummy butter because it worked so well with baby #1. This belly cream goes on thick but dries nicely and doesn’t feel weighed down. The smell is soft and neutral, which I love.

Mama Mio has over 15 years of pregnancy skincare experience for creating products that protect and support mamas throughout their pregnancy journey and beyond.

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Stretch Marks Lotion is the No.1 stretch marks brand in the US for a reason. This richly emollient massage lotion is made with cocoa butter and shea to soften, smooth, and plump. It also contains Vitamin E to support moisture retention, while lutein improves hydration and supports stretching skin.

pregnancy stretch marks prevention

4. Lightly Massage Belly Help Improve Circulation And Reduce The Appearance Of Stretch Marks

Every day after bathing, I lather on my stretch mark prevention creams and then lightly massage my growing bump with oils.

Massage improves circulation. More blood available to tissue equates to better nutrient delivery and toxin removal. This, in turn, promotes tissue growth, potentially preventing stretch marks from appearing.

There are no specific ways to massage your belly, just glide the stretch mark oil all over your belly and be really gentle. Always, always use oils when you massage.

5. Avoid Excessive Weight Gain During Pregnancy

One of the most common causes for stretch marks is rapid weight gain, so it’s important to slowly put on pounds during pregnancy. When you’re pregnant, it’s easy to feel like your body is changing in ways that make food taste better. But don’t overdo the “eating for two”. Instead, keep your weight gain slow and steady and follow the general recommendations for caloric intake during pregnancy.

6. Exercise Regularly, But Avoid High-Impact activities

The best way to keep your skin healthy and elastic during pregnancy is by exercising regularly. This not only helps you build up your endurance for childbirth but also reduces excess fat build-up. Exercise regularly helps your skin remain elastic and promotes waste removal that can lead to Stretch Mark formation.

Don’t know how to exercise? Just do any of these pregnancy-safe exercises for 30 minutes each day.

  • Walking
  • Swimming and water workouts
  • Riding a stationary bike
  • Yoga and Pilates classes
  • Low-impact aerobics classes
  • Strength training

7. Avoid Excessive Sun Exposure And Use Sunscreen When You Do Go Outside

We all know that spending too much time in the sun can lead to skin damage in the form of sunburns and premature aging. But did you know that excessive sun exposure can also cause stretch marks?

Stretch marks during pregnancy are caused by sudden weight gain, but sun exposure can exacerbate them. So if you’re trying to avoid stretch marks, it’s important to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays.

Here in Southern California where it’s mostly 70 degrees and sunny, I make sure that I’m protected when I go out. My favorite mode of sunscreen is using mechanical means. Hats, long sleeves, and skirts are my best friends.

For this reason, when hanging out by the beach I don’t wear bikinis to expose my belly. A pregnancy-safe sunscreen I carry around is Thinkbaby Natural Sunscreen. This award-winning mineral sunscreen is not only pregnancy safe but it applies easily with a non-oily feel.

If you’re like most moms-to-be, you’re probably wondering how to best prevent stretch marks during these nine months. While there is no one perfect answer, I hope the tips in this blog post will help. Remember to drink plenty of water, eat a healthy diet, and use a good moisturizer.

And don’t forget to give yourself time for plenty of rest – your body needs it! Leave me a message below and let me know how you are preventing stretch marks during your pregnancy. I can’t wait to hear from you!

This post was all about best stretch mark prevention during pregnancy.

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