The following articles are provided by organizations partnering with the American Pregnancy Association to deliver related information to you. The mention of specific products or services does not constitute a recommendation or endorsement by the APA unless it is explicitly stated.
What can be done to prevent stretch marks?
One’s best defense against stretch marks is to ensure that skin maintains its maximum elasticity throughout pregnancy. This is achieved by keeping skin well-hydrated and supple at all times.
Collagen and elastin fibers in the skin are necessary to keep rapidly growing skin taut, and the stronger they are, the less likely they are to break and leave resulting stretch marks. As such, it makes sense to eat foods that are rich in Vitamin E and C, zinc and silica, which help to form collagen.
Vitamin C in particular is an important antioxidant that helps protect tissue from damage. Vitamins B2 (Riboflavin) and B3 (Niacin) are also said to help promote and maintain healthy skin. Similarly, drinking sufficient water (approximately 2 liters a day) is essential in order to help strengthen and renew your skin.
In addition to boosting energy levels, reducing mood swings, improving sleep patterns and enhancing one’s overall self-image, exercise too can help prevent stretch marks. Exercise improves circulation, which keeps the skin elastic and more able to stretch as it grows. This improved circulation also reduces the possibility of varicose veins and swollen ankles in pregnancy.
Keeping skin supple
In addition to ensuring that you keep your skin supple through eating the right foods and getting enough exercise, you should use a topically-applied product like Bio-Oil that is specifically formulated to maximize the skin’s elasticity. By applying Bio-Oil twice daily from the first trimester throughout pregnancy, your skin will remain well-hydrated and better able to stretch.