Firstly congratulations! - you're making a human and while this is such a magical time in your life, your body is under huge stress, especially your skin, which has to stretch to accomodate your growing belly and baby.
Are stretch marks genetic or can you prevent them?
We all dread stretch marks and the school of thought is divided as to whether you can do anything to prevent getting them. With some people believing that you are either genetically predisposed to get them and there is nothing you can do about it and others thinking that you can prevent them.
I personally believe that there are things you can do to prevent stretch marks or at least reduce their severity, regardless of whether you are predisposed to stretch marks or not.
Eat More Gelatin to Prevent Stretch Marks
Today our diets are severely lacking in gelatin, an ingredient known to boost the skins collagen formation. The old saying you are what you eat rings true here...In order to increase your skins collagen formation you can eat gelatin to get more collagen through your diet
When your skin's normal collagen production is interrupted, stretch marks can occur. Collagen is the primary protein that makes your skin elastic.
Collagen formation is essential in improving your skins elasticity. Another name for collagen…you guessed it Gelatin.
So how can you go about getting more gelatin in your diet?
Make bone broth. You can drink it plain every morning. Use it to make gravies, soups, sauces, and casseroles. Use it to boil your rice in. It gives it great flavor. You can also use a gelatine powder found at most good health food shops.
Gelatin doesn’t just help improve skin elasticity it also has numerous other benefits including: improved wound healing, improved sleep, improve insulin sensitivity, fight free radical damage, promote digestive health and reduce gut inflammation, and reduced joint pain. Win, Win, Win!
Keep yourself well hydrated
During pregnancy your blood volume is increasing and you are building a huge water sack for your baby to stay in. Your body has an increased demand for hydration. Your skin also needs to be hydrated for optimal skin elasticity. It is recommended that you get 8-12 glasses of water each day. Mostly however, pay attention to how you are feeling. Dry lips or throat is a sure sign of dehydration. Being tired, headaches, or a lack of concentration can also be a sign that you are dehydrated. So although the pressure from baby also means more frequent trips to the toilet, it's vital you stay hydrated.
Massage Your Preggie Belly With Olive Oil
I used a magical golden oil with both of my pregnancies to keep my belly moist, nourished and hydrated. And I'm fortunate to say that I am stretch mark free.
Olive oil has been used for centuries as a magical beauty multi-tasker. It's rich in fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamin A and E. A magical golden oil also contains mandarin oil, which is safe to use during pregnancy.
With a history dating back thousands of years to traditional Chinese medicine, mandarin oil helps prevent stretch marks and treat scars. Mandarin does not irritate your skin and unlike most citrus oils,
A magical golden oil can easily be applied topically. It is best to apply right after a shower to lock the moisture in.
Eat a Diet Rich in Vitamin C
The body uses Vitamin C to form collagen and cartilage. Vitamin C is also highly effective in reducing free radical damage. Free radicals consume collagen and elastin. It is best to get Vitamin C from a natural food source instead of a supplement. Foods high in vitamin C include red and green bell peppers, guava, kale, parsley greens, turnips, and broccoli.
Up Your Zinc Intake
The way we eat overall effects our skin elasticity. Eating for skin elasticity would include eating a diet rich in Zinc. Zinc deficiency is one reason people are more likely to get stretch marks. Zinc is a natural trace mineral and one of the most abundant in the body. Zinc is also used in the production of collagen and also contains antioxidant properties.
Zinc can be found in abundance in chicken, lamb, beef, eggs, nuts, legumes, and whole grains.
Founded in 2007 by Melbourne based mum + lifelong eczema sufferer Anastasia Lambadaridis is ardent about making a difference and encourages people to make small changes in the home about the way they care for themselves, their children and the planet.