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pregnant woman appling moisturiser to her bump to help prevent stretch marks

Tips to Help Prevent Stretch Marks During Pregnancy

Welcoming a new life into the world brings many physical changes, including the possibility of stretch marks as your body expands to accommodate your growing baby. However, these marks can be minimised or even prevented with proper care. In this blog, we will share essential tips to maintain your skin's elasticity and smoothness throughout your pregnancy. From moisturising to exercise, discover how you can support your skin during this special time.

What Are Stretch Marks?

During pregnancy, the stretching and distension of the tummy, causes the skin to split. These split lines are called striae gravidarum. They are the result of the magnificent work our bodies do when growing a baby. A stretch mark is a type of scar that develops when our skin stretches or shrinks quickly. The abrupt change causes the collagen and elastin, which support our skin, to rupture. As the skin heals, stretch marks may appear. 

These are purplish wavy lines, which appear on the tummy, breasts, and groin. Early stretch marks may feel slightly raised and can be itchy.

Risk Factors & Prevention

Women who gain weight very quickly in the first trimester of pregnancy, are at a higher risk for developing stretch marks than those who gain their weight steadily over the full nine months. This is because a gradual weight gain puts less stress on the skin and allows it to stretch less abruptly. 

Not everyone develops these narrow bands on their skin. Fluctuating hormone levels seem to play a role. You may also have a higher risk if people in your family get stretch marks.

After delivery, stretch marks become paler in colour, but the striae remain as permanent scars.

Like any scar, stretch marks are permanent, but treatment may make them less noticeable. Treatment can also help alleviate the itch. On a practical level, several things can make stretch marks less probable. The first trimester is the best time to start adopting new routines to keep your skin supple during and after pregnancy. 

Lady applying body moisturiser to her tummy during pregnancy

Prevention Tips

Moisturise your skin

The sooner you start a moisturising routine the better so that your skin can be primed to withstand the stress of an expanding bump. Moisturise twice a day from the very beginning of pregnancy. Concentrate on key areas such as your belly, hips and breasts. Opt for plant-based preparations (e.g. coconut oil, cocoa butter and shea butter) as these are kinder to your skin and are more easily absorbed. Look for collagen-boosting products that contain hyaluronic acid as this boosts skin hydration. Grapeseed oil is another ingredient to look out for because of its rich linoleic acid content that can aid the treatment of stretch marks during the initial inflammatory stage. 

Rosehip seed oil has proved to be effective in reducing the severity, preventing the appearance and stopping the progression of stretch marks during pregnancy. Many pregnant women apply this oil on their bellies, not only to hydrate the skin but also to boost its elasticity. Rosehip oil also contributes to preventing the appearance of stretch marks. The provitamin A found in this oil helps fade stretch marks and regenerate skin cells for more firm skin. 

Medical professionals recommend choosing your skin care products carefully when pregnant and while breastfeeding. Some moisturisers contain ingredients that may find their way into your breast milk. Always check with your healthcare professional before using products while pregnant. 

In particular, avoid Retinoid and products with Retinol and Retinol-A. Most essential oils are safe to use during pregnancy, especially after the first trimester. An exception to this is sage oil. It is classed as an emmenagogue and might stimulate menstruation.

Oleo Bodycare vegan body moisturiser collection

Drink More Water

Often during pregnancy you'll want to drink more water. This is great because the extra hydration will help your baby, and will also ensure that your skin doesn't go thirsty. Hydrated skin equals supple skin. When skin cells have an ample supply of water, they're able to function properly and repair themselves more efficiently. This means that your skin is better equipped to recover from pregnancy stretch marks.

There's no denying that pregnancy places many demands on your body. If your baby-to-be needs more water, it will obtain this from your body. In addition to hormone changes, this can lead to dry skin.

Pregnant lady holding a glass of water to keep up hydration during pregnancy


Exercise is not only essential for your overall health but also a key strategy for managing and repairing stretch marks post-pregnancy. Engage in activities you enjoy, such as walking, swimming, or yoga, to strengthen the muscles in your hips, thighs, and belly—areas commonly affected by stretch marks. Toning these muscles helps tighten loose skin and promotes quicker healing. Moreover, regular physical activity improves blood circulation, which enhances the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to your skin, crucial for its repair and regeneration.

Stay Calm

Stress management is crucial during pregnancy for both your well-being and skin health. Increased stress raises cortisol levels, which are then converted into cortisone, weakening the skin's elastic fibres and making it more susceptible to stretch marks. To keep cortisol levels under control and maintain skin elasticity, incorporate stress-reduction techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, or gentle yoga into your routine. Effective self-care not only reduces stress but also supports skin flexibility, helping to prevent and heal stretch marks.

pregnant lady doing yoga to help manage stress during pregnancy

Post Pregnancy Skincare

Without a doubt you'll have less time for yourself once your baby arrives, but there's no reason for you to relax the moisturising and anti-stretch mark skincare routine. It's a great time to treat your skin to some post partum TLC as new scars are more easily treated. Trying to find time to pamper yourself can make you feel like the balance is right between you the mum and you the special woman you always were and always will be.

We have a great selection of award winning, vegan body buttersoils and lotions that can help with stretch marks. Be sure to check with your healthcare professional before using any product while pregnant.

And remember, at the end of the day your pregnancy stretch marks are proof of the mind-blowing, unbelievable feat you have achieved of having created a person.

Posted on December 21st 2021

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