How to Prevent Stretch Marks While Pregnant

Lots of women fear stretch marks. Some women start thinking about how they can prevent them as soon as they find out they’re pregnant!

Creams? Lotions? A diet change? The instant stretch mark cure from that late-night infomercial?

Here’s the thing. Every woman is different. Some of it is genes, sure, but as we’re learning from the new science of epigenetics:

“…our diets and lifestyles can change the expression of our genes.” //

“You actually have a tremendous amount of control over how your genetic traits are expressed—from how you think to what you eat and the environment you live in.” //

So if you’re hoping to prevent stretch marks, chances are it can be done.

But, if you’re looking for a single silver bullet in a lotion or cream, you’ll have to look further than that. Your diet, your stress levels, and so much more can affect whether or not you get stretch marks.

With that said, here’s our 3-step roundup of advice for you on…

How to Prevent Stretch Marks

Step #1 – Switch to an Optimal Diet for Pregnancy

healthy eating during pregnancy

Expectant moms need lots of protein. You also need plenty of healthy fats for your baby’s brain and organ development.

“By healthy fats, we mean pastured butter, lard, eggs, and dairy; olive oil; coconut oil; and nuts. Vegetable oils are high in omega-6 fats. Most Americans consume too many omega-6s and not enough omega-3s. It’s important to balance omega-6 and omega-3 intake to keep the ratios in balance.” //

You’ll also need a lot of water. This is due to your increased blood volume and the baby’s amniotic fluid that needs to be continually replenished.

In general, you need a nutrient-dense diet to give both yourself and your baby all the nutrition you need. Supplementation (for example, prenatal vitamins) may also be necessary if you weren’t eating a nutrient-dense diet prior to pregnancy.

For a good overview of an optimal pregnancy diet, check out Wellness Mama’s post here.

Step #2 – Add Grass-Fed Gelatin to Your Diet

In a study by the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, researchers found that mice who were repeatedly exposed to an increasing intensity of UV light AND who were fed gelatin showed an increase in collagen. (source)

Collagen is a protein that’s found in our muscles, bones, skin and tendons. It not only gives our skin elasticity and makes it stronger, but it also helps to replace dead skin cells. Gelatin powder is the easiest way to get it into your diet. Just make sure to always buy grass-fed!

Vital Proteins makes an excellent gelatin powder that dissolves well in hot liquids/soups and is flavorless. You can add it to your morning tea, a lunch time soup, or a cup of warm milk at the end of the day. You can also add it to your baking for a little extra oomph!

If you use it, make sure to add it slowly and mix quickly. It can clump and, yes, it gels when refrigerated…which is a good thing when you want to make homemade fruit gummies or marshmallows out of it!

Vital Proteins also makes collagen powder – same as above but this one can be mixed into cold liquids like smoothies or juices. It digests faster but doesn’t coat the small intestine the way gelatin does. Coating the small intestine facilitates gut healing, as in the GAPS diet.

For more info, check out Vital Proteins’ breakdown of their two products.

Step #3 – Try Some Tiger Salve

Katie over at developed this awesome Homemade Tiger Salve. She has five kids and this is what she writes about stretch marks:

“I got them with my first, and have since gotten rid of them, even through four more pregnancies (and I haven’t gotten any new ones).” //

WOW! If that’s not a testament to the fact that whatever she’s doing is working, I don’t know what is!

Again, it’s not all about one silver bullet solution. After her first child, she also changed her diet (see Step #1) and, yes, she does promote adding gelatin to one’s diet.

Her stretch mark salve is just a bonus addition to a comprehensive approach to a healthy body, nourished from the inside out, which is already resilient to stretch marks.

Do you have any suggestions on how to prevent stretch marks? Please share in the comments!


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