Stretch marks are most times synonymous with pregnancy. Many women dread and suffer from stretch marks during pregnancy, some women have them on the stomach, breast, hips or back. During my antenatal classes, I heard all sorts of advice from not scratching my tummy when it itches to avoid stretch marks to applying certain oils on your tummy even before you get the good news of pregnancy! Sure there are loads of information on the internet on ways to prevent stretch marks, but I'm not here to repeat these. I'm only going to provide what worked for me as I did not get a single stretch mark during my just concluded pregnancy. 

To prevent a thing, I believe one must first of all understand the cause. Therefore, to prevent stretch marks, you must understand what causes it. Stretch marks usually occur when the skin stretches rapidly as a result of pregnancy, or weight gain. An increase of cortisone in your system can also cause stretch marks. Cortisone is a hormone naturally produced by your adrenal glands. However, having too much of this hormone can make your skin lose its elasticity. When trying to prevent stretch marks one must ensure that the skin maintains its maximum elasticity throughout pregnancy. This is achieved by keeping skin well-hydrated and supple at all times.

After I had an idea of the causes, I then researched how I could prevent stretch marks and the below tips are what I practiced and they worked!

Gain weight at a slow and steady pace: this was one of the first tip I found on the internet and it definitely worked for me. When I gained weight rapidly about 13 years ago, i was plagued with stretch marks and still battling to get rid off some of them till date. Bear in mind that a rapid weight loss could also cause stretch marks.

Purchased this tub mid way into my first trimester
Shea Butter is your friend: Shea butter worked like magic for me. Not only did it prevent stretch marks, but it prevented the skin in my tummy region from getting slack. Even though my waistline thickened, the skin is firm. I particularly used Shea Butter produced by Savvy Chic Hair & Beauty in Lagos. They infuse their Shea Butter lotions with natural oils like coconut, lavender, and much more. 

Stay hydrated: we all know that water is good for us, and staying hydrated during pregnancy could prevent stretch marks. During pregnancy 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. Symptoms like tiredness, headaches and a dry throats could be your body's way of signaling dehydration. I drank water like a camel during pregnancy and I still do. One way to ensure you drink water is to keep a bottle close by. I have my dedicated water bottle which I carry around the house.

Olive Oil and Coconut Oil: in addition to my Shea Butter therapy, I also used olive and coconut oil which are both great for promoting skin elasticity and moisturizing the skin.

There you have it. This was what worked for me and I did not get a single stretch mark during pregnancy. I also know that it is not because I am lucky to have good skin because I suffered lots of stretch marks 13 years ago when I gained weight rapidly and still have a few marks to get rid of till date. Did you escape getting stretch marks during pregnancy? what did you do to prevent them? Please share!

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