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Preventing stretch marks (?)

676 Views 11 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  jess5377
What are you doing, if anything, to prevent stretch marks?

I've been trying to drink a lot of water (awesome when you have to pee every hour) and using Palmer's cocoa butter stretch mark cream when I get out of the shower. That said, I heard some people lather it on twice a day or more.

Am I missing anything? Any secret elixirs like eating a lot of spinach or touching your toes every day (I made those two up)?
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From what I read and heard - you either get them or you don't. Asides from that, I bought some Kuikuinut oil, which feels good on my skin. I usually use it on my face for my rosacea. But now I am using it on my belly as well.

I think staying hydrated, and massaging your skin is probably the best way to try to prevent it. If not - it just is another sign of motherhood
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Do you know if your mom got them? They don't run in my family (but yay, cellulite does) so I didn't get them--- did not do anything special.
nak and ddc crashing

I was talking to a friend today about this. Apparently there was an article/thread in the tf forum awhile back that had info/links to high amounts of vit. c and no/fewer stretch marks. Vitamin c is necessary for collagen. She couldn't remember how long ago it was but maybe do a search and see if it pulls up?

ETA: Here's one thread..definitely do a search there, even if you don't eat in a traditional way. There were lots of threads and I'm betting some good links for ya'. The only reason I suggest that forum is because my friend mentioned it.
I never would have thought about it being veg*n.
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I feel I'm doomed when it comes to stretch marks. I had them very badly with my last pregnancy. This time, I'm not even going to think about it! The only ones who see my belly are DH and the midwife. They fade away after the birth, anyway. And I never wear a bikini, so I don't care about that!

I'll be interested to see about the Vitamin C, though. This pregnancy I'm craving orange juice. I know I'm getting lots of Vit C. Also, my mother had stretch marks, assuming it's hereditary.
I'm digging this vitamin C theory, there are some good article links in that thread.

While I buy the genetics thing (to an extent), I don't buy that there's therefore nothing we can do to prevent or minimize stretch marks. Just because cancer runs in my family that doesn't mean there aren't steps I can take to prevent it or reduce the risk.

Stretch marks, prepare to meet your match....

*glares at puberty-induced hip stretch marks*
no deal for me, in the pregnancy before a cat union catch me

Originally Posted by jess5377 View Post
While I buy the genetics thing (to an extent), I don't buy that there's therefore nothing we can do to prevent or minimize stretch marks.
I think there are women who could bathe in vitamin E oil for 9 months and still get stretch marks, and women who do nothing special and don't get stretch marks.

But then I think there's an in-between group who are less likely to get stretch marks if they use lotions/oils/butters, and more likely to get stretch marks if they do nothing.
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If you're doomed to get them, I don't think they're preventable. Sorry.

Just think of them as a your battle wounds!!
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Stretch marks can't be prevented, no matter how many infomercials tell you otherwise.
The best indicator is the women in your family. Do they get stretch marks? If not, then you have a good chance to not get them yourself. Putting creams and lotions on your skin can hydrate it and keep it from getting itchy, but its really the makeup of your skin itself that determines if you get stretch marks. No excercises or lotions can change that. Sorry!

My first dd left me with what look like tiger claw marks from under my breasts, all the way down through my hooha. I feel your pain.. I'm covered. I don't usually get any new ones with pregnancy because the first ruined me. LOL
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Originally Posted by Nature View Post
I'm covered. I don't usually get any new ones with pregnancy because the first ruined me. LOL
Im counting on this! DD left me with such horrible stretch marks, i can't see how it could get any worse!
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I guess I'm just too stubborn to sit back and accept "fate." If there's something proactive I can do to at least minimize the impact, I'm all over it.

Again, just because I may have a genetic predisposition for say, weight gain, that doesn't mean I can't eat healthy and exercise. I don't (have a genetic predisposition for weight gain), but the analogy works.

In the meantime, I dug up some studies on the old Striae gravidarum (what the medical community calls stretch marks). They definitely seem hereditary, but that doesn't mean there isn't hope. Other leading cause seems to be excessive weight gain during pregnancy.

Here's what came up:

1. Risk factors associated with striae gravidarum
Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Volume 51, Issue 6, Pages 881-885, A.Chang, Y.Agredano, A.Kimball

"Forty-eight-point-three percent of women with SG (43/89) versus 19.4% without SG (14/72) reported mothers with SG (odds ratio=7.0, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.7, 18.6). Forty-seven percent of women with SG (42/89 women) versus 18.1% without SG (13/72) reported additional relatives with SG (odds ratio=7.2, 95% CI 2.9, 18.2). Eighty-one percent of women with SG (68/84) versus 30.5% without SG (18/59) reported a history of breast or thigh striae (odds ratio=8.6, 95% CI 3.8, 19.9). Forty-seven percent of women with SG versus 17% without SG were non-white (odds ratio=4.2, 95% CI 1.9, 9.6)."

2. Risk factors for the development of striae gravidarum
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Volume 196, Issue 1, Pages 62.e1-62.e5, H. Osman, N. Rubeiz, H. Tamim, A. Nassar

A cross-sectional study of 112 primiparous women delivering at a private teaching hospital was conducted. Participants were assessed during the immediate postpartum period for evidence of SG. Presence and severity of SG were compared to characteristics of women using t tests and Chi-square tests.

Sixty percent of the study participants had developed SG. Women who developed SG were significantly younger (26.5 ± 4.5 vs 30.5 ± 4.6; P < .001) and had gained significantly more weight during pregnancy (15.6 ± 3.9 vs 38.4 kg ± 2.7; P < .001). Birthweight (BW), gestational age at delivery, and family history of SG were associated with moderate/severe SG.

3. Prophylaxis of Striae gravidarum with a topical formulation. A double blind trial
International Journal of Cosmetic Science, Volume 13 Issue 1, Pages 51 - 57,

A prophylactic antistriae cream (Centella asiatica extract, α-tocopherol, and collagen-elastin hydrolisates) was assessed by a double blind trial in 80 pregnant women.

In the placebo group 22 women (56%) presented striae, whereas in the treated group only 14 women (34%) developed striae in this pregnancy; this difference was significant (p < 0.05; χ2 test). An arbitrary score was designed to assess the intensity of striae (from 0 to 3); this score was 1.42 (sd 0.5) in the treated group and 2.13 (sd 1.32) in the placebo group and this difference was also significant (p= 0.014; Mann-Whitney test).

In women with a history of striae during puberty, the active cream induced a significant absolute prevention in 89% of the cases whereas in the placebo group all the women developed striae (p= 0.00014; χ2 test).

4. Striae Gravidarum, Folklore and Fact
Diane J. Madlon-Kay, MD*

This is just a really, straight-forward, easy to read breakdown of a study on stretch marks. It basically says that creams seem to have little to no effect and the biggest factors are weight gain and existing stretch marks. It's a good, if not depressing, read.
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