Rueful Stretch Marks!
Blog Submitted by Akanksha Patwari
Motherhood is a wonderful journey but it has its fair share of ups and down. Needless to say it is emotionally and physically taxing. A mother goes through a lot of physical changes during pregnancy. Some can be seen others can be felt. Yes, I am talking about Stretch Marks!!
Mothers are often seen wearing them, some with the pride of a war hero, others ardently trying to hide them. On a whole it's an important part of pregnancy which cannot be overlooked.
WHAT ARE STRETCH MARKS?
A stretch mark is a type of scar which 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 appear. They appear towards the later stages of pregnancy and is generally seen in stomach, breast, hips, thighs and arms. They may appear pink , purple or red. Eventually they may fade away but never completely disappears.
HOW TO AVIOD STRETCH MARKS
There are no miracle treatments for stretch marks but there are ways to minimise its appearance:
Moisturise : Moisturise your skin daily at least thrice. It not only helps with stretch marks but also solves the itching problems. Cocoa butter, bio oil will definitely help in hydrating your skin. Though it may not completely eradicate stretch marks but with persistence they will surely fade away.
Stay Hydrated: Water is very beneficial for avoiding stretch marks. It helps keep the skin hydrated from inside. Soft skin doesn’t tend to develop stretch marks as dry skin does.
Eat a Healthy Diet : Eating a Nutrient rich food keeps the skin nourished and less subject to stretch marks. Make sure your diet includes Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Zinc and Protein rich food. Ingredients like tomatoes, citrus fruits, broccoli, sprouts are rich sources of vitamin c which helps build collagen and reduce stretch marks. Lentils, yoghurt and milk based food are good sources of protein. Vitamin E rich food includes nuts, avocados, broccoli and seeds. A wholesome meal rich in nutrients is the best way to ensure soft supple skin and go a long way in avoiding stretch marks.
Watch your Weight: It is advisable to maintain a steady weight gain during pregnancy. Big spurts of weight gain will result in large outbreaks of stretch marks. So watch your weight, eat a healthy diet. The trick being is to eat half the amount of food you actually crave, that ways you avoid overeating. Focus more on frequent small meals throughout the day rather than large individual meals.
Home Remedies: Many women swear by home remedies. They are simple in application and really helps in minimising the appearance of stretch marks. Applying coconut oil generously helps in hydrating the skin and avoiding stretch marks. It also reduces itching which contributes in the appearance of stretch marks. Exfoliating the skin with Sugar helps lighten stretch marks. Make a sugar scrub with one cup sugar, some coconut oil, and lemon juice. Scrub the mixture for 8-10 minutes on parts of the body where stretch marks are. Repeat several times a week. Another wonderful way is to apply Aloe Vera as a stretch mark cure. It is a natural healing agent and a skin softener. Apply pure aloe vera from a plant to your stretch marks daily for best results.
Stretch Marks during Pregnancy comes with the territory. They are here to stay, just like your baby. So make peace with it. Eventually with time they will fade or may heal, till then, wear them with Pride.
Akansha Patwari - The author is a Video Editor by profession, a working mother and a passionate writer. A masters degree holder in Films and Video Editing with an honours degree in English is sharing her journey of motherhood through the eyes of modern parenthood keeping her mind open to traditional ways.