Third Trimester

Q&A: Preventing Pregnancy Stretch Marks?

Is it possible to prevent stretch marks? Or, if I do get them, can I make them go away?

One of the most dreaded effects of pregnancy is stretch marks. From belly to bottom, stretch marks hit over half of pregnant women. Stretch marks happen because your skin is expanding at such a rapid rate, particularly in the sixth and seventh months. You’re more likely to get stretch marks if you are carrying multiples or a big baby or gained weight especially quickly. Genetics also play a factor — if your mother or sister got stretch marks, you probably will, too.

Although there are no surefire ways to prevent stretch marks, there are a few measures you can take. No hard evidence supports that lotions and creams work, but moisturizing and staying hydrated are great ways to protect your skin’s elasticity. The good news is, stretch marks should fade considerably in the months after you deliver. If you’re later unhappy with your skin’s appearance, see a dermatologist for treatment options such as prescription creams and laser therapy.

By Paula Kashtan