In our new Ask Mama series, we’ll cover questions asked by real mamas to support and guide you through the nine-month stretch and beyond…
“What happens to stretch marks after pregnancy?”
Answer #1: First thing’s first – stretch marks are completely normal!
Don’t fret, Mama! You should be proud of your stretch marks. In Maye’s Midwifery: A Textbook for Midwives, they claim that 90% of women experience stretch marks by the end of the second trimester of pregnancy, so if you have noticed a few popping up on your tum, bum, legs, or anywhere else, you’re certainly not alone! There’s a whole tribe of Mamas out there embracing their lines like a badge of honour. These tiny tears on the skin appear because as your bump grows, the middle layer of your skin (the dermis) stretches out. During your pregnancy, the extra hormones you produce can actually affect and interfere with cells called fibroblasts which usually help to keep your skin elastic and supple. It can also be genetic – did your mum get them? It’s likely you will, too. Mamas under the age of 25 have a higher chance of getting them and if your baby is larger in weight or born after term, this can increase your chances too. The main thing to remember is that it’s totally normal to see this happening as your bump grows, just like the swollen feet and the sore boobs, it’s all part of the crazy and amazing parcel of pregnancy.
Answer #2: After pregnancy, you may find that they fade naturally
When stretch marks first appear, they usually run in parallel lines and are purplish-red in colour. This happens because your blood vessels show through underneath the skin. During the years after giving birth to your baba and as your body heals, you may find that the marks gradually fade to a colour nearer your natural skin tone with a pearly, shiny texture – this change in colour happens because the blood vessels have now contracted. If your stretch marks look like this, your skin is beginning to repair. Your body can change in so many ways after carrying your baby (or babies), but you should see these differences as a reminder of how powerful and incredible it is. We all know that growing babies is not necessarily a walk in the park, so make sure you honour your body for its amazing work.
Answer #3: There are ways you can help their appearance
Being healthy and happy is the most important thing, but if you want to give your stretch marks a helping hand to repair after pregnancy, there are definitely ways in which you can help the process. Keeping your skin strong and supple is the key, especially if you’re planning on having more little ones. Create a bodycare routine that works for you, whether that’s moisturising your skin every day or two times a week. It’s best to work around your own schedule so that it doesn’t feel like a chore. Secondly, choose natural formulations that are pregnancy-safe and effective. Our vegan-friendly Mama Marks cream is charged with a powerful peptide complex that actively reduces the appearance and colour of stretch marks as it hydrates and protects. When you’re on holiday, make sure you slather SPF over your marks to protect your skin from harm and to stop any pigmentation occurring as this would make them more visible again. Lastly, just be healthy! Eat greens, drink plenty of water, exercise now and then; looking after your body will just make you love it and appreciate it even more.
Our Fourth Trimester bundles will help support you and your body through the challenging, overwhelming and wonderful times of post-pregnancy.