Posted: May 28, 2012 7:20 AM
 
For some, pregnancy is bliss. For others, pregnancy brings unsightly stretch marks that really do a number on their self-esteem.

Stretch marks during pregnancy are a serious, unsightly pain. As if watching your belly grow to ridiculous proportions isn’t traumatic enough! Fret no more. These easy, natural remedies will help fight stretch marks and make your pregnancy a bit more enjoyable.

Coconut oil

Virgin, unrefined coconut oil is truly an incredible super food. Many people use it as a dietary supplement, but it can also be applied topically to help prevent and treat stretch marks. It’s packed with vitamin E and medium chain fatty acids and smells like a heavenly trip to the beach. Slather it onto damp skin just after stepping out of the shower.

Essential oils

Nature’s medicine cabinet is chock full of super-concentrated essential oils. For stretch marks, try blending helichrysum, lavender or rosehip oil with a "carrier" oil such as coconut, almond or olive oil. Literally, a drop or two can have a huge impact, so use sparingly.

Exfoliate

Freshly exfoliated skin is primed and ready to soak in your favorite stretch mark treatment. While in the shower, use a product specifically designed to exfoliate a pregnant belly or a mixture of oatmeal and almond oil (or brown sugar and olive oil). Just remember that your skin may be more sensitive during pregnancy so treat the bump with (gentle) love.

Nutrition

Don’t underestimate the power of a good diet when it comes to creating an arsenal against stretch marks. Pack your meals with foods that will boost your skin’s elasticity and keep you super hydrated. Focus on foods that contain omega-threes, as well as vitamins E and C. Berries, salmon, leafy dark green veggies and artichoke hearts are excellent choices. And definitely don’t skimp on water!

The good news

The majority of pregnant women will experience stretch marks to some extent (no, that’s not the good news). If you’re one of them, the stretch marks will likely lighten and sometimes fade after the pregnancy. While gaining weight is an obvious (and important) part of pregnancy, staying healthy and active (to the extent that your particular pregnancy will allow) can help keep stretch marks to a minimum.

More about the third trimester

The third trimester: Will the baby ever arrive?
The top 5 things no one tells you about the third trimester
The third trimester: A guide to your baby's development

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