Frowning upon those pesky stretch marks? Fret not; learn how to deal with them and get rid of your worries.
WORDS STEPHANIE CLARISSA
Mummies, if the thought of stretch marks are causing you to cringe, let us alleviate all your concerns as Dr Liana Koe from STO+G shares some ways to prevent and treat striae gravidarum.
Treating Stretch Marks
Tretinoin cream (at 0.05 per cent or 0.1 per cent concentration) is a topical cream, which can be used for treatment. Studies have shown that the condition will improve by almost 50 per cent when applied for three to seven months. However, this cream is unsafe for use in pregnancy. Mothers should be wary and not use it while pregnant or lactating. So keep this in mind when you’re out shopping for a stretch mark cream when you’re done breastfeeding. In the meantime…
…reach for body moisturisers – creams, gels or lotions – take your pick!
Before you stock up, one ingredient you may want to look
out for would be Centella Asiatica extract – a medicinal
herb that increases the production of elastic fibres and collagen.
It is the most well-studied cream.
Hyaluronic acid is another ingredient that has shown results. And while there isn’t much research to show that cocoa butter, olive oil and almond oil have helped in preventing or treating stretch marks, it sure does keep your skin nourished and oh-so-smooth!
To treat stretch marks more effectively, you might need to make some lifestyle changes as well. Try to avoid rapid weight changes by shifting your focus on to maintaining your healthy body mass index (BMI). Before getting pregnant, reducing your weight to a healthy body mass index of 18.5 – 24.9 is ideal. It can lower the chance of stretch marks in pregnancy. Your weight loss should be gradual, not more than half a kilo (0.5kg) per week. Dr Liana Koe also suggests that a healthy balanced diet with regular exercise.
You might also want to try adding some vitamins to your diet.
You will be surprised at the added benefits of Vitamin E and C.
They are especially helpful in maintaining healthy skin.
What not to do
Your body will go through changes in preparation for childbirth and this is a natural process. However, avoiding excessive weight gain is essential, and did you know that is it a myth to be “eating for two”. The recommended weight gain in pregnancy varies by your pregnancy BMI. The Singapore Health Promotion Board (adapted from Institute of Medicine Guidelines) recommends a pregnancy weight gain of 11.3 – 15.9 kg. This will fit well for women with a healthy BMI 18.5 -24.9. Furthermore, try to refrain from dieting during pregnancy.
Here are some numbers that you can use as a guide.
Your Badge of Honour
Whether you have just one teeny stretch mark or if your tummy is covered in them, you did good, mum! In the words of Dr Chin, “I find beauty in every line – a mother’s love.” So maybe having those pesky lines may not be so troublesome after all. Wear them like a badge of honour.
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