Stretch marks during pregnancy happen. When your body grows too fast for your skin to keep up, that’s when stretch marks occur. It’s perfectly natural. You are creating another human, after all!
However, the elastic fibres under the skin stretch and snap, leaving lasting marks on your skin. With the average woman gaining 30 pounds during pregnancy, these stretch marks are almost impossible for many of us to avoid.
Who Do Stretch Marks Impact?
Typically, stretch marks affect about 90% of pregnant women and start to appear in 13 to 21 weeks. Once they start to appear, most people start to ask, what’s the best way to get rid of stretch marks?
Laser Stretch Mark Removal
The most effective way to minimize the appearance of stretch marks is with cosmetic lasers. Depending on the severity of the stretch marks, different or multiple types of lasers may be necessary.
Fractional lasers are the typical approach, used to fade marks and texture. While pulse dye lasers can help remove red colouration from darker stretch marks.
Laser stretch mark removal is non-invasive and can show visible improvements even after a single session. They are, however, not recommended during pregnancy.
This recommendation is not strictly a safety concern.
Your body will continue to adjust during pregnancy and more stretch marks could appear. That means you may undo the work the lasers have done if you get the procedure too soon. As well, since the marks begin to fade postpartum, waiting until after means fewer treatments and better results.
All-in-all, waiting helps you stay safe, save cash, and keep your skin looking its best.
Should I Wait for Stretch Mark Removal?
The usual recommendation is to wait at least 6 months after pregnancy before starting stretch mark removal treatments. Depending on your family plans, you may want to consider a longer wait.
If you’re planning to have another child within the next 1 to 2 years, it can be better to put off the treatment. Otherwise, the next child may just undo all the work. If you got stretch marks during the first pregnancy, you’re likely to get them again and the next go-round, as well.
Although there is a bit of a wait before removing pregnancy stretch marks, there are things you can do in the meantime to minimize their appearance.
Can I Minimize the Appearance of Stretch Marks During Pregnancy?
The most effective way to prevent stretch marks is slow and steady weight gain. Putting on extra pounds during pregnancy is inevitable, but slowing down the progression puts less stress on your skin’s elasticity.
A medical professional can work with you to come up with an acceptable diet and exercise plan for your needs. This plan prioritizes getting yourself and your child adequate nutrition without going overboard.
You, or your partner, can provide daily belly massages using oils or lotion to help reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Doing this twice a day, for just a few minutes, helps to prepare your skin for stretching.
It is especially useful before stretch marks begin to appear.
Belly butter nourishes your skin promoting hydration and elasticity. It can even help reduce redness.
Check with a medical professional for safe ingredients during pregnancy. Retinol creams, for example, have proven collagen promoting benefits that help repair stretch marks, but haven’t been proven safe for the baby during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
Show Your Glow
Many people choose not to hide their marks during pregnancy as they’re an accepted and common part of the process. There is no need to feel ashamed or embarrassed about them. Make the choice of what makes you feel your best.
Get Rid of Stubborn Stretch Marks
Although you should wait at least 6 months postpartum to get laser stretch mark removal therapy, you can start taking action now.
Book a consultation with a plastic surgeon. They can help assess your needs, your options, and when the best time is to set up your cosmetic laser treatment is.