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Stretch marks

Stretch marks cover up

Stretch marks are the result of your growing baby bump

Stretch marks are perhaps the pregnancy symptom most dreaded by expectant mothers, because unlike other pregnancy symptoms they don’t completely disappear after you give birth. Fortunately, stretch marks are completely harmless and do tend to fade during the first six to 12 months after you give birth.

As many of you know stretch marks are streaks that appear on your skin when it rapidly expands. During pregnancy, as your belly expands to accommodate your baby it becomes a key location for stretch marks. You may also notice stretch marks on your bottom, thighs, hips and breasts. The colour of your stretch marks depends on your skin colour so they may be pink, a reddy brown, dark brown or purple.

Between 50% and 80% of all pregnant women will experience stretch marks and it is very hard to tell if you will be one of those women or not. However, there is one factor you can probably bet on and that is if your mother or sister had stretch marks during her pregnancy then you probably will too. This is because your skin’s elasticity is determined by genetics.

Other factors which increase your chances of developing stretch marks include:

  • If you’re a young mother, especially if you’re a teenager.
  • If you gain too much weight too quickly.
  • If you are expecting multiples.
  • If you are carrying a big baby.
  • If you have excess amniotic fluid.

How do I avoid and treat stretch marks?

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