How can I avoid stretch marks from pregnancy?

My partner and I are actively trying for a baby. We are both in our mid-20s and want to start a family earlier than later. We are both in good physical shape but I'm sure to gain weight during pregnancy if my sisters and mother are anything to judge by (is that anything to judge by or does heredity make no difference in pregnancies?). Are there things I can do to prevent stretch marks from forming during my pregnancy? Exercises or oils to rub on the skin or whatever. Also how soon after delivery could I get a procedure that would completely get rid of stretch marks?


F, 28, Pennsylvania

Tags:woman age 25-34 stretch marks pregnancy treatment prevention

Hi Susanmia

Nothing can guarantee that you will not get stretch marks.  Believe me, I would be rich if I knew of a prevention or a cure.  Thing that you apply to the skin are not likely to help.  A stretch mark is simply a tearing of the deeper portion of the skin (dermis), without actually tearing the surface of the skin.

Genetics does play a role in terms of skin strength, propensity to make large babies  (the father's DNA contributes here as well), as well as the weight gain.  If you have diabetes uncontrolled during pregnancy, the baby will tend to be larger as well. 

The only procedure that will get rid of "all the stretch marks" would be a procedure that removes all of the skin with stretch marks.  A tummy tuck removes skin, typically between the pubic bone and navel, and tightens the muscle layer.  Stretch marks however, tends to extend higher up than this.

My fatherly advice to you is that your body will change significantly and forever after child rearing.  Each pregnancy is different as is the effect on the body.  Most of the negatives can be fixed with surgery at a later date.  My advice to you is to discuss things with your partner, and when you want the baby more than you want to avoid the "bad stuff", have the baby.  Worry about the cosmetics after you are done with child rearing.

All the best.