I was - how do I say this - a robust pregnant woman. Though I was in the best health and shape of my life, my little darling inside me grew and grew, pushing my baby bump into more of a baby mountain by 40 weeks. Periodically, throughout my pregnancy, I would check my stomach for stretch marks. And each time, I’d be delighted when I found none.
What’s the secret?
There are countless creams and salves out there claiming to “prevent” stretch marks. Here’s the deal: they’re lying. No cream or ointment can prevent stretch makes.
Nothing topical can keep the stretch-mark monster away. Stretch marks can be painful, itchy and uncomfortable - creams can help alleviate some of that discomfort. But, unfortunately, creams alone won’t keep those racy marks away.
Stretch marks are caused from minute tears in your dermis, the top layer of your skin. When you gain weight quickly (i.e. puberty or pregnancy), your skin may not have enough collage to stretch to accommodate this growth. As a result, it tears in streaks.
The only thing that may help prevent stretch marks is…
It’s what you put IN your body that enables your skin to maintain it’s elasticity in the face of a growing bump, hips and breasts.
Stretch Mark Prevention Diet
1. Grassfed Gelatin
This is my favorite brand. Collagen and skin elasticity go hand in hand. Consuming more collagen from grassfed gelatin will, obviously, lead to more collagen formation in your body. More collagen = stretchier skin, fewer wrinkles and fewer stretch marks. Gelatin not only helps improve skin elasticity, but also promote wound healing (hello, postpartum), boost sleep, reduce joint pain, and increase digestive health. You can also get this vital nutrient through homemade bone broth. It's essential you use bones from pasture-raised, organic animals - here's a recipe to get your started.
1. Add a tablespoon to smoothies
2. Healthy homemade gummy bears (my daughter LOVES them)
5. Tons of additional recipes here
2. Coconut Oil
This free-trade, organic, virgin coconut oil is my fave brand. Consuming additional healthy fatty acids is essential for your pregnancy health. Not only does coconut oil help improve your skin’s elasticity, it helps build baby’s body and organs (i.e. brain), helps reduce join inflammation, increase bowel movement regularity, and provides necessary building blocks for hormone regulation.
1. Substitute it for other cooking oils in stovetop cookie
2. Add a tablespoon or two to smoothies (definitely want to do this while the mixer is going to ensure it’s blended sufficiently)
3. Blend with tea or organic, naturally-decaffeinated coffee
4. Use it in baking - adds great flavor, moisture and delicacy to cakes, muffins and cookies.
3. Grassfed Butter
Fave brand: here. This is, by far, one of my favorite foods. Even when I’m not pregnant, people are often aghast at the quantity of grassfed butter I consume daily. Butter got a bad rap - you can read here how butter was framed (literally). Butter made from cream from cows who graze exclusively on grass is much higher in Omega-3 fatty acids (namely CLAs - conjugated linoleic acids) and vitamin K2. CLA’s play a vital role in helping your body lose unhealthy fat, build strong muscle and lubricate joints with connective tissue and cartilage. Many studies have been released showing how people who consume grassfed butter have a much lower risk of heart disease.
I digress. Can you tell grassfed butter is one of my passions?
Like coconut oil, this amazing fat helps improve skin elasticity, build a healthy baby and help balance hormones. A diet high in healthy fats helps reduce cravings for empty calories like sugar and makes you feel more satisfied and energized after meal time.
4. Avocado, Nuts and other Healthy Fats
Am I sounding like a broken record? FAT is the only way to help your body keep up with your growing belly. Pound those avocados, walnuts, cashews, almonds…get your partner, kids, friends, EVERYONE in on the fatty goodness.
Fat healed my body - before, during and after pregnancy.
So, jump on this bandwagon. Even if you’re not pregnant, start eating these key supplemental ingredients now. We can all use a little more elasticity in our lives.