Ask any pregnant woman and they will tell you that among the things they worry about in pregnancy is heartburn and stretch marks. Heartburn can cause sleepless nights and leave you not looking forward to your next meal even when you know you need it. Stretch marks aren’t a pretty sight. These lines are permanent markers of your pregnancy journey and many don’t feel comfortable looking at them every time they undress.
Pregnancy is already plagued with so many other things that you may not have control over and you definitely don’t need to add to that list. What if there was a way to prevent some of them? It would make your pregnancy a little smoother. Read on to find out how to keep stretch marks and heartburn at bay during pregnancy.
Stretch marks come about when your skin stretches. Pregnancy hormones also add to this since they soften the fibers of your skin. Not every pregnant woman develops stretch marks but a good number do. They present as red, pink, purple or light brown lines depending on your skin tone. They can appear on your thighs, tummy, arms, bottom, legs and even breasts.
A few factors will automatically predispose you to stretch marks though. They include:
- If you add a lot of weight while pregnant
- If you already had stretch marks by the time you got pregnant
- If you are young, especially in your teens
- If expecting multiple babies
- If other members of your family also have stretch marks
How to prevent them
Contrary to popular belief, stretch marks don’t go away once they appear. They may improve in appearance but they never really go away. So, those creams and oils you are eyeing may not work the way you think they will regardless of the brand name or lack thereof. This is because stretch marks actually occur on the layer of skin that is underneath what you can see and the oils can only be applied to the external layer of the skin.
These oils can still benefit you if you start as early as the beginning of the second trimester or toward the end of your first. Smoothing oils daily into your skin before stretch marks occur will make your skin supple. This will allow it to stretch better and be less likely to develop stretch marks. You have to work the oils into your skin though and not just applying it. It will also help with circulation considering it’s more like a massage. It will also help you bond with your bump.
You should also try as much as possible to watch how much weight you add during pregnancy. Make sure you eat lots of fruits and vegetables and generally have a healthy and balanced diet. Drink a lot of water to keep skin supple and eliminate processed and fatty and extra salt. These foods will cause your body to swell due to fluid retention.
Heartburn is caused by partially digested food travelling back up your gut causing a burning sensation somewhere in your chest. It can be worse if your baby is big, carrying multiples or the baby is breech head up and bottom down) in late pregnancy.
You need to find out which foods trigger the heartburn and avoid them. Eating smaller meals often is much better than eating large meals far apart. This keeps your stomach from getting too full and pushing your diaphragm.
Make lunch your main meal and have an early dinner to give it time to digest before you get to bed. Spicy, rich and fatty foods, tea, sugar and coffee may make it worse so try to keep off these. Quit smoking if you haven’t already and avoid fizzy drinks. Lean meat is good during pregnancy but other types may leave you with heartburn.
Sit up for a while after you eat since lying down will bring up a little food. Also, keep your spirits high because all these things can dampen your mood. It’s only for a while!
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