Stretch marks: 3 tips how to prevent them

Stretch marks: 3 tips how to prevent them

When I became pregnant I was of course full of emotions, most of them positive. However I also had some questions and fears. One of those was how my body would deal with the pregnancy, if I would gain lots of weight and if I would get stretch marks. I had gotten a lot of stretch marks when I gained weight during puberty. And the scars still cover my legs and booty.

After lots of research on stretch marks and several months of pregnancy later I am still free of stretch marks. And I’ve decided to share all the knowledge I gained with my readers.

You can’t change your genetics

Stretch marks happen when your skin has to expand beyond it’s natural flexibility. Most of the time this happens during growth or weight gain. Both men and women can get stretch marks, although women are more likely to get them.

Women’s connective tissue in their skin is just on average weaker, causing the skin to be less stretchy and flexible. Therefore they are more likely to have cellulite or stretch marks.

The bad news first: how likely it is for you to get stretch marks is determined by your genetics. And you can’t change your genetics per se. So if you have had stretch marks in the past, you are more likely to get them again. However this is not the end of the story.

… But you can work with your body

The good news is that there are several things that you can do that help you prevent stretch marks or lessen the appearance of them. Most of these tips and tricks are easy to implement and inxpensive. However they require some sort of discipline and consistency.

1) Gain weight gradually

If you had a healthy bodyweight before you should gain a total of around 10kg to 15 kg during pregnancy. Although weight gain during pregnancy is healthy and normal, it is not an excuse to just eat whatever you want. Besides the fact that gaining too much weight during pregnancy is unhealthy and not recommended, gaining weight too fast and too much can cause stretch marks.

So one of the best tips to prevent stretch marks is to gain weight gradually and stay within the recommended ranges.

You can find a calculator here .

How can you efficiently control your weight?

Important side note: Gaining too much weight too fast could also be a sign of excessive water retention. This can be a symptom of preeclampsia, which is a dangerous pregnancy condition. Monitoring your weight can also help you see the signs of this condition early.

2) Massage your belly regularly

There are a lot of creams, oils and lotions out there that promise you to prevent stretch marks. And while no study has proven yet that the miracle potion for stretch marks exists, there are some benefits to it. Regular massages help to make your skin mor flexible and your connective tissue more elastic.

In addition the oils and creams can help to make the scars lighter and less visible. Although they will not disappear completely.

Here are my favorite oils for a regular belly massage:

Bi-Oil is the absolute classic remedy for scars and probably the most popular one. It comes in various sizes and I especially love the 60ml travel size.

The all natural stretch mark oil from Weleda is my other favorite. It is great if you want a natural, petrol and chemical free oil. It is however a bit pricey. Weleda also has a special oil for the perineum that I will start using in my third trimester of pregnancy.

Retin-oil from skin-care start-up Deciem contains retinol, which helps especially when the stretch marks are already there. However it is not a good oil to use during pregnancy, but more for after giving birth.

The main reason is the key ingredient Retinol. Retinol is a form of Vitamin A. Overdosing on Vitamin A can cause birth defects of the fetus. Although the dosage of Retinol in the oil is fairly low, and first studies have indicated that topical application of retinol is safe during pregnancy, there is still not enough scientific evidence to recommend it during pregnancy.

I would therefore stay on the safe side, and use this great product after you gave birth to your little one.

3) Wear a special support band to prevent stretch marks

I am currently testing and wearing the belly support band from Secret Saviours. It has small rubber spots on the inside. These spots help to “grab” the belly and support its weight and therefore also the lower back. The claimed result: 82% of women who have used this kit have not developped stretch marks. So far I am among these 82% and I will continue to report on this.

The kit comes with a day gel, a night cream and a waist band. There are several sizes of belly bands and colors available so it always fits your belly perfectly.

Do you have any tips on how to prevent stretch marks? Leave me a comment below!

My favorite supplements for runners

My favorite supplements for runners

While getting your training in is very important for runners, getting your nutrition on track is too. A healthy and balanced diet should be the cornerstone for your nutrition. However, there are certain supplements that are worth taking. Not because you then can neglect your diet, but to get even better results. I’ve been taking these 5 supplements for a long time now nearly every day, and I really find them worth the money. For most of them, there are different alternatives in different price ranges.

Trying to conceive? 5 things you should do before you get pregnant.

Trying to conceive? 5 things you should do before you get pregnant.

Do you want to conceive and get pregnant soon? Here are 5 things that you should do before getting pregnant, either because they help your fertility or because you can’t do them once you are pregnant.

All of these tips come from my own personal experience. Either because I did them completely right, or completely wrong. Please note that this advice is purely personal, as a lot of my friends have asked me for it recently. I am not a doctor or midwife, so please also consult them if you want to conceive or are trying to get pregnant.

(more…)

Benefits and risks of exercise during pregnancy

Benefits and risks of exercise during pregnancy

When I found out I was pregnant with my first child I was currently in the process of running 12 Marathons for charity. I still had 2 Marathons to run, and I was scared that it would be a high risk if I continued to run. But I educated myself about exercising during pregnancy and and all the benefits and risks attached. In the end I ran two more Marathons in my first trimester, as I felt confident that it would not harm the baby.

I have collected all the knowledge about exercising during pregnancy that I gained through my research here and want to share it with you. Please bear in mind that I am not a doctor, midwife or personal trainer. Any pregnancy is different, so please conduct your health professional beforehand.

(more…)

Overcoming failure – I missed my Berlin Marathon goal, now what?

Overcoming failure – I missed my Berlin Marathon goal, now what?

In fitness and sports we like to talk about goals and personal bests. But something we do not like to talk about is failure. Somehow the error culture in our modern social media influenced world is non existing. We rather present failure free and perfect lives on Instagram. But this is not the real world. Everyone fails sooner or later. It is absolutely human and we have to talk honestly about it. So I’ll make the first step: I failed and missed my Berlin Marathon goal of running a sub 4 hour time. And I am not very happy about it. And I know many other runners that also missed their goals at the Berlin Marathon 2018, and are also gutted about it. So why am I writing this blogpost? Maybe to give us all, including me a different perspective on how we can overcome our failures.

(more…)