Many women experience red or pink marks on the abdomen, hips and breasts, known as stretch marks. These stretch marks usually appear as a result of weight gain and stretching of the skin, which is a natural part of pregnancy. The redness usually fades after birth. Nothing that you apply will prevent these stretch marks. To help minimise the marks you can:
- Stay within your weight gain guidelines. Gaining a lot of weight in a short time can make the marks much worse.
- Wear a good supporting maternity bra throughout your pregnancy
- Moisturise your stomach to keep the skin soft. This won’t help you avoid the marks but may make you feel more comfortable;
- Try not to worry about how you’ll look in a bikini next year. The stretch marks may fade after you have your baby, becoming pale and much less noticeable.