Important Facts About Stretch Marks

When it comes to having a baby, there is a lot of preparation and change that come with the territory. It is an entire lifestyle change and although you have prepped your home and car for the new arrival, there is also a big change that will happen and that is your body!

The female body goes through a big change throughout the course of a pregnancy and one of those changes are stretch marks. It is important to find out what causes stretch marks during our pregnancies and other important facts for treating them. Read more to find out who is more prone to developing them, and if stretch marks are preventable!

What is the main cause of stretch marks?

It's a clear fact that when pregnancy happens, our belly grows! What causes stretch marks is not the weight gain by itself, but rather when the body is increasing in size faster than the skin can manage. This comes with weight gain as well! If you have noticed if you were to gain weight slowly over a long period of time, the chances of stretch marks appearing will be less likely in comparison to gaining weight over a short period of time. When it comes to pregnancy weight, the faster you gain weight in the beginning may determine the amount of stretch marks you develop.

What is the average amount of weight gained during pregnancy?

The amount of weight gained during a pregnancy is all dependent on each individual woman. On average, statistics have shown that women gain an average of 30 pounds during the course of their pregnancy. But if you are around a healthy weight at the beginning of your pregnancy, the average weight gain is between 25 and 35 pounds.

Who is prone to developing stretch marks?

Most women are prone to getting stretch marks, with the percentage being as high as 90 percent! It is also good to know if your mother experienced stretch marks, as this is a key indicator that you may too have them.

What do stretch marks look like?

Based on your skin color, stretch marks may differ. For those with a darker complexion, stretch marks will appear lighter than the skin while those with a lighter complexion will have pink stretch marks.

Can you prevent stretch marks?

There may be products claiming that they can stop stretch marks from forming, but this is not true. Stretch marks are not preventable, although they can be treated after your pregnancy.

Treatment Options

There are a variety of options available to help fade away the appearance of stretch marks.

These treatments include:

  • Retinoid (prescribed by a dermatologist)
  • Laser Treatments
  • Gels (made of onion extract and hyaluronic acid)
  • Dermabrasion


Although preventing stretch marks is not possible, gaining weight at a moderate speed during pregnancy and treatment options after giving birth may help minimize the appearance of stretch marks. 

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Leo Grübler