During pregnancy, stretch marks develop on the abdomen and other parts of the body, including the hips, chest, lower back and buttocks. They become more prominent in the later stages of pregnancy (starting from 6-7 months).
There are two main factors that contribute to the formation of stretch marks during pregnancy. Firstly, the skin does not have enough time to adapt to the sharp increase in body volume during pregnancy, especially in the lower abdomen. Secondly, pregnancy hormones lead to the accumulation of water in the body and its intensive entry into the skin. This leads to a loosening of the bonds between the collagen fibers and as a result, the skin becomes less elastic and often tears when stretched, forming stretch marks.
Stretch marks are a physiological phenomenon and do not pose any danger to the mother or baby, but they may bring discomfort in the form of itchiness and anxiety about their physical appearance. No preventative measures are guaranteed, but you might like to try moisturizing creams, physical activity and weight gain control. You have to gain weight during pregnancy, but excessive weight gain can worsen stretch marks on the hips, buttocks, lower back and chest, so it’s advised to stick within the recommended weight gain targets. You may also like to use a cream or oil to help prevent strong stretch marks. While more research needs to be done to confirm the effectiveness of these methods, a quality moisturizing cream may help alleviate any itchiness that occurs. Finally, moderate physical activity like walking and yoga can help to increase the elasticity of the connective tissue and help the body return to its original state after pregnancy.