Monday, May 27, 2024

Debunking myths
around pregnancy stretch marks

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The journey to motherhood is full of changes. As your body prepares to make room for the little one, you can feel the changes happening to you and your body.From hormonal changes, hair fall, growing belly to stretch marks, pregnancy is a life-altering experience. Changes although predictable bring with them their own share of concerns and goggling.

One such change which has been a constant part of moms-to-be is stretch marks. Stretch marks happen because our body is expanding, the collagen and elastin in the skin rupture due to this and as it heals, stretch marks appear.

Occurring during the final trimester, stretch marks appear as fine lines or scars on the skin around the belly area, thighs, and breasts. Around 9 out of 10 women face the issue of stretch marks during the course of their pregnancy. And a little truth bomb, women are in a love-hate relationship with their stretch marks.

These marks are proof of a women’s superhuman capabilities. To get rid of the stretch marks, women try several products that claim to prevent and make them completely disappear. However, these myths need to be debunked and women should stop believing in them immediately.

Dr. Sheetal Sachdeva, Consultant OBGYN, Apollo Cradle and Children’s Hospital – Moti Nagar in New Delhi debunks a few myths around the stretch marks caused during the pregnancy.

Myth 1: Applying creams/coconut oil/bio-oils stops stretch marks from coming Stretch marks are completely normal and natural phenomena. They happen due to the expansion and contraction of the mother’s skin and no amount of oil or creams can stop that. Stretch marks affect the middle layer or the dermis of the skin. Hence, creams do not penetrate the dermis level. So, while oil and creams can moisturise the skin, they won’t stop stretch marks from disappearing.

Myth 2: Stretch marks disappear after losing pregnancy weight
Losing the pregnancy weight is not a guarantee that stretch marks will also go away. In fact, sudden weight loss can also lead to stretch marks. The sudden contraction can also disrupt the dermis layer, leading to scars. In a majority of cases, these marks reduce over time while in some cases, they can take months or even years to reduce.

Myth 3: Stretch marks can spread to other parts of the body
Stretch marks are not at all contagious. Neither can they spread to other parts of the body nor can they infect any other body part of the women. They are a natural and normal aspect of the human body and need to be considered a normal part of the body.

Myth 4: Stretch marks are for forever
Newly turned mothers or moms-to-be should not worry about this prevalent myth that once they get stretch marks, they would stay with them forever. They do, only because the process may be time taking and tedious. But rest assured that with proper care and exercise they would be gone.

Myth 5: Only overweight or underweight women get stretch marks The expansion and contraction of skin are more abrupt in over and underweight women, making them more prone to stretch marks. Having said that, there is no scientific evidence to prove that only overweight women get stretch marks.

Instead, over 90% of women experience stretch marks during their pregnancy.

While they can be stressful, always remember that it is a way nature has made for us. Women while nurturing a new life, they also transform in the process.They change, evolve and are more than stretch marks.

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