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“As a new mom-to-be, and working full time, I really needed a practical and easy to follow program to keep me and my growing baby healthy. The Fit and Healthy Pregnancy Guide gave me all of that and more! It helped me to gain only an optimal, healthy amount of weight and deliver a beautiful baby boy.”
-Michelle Woodham of Columbus, OH
“Finally- a holistic pregnancy book that I can truly recommend to my patients! Laura and Michelle have done an excellent job of debunking the myths of pregnancy exercise and nutrition, and putting together a clear plan for any women who cares about herself and her baby. This book will be in office and required reading for all of my expecting mothers.”
- Eric Serrano, M.D. of Columbus OH
“As an experienced fitness professional, I thought I knew everything about pregnancy exercise and pregnancy nutrition. How wrong I was! The FHP Guide opened my eyes to key changes that made a huge difference in the way I look and feel. Even at this late stage of my pregnancy, I feel functionally strong, in great posture, and without the aches and pains that so many of my pregnant friends think is normal. Thank you so much.”
- Sarah Bucher of Toledo, OH
“Laura might just start a revolution for holistic mother worldwide. The combination of her traditional dietetics education, extensive studies in natural and alternative health and nutrition, real-world experience as a working mom, and her ‘tell it like it is’ personality, make for an inspirational role model and coach.”
- Dr. Tamara Stickland, ND of Columbus OH
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How Can I Prevent Stretch Marks?

All women want to have a healthy pregnancy. During this time, many pregnancy questions come up. Questions about healthy eating, weight gain, and safe pregnancy exercises are some of the top concerns. But one question that seems to plague women everywhere is “How can I prevent stretch marks?”

Nearly half of all pregnant women get stretch marks during their nine months, but no one really knows why. Why do some women get them while others walk away without a single mark? There is no simple answer to that question, but there are a few determining factors that play a part in whether you'll get them or not.

Whether a women will get stretch marks or not depends on how much and how quickly her skin will need to expand during the length of her pregnancy. Stretch marks are caused when the elastic fibers of the skin are overstressed. This results in small tears. These tears are the separation of the collagen of the skin. Stretch marks are in fact scars that are caused by stretching of the skin. So essentially, if you want to avoid stretch marks, you shouldn't let your skin stretch too much too fast. That is definitely easier said than done! There are a number of factors that play a part in stretch marks:

  • Rapid Weight Gain
    How fast you gain weight during you pregnancy will play a huge part in if you get stretch marks. Try gaining no more than your recommended amount. More importantly, is to gain that weight slowly and gradually. This will give your skin a chance to expand slowly and reduce your chances of getting stretch marks. Your baby will grow at a faster rate in the last three months. This is normally when stretch marks start showing up for the first time.
  • Multiple Pregnancy
    The more babies you are carrying, the faster your belly will expand. This makes you more likely to get them.
  • Carrying A Large Baby
    The more your skin has to stretch, the more likely that you are going to get them.
  • Family History
    Some researchers say it's all about genetics. They claim that if your mother or sister has stretch marks, you will get them. Does this mean that there is nothing you can do?

There are a few things you can do to help in prevention. While you may not be able to completely prevent them, you do have some influence over them. Here's how:

  1. Stay Hydrated – Water is so good for you! When you stay well hydrated, it keeps your skin hydrated. This is going to help your skin stay healthy and supple.
  2. Use Moisturizers – Drinking water keeps you hydrated from the inside, but you can also use topical moisturizers directly on your belly. It is recommended that you moisturize three to four times a day. The most common ingredients in a good moisturizer are cocoa butter or shea butter. Choosing Vitamin E and oils work well also. Don't just moisturize, massage it deep into your skin. For even better results, try exfolitaing your skin first.
  3. Diet and Exercise – Yes, what you eat does affect your chances of getting stretch marks. Vitamin C for example is a natural component of your skin and is what keeps your skin soft and elastic. Eating foods rich in Vitamins A, C, and D will help you maintain a healthy skin. You will be getting plenty of these if you are following a balanced, nutritious diet. Exercise will also play a role. Even just a little exercise will improve blood circulation and promote firm, healthy skin.
  4. Avoid Too Much Weight – As discussed earlier, how and when you gain weight will have a big impact on stretch marks. Try to gain your target weight slowly and remember that it's not only your belly that grows. You will also increase in size in your breasts, hips, buttocks, and thighs. If you put on weight gradually, this should not present a problem with stretch marks.

Once you have stretch marks, there is little you can do to remove them. While they are not painful to get, they are in fact a scar. The good news is that they fade with time, making them much less noticeable.  So even if you have some, don't stress too much. They will fade. Enjoy your you pregnancy and your soon to-be bundle of joy.

           
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