Pregnant woman

Natural stretch mark prevention

Skincare tips to help prevent stretch marks during and after pregnancy

During pregnancy, increased oestrogen levels increase the skin’s elasticity. At the same time, the connective tissue is stretched due to weight gain. Regular massages with natural oils can help prevent stretch marks. Abdominal massages in particular are also a way to make an early connection with your baby.

How your skin changes during pregnancy

During pregnancy, the appearance of your skin also changes. The considerable increase in oestrogen levels affects the various aspects of your skin’s physiology, such as its thickness, capillary blood flow, collagen production and water content. During pregnancy, the skin stretches faster than it is used to. It becomes thinner and drier, which may cause itching as the skin stretches.
The epidermis (uppermost skin layer) of the belly stretches more as the baby grows and maternal fat stores increase. While increased levels of oestrogen and other hormones during pregnancy help prepare the skin by increasing skin elasticity, they cannot do so indefinitely and need a little help.

How do stretch marks form?

The balance between elastin and collagen fibres in the connective tissue can usually maintain the stability of the skin. If the stretching is constant and gradual, the collagen in the skin has time to regenerate. But pregnancy the skin in the abdomen area stretches more quickly and intensively than usual. If the skin is pulled tight too quickly, an imbalance occurs in the connective tissue. This causes the elastic fibres of the subcutaneous layer to tear, resulting in a type of scarring, referred to as stretch marks. Additionally, hormonal changes during pregnancy make it harder for torn collagen fibres to recover, which increases the likelihood of stretch marks developing.

Almond tree

Your top 3 questions on stretch mark prevention answered

1. What is the best stretch mark prevention?

The best prevention against stretch mark is using a natural topical oil or belly butter that help to nourish and soften the skin. Products that include oils such as Sweet Almond oil, Jojoba oil, Wheatgerm oil, and Carrot oil are rich in Essential Fatty Acids and the vitamins A, C, E, B, and are able to hydrate and strengthen skin cell membranes. This makes the cells less prone to damage and improves skin elasticity. Sweet Almond oil is especially useful for pregnancy as it very gentle to sensitive skin. 

Daily massage is a wonderful way to reduce the risk or intensity of stretch marks during pregnancy. Massage provides stimulation of the tissues underlying the superficial layers of the skin, even when applied in light strokes, which means it is both effective and safe in pregnancy. To prevent or treat stretch marks, softly draw small repetitive circles over the skin using a dedicated pregnancy body oil regularly, concentrating on any areas of your body where there has been or may be weight gain.

Woman applying Stretch Mark Body Oil onto her pregnant belly

When should I start stretch mark prevention?

A dedicated Stretch Mark Massage Oil or Stretch Mark Body Butter containing a bliss of natural plant oils can be safely applied weeks before and all the way throughout your pregnancy, breastfeeding and beyond. It is generally recommended to continue applying such a moisturiser for up to 3 months after birth to optimise the effects.

Weleda Stretch Mark Body Butter and Stretch Mark Massage Oil layed on a bed with a pregnant belly

3. What else can I do to prevent stretch marks?

To improve your skin health in general, eat lots of carrot, pumpkin, raw nuts and seeds, olive oil, eggs, meat and sardines. These are high in the fat-soluble vitamins A and E, essential for maintaining skin elasticity. To strengthen the skin collagen eat citrus fruits, blackcurrants, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, watercress, papaya, broccoli, snow peas and a little dark chocolate on the side! These are all high in vitamin C and bioflavonoids and also have an anti-aging effect on the skin. 

Pregnant person holding Stretch Mark Body Butter on their hand

Natural pregnancy care products: Expertise for over 20 years

Prevents the appearance of stretch marks.
27 reviews
{{ 3595 |formatPrice |currency }}
Prevents stretch marks, leaving skin smooth, elastic and flexible
59 reviews
{{ 2995 |formatPrice |currency }}
Totally natural massage oil to get ready for childbirth
{{ 2995 |formatPrice |currency }}
Delicious organic herbal tea mixture for breastfeeding mothers
7 reviews
20 Teabags
{{ 1895 |formatPrice |currency }}
Care and protection for sore nipples, cracked skin and chafing. Fragrance-free
20 reviews
{{ 1995 |formatPrice |currency }}

For me, Weleda Stretch Mark Massage Oil is a perfect example of a holistic approach to pregnancy – because it works on all levels. With this formula of precious natural oils and arnica extract, a woman can care for her skin while forming an intimate bond with her child.

Ute Wronn, Midwife at Weleda

Almond tree
Pregnant woman