Supporting your skin during pregnancy

Updated May 7th 2021

There is a lot of demand on your body when you are pregnant. One of the biggest changes is your growing baby. Your skin needs to grow and stretch with the baby and most of us would love that to happen with the most minimal impact possible. Stretch marks and Linea Nigra are very common in pregnancy so much so that 1 in 2 people will get stretch marks.

There are a lot of natural options to support your body and your skin during this time to possibly reduce the quantity of stretch marks as well as their intensity (less red and itchy). Below are the products I personally used and believe in based on research and personal experience.

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Collagen is an essential addition to a pregnant person’s routine. Specifically, powdered collagen from a marine or bovine source. Collagen will help support the natural elasticity of the skin through the production of elastin, helping it to stretch. This is also important for your growing blood vessels. Collagen is a very important source of the amino acid glycine. Glycine is also found in gelatin and slow cooked meats (pulled pork, bone broth, chicken soup) due to the breakdown of the animals connective tissue. According to Registered Dietitian and prenatal nutrition educator, Lily Nichols , “the demand for glycine during pregnancy may already exceed the capacity for it’s synthesis, making it conditionally indispensable”.

Glycine is needed for the synthesis of fetal DNA and collagen, among other functions. It’s particularly important…later in pregnancy when your baby is gaining weight rapidly. Your baby’s developing bones, connective tissues, organs, and skin need glycine

Lily Nichols, RDN, Real Food for Pregnancy Chp 3, pg 37

Omega 3’s are important for moisture retention in your skin which also helps with the stretching. In addition, they are an excellent anti-inflammatory supplement that also have research to support aiding the developing brain and eyes of the fetus.

Rosehip Oil is a wonderful oil that you apply topically to your skin. The unique feature of Rosehip oil is the ability to regenerate skin cells and collagen and restores skin’s elasticity. Some consider it to be the botox of skin oils. It is rich in Vitamins A and C as well as omega 3’s and 6’s. I have been using St. Francis Herb Farm Rosehip Oil for a few months now and I do believe it’s another reason my skin is stretching well.

Marula Oil is another wonderful oil that actually works to prevent and heal stretch marks. Sourced from the fruit of the Marula tree in Namibia, Marula oil is considered to be a “miracle” oil. It softens and soothes the skin and improves the skin’s ability to retain moisture, all of which support your growing belly. Again, I am using the St. Francis Herb Farm brand of Marula Oil.

A few other notes I have to share is to DRINK YOUR WATER. Water is essential for the growing baby, your growing blood supply, the amniotic fluid and maintaining the moisture in your skin.

It is also important that while we gain weight during pregnancy, it should be slow and steady. A slow and steady weight gain will also prevent/reduce the impact of stretch marks as your skin is growing very slowly. Rapid weight gain can lead to an increased number of stretch marks and they can be itchy or red in colour. Your primary prenatal care practitioner (whether Dr. or Midwife) will let you know if your gain is too rapid.

Another important mention is to avoid the use of petroleum based products such as baby oil, mineral oil (aka liquid paraffin which is the main ingredient in BioOil) vaseline or other “jellies”. Gasoline is also derived from Petroleum!

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