Short Answer – Probably Yes. About 90% of women get them after the 6th or 7th month, but there are things you can do to help prevent them or make them less visible.

Stretch marks happen when your body grows faster than your skin can keep up with. In the last trimester, you grow a lot! Which means stretch marks are most likely gonna happen (sorry ladies), particularly on your tummy and breasts, the two areas that grow the most.  

While there is no sure-fire way to completely prevent stretch marks from happening, there are things you can do to reduce their likelihood and severity.

Stay Hydrated

You want to be sure your body is well hydrated, both inside and out. Drinking plenty of water is a good place to start. Not a natural water drinker? Try an infusion water bottle which makes it easy to add fruit, cucumbers, or lemons to your water to give it some flavor.

You also want to keep your skin hydrated and supple (to promote elasticity) with lotions, creams, or oils. Popular choices moms swear by include coconut oil and lotion, vitamin E oil, olive oil, Bio-Oil, shea or cocoa butter. Added bonus, the oil or lotion will also help reduce some of the itchiness mamas-to-be complain about on their burgeoning bellies.  

Diet And Exercise

Diet and exercise can play a factor in reducing stretch marks. Exercise improves circulation, which keeps the skin elastic and more able to stretch as it grows.

Collagen and elastin fibers in the skin are necessary to keep rapidly growing skin taut. The stronger the fibers are, the less likely they are to break and leave stretch marks. It makes sense then to eat foods that are rich in Vitamin E and C, zinc and silica, which help to form collagen.

Another name for collagen is gelatin, so getting more gelatin in your diet can help too. Drinking real bone broth or supplementing your diet with high quality collagen protein powder from grass-fed cows are good sources of gelatin.

Treating Stretch Marks After Baby

If you couldn’t totally prevent stretch marks during your pregnancy, you’re not without options! After your baby is born, you can fade the marks to make them less noticeable.  

Start treating the marks right away, when they are still in their reddish stage. You can try a gel made with a mix of onion extract and hyaluronic acid (designed to help fade the marks).  You may also want to talk to a dermatologist about getting a prescription retinoid, which can speed up new collagen growth. Keep in mind, you can’t use a retinoid if you’re breastfeeding.

Other options to reduce the appearance of stretch marks include lasers and dermabrasion, both can be done by a dermatologist. It may take a few sessions to see real results.

Or, you can just accept the little lines as happy reminders of the beautiful baby you carried and chalk it up to being part of the experience of motherhood.