How to manage breast stretch marks during breastfeeding
October 4, 2018
Reality check: women are crazy about their appearance. Right? Okay, maybe not all of them, but most. We have to admit that the ideal picture of the woman that modern society promotes is a little too stressful. Especially for a new mom.
So with the childbirth, the baby pounds you gained during pregnancy are finally gone (or in the process), but what about other things that women are so worried about, like saggy breasts, C-section scars, and stretch marks? Is there any magic pill for perky breasts and scar-free body?
While there’s obviously no remedy to reverse time, there certainly are some great beauty hacks every woman should know about to preserve beautiful resilient skin even if such culprits as stretch marks has shown its reddish (or whitish) grin on her body.
Woman’s breast is usually something she is really proud of. However, pregnancy and breastfeeding may very well cause some damage to your skin. Whereas it is nearly impossible to prevent stretch marks – if you tend to have them, you will (yes, it’s 80% your genetics!), it would be wise to learn how to breastfeed and take care of your breast while nursing to make your skin look amazing and prevent further damage!
What Causes Stretch Marks?
- Genetics (if your family has a history of stretch marks, it is highly likely that you will have them too once the trigger factors appear).
- Rapid weight fluctuations (weight gain followed by weight loss and vice versa).
- Too much cortisone in your blood may cause stretch marks to appear. The hormone makes your skin lose its elasticity.
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding, because, let’s face it, skin’s elasticity has the limit of stretching!
Do Stretch Marks Go Away Once They Appeared?
They are highly likely going to stay just where they appeared, although they will change its color from purple to white and may fade over time.
Can I Prevent Pregnancy Stretch Marks?
David J. Goldberg, M.D., director of laser research in the department of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, in New York City says that there are two main factors that influence on the appearance of stretch marks, that is genetics and weight fluctuations.
So there’s almost no way to prevent stretch marks, however, there are some recommendations that may help.
The best strategy for preventing pregnancy stretch marks would be to work with skin’s elasticity.
How to improve skin’s elasticity?
- Water, water, and once again – water! You have to stay hydrated. Dehydrated skin starts to thin out and sag. By the way, tea and coffee will make your body lose fluids because caffeine is a diuretic, so tip #2 would be kinda obvious.
- Cut down on caffeine for its well-known side effect of draining your skin out.
- Stop smoking (I hope you already did! Because you’re reading this article either pregnant or breastfeeding!). But why smoking is bad for the skin? Short answer: it destroys collagen and elastin.
- Exercise regularly. It improves skin’s elasticity tremendously.
- Eat right. Healthy well-balanced and nutrient-dense diet is the key to resilient skin.
- Cut off sugar. Overeating sugar may cause early aging of the skin. As early as in your early 30-s. And aging reduces the levels of collagen and elastin in your skin.
Best Treatment For Stretch Marks During Breastfeeding
So if you didn’t get away with having no stretch marks while pregnant or breastfeeding, don’t get discouraged! This is a natural consequence of your body changes during pregnancy.
The first thing you can do is to embrace them and love your body. I’m serious. If you don’t love yourself, who would care to love you then? You have just made a new human! If you think about this fact, the stretch marks you have will fade into insignificance (and they will eventually, because you will learn how to ignore them!)
The second thing you should know: while you’re breastfeeding, you can’t use any method of treating stretch marks as it may put your baby at risk.
What you can do is moisturize your skin with coconut oil or butter, for example. It will make your skin soft and help the stretch marks look better.
Quickest fix: stretch marks are less visible on the tanned skin.
So make sure to get plenty of sun but don’t forget to apply sunscreen.
By the time you finish breastfeeding your stretch marks will highly likely change the color to a more whitish and probably even fade a little. That’s when you can try treating them.
How To Manage Breast Stretch Marks After You Finished Breastfeeding
The most common over the counter supplement for treating breast (actually, any) stretch marks is Retin-A cream. What it does, it builds up collagen in the place where the skin was too stretched and this firming fiber was broken. It works best on fresh stretch marks that are still purple.
Another thing to try is Microdermabrasion. It removes the top layer of your skin and promotes collagen production. Good news is that Microdermabrasion works well with old stretch marks. So you may want to try this method.
Also, there is a laser treatment that works by adding a pigment to the stretch marks so they blend into skin and don’t make this tiger pattern.