What skin changes occur during pregnancy?
Some pregnant women notice changes in their skin more than others during pregnancy. For example, some mums-to-be will notice that a dark line down the centre of their abdominals starts to appear as their pregnancy develops. This is known as the “linea negra”. Before getting pregnant, it is termed “linea alba”. In Latin, these simply mean “dark line” and “white line”, respectively, but not all pregnant women will experience this condition. Other expectant women will get a sudden outburst of acne on their face, and/or will see pigmentation changes on their face, known as “the mask of pregnancy”. And, obviously, a fair percentage of the pregnant population will experience stretch marks as their baby grows, and their bump gets larger.

What causes the skin to change during pregnancy?
The skin is by affected by hormonal changes in your body during pregnancy, and stretch marks and changes to the pigmentation in the skin is largely due to the hormones in your system that tend to alter your skin’s appearance.

Should I be concerned about any changes in my skin during pregnancy?
Not really. Noticeable changes to the skin on the face and abdomen are common during pregnancy, as I’ve already mentioned above. And, experiencing stretch marks on the abdomen, breasts, hips and thighs are also all quite normal things to experience too. Unless there is a rash and/or irritation along with the pigmentation changes in your skin, there no cause for concern. I’d always suggest asking your Midwife or Doctor if anything to do with your skin worries or troubles you during pregnancy.

Why do some women suffer more with stretch marks than others?
Every pregnancy is different and every person’s genetic make-up, whether they’re male or female, differs also. Why some women suffer with stretch marks more than others is simply down to the luck of the genetics draw, I’m afraid. Some people, genetically, have skin that scars more than others. And, the elasticity make up of your skin genetically, can also have a part to play in whether stretch marks will appear or not. Certainly, not putting on excessive weight during pregnancy by exercising regularly and staying active can help reduce your risk of developing stretch marks, but again, it does come down to your genetic make up more often than not.

Will stretch marks fade after birth?
In most cases, stretch marks will fade after birth. It can take some time, but the appearance of stretch marks certainly lessens once you’ve had your baby. Although using specific pregnancy oils and creams on stretch marks has not yet been proven to help prevent stretch marks as such, it’s certainly very nice to pamper yourself in any case by applying them to your tummy and other areas that are prone to stretch marks. As long as the oils or creams are safe for you to use in pregnancy, they won’t do your skin any harm.