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 In Ask an Expert, Midwifery, OB/GYN & Women's Health, Pulse Blog

Q: Is it possible to prevent stretch marks?

The short answer is probably not. Stretch marks in pregnancy are often hereditary, meaning you can thank your mom or dad for those marks. There are a lot of creams, lotions, and ointments on the market that offer prevention, but the limited studies that have been done have not proven any of them to be effective. Belly bands are also available, but also haven’t been researched to see if they help prevent stretch marks. These therapies are considered safe, so some women feel they are worth trying.

Stretch marks tend to be darker while pregnant, and will lighten up and get smaller after delivery.  I recommend avoiding a lot of sun exposure in the area with stretch marks, which may help them lighten up after pregnancy.

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