Pregnancy is a time when the body goes through many changes as it transforms into a home for your baby.
Over nine months the body must accommodate the baby, causing it to go through rapid growth, which can often lead to unsightly stretch marks.
But stretch marks are not inevitable, as Louise Thomas-Minns, a skin therapist and founder of uandyourskin.co.uk, claims there are many ways to prevent them.
Apply vitamin E
Essential oils and topical products rich in vitamin E can help significantly reduce the appearance of stretch marks, while also preventing them from happening in the first place if you apply it regularly.
Ms Thomas-Minns recommends that you should apply it to areas where you would expect stretch marks to form, "for example around the stomach, thighs and bottom before pregnancy".
Rubbing in this moisturising oil can help to improve the elasticity of the skin, meaning it is more supple and able to stretch without scarring.
Keep well hydrated
Hydration is always key in ensuring your skin is healthy, and the expert suggests that drinking plenty of water is a must for flushing out toxins and improving circulation.
"Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which are diuretics that suck out the moisture from your body," she went on to add.
Watch your diet
Diet should be a major consideration if you’re trying to improve your skin and stay in peak health.
Ms Thomas-Minns suggests that eating a wide variety of brightly-coloured fruits and vegetables will help keep the skin strong and healthy.
She also said that pregnant women should "ingest more nutrients like zinc and vitamin E", which can help improve the elasticity of the skin.
Foods good for this include raw nuts and seeds, as well as oily fish.
The skincare expert explained that while moisturising with oils and creams was very important, they should always be massaged into the skin twice a day.
"It assists with blood flow and therefore floods the skin with fresh oxygen, nutrients and assists with the alleviation of toxins," all issues which are crucial to maintaining healthy skin and preventing the formation of stretch marks.
Posted by Laura Andrews