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How To Fix Those Baby Bump Side Effects: Itchy Stomachs & Stretch Marks

Mon, September 13, 2010 1:57pm EDT by Add first Comment

While pregnancy may be a beautiful thing, some of the side effects sure aren’t!

Alicia Keys sure didn’t seem bothered by her growing belly on her honeymoon last month, but as your baby bump gets bigger, your belly gets itchier and itchier — and let’s not forget about stretch marks! Here’s what you can do to prevent and alleviate these problems.

One symptom every woman encounters during pregnancy is an itchy belly. The bigger the stomach, the itchier it gets. “Itchiness is associated with the inflammation from the dermal tearing,” says dermatologist Dr. Audrey Kunin, founder of DERMAdoctor. To prevent yourself from going scratch-crazy she suggests asking your doctor if you can use a topical anti-itch agent like Prame Gel. In some cases a 1 percent hydrocortisone cream may do the trick.

Looking for a quick at-home fix? Soak in a bath with baking soda or oatmeal. “These ingredients can be really soothing on the skin,” Dr. Kunin says.

And yes, you will most likely get stretch marks, but genetics play a big part in the severity. If your mom has them, chances are, you will too. “It’s obvious that the breasts, buttocks, thighs and abdomen will most likely be affected, and although the look of them can improve with time, they will most likely never seem to fully go away,” Dr. Kunin says.

There are ways to help counteract stretch marks — it’s safe to use Mederma, an amino acid peptide wrinkle cream or a potent Vitamin C like Cellex-C. They trigger collagen production, which can help to balance out the fibers in your skin that are stretching and breaking. Hey, we’ll try anything to prevent stretch marks! Right?

Post pregnancy try microdermabrasion to help minimize the appearance of stretch marks. There’s no need to spend a lot of money though, after all there’s no proof they’ll go away!  Try DERMAdoctor KP Duty Body Scrub for a cheaper at-home fix.

–Jeannine Morris