Let's talk about stretch marks. (Is what I'm sure you said when you woke up this morning.)

Stretch marks are caused when your skin stretches or grows rapidly and the protein that makes up the connective tissue in your skin (collagen) is disrupted.

You are more prone to them if you:

  • Have a darker complexion
  • Your mom had them (thanks, genetics — hopefully, you inherited her childbearing hips too)
  • You are young (your skin hasn’t already been stretched out by age and the perils of life yet)
  • You put on your pregnancy weight quickly

You aren’t alone, though. Even though up to 90% of pregnant women get them, 70% of women that aren’t pregnant have them and 40% of men have them, too. You can get them during growth spurts in puberty, weight gain, and bodybuilding, just to name a few.

Can you prevent them? Well, it can’t hurt to try.

Most sites recommend that you try to keep your skin hydrated and well moisturized to help minimize stretch marks. Hey, if nothing else it will help the brutal belly itch you often get during pregnancy.

Trying to pace your weight gain is also recommended but I found that to be a tricky one seeing I was putting on loads of weight that didn’t seem to coincide with my french fry consumption – I think the body just packs it on when it’s ready – but that’s just my personal observation.

There’s a bit of debate on whether stretch mark creams helped during pregnancy, but if you do decide to give them a whirl, avoid ones that contain retinoids, such as Retin-A, Retinol. (Learn more in the Vitamin A post.) There doesn’t seem to be any definitive proof that they cause harm during pregnancy, but there’s enough twitchiness around it that I’d steer clear. Once you’ve had your baby and you’re finished stretching you can try out these options.

Actually, time and self-tanners seemed to be the most universal fixes for hiding stubborn stretch marks, but if you want them removed, you need to find yourself a dermatologist for microdermabrasion or laser treatment, which can get pricey.

Hey, but you know what? You earned those tiger stripes, I say wear ‘em with pride and strut them with the bodybuilders.

29 Weeks Pregnant Cheat Sheet:

  • Your baby is about 16 inches long (or 40 cm) and weighs about 3 pounds (1360 grams).
  • Your baby is in full kicking mode as space starts to get tighter.
  • You have around 77 days before you give birth.

How many months is 29 weeks pregnant?

Twenty-nine weeks is just over 7 months pregnant.

This week's to do:

Wash some clothes for this kid. I wouldn't sweat getting a whole wardrobe organized (unless you want to) but having a bunch of basics ready to roll is a good idea. Here are some Best Baby Laundry Tricks and Tips and setting up a Diaper Station.

Feeding prep. If you plan on breastfeeding, check out Breastfeeding in the First Week: 4 Things You Will Be Glad You Knew and if you plan on formula feeding, check out Formula Feeding Basics.

How are you feeling this week? Let me know here.

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