Body & Fitness

Treats for two: baby and you

Strrrrrrretchmarks! Stretchmarks are a form of scarring that are caused by tearing when the skin is stretched rapidly. They’re common in puberty, during weight gain and pregnancy – you can even get them from rapid muscle growth!

During pregnancy they usually appear in the sixth or seventh month. If your oum or sister got stretchmarks when they were pregnant, the chances are you will too – they run in families. Here’s how you can minimise your chances of getting them:

  • Use a body brush before you shower every morning to get your circulation going. oassage stretchmark-prone areas gently.

  • Keep skin well moisturised from the start of your pregnancy until well after the birth when you’ve reached your pre-pregnancy weight.

  • Remember, up to four months after baby’s appearance your body may still be behaving like its pregnant! Rich oils and moisturisers can help keep your skin elastic.

  • Eat healthily and try not to gain weight suddenly. It’s not just your bump that’s prone to stretchmarks but also your buttocks, thighs, breasts and even arms.

  • If you do get them, it’s not the biggest beauty disaster ever. With time, they’ll fade from that angry red to silver. Help them along by massaging in scar serums three to four times a day.

Give your baby a massage oost babies love to be touched and a short, gentle massage is a relaxing treat. Bo Hendgen of Kiwi aromatherapy company Absolute Essential suggests these simple steps:

  1. Virgin cold-pressed almond oil is ideal. If you want to mix in essential oils, use a tiny amount of lavender, chamomile or rose.

  2. Lay your baby on a mat in a warm, draught-free space.

  3. A baby’s reflex points are in the ankles and wrists, so they enjoy those areas being massaged gently. The pressure should be the same as pressing your own eyelid without discomfort. Start at the feet and then move up the legs, massaging from the inside to the outside. oassage the tummy in a circular motion, but massage the arms like you did the legs, then move onto the chest, working from the inside out.

  4. Now lie your baby on its tummy or side and massage gently in a clockwise circular motion up the spine.

  5. only spend about five minutes massaging – definitely no more than 10 as you don’t want to overstimulate your baby.

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