Your body will go through countless changes before, during and even after your pregnancy. As you probably know, it will never be the same again in some ways. Your breast size will change, and getting your weight back to normal will take some work. Unfortunately, stretch marks are one of the unsightly side effects of pregnancy that could last your entire life. While they don’t look great, they are natural and you shouldn’t be ashamed of them. The women in magazines without them are airbrushed, and trying to avoid them altogether after birth is simply impossible. However, there are some home remedies that might reduce them, and a recent study analyzed the effects of one such remedy.

Many creams and ointments are on the market now that claim they reduce or eliminate the appearance of stretch marks. While these may very well work, some are extremely expensive and contain synthetic ingredients that you might shy away from to ensure the safe development of your child. A popular home remedy for stretch marks through the years has been olive oil. In fact, women and men alike have used it for centuries as a hair and skin treatment. It contains antioxidants and provides the ultimate moisture. The study that tested its effects on stretch marks concluded that it did in fact reduce the appearance of them. However, it definitely did not eliminate them. If you’re looking for a good home remedy though, olive oil should be your first choice.

Start using it on your hips, belly, and any other bodily area you think might be stretched during your pregnancy, as early as possible. Ideally, you’d start applying it as soon as your body begins to change. Continue to use it for up to three months after delivery for maximum results.

Even if you accept that stretch marks are a natural part of your pregnancy, it is still hard to come to terms with the unpleasant way they change the appearance of your body. Olive oil is an inexpensive and safe way to reduce their appearance, as evidenced by the study. Keep in mind that, even without treatment, your stretch marks after pregnancy will go from pink to white over time, which will make them less noticeable. They might seem very intense after your give birth, but they will fade over time and your body will return to a more normal state.

Source: F. Soltanipoor et al: The Effect of Olive Oil on Prevention of Striae Gravidarum: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial. Contemporary Therapies in Medicine June 2012