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What's normal when it comes to stretch marks?

Did you know eight out of 10 women develop stretch marks during pregnancy? Now that's a reassuring stat if ever we’ve heard one.

Stretch marks (or striae gravidarum as it’s known in the medical world) are caused by, you guessed it, the rapid stretching that takes place during pregnancy. This stretching disrupts the normal production of collagen, which leads to the various coloured and textured marks we’re all familiar with.

There’s not a huge amount that can be done about stretch marks other than wait for them to fade. You can try various creams and oils, but there’s very limited evidence that these actually work (sorry to burst that bubble!). The type of stretch marks you experience are actually influenced by genetic factors too, so you can thank your parents for that one.

Stretch marks can be really upsetting, but try to remember that your body is just doing its job of building a human in just nine months like an absolute champ. And when you think about how long it takes for them to build and ship a sofa these days, that’s pretty impressive.