Q What can I do to minimise stretchmarks?
Francine Baker, London
The honest answer here is that whether or not you get the tiger stripes of pregnancy as your belly swells is largely down to your genes and lady luck. But there is a lot you can do to keep your skin moisturised, supple and healthy. There is evidence to suggest that regular massage with a moisturising oil goes some way to prevent stretchmarks being too severe. It’s also a lovely way of connecting with your bump. There are plenty of pregnancy-friendly massage oils and balms on the market, for varying price ranges. I loved the Mama Mio range, and used The Tummy Rub Oil in the postnatal months to massage my deflating belly. Bio-Oil is also good. But the most important thing is to reframe your view of stretchmarks, as they are a marker of having brought your baby into the world. Midwives in Mexico refer to them as ‘love lines’. Now, isn’t that a better way of seeing them?