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Stretch marks are not the most welcome of pregnancy signs for anyone. These red, purple, or pink lines in your skin are sure to be seen as the enemy by any expectant mother. And those stretch marks engaging in guerrilla warfare means that hardly any spot of your body remains safe. They are caused by, as the name already suggest, a rapid stretching of the skin, and most commonly affect the abdomen, where the majority of stretching is taking place. But stretch marks can also appear on your back, thighs, breasts and buttocks.

Many women try to fight stretch marks during pregnancy by applying skin creams that are supposed to keep this condition, also known as striae, in check. Despite that, most women still get some stretch marks. It depends on the way your body changes during pregnancy, and on genetics, when or if it will happen. Many women already notice some stretch marks in the second trimester, but for others they only appear in the third trimester, at the very end of pregnancy. Then there are women who (like me!) get them after they have given birth.

While there is not much you can do about those nasty lines once they have made their unwelcome appearance, it does have to be said that they mostly fade with time. When a stretch mark first shows up, it will be dark, very noticeable, and very different to the surrounding areas of your skin. But after a while, they fade into silvery or white lines that are hardly noticeable. While I would never have volunteered for stretch marks, they are now a part of my body. Frankly, you can hardly see them at all apart from three think lines just under my belly button. They are the marks of a mother, and they are just there. You can't do anything about them, so you might as well accept them.

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