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Pregnancy Problems

During pregnancy, your health is number one priority. That’s why we went straight to top pregnancy health experts for all the details you want to know about the most common pregnancy problems. In our pregnancy problems guide, you can read about a slew of pregnancy conditions – everything from hemorrhoids to gestational diabetes. Find out what any pregnancy symptom could possibly mean (are you swollen just because you’re expecting, or is it a sign of some complication?) and find out whether or not it’s worth a call to your OB. If you already know you’ve got a pregnancy complication or health condition, our comprehensive articles will give you the scoop on its causes and how it can affect you and baby. Plus, get treatment tips straight from medical experts and pregnant women like you. Yup, we've got answers to all your questions about pregnancy health problems right here!

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Stretch Marks

Ugh. Wondering what you're going to do with those ugly and annoying streaks on your belly (and everywhere else it seems!)? Find out how to prevent stretch marks and get rid of the ones you already have.

What are stretch marks?

Stretch marks are reddish, purple or pink (sometimes brown, depending on your skin tone) depressed streaks that can be found on your boobs, stomach, butt, hips and thighs -- just to name a few places. Stretch marks are actually scars from your skin tearing as your body grows rapidly during pregnancy.

What are the signs of stretch marks?

You’ll see the streaks on your body as your pregnancy develops; the streaks look irregular in shape and usually appear in groups.

Are there any tests for stretch marks?

There aren’t any tests for stretch marks since they’re pretty recognizable.

How common are stretch marks?

Really common! A lot of pregnant women get them during the second half of their pregnancy.

How did I get stretch marks?

Your skin is expanding at such a rapid rate -- particularly in the sixth and seventh months -- which causes stretch marks. You’re more likely to get stretch marks if you’re carrying multiples or a big baby, or if you’ve gained weight especially quickly. Genetics also are a factor -- if your mother or sister got stretch marks, you probably will too.

How will stretch marks affect my baby?

Baby won’t be affected at all.

What’s the best way to treat stretch marks?

Your stretch marks should fade considerably in the months after you deliver and become close to your natural skin tone -- so close that no one may notice them but you. If you’re unhappy with your skin’s appearance later, see a dermatologist for treatment options such as prescription creams and laser therapy.

See next page for prevention, resources and tips from other moms-to-be.

-- Paula Kashtan


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