Pregnancy Symptoms: What Are Stretch Marks?
Technically, stretch marks are called "striae," but we don't know anyone who uses that medical term. They're basically thin, long bands in your skin that result from the rapid stretching that occurs with pregnancy and other dramatic growth spurts (such as puberty). Stretch marks are also caused by the hormonal changes that occur with pregnancy and puberty. Stretch marks can also be brought on by obesity or weight lifting.
Stretch marks during pregnancy generally develop during the 3rd trimester and often appear on the breasts, abdomen, hips, buttocks and thighs. They usually start out as pink or purplish red lines and then become permanent white or silver depressed scar-like marks after delivery. Oh boy!
Sorry to break this to you&mbash;but chances are fairly good that you will get stretch marks. In fact, anywhere from 75%-90% of women develop stretch marks during pregnancy (if you didn't already get them during puberty!). Genetic factors also play a role in whether or not you'll develop stretch marks—so if your mama had 'em, there's a good chance you'll get 'em, too. Like it or not, stretch marks are just one of many totally normal (but totally annoying) pregnancy symptoms.