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As your skin expands to accommodate baby, stretch marks aren't always the only side effect. An estimated 20 percent of expectant moms also experience itchy skin. Your doctor may recommend antihistamines or ointments, but a calming lotion can also provide relief. As for those stretch marks? At least half of moms-to-be get them, usually in the sixth and seventh months of pregnancy. And no matter what the fancy-product pushers may have you believe, there's really nothing you can do to prevent them. The good news is that they will fade significantly over time, though they won't disappear completely. There are some prescription creams and in-office laser treatments that may help lighten them, but you're best off waiting until you're at least a few months postpartum (or until you're done nursing, if you want to try certain prescription creams) to weigh these options with a dermatologist.
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