During pregnancy, women acquire fat deposits as nutritional reserves for breastfeeding- which prove hard to shed after the baby is born. Without concerted efforts to lose weight after the birth, a woman will typically accumulate 10 pounds of adipose tissue with each succeeding pregnancy.
The abdominal distension caused by the enlarging uterus often leads to striae or stretch marks, which are a result of collagen disruption in the skin, and which appear as purplish-red marks, mostly on the abdomen, and occasionally on the buttocks, thighs, arms or breasts.Unfortunately, the propensity to develop stretch marks is hereditary; so apart from keeping the skin well moisturised and avoiding *extreme/unhealthy weight gain, there is nothing you can do to avoid them.
(*depending on the woman’s pre-pregnancy BMI, a gain of between 15-25 lbs is considered healthy)
Over time, these marks will tend to fade to a white colour, but may be quite deep; and, because of the loss of elasticity, the abdominal skin may also be very loose.