I’ve often heard that there was no way to prevent stretch marks. That you are are either genetically predisposed to getting them or not. In puberty I got them on my hips, so I thought my fate was sealed.
I happened to be working at a maternity store when I became pregnant with my first. Many women swore by a certain product, so I figured I’d give it a try. Starting immediately I slathered it all over my belly, breasts, and hips EVERY SINGLE DAY.
Now, another thing I am predisposed to is being small. I was only about 100 lbs when I got pregnant at 27. In the 8 months between finding out I was pregnant and having my son I gained, deep breath, 60 lbs!! That was a lot of eating, growing, and stretching my body did! BUT…. Drumroll, please, the only place I got any stretch marks during my pregnancy was on my butt, lol. See, I didn’t quite realize that it would grow so large and sorta forgot to add it to my regimen, hehe.
Now, I will admit that I did end up getting some on breasts when my milk came in. It came so quickly I don’t believe there was anything to be done about it.
When we began trying for baby #2 I went to purchase the same miracle product only to find out the company had been sold and the new owners had changed the formula completely. Sadness
I did some investigation and found something that was very similar and had the same wonderful results. In the course of 2 pregnancies I went 60 lbs up, 30 lbs down, 30 lbs up, and 30 lbs down. All with no marks on my tummy or hips and none at all during the second pregnancy.
So I’m sure you want to know my secret, am I right?!? Hydration, hydration, hydration. From the moment you decide to try for a baby or the moment you find out you are pregnant get that skin ready to stretch. Don’t use some wussy water or alcohol based lotion, heck even when your skin isn’t going through dramatic changes those type really just dry you out further. No, I’m talking about an oil based lotion. The one I used my last pregnancy was actually Badger Balm for Hardworking Hands. The stuff is thick and oily and really, really hydrates and locks that moisture in. Now that I am making my own lotions I would use that for future pregnancies.
Look for something whose main ingredient is oil. Coconut, olive, almond… Some shea or cocoa butter is nice too, but the oil is the most important. You can even just use some coconut or olive oil straight from the pantry.
Also, don’t forget to drink a lot of water. Hydrating from both inside and out will give you the best chances at avoiding those tiger stripes.
In addition to the lotion I used an oil after every shower. These measures will also help prevent some of the itching and discomfort associated with stretching skin.
Now, do I promise this will work for everyone, no of course not! But I can say that I have heard from many other women that this has worked for them. I used to recommend the first one I used to my customers and women would frequently come back to thank me after they had their baby.
If you do get stretch marks, don’t stress. There are products you could try to lighten them with, though I can’t speak to that since I have never tried them. The few marks I did get faded so well on their own that I didn’t feel the need to help them further.
Anyways, while we all like to look our best, lives and bodies change after having a baby. I may be more squishy and saggy than I used to be, but I have a husband and 2 boys that think I’m gorgeous, and I choose to believe them! All mamas are beautiful no matter what they look like, or how many stripes they have!