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Stretch Marks

04/15/2013

Belle

Let’s talk about stretch marks, shall we?

I don’t have them yet, but have a sneaky suspicion that they are just around the corner. The belly is growing rapidly now and my cute “innie” belly button is quickly becoming an uncute “outie.” While going through puberty I got pretty bad stretch marks on my hips that wrapped around to my rump. Realistically, I know my chances of getting pregnancy stretch marks are pretty high.

Which brings me to stretch mark prevention. I have been told by zillions of people that creams and oils don’t make a lick of difference when it comes to who gets stretch marks and who does not. I also know that if I sit back for nine months and do nothing to “prevent them,” that I’ll always look back and think “maybe had I just spent the $20 on that tub of crap that smells like a coconut…” In addition, this rapidly growing belly (and behind, and thighs) itch mightily when I’m not slathering them with something super creamy/oily at least once a day. No one wants to be friends with the pregnant lady who sits around scratching herself like a flea ridden dog, yanno?

I’ve tried several products since getting pregnant. I tried some Palmer’s and it was ok, but the thick cream didn’t absorb into my skin very well and the thinner lotion just didn’t feel like it was doing enough good. I have gone through six tubs of Dream Belly and love it, but, at $14.95 a tub it is quickly getting too be too much. I unearthed a bottle of Bio Oil I bought back when I was pregnant the first time (smacks head – who buy stretch mark stuff at 6 weeks pregnant?) and started using it when I ran out of Dream Belly and Palmer’s.

The smell of the Bio Oil is not the best, but man does my skin look pretty when I’m using it. I’m soft, smooth and my coloring just looks more alive. It also does not feel greasy when I’m hot and sweaty. This afternoon I was all set to buy another bottle when, for some reason, I thought I’d Google it’s safety during pregnancy. And what do I find? It’s not safe. BUT the bottle says it is safe for all stages of pregnancy… What?

So I’m coming to you all: Have you done anything to ward of stretch marks during pregnancy (don’t tell me you “only gained 20 pounds” in order to avoid them because this lady is already up 25 and still has 11 weeks to go!) Do/did you have a favorite product to help with the itchy? And what do you make of all these internet claims that everything you touch, smell and look at will in some way harm your baby?

************

In other news, I’m still sick. My cough has morphed into this disgusting rattling smoker sounding monster and now my belly and back ache from coughing all night long. I went to the doctor today hoping for some magical cure and I got a bunch of “being sick when pregnant is tough… use a neti pot.” GAG. I do not like pouring water in my nose, nor do I like when it comes out the other side. Alas, I’ll do what my good doctor says and neti pot  tonight so hopefully I feel slightly better before boarding a plane to Florida in 10 days for my little brothers wedding!

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20 Comments

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  1. Romy #
    April 15, 2013

    I’m sorry to hear you’re still sick. I’m jealous of your Florida plans though! We just had another dump of snow (25 cm) yesterday 😦
    As for stretch mark cream; I’m using Biotherm Biovergetures Stretch marks prevention & reduction cream-gel with algo silicium. It is pricy – $50 for a 150 ml tube. I don’t know if it will work for me either; I like you, got stretch marks during puberty. They were immediately white though, they did not start out red like people tell me stretch marks usually will be (?). My mom never had any stretch marks during pregnancy and I’ve read that your mom is a good indicator for your own chances since it is mostly genetically determined. Prior to switching to Biotherm I was using a stretch mark cream by Clinique but it would just sit on top of my skin and was never absorbed so it would come off again looking like skin flakes or something, very gross. I love the Biotherm stuff. I justify the cost by telling myself that I can’t snowboard now so I’m not spending money on that, or on going to the mountains lots in general because I also don’t feel safe on skates or cross country skis 😦

  2. Magpie #
    April 15, 2013

    Perhaps you won’t get further stretch marks from this pregnancy since you already had some when in your adolescence. I got terrible boob stretch marks in my late teens, and when I had my first child, in spite of the fact that I blew from B cup to D cup in a few months, I got no breast stretch marks. I did however get terrible stretch marks in my thighs and belly which had been previously unblemished. With this pregnancy, I am just starting my 7th month (and measuring 4 *weeks* ahead of my gestational age so I look mammoth) and I haven’t had a single stretch mark. With any luck, everything that could stretch is already destroyed from pregnancy #1and won’t get worse!

  3. April 15, 2013

    As to the cough while preggers, ugh I had 2 terrible colds when I was pregnant, SUCKED! I resorted to hot showers with lots of steam to help soothe my cough and help with all the mucus build up and while I got conflicting information from different sources my midwives (totally hippy crunchy types) said guafenessin and dextromethoraphane (cough suppressants) were safe while the pharmacist insisted they were not…
    As to all the no-no’s while pregnant…I took everything with grain of salt and did what I needed to do to survive, ie. cough suppressant that the midwives said was safe because I just couldn’t stand that hacking cough anymore! and coffee, mama needs her coffee! and several other things that I made the executive decision to DO ANYWAY. To each his own, I honestly think most everything in moderation is fine, maybe not some crazy pharmaceuticals that are known to cause birth defects, but a little sushi ain’t gonna hurt anything!
    And stretch marks…I believe in the genetic predisposition and that you can’t prevent them but just plain old coconut oil from the supermarket is wonderful to slather all over yourself and smells delicious =)

  4. April 15, 2013

    I sadly have lost the battle to stretch marks, but my dr was very happy that my stomach was nicely moisturized at the last appointment and said that the moisture will keep some away (even though I’ve already had some show up). I’m using the palmers cocoa butter lotion but slather a ton on, it takes me forever to rub it in, and I have to leave my shirt up for a minute or two, but at least my dr thinks my stomach is plenty moisturized? I recently read that aloe might help, but haven’t tried it.

  5. Arbrefleur #
    April 15, 2013

    I just made my first maternity purchase in the form of a tub of “Tummy Butter” from thespoiledmama.com. It’s pricey but it’s been my only splurge. I, too, was gonna do Bio Oil until I read online that it’s mineral oil! F that. SO bad for you! Just in general, not even preggo. My mom swears by pure coconut oil or pure shea butter, as some of your other comments have said, but I’m liking the sink-into-my-sink, lemony scented Tummy Butter a LOT! Cheers for already having stretch marks on my hips from puberty – yay, lucky me! I’m hoping to avoid more but…c’est la vie 🙂 You’ll look gorgeous either way. You are one of the lucky ones with your tiny bowling ball preggo belly. Speaking of which, is it time for another belly shot? 🙂

  6. Amy #
    April 15, 2013

    I got a few during puberty, too, and definitely got some toward the very end of my pregnancy. Boobs, belly, hips/upper thighs. I wasn’t very religious about putting anything on like I should have, but I am skeptical that it would have helped much anyhow. I did go to a “green” baby-mama workshop thing at one of the yoga studios I went to for prenatal yoga classes, and we made a belly oil concoction that was a grapeseed oil base with a few essential oils. I think it was sweet orange, lavender, and maybe tea tree or lemongrass? I have the printout at home; if you are interested in trying a DIY mix I will email it to you or post it here!

  7. jak #
    April 15, 2013

    i love it that your pregnancy is tracking with mine, just 2 weeks apart, right down to nasty colds. i’ve got one too. and i’m sure the baby is sick of hearing me cough. i’m afraid i’m going to rip my placenta or something. i cant lay down without coughing. and yeah, neti pot, hot tea, and showers. but is there a limit to how much snot can come out of one’s body? it’s gotta stop sometime right?

    i looked at bio oil ingredients – it’s fine. i mean, dont eat the stuff, but putting it on your skin at this late in pregnancy is very likely fine. if it had valerian or retin A in it (not the same as vit A), i’d say stay away, but the ingredients are relatively safe, even in pregnancy.

    i’ve been using stuff from lush. buffy bar in the shower every morning just before getting out of the shower, and either massage bars or ‘sympathy for the skin’ lotion right before bed. my mom keeps asking me if i’m itchy, but i havent had any itching at all with this routine. i too, have stretch marks all over my hips and breasts from puberty, so i know i’m prone.

    good luck with the itch-relief and snot-relief!!!

  8. Melanie #
    April 15, 2013

    Dear Belle, when I was pregnant I used lots of homeopathic, they do have lots of good even if just a little honey or maple sirup with warm water will do the same.
    For the belly, I can say that I had lots of stretch marks at puberty and none during pregnancy. And I gained 35 pounds total. I used of lot of cream because of the itchy belly though. I can say that even with the cream I looked like a monkey scratching my belly all the time. I even went to see my doctor, It was so unbearable. He kinda laughed and said there was nothing he could do. I tried every cream on the market and nothing relieved it. I don’t know if that helped for the stretch marks because before the itch I didn’t use anything.
    Hopefully your cough goes fast, if it was really serious your doctor would have still given you something, so take your time, rest and scratch…

  9. Amanda #
    April 15, 2013

    I didn’t get any stretch marks during my pregnancy. I did get them from puberty, so you never know.

    I hear you on belly itch. I am pretty sure that I scratched myself more than once in seeking some relief. My favorite remedy was to use Belli Elasticity Belly Oil. It is full of lavender, so don’t use it if that doesn’t appeal to you.

    I hope you feel better soon!

  10. April 15, 2013

    I used Burt’s Bees Belly Butter after every shower and I started using it before I was showing. I went through roughly one tub per trimester, at about $13 per tub. I didn’t try anything else. I slathered it on my belly, butt and thighs daily. My mom and sister both have stretch marks from pregnancy. I came out unscathed after gaining about 40 pounds. (I got very swollen near the end.) Even though I was using the belly butter I was still itchy during the last month or two.

  11. April 15, 2013

    I’ve been using Mama Mio body butter and strech mark oil, and don’t have any itchies or stretch marks yet. Cant say its the product that’s helping me, but it smells amazing and I love ità

  12. April 15, 2013

    I’m a veteran of three pregnancy colds (one for each trimester), so I feel for you. It’s a pretty miserable experience. Lemon and honey tea was the only thing that made me feel a tiny bit better. If you’re really congested and you (and your husband) can stand the smell, I recommend garlic tea. It’s not the most pleasant thing to choke down, but it’s great at breaking up mucus.

    As for stretch marks, I haven’t done much about them. I bought a tube of something (I can’t remember the name) at Babies R Us, but I usually forget to use it. I have so many stretch marks from puberty that I wasn’t worried about adding a couple more. The good news is that so far I seem to be reusing the old ones. The other thing working in my favour is the extra skin I’ve been carrying around from losing 100 pounds a few years back. 🙂

  13. April 15, 2013

    Ive been using Burt’s bees mama bee belly butter. So far no stretch marks. Is it the result of the cream? No idea. But it did really help with the itchy!!

  14. April 15, 2013

    I didn’t get any stretch marks. Starting at 10 weeks I was slathering with just plain Aveeno Daily Moisturizer all over my belly, and sometimes on my legs. I knew twin pregnancies got big fast. Anyway, I did it every night and sometimes in the morning. I have no idea if this is why I didn’t get stretch marks but I don’t see the harm in moisturizing! (Also, I gained 48lb in 34 weeks.)

  15. heatherwallen #
    April 15, 2013

    Hi Belle, 29w2d and + 46 lbs with twins — still no stretch marks and a strict Burt’s Bees Belly Butter regime 🙂 Cheap and available at Target.

  16. April 16, 2013

    Well, at 19 weeks, my opinion doesn’t really count, BUT I took a jar of coconut oil (the one I bought when I was being all “earthy” and made my own deodorant from a Pinterest recipe), I have a little scoopula to get it out of the jar (it’s solid at room temp) and rub-a-dub a bit on after a shower. it’s cheap, it doesn’t have an obnoxious co-co-cabana smell going on, and it moisturizes quite well. plus it’s an organic, no additives, product. Just a thought! Good luck lady!

  17. April 16, 2013

    Like you, Belle, I have stretch marks on my boobs and thighs from the growth spurts during my teen years. During pregnancy, I got two stretch marks. Yes, two. And those two are right on top of the two scars (one on each side) on my tummy from my endo surgery. You can hardly see them and the marks themselves only stretch out a tiny bit more than the scars. My mom on the other hand had tons of them…so I was resigned that I would have them. But, I kept telling myself it would be for a good reason. I’m thankful I have the good reason without the stretch marks.

    I hope you’re feeling better soon. I tried a neti pot thing for the first time when I was pregnant too. While weird, I guess it sort of helped. I have since lost the thing in our house and can’t find it. (I guess not finding something is the same as lost.) I hope to find it someday.

  18. Kristin #
    April 16, 2013

    This may be a bit crunchy and over the top, but you could also make a vat of body butter, cream, salve, etc. After I finish my first container, I’m going to make some. I’ll share the recipe, but it will probably be a couple of weeks. I’m only halfway through!

  19. Karaleen #
    April 17, 2013

    I got horrendous stretch marks on my hips and thighs during puberty! Want to know how many stretch marks I got in my pregnancies? At age 40 and 43? ZERO!!!!! And I gained 40lbs with the first one. Only 25 with the 2nd…but carried her very differently. She was all out front. I used the palmers and a generic cocao butter cream from target. Who knows if it worked or not. You may be suprised and get none. I hope so. I hope u get over your cold soon. Being sick during pregnancy sucks!

    Kd

  20. April 22, 2013

    During my entire pregnancy I used Palmer’s in hopes of stretch mark prevention. It looked like I escaped them until after delivery when they appeared. I tried Mederma stretch mark therapy and it helped some, but they are still there. I now rub vaseline gel on them and it helps a bit. It itched the entire pregnancy and never found relief. However another quad mom later said solarcaine does the trick. Good luck!

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