Based on some of my readers' question about how I have managed to keep stretch marks at the bay with my pregnancy thus far, I have decided to write a post to answer your question!
My secret weapons are:
I use Coca Butter Moisturizing Body Oil and Coca Butter Formula for Stretch Marks Treatment. I absolutely love them both. It is cost-effective, and easy to use. They both are $12 each. I don't mind the smell since I've gotten used to it. Both of them do have coconut scent.
Some women are not a fan of the smell and prefer something else over this. There are other lotions on the market called Bio-Oil and Merderma. They both are not primarily targeted for pregnancy, but are used by pregnant women as well! Bio-Oil and Merderma are more expensive (in range between $35 to $60). Personally, I don't see any difference with those lotions and Coca Butter lotion. They all have same ingredients, however, each one of them do have varying levels of ingredients that are used in the lotions. If you find that you hate them all then you can simply use hand lotions. Look for those that are high in Vitamin E because it ensures the elasticity of your skin while your belly grows!
I dump in capful of Moisturizing oil in the tub when I take baths to alleviate my sore lower back and hips. I also apply this right after I take my showers. It does have greasy feel to it at first so be careful not to apply too much, and let it dry off for a minute before you put on your shirt.
As for Coca Butter Stretch Mark Treatment lotion, it is not greasy and feels like your normal hand lotion. I apply this 2-4x a day or every time when my skin is starting to feel irritated/itchy. It does wonder and soothes the feeling of itchiness almost immediately. It also leaves my hands soft!
Make sure you don't expose your belly to the sunlight because it can dry out your skin. If you hit the beach then make sure you have your belly covered!
Never let your belly stay dry because it will lead to less elasticity of your skin. You don't want that. Make sure your growing belly stays moisturized!
DO NOT ITCH! If you scratch your skin then it can leave a bit of damage to your skin and a stretch mark can appear. Itchiness occurs because your skin is too dry. So again, keep it moisturized!!!
Make sure your clothes FIT you right. Don't wear clothes that are too tight or constricting. It cuts off the circulation to your skin, and face it, it's not comfortable! You want to be comfortable especially when you are very pregnant!
**Unless if your doctor says differently then please listen to your doctor and disregard this part**
You don't have to go overboard with exercising. Growing a baby is a hard work for your body. So take it easy and enjoy your pregnancy. Do not worry about staying under the weight requirement that you may read on the internet or in your pregnancy books. Every woman is DIFFERENT in how she gain weight and carry weight. Okay? Trust me, I definitely don't meet/stay under the weight requirement that I see in my books, and I am a very healthy pregnant woman.
However, enjoy a simple half-hour walk. Swim a few laps. Stretch your legs, and arms. It is not only good for you, but also for your baby. It promotes happy hormone called Endorphin to increase in your body and it affects your baby in a very good way. It encourages a healthy growth of your baby. When you feel good about yourself and your pregnancy then guess what, you will want to take a better care of yourself. Also, when you exercise moderately, you sweat out bad bacteria and causes your skin to stretch slowly because you are maintaining your health.
Again, do enjoy your pregnancy and do not worry too much about weight gain. It is a normal part of your pregnancy!
Does this mean you can't splurge here and there? Absolutely not. You can! I have plenty of times! Being pregnant does not mean you are completely off limit from eating yummy food that may not be the best for you.
At the same time, be careful not to overboard with bad food. Your baby need wide variety of nutrition. It is also proven that if you sample different types of food such as vegetables, fruits, meat, beans, and many more then the likelihood of your baby will end up with more willingness to try different food!
Adding more fruits and vegetables especially those with high antioxidants does WONDER for your skin. It promotes healthy growth of your skin and encourages your skin to gain more elasticity. I personally love drinking NAKED fruit drinks and POM (pomegranate juice). I also love eating vegetables that are very rich in greens (Artichoke, Broccoli, Asparagus, Zucchini, Cucumbers and Spinach). Vegetables and fruits have so many benefits other than making your skin more elastic such as it giving you a lot of fiber, trust me, you will need it, and nutrition to your baby.
Drink a lot of water! I mean it. One glass of water a day is not enough. Our bodies are about 60% of water. So if we are dehydrated then our organs suffer. Guess what is our biggest organ? SKIN! So make sure you drink plenty of water and try to avoid or reduce caffeine intake since it can dehydrate you.
Last but not the least.....
All of this may not completely prevent your stretch marks. You can thank your genetics for this.
Some women are genetically disposed to get stretch marks no matter what during their pregnancy. Instead of feeling awful about the stretch marks, view them as Tiger Stripes, Motherhood Badge, or Courage Badge, and feel good that you ARE doing everything to ensure a healthy newborn!
Also, even if you have NO stretch marks during your pregnancy then you might still get them AFTER giving birth and your skin goes back to normal.
Embrace it instead of hate your stretch marks because you only get to experience your pregnancy a few times in your life and the result is your beautiful baby.
"A mark for every breath you took, every blink, every sleepy yawn. One for every time you sucked your thumb, waved hello, closed your eyes and slept in the most perfect darkness. One for every time you had the hiccups. One for every dream you dreamed within me. It isn't very pretty anymore. Some may even think it ugly. That's OK. It was your home. It's where I first grew to love you, where I lay my hand as I dreamed about who you were and who you would be. It held you until my arms could, and for that, I will always find something beautiful in it." -Unknown