The Stretch Mark Cream that Prevented Me from Getting Stretch Marks with Two Pregnancies
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Being that I am 5’10” and my husband is 6’3”, my babies tend to grow to the size of mini linebackers before they are ready to be born and one of the first questions on my mind as I watched my stomach grow to the size of Montana while still in the second trimester, was how do I prevent stretchmarks in pregnancy?!
I am, typically tall and slender(ish), but with each pregnancy I gained well over 45 pounds! I read once that some Victoria Secret models also gain that much weight, so I’m sticking with that line if I ever end up pregnant with baby #3.
With that much weight gain, the skin on your stomach really stretches out and becomes incredibly thin, which is one of the primary risk factors for stretch marks. My Mom has three kids and never gained more than 30 lbs with any of us and she has severe stretch marks from top to bottom. Needless to say, I was very worried!
What Causes Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks are caused by stretching of the skin, and they are not isolated only to pregnancy. Stretch marks can appear in many areas of the body including hips, butt, thighs and breasts. In pregnancy, stretch marks most commonly appear on the stomach.
According to health resources, the severity of stretch marks can be affected by several factors, including your genetics, level of stress on the skin and cortisone level.
Are Stretch Marks Genetic?
This is a hotly debated topic among the experts. According to some resources, upwards of 90% of women will get at least some stretch marks towards the end of their pregnancy. Most in-depth gene focused research studies come to the conclusion that stretch marks are genetic.
Given that my mother and grandmother both have significant stretch marks, reading some of these studies concerned me. However, there are also many alternative school of thought that point to a stretch marks being caused by a lack of elastin in the skin. The good news about that, is that stretch marks might be preventable.
Who is Most Likely to Get Stretch Marks in Pregnancy?
In addition to being more effected by stretch marks if they run in your family, there are some other factors that experts say can lead to a greater risk of stretch marks in pregnancy. Younger moms have more collagen in their skin, which can lead to stretch marks. Moms who have skin on the dryer side are also at a greater risk.
How To Prevent Stretch Marks in Pregnancy?
Knowing all of the above, I was committed to finding a stretch mark cream that really worked to help me prevent stretch marks in pregnancy. There are many options on the market ranging from dollars to hundreds of dollars. I started my research and found a range of positive and negative reviews – it’s overwhelming!
Coconut Oil is a low cost alternative known to hydrate skin. It’s an affordable option and is also a primary ingredient included in some of the pricer stretch mark prevention options.
Bio Oil is also a cult favorite for both preventing strechmarks and getting rid of them after the fact. It has a 4.5 star rating from over 15,000 reviewers on Amazon.
I have used this product in a pinch or when my go-to product ran out because in addition to being sold on Amazon, most large grocery store chains carry it (though beware, the price is usually marked up vs Amazon) I found it easy to use and not as greasy as you would expect. The issue for me is that it seemed to be short lasting.
If I used it before bed I would wake up with a completely dry stomach and I knew that I wasn’t getting hydration I needed to help fight stretch marks.
The Miracle Product
Enter The Miracle Product! About two months into my first pregnancy I made a decision that I was willing to make an investment into preventing stretch marks. I was going to be a young Mom and I wanted to make an effort to eventually get back into a two-piece bathing suit (even if it was going to take 3, 5, 8 years!)
I purchased the Spoiled Mama Tummy Butter for Stretch Marks and Bump Gloss Stretch Mark Oil. The combination of the two products is what I think delivers amazing results. You start by applying the oil and then cover it with the cream which seems to lock in the moisture.
I would use this product every single night over night and also in the morning once and any time my stomach seemed dryer than usual.
These products are organic and toxin-free. The one minor “bump” I ran into was that although the scent is mild and pretty delicious, it was tough for me to handle any scents whatsoever when I had morning sickness in early pregnancy, and this was no exception. The good side is that it’s really not necessary to use these products until your skin starts to stretch.
The products are a bit more expensive than just using baby oil, but they go a long way. During both pregnancies I only need to purchase the Pregnancy Stretch Mark and Prevention Kit three times. It was worth every single sent I spent to end up with virtually no stretch marks after two pregnancies in which I gained 45-55 pounds a pop!
You can snag it on Spoiled Mama’s site or on Amazon for a bit more here.
Water, Water and More Water!
Most experts agree that pregnant women need more water, at least 8-12 glasses per day. Not only does water provide a range of benefits in pregnancy, but preventing dehydration also prevents your skin from becoming dry and dry skin causes stretch marks! It can be hard to remember to constantly drink water, and these motivational water bottles can help a lot!
If you don’t like the taste of water, you can opt for a fruit infuser water bottle like this one!
How to Erase Stretch Marks?
Getting rid of stretch marks might be more difficult them just preventing them in the first place. Many swear by the scar erasing cream, Mederma. While I didn’t have any experience with removing stretch marks since I didn’t get them in the first place, I can vouch for the benefits of Maderma as it has worked on my kids. The company also offers a Kids version of the scar cream.
Another way to prevent stretch marks from getting worse is to make sure to use SPF 50+ sunscreen. All sunscreens are not created equally, but you can find a good, reputable list of safe sunscreens for Moms and babies here. As with scars, sun can darken existing stretch marks, so applying sunblock can help prevent scars from getting worse.
Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.
Especially right after birth and as your body returns to normal, it’s important to continue to moisturize. As your skin shrinks back to its previous form, it needs to be equally as moisturized as it was when growing! I used the Spoiled Mama products for twelve months after birth, but you can also try a super hydrating cream like this one.