Stretch marks and the linea nigra are not to be hated, but rather loved for what they represent. Still, most women would prefer to avoid the tiger stripes a baby leaves behind.
Creams, lotions, oils and balms can allow the skin to stretch and soften without becoming itchy and irritated. Nourishing the skin cells can allow them to more easily expand thanks to elastin, which is produced in ample quantity during pregnancy. Of course, there is no guarantee at preventing stretch marks as it depends on multiple factors (water intake, family genes, body weight, etc.), but one can totally try!
1. Best Cost (least expensive): Coconut Oil It naturally contains vitamins E and K and great fatty acids that help keep skin elastic and strong! It definitely gives you good odds at preventing stretch marks. Bonus use: preventing sticky poops on baby’s bottom!
“Straight up coconut oil for me! 3 pregnancies and no stretch marks despite having them in other places” – Mellisa Reeves of motherbirth.co
2. Best Organic: The Honest Co. Organic Belly Balm contains all natural ingredients like jojoba oil, olive oil, coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, and rosehip oil. Rose hip oil, hydroxyprolisilane c., centella asiatica triterpenes and vitamin E were shown to be effective at preventing new stretch marks, reducing stretch marks that are pre-existing and halt the progression of growing stretch marks in this study!
“This helped to decrease my stretch marks and let my belly expand comfortably” – Virginia Hendrickson, mama to 7-month-old, Duke
3. Best Grocery Store Buy: Burt’s Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter. Works well and has a nice whipped texture, but does not contain rosehip oil, so potentially less effective at preventing stretch marks than The Honest Co. Organic Belly Balm. Online sellers may sell you an inferior product, so I recommend buying this butter directly from the store.
4. Best for Postpartum: Bio-Oil Liquid Purcellin Oil with vitamins A and E. Highly absorbable oil that works wonders after stretch marks have developed. This is what I recommend to my postpartum patients if they complain of terrible stripes! Best if used postpartum.
“I still ended up getting stretch marks but it helped to keep my skin moist” – Janine Puzas, mama to 3-month-old, Josh
5. Tips and Tricks: Dry brushing before you shower with a soft brush like the one above may improve circulation and stimulate skin cells. Additionally, drinking plenty of water (72+ oz./day) and keeping your weight gain slow and steady through pregnancy is best. In The Pregnancy Prep Course, I review what is normal weight gain for your BMI and the normal pregnancy weight gain curve.
Heard of another kind of product not listed here? Comment below and let me know what you are using and how it’s helped you prevent those lovable stretchies!
Like product recommendations? You’ll get a whole list of the best babies things inside The Complete Pregnancy Prep Course. You get classes on pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding, as well as, a collection of the best things for your birth and beginnings in motherhood.
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