Stretch Marks and Motherhood, The Relationship

Are you one of the many women who looked for products and other ways to prevent skin discoloration and marks during early stages of your pre...

Are you one of the many women who looked for products and other ways to prevent skin discoloration and marks during early stages of your pregnancy?

Did you ever feel ugly after giving birth because of those silvery sometimes reddish, purple or brown crooked lines on your tummy, thighs, and some on your breasts?

Have you searched for and tried numerous products or treatments to erase these marks?

If you answered yes to these questions, then we are in harmony with the many voices of women in general especially the moms out there.

Just got my first lot of stretch marks
Image from  Flickr Creative Commons by Mummalu 
Why They Occur?
These popular marks on mommy bellies are what you call Stretch Marks.  They do not only appear during pregnancy, but also during puberty and muscle building. These marks occur when the skin rapidly stretches due to rapid growth or rapid weight loss.
Common areas where stretch marks are found: abdomen, breasts, upper arms, back, thigh, hips, and buttocks.  If you would notice, these areas are mostly where our fats are stored.
I used to think this skin condition is heredetary in nature.  My mom, after four children, has the smoothest belly I've seen.  When I was pregnant with my first, I didn't mind that I was growing dramatically. I lazily applied olive oil and collagen creams with vitamin E.  My first-born was 9.2lbs big, just imagine how BIG my tummy was. Have you seen a blown up balloon which gradually lost air?  That's how mine looks.  
Can we prevent it? Answer is NO.  It is inevitable.  But the itchiness and dryness of the skin which may also be attributable to its appearance, can be prevented.  Though we cannot escape it, we can however, minimize it.
According to Pregnancy Best, women may try doing the following to help minimize appearance of stretch marks during pregnancy:
  • Eat a balanced and healthy meal (particularly rich in Vitamins C and E) and drink plenty of water.
  • Keep your skin always moisturized.  Almond Oil is very effective against itchiness.
  • Olive oil or massage oils with Lavander and Jojoba oils when applied on your abdomen and hips regularly help make the skin soft and pliant.
How to Make Stretch Marks Go Away
Stretch marks become lighter and less noticeable 6-12 months after childbirth.  But if they really bother you, you may consult a dermatologist on how these may be minimized more.  
In my research, some treatments that may work wonders in minimizing (not disappearance of) stretch marks are the following:
  • Moisturizers and Creams with Vitamin A & E - only works on the outer layer of the skin and helps during early stages of appearance.  You may also try cocoa butter creams.
  • AHA Creams - moisturizes the outer skin and increase cell regeneration which help visibly reduce stretch marks
  • Tretinoin (Retin-A) or Glycolic Acids Creams- it thins the outer layer dead skin, penetrates the dermis (where Stretch Marks occur) and increases collagen production.  Should be used with the correct dosage.  Not recommended for use during pregnancy and nursing stages.
  • Laser Surgery - Makes the stretch marks fade not removed.  It is more effective for dark colored marks.  It improves skin's elasticity and changes the skin's pigmentation
  • Other Invasive Treatments: Endermologie, Radio Frequency and Tummy Tuck (best to seek advice from licensed dermatologists)
The Effects of Stretch Marks
I used to be bothered by the appearance of stretch marks/ stretched skin for vanity reasons.  But these marks are also my badges of motherhood.  It also symbolizes the strength in conquering the fragility and dangers of pregnancy and childbirth.  
To handle issues on stretch marks, it would help soon-to-be moms to:
  • Anticipate and accept changes in your bodies during pregnancy and after childbirth
  • Keep a healthy lifestyle by eating well-balanced meals coupled with regular exercise
  • Love yourself and keep a positive attitude all the time
"Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn't know you had, and dealing with fears you didn't know existed." - Linda Wooten 
Happy pregnancy and motherhood!  

Sources: iVillage UK , Pregnancy BestBaby Center and Quote Garden

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  1. I look at my stretchies as medal of valor. It may bother me but I am more grateful to see my two boys. I never had it on my 2nd child tho.

  2. I agree and look up to you for that! Same here, I am proud for these stretchies! =)


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