I honestly liked being pregnant. Through both of my pregnancies I channeled my inner goddess and connected deeply with growing a little being inside my belly.
But being pregnant is not without its downsides...Fatigue, morning sickness, swollen feet. And stretch marks.
We all dread them. So many women say they are inevitable, and you can’t get rid of them. They say stretch marks are genetic, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
That really isn’t true. There are many ways to reduce and prevent them if you are proactive.
My 5 Best Stretch Mark Prevention Tips
1 - Prevention is the key, so start treatment early - before you even see them appear.
If they do appear, treat them aggressively while they are still red. It usually takes several months before they turn white, at which point it is more difficult to get rid of them.
2 - Hydration - During pregnancy your body has increased its demand for hydration. You should be drinking at least one half of your body weight in fluid ounces. So if you weigh 120 pounds, drink 60 fluid ounces or more.
If drinking that much water is nauseating, try drinking herbal teas, seltzer water, or water flavored with lemon, berries or even veggies such as cucumber. Although tempting, avoid sweetened drinks.
3 - Eat foods to support skin elasticity. These foods include a diet rich in collagen, the tissue that keeps skin together. Collagen replenishes necessary amino acids such as glycine, lysine and proline, which are essential to supporting the body’s ability to repair and maintain healthy skin.
Great sources of collagen include zinc, bone broth and gelatin from bones of grass fed cows, vitamin A, C and E. You can also take a collagen supplement, which usually comes as a flavorless powder you can add to drinks.
4 - Home remedies are effective if you have the time to gather all of the ingredients, find a good recipe and make it. If you go the home remedy route, the find one that includes these key ingredients:
Coconut Oil - Contains saturated fats that strengthen the cell walls by nourishing the skin with fatty acids that fight free radicals to reduce the skin damage.
Beeswax - Moisturizes, protects, heals, and softens skin.
Cocoa Butter or Shea Butter - Both are two of the best emollients (soften and smooths skin).
Calendula - Stimulates the production of collagen and minimizes scarring.
5 - Moisturize frequently with a natural stretch mark cream or belly butter. As you gain weight during pregnancy, your skin stretches and can tear. The more you moisturize the more you can help prevent and repair those tears.
There are some really good creams available. I prefer organic ingredients for things that go in or on my body, which is why I used Mama Belly Butter from Best Nest Wellness. I bought it on Amazon. It has all four ingredients I mentioned above - organic coconut oil, beeswax, organic cocoa butter and calendula - plus it has several other organic oils and ingredients to keep moisture in and protect your skin. And it smells like orange candy! :)
**UPDATE** Best Nest Wellness is still running a 20% off promotion. Follow this link to get the 20% Off discount.