How I Avoided Pregnancy Stretch Marks - Life is so full of tae!

Sunday, October 1, 2017

How I Avoided Pregnancy Stretch Marks

I'm not saying that stretchmarks are bad. This is in no way an indication that your body is ruined. But it is indeed a proof of how it has triumphed. However, a lot of people are still asking me how come I do not have pregnancy stretchmarks at all. Well, I had my way of "avoiding" them and I'd be happy to share them with you. I just hope I do not come across as body-shaming or something because honestly, this shouldn't really be a big deal and IT IS OKAY TO HAVE THEM.

Stretchmarks, they say, is genetic. You get them or you don't. But I don't completely agree with that. I believe my post-pregnancy stretchmark-free tummy isn't a work of genetics. I have stretchmarks on my butt and some on my boobies, too. Simply because I was not aware the tummy is not the only place to look out for.
2016. 31, sun-kissed and loving it!

Everybody knows the big beach bum that I am and how much I love wearing bikinis. When I learned about my pregnancy,  the biggest concern for me was the stretchmarks, not even the horrors of child delivery bothered me. I was young and naive. And yes, ang babaw ko. Haha! So I started googling how to get rid of stretchmarks only to be dismayed by two facts: 1.) Stretchmarks creams are not widely and readily available here (at that time); 2.) And if they were, they are expensive.

Then I realized I do not have the stretchmarks yet and I was already worrying how to get rid of them. I was using the wrong search terms all along. So I googled some more. Only this time, I tried a different angle: How to AVOID STRETCHMARKS. Because it is easier to avoid them than get rid of them.

To avoid stretchmarks, you have to know what causes them. I'll save you the time of opening a new tab, so here goes a few:

"Stretch marks seem to be caused by a stretching of the skin. Their severity is affected by several factors, including your genetic tendency, degree of stress on the skin and cortisone level. Cortisone — a hormone produced by the adrenal glands — weakens elastic fibers in the skin." -Mayo Clinic

"This type of scarring happens when the skin cannot bounce back after a period of intense growth, be that due to pregnancy, weight gain, or during puberty. Extreme weight loss can also make stretch marks more visible, and some stretch marks arise as a result of acute trauma affecting the skin (such as a car accident when heavily pregnant)." -Medical News Today

"Collagen is a protein that makes your skin more elastic. If your skin doesn’t have enough, the marks may show up as it stretches." -WebMD

As you can see, it boils down to one thing: skin elasticity. Stretch marks develop when there's a break in your skin because it is stretched beyond its elastic limits. But if your skin is elastic enough, there will be less or no breakage and stretch marks are less likely to develop.
2009. At 20 weeks. I'm a cute preggo, I know. Haha
2015. With my not-so-little one in Camiguin Island.
How did I keep my skin elastic during pregnancy? Here are some ways I've learned over time.

Please note that the tips I will be sharing here are based from my own experience. Not every single thing I say will always work for everybody. But understanding how you can look after your skin does not hurt.

HYDRATE
I think this is a pretty common advice and self-explanatory. I know your bladder - pressured by a growing baby - does not like welcoming 2 more litres of water on top of other liquid intake you have. But then, there is no better way to keep your skin moisturized naturally but to hydrate. Try doing small, frequent sips throughout the day than gulping too much at once so that it won't leave you feeling uncomfortably full.

EAT HEALTHY
Load up on food rich in Vitamin A, such as sweet potatoes, cooked carrots, squash, spinach, mango, watermelon, and papaya. These are said to contain beta-carotene (or collectively known as provitamin A), which will help block free radicals - one that causes or increases the risk of premature aging. Aging caused by environmental factors such as poor diet, smoking, and sun damage are culprits behind skin elasticity loss.

And don't forget your Vitamin C, too. Vitamin C is highly effective in reducing free radical damage. It is best to get Vitamic C from natural food sources such as citrus.

DO NOT SCRATCH
When you get pregnant, your tummy can get really itchy. And it gets itchier when you come close to popping. As much as I can, I avoided scratching my tummy when it got itchy, at least not with my nails because it can cause a break in the skin. And when the itch was unbearable, I made sure to scratch over a piece of cloth and only use my fingertips or a soft, wide-bristled, rounded-tip hair brush.
At 34 weeks. The time when I looked like I swallowed a basketball. Almost about to pop!

MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE, AND MOISTURIZE
And did I say, moisturize? While it is almost impossible to entirely prevent stretchmarks (I have an inch hint of stretchmark near my belly button), you can improve your skin condition that highly reduces the chances of getting them by keeping the area nourished and well-moisturized.

What products would I recommend?
Back then, what I did was apply lotion on my tummy. I applied it generously at least three times a day. I used Aveeno Active Naturals since I get them for free (my father sends them regularly from US). I used it because it contains natural ingredients,  it is hypoallergenic, and most importantly, it is free of the dangerous chemicals present in many skin treatments. But as we all know, Aveenos are usually only available in shops that sell imported goods and it is really pricey.

But worry not! Moisturizers that we can use as an alternative are widely and locally available now. I am not pregnant, but if I will be, I am happy to say that I have already laid my eyes on a product that I can trust for my skin. It is naturally preserved, it has no parabens, and it is 100% toxin-free. Definitely safe and effective for expectant moms. And this would be no other than:

My Skin Origins Shea Cocoa Body Butter
It is a highly moisturizing body butter that effectively treats maladies, scars, rashes, dry skin, dark spots, skin discolorations, and importantly stretch marks. 

Major components:
Vit C, Vit E, Niacin (Vit B3), Glycerin, Cocoa Butter, Shea butter, Panthenol, Arbutin, Jojoba Oil, Fragrance, Lactice Acid, and Honey.

I've been using this as part of my skin care routine and I love how it really moisturizes my skin. Honestly, it is more difficult to maintain a morena skin. A dry dark skin does not look pretty and it is more obvious than fair ones. Darker skin tends to be more sensitive, too. So I try to use less products on my skin as much as possible. But I've always wanted to have that morena glow without looking too oily that you can probably fry an egg. Commercial lotions do that to my skin and I really hate that icky and heavy feeling whenever I apply lotions. But My Skin's Shea Body Butter feels so light on my skin that it almost feels like I haven't applied it on. Plus, it's light on the wallet because it only costs Php 360.

I see this as a potential product I can use in case I get pregnant again (not happening soon though) because right now, it is doing a great job in keeping my skin supple and moisturized. And I don't see how it cannot do the same in the future. I'm also using this for the stretchmarks on my butt - which is still noticeable but has lightened a little bit. And that is promising.

This is not a paid advertisement, so rest assured, whatever I wrote here is an honest and unbiased opinion. I use the products that I review. What works for me may not work for you so please take my words with a grain of salt. These may not guarantee you a stretchmark-free tummy but preparing your skin as early as the moment you know you are pregnant will definitely help strengthen it.



6 comments:

  1. You look so young to be 31 sis. I'm already on my second tri and never thought about preventing it but my concern is more on erasing the would be stretchmarks. Thanks for sharing this tips sis! Really helpful. I'll try the product you recommend I hope this is available in Cebu. If not I will try to use other natural moisturizers for my tummy.

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    1. I'm actually already 32. 😉 I've posted the link of My Skin Origin's page. You can check them out, and maybe they can ship to Cebu.

      Anyway, congratulations on your pregnancy! :D

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  2. I never thought I will be back in this blog. I have questions po sana. You said you have stretch marks on your butt/boonbs. Is it the kind of stretch marks that is white or the kind that looks like ugat? My stretch marks look like ugat and you can feel the ridges when you touch it. I'm not sure if skin care can still remedy it because I had already tried so many products and nothing is effective.

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    1. Hello Arjane! Thanks for droppng by again. :) The small one on my tummy is white but has ridges, pero di talaga sya klaro unless you pay attention and take a closer look to it. The stretchmarks on my boobs are white. While those on my butt have ridges na parang pinaghalong white and red stretchmarks.

      I'm not really sure what can be done with existing stretch marks, but with the product I used, those on my butt are now a little lighter.

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  3. A little too late for me, I'm now chubbier than chubby but I'm bookmarking this for future reference.

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