How I Keep Stretch Marks at Bay
As you can see, my kid gut is starting to pop! I look forward to all the bare belly pictures of J resting on top when we're in Charleston baking in the sun..
Also, clearly not my first pregnancy so I'm making sure I implement things I learned the first time around. Ways I worked out, what worked for getting the maximum amount of sleep, etc. One of them being making sure no stretch marks appear!
I'm aware PLENTY of women get stretch marks, some not from pregnancy. And this entry is in no way meant to shame those tiger stripes or the women who rock them. Hell, I have them on my thighs when my butt grew the SMIDGE it did (because I'm being real & admitting I don't have the round peach we all want. It's fine..). These are just my tid bits of what worked for me.
I'm also aware that heredity plays a huge role in stretch marks as well. I've been told daughters pregnancies can very closely mimic theres of their Mom's so if you're curious, go ask yo momma!
ALL THE WATER
Like you don't hear it enough - drink water. & I'm not talking about a couple glasses a day. I'm talking about 10-12 8 ounce cups of water a day. Naturally, I don't sit & count my cups of water but I have a rough estimate of how many reusable water bottles I drink throughout the day. You could also eat foods that are high in water content. If you follow me on IG (@momma_lips), I'm sure you've seen my recent obsession with cucumbers - perfect! Hydration is key to A LOT when pregnant but as far as skin treatment, it needs to be as hydrated as possible to streeeeetch. Makes sense, right?
My sister & I have had MANY conversations over the years about lotion scents, primarily because loves the really floral scents when I think they're nauseating. & not only the smell but the consistency of it. She calls it 'old people' lotion but Gold Bond has never done me wrong! & not even the specific belly butter kind. I know people swear by belly butters but I'm not one of them. Not because I don't think they don't work - because I've never used one. I lotion up my kid gut, along with the rest of my body, fresh out of the shower with the Softening Ultimate line. The consistency is thick & doesn't smell like flowers, fresh laundry or anything like that but I promise you won't be getting ashy anytime soon after applying.
One of my favorite self-care treatments is my semi-weekly scrub down. I've been using body scrubs for the past couple years & I didn't realize how necessary they were until my skin was stretching for a pregnancy. Exfoliation is a great way to remove dead skin from the top layers of the skin. It increases blood circulation wherever you exfoliate & helps prevent the formation of stretch marks! Lately, I've been using BLK + GRN's Shea Exfoliating Bar & it's perfection. I use it in the shower after washing but while my skin is still wet then wash off. I prefer the bar over the jars of scrub because nothing gets wasted & it's easier to control when holding. Matt even uses it for himself! Not only can I see the difference in my skin from one use but my skin feels like there's a new layer of moisture protecting it.
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DON'T PUSH OUT
Don't get me wrong. I adore a nice round kid gut as much as the next one. But purposefully pushing out out to emphasize it is TERRIBLE for your skin. Unless you are constantly drippin in hydration, the constant stretching & expanding that fast pulls your skin like a rubberband. It's one thing to do breathing exercises where you're preparing your gut. But I KNOW the feeling of being freshly pregnant & it's still kind of looking like a big burrito. Don't poke it out to make it more 'obvious'. You'd just be asking for stripes to match.
So there you have it. Drink your water, apply all the lotion, exfoliate the nastiness away & don't rush the gut. Also can't wait for Jackson & I have to have mtaching guts. Ya'll ready for that??