I had many fears about what pregnancy would do to my body. One of my biggest fears was that I would get stretch marks.
However, I did a little research and kept up with my routine and I prevented getting stretch marks during both of my pregnancies. Keep reading to find out how to prevent pregnancy stretch marks in 4 easy steps!
A Little Back Story…
As a child, I was curious about what those lines on my mom’s belly were, and when I would ask about it, my parents would say, “this is your doing.” It’s true, I am the oldest child, and when my mom got pregnant with me, she got most of those stretch marks.
I have pretty sensitive and scar-prone skin. I have this scar on my ankle. It’s probably a good 2 inches long. Some people ask if it’s a scar from a surgery.
It happened when I was really young, so I can’t tell you what happened, but according to my mom, it was from a little scratch. It didn’t even bleed apparently.
And seeing my mom’s belly growing up, I just always thought that every woman got stretch marks when she got pregnant. But I had seen other women who had children, who didn’t have stretch marks, and I wondered if that was possible for me as well.
I’m not saying that stretch marks are ugly by any means. It is a badge of honor that I would have owned proudly, but I thought IF there was any way to prevent them or at least get less stretch marks, it wouldn’t be a bad thing.
In my quest to prevent stretch marks, I found out that they are mostly genetic. I know my mom had serious stretch marks, but I wanted to know if other members of my family had them too.
I did some asking around, and found out that my maternal grandmother has some stretch marks, but not as serious as my mom’s (although maybe they just faded with more time). And my paternal grandmother had no stretch marks at all, even after having had 4 children. That gave me a glimmer of hope.
The odds were stacked against me, but I am happy to report that I went through two pregnancies and have no stretch marks! Not a single one!
I know every body and skin type may require different things, but I wanted to share my pregnancy belly moisturizing routine that kept me from getting stretch marks.
Keep reading to find out my 4 best tips to prevent pregnancy stretch marks.
**This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see my full disclosure for further information.
Step 1: Start Early and Keep At It
One of the key things that I believe helped me prevent stretch marks, is starting early. I started applying oils to my stomach way before I was showing.
But it wasn’t until about the middle of the second trimester that I started my full moisturizing routine. And no matter how tedious it got, I continued to do it EVERY SINGLE DAY throughout the rest of my pregnancy.
Step 2: Oil It UP!
Starting towards the end of the first trimester, I used Bio Oil. I just applied it once a day at night right before I went to bed. I read lots of reviews and some people really swear by this stuff.
I do feel like it helped, and I liked how it absorbed into my skin quickly. However, I felt like it didn’t really help keep my skin feeling moisturized. My skin felt almost dry by the next morning.
So, after finishing up my bottle, I searched for another oil option and decided to try coconut oil.
I started using coconut oil from the middle of the second trimester. Every evening after I got out of the shower, I would apply it to my belly. When I say apply, I mean I would lather my entire belly with coconut oil until it was completely shiny and glowing.
I would take a spoonful of it at a time, warm it up in my hands, and rub it all over my tummy and also the sides of my belly as well. I would take my time really rubbing it into the skin. No need to skimp on this stuff, since it’s really affordable!
I used several different brands. At first, I used the Kirkland brand from Costco, which was pretty good. I also tried one from Trader Joes, but found that it was grainier in texture, so it wasn’t as nice to apply to the skin.
After trying some other brands that I found at the grocery store, I found one at Target from the brand “Simply Balanced” organic unrefined virgin coconut oil. This one is really smooth in texture and melts relatively quickly in my hands and absorbed into my skin really comfortably.
I also used one from “Garden of Life” which was similar in texture to the “Simply Balanced” which is purchased multiple times from Amazon.
I know that coconut oil doesn’t work on everyone. Some people say that it clogs their pores and it’s too heavy for their skin. If that’s you, you can try other oils such as avocado or jojoba oil–I hear those are great alternatives.
For me, my skin is dry as the Sahara Desert when I’m pregnant. I tried avocado oil during my second pregnancy which felt really nice upon application. But to me it wasn’t as moisturizing as coconut oil, and my skin felt dry a few hours later. So for both my pregnancies, I stuck with coconut oil and it worked wonders for me.
Step 3: Seal It In With Thick Belly Cream
After applying the coconut oil and letting it sit for a while, I would follow-up with a thicker belly cream on top of the coconut oil. I followed the logic behind Korean skincare routines.
In those routines, people usually apply thinner essences and serums first, so it absorbs into the skin, and then apply thicker moisturizers and creams on top to keep the moisture in the skin.
Although some people say to put oil on as the last step in the skincare routine because it helps lock in all the moisture. It’s really up to you. This is just the way I did it.
After doing some research, I heard several people on YouTube mention that they used the Tummy Butter from Mama Mio.
This product is a bit more on the pricey side, especially if you’re going to use scoops of it every day. Reading and listening to promising reviews, I took the jump and decided to try it out.
It smells citrusy and fresh. The texture was nice and thick, and it does work really well. But wasn’t too budget-friendly.
I looked at alternatives and came across Palmer’s Massage Cream for Stretch Marks. This smells sweet because of the cocoa butter, and I preferred this scent to Mama Mio’s Tummy Butter.
The consistency is very thick and rich—exactly what I wanted for the second step of my moisturizing routine. And the price was unbeatable. I purchased 2 tubes of this during my first pregnancy.
For my second pregnancy, I wanted to use more clean products, so I found a belly butter from Earth Mama which also has a more citrusy smell to it.
It is lighter (more watery) in texture compared to the Palmer’s Massage Cream, but it worked well at keeping my skin moisturized. I repurchased this product multiple times and use it for my entire second pregnancy.
Step 4: No Scratching!
When I was getting toward the end of my second trimester, my belly was growing larger and the skin was really starting to stretch. And my started to itch like crazy. At the same time, the skin on my tummy was super sensitive.
I’m not a dermatologist, but I could just feel that if I scratched my stomach, it wouldn’t do much good.
So, whenever my belly would start to itch, I would grab more coconut oil or cream and lather it on. The oil/cream and the rubbing mostly stopped the itching, but if it didn’t, I would try to distract myself. I watched T.V. shows or read a book. I did everything to stop thinking about my itchy belly so I could leave it alone.
To Summarize My 4 Best Tips to Prevent Pregnancy Stretch Marks
- Start early and keep at it! Consistency is KEY!
- Oil it up with thinner oils. Really lather it on!
- Seal it in with a thicker cream.
- DO NOT SCRATCH. I repeat. DO NOT SCRATCH!
I hope these tips were helpful to you and helps you prevent pregnancy stretch marks as well!
Make sure to check out my Hospital Bag Essentials Checklist that includes a super convenient printable checklist!
Best wishes on your endeavor to prevent stretch marks!