Surviving the Stretch
The first time I became pregnant, my mom had instilled a great fear in me. It wasn’t a fear of painful labor, the lower back aches, nausea, weight gain or the droopy boobs I would get post partum and post breastfeeding, no it was a great fear of stretch marks. After 7 pregnancies and 5 children, at the golden age of ____ my mother has an amazing figure. We share clothes and she even wears a size smaller than me for pants. She is extremely svelte with wonderfully smooth and firm skin everywhere, not an ounce of cellulite to be seen, but her greatest regret was that very early on she had to stop wearing bikinis because she suffered from a ravaging of stretch marks on her abdomen. She said back in the day, no one told her about anything, they didn’t know what to put or how to prevent it, they just accepted it as a fact of life.
So when I became pregnant with Sebastian I bought every kind of stretch mark preventive cream or oil out there. I also had quite a bit of free time to dedicate to my pregnancy wellness as I had just closed my restaurant. I would put on some kind of product everyday in the morning and in the evening and would keep some in my car for mid-day application. After awhile I had only stuck to two main products which I still use now during my second pregnancy. I swear by them both simply because after my delivery and when things returned to normal I had not one single war scar on my tummy. Not even a faint line.
They say that there are many factors that go into having stretch marks or not, the most obvious is rapid weight gain. Your skin doesn’t have time to stretch out properly and if it isn’t moisturized or hydrated enough you will get those marks. Moderate and slow but steady weight gain throughout a pregnancy is best so keep your diet and fitness level in check. You are feeding two people so you should in fact be extra healthy! If you choose to breastfeed after thats when you can go crazy! I was eating like a heifer and was losing weight. It was wonderful! So be patient and keep all your fatty, sugary cravings at bay. Water and hydration is key, drink lots of water and again keep the are of the skin well hydrated and nourished with the right products. Lastly it’s genetic, some people are just born more prone to stretch marks than others. That doesn’t mean you can’t fight it, you can still do as much as you can to prevent it from happening or minimize their appearance.That being said my two absolute star products are the Mustela Double Action Stretch Mark Cream. I love how easily absorbed it is and it is what I use in the evenings before going to bed. I often use it with their Extreme Hydration lotion for the rest of my body. Pregnancy hormones really dry out your skin. My other absolute favorite is Clarins Tonic Body Treatment Oil. It smells absolutely divine and this is what I would use in the mornings after a shower. I used these two products generously during my pregnancy and also after! It’s very important to continue nourishing your skin after so that it can get back as close as possible to its original form. One thing I wish someone told me was to also put cream and oil on other areas of my body like my hips, my butt and my breasts. Thankfully after I lost the weight most of them disappeared, this time around I’m extra careful. Remember ladies it’s not only your stomach that stretches but everything else too, an in the very last leg – including your nose!Just recently I learned that Mustela has launched a new line of their products designed specifically for moms called Mustela Maternité. It’s a full range of products that covers everything from Bust Firming to Stretch Mark Recovery Cream. All products are safe for mom and baby including while you are breastfeeding and their key ingredient is avocado peptides – a patented active ingredient which relieves sensations of tightness and leaves the skin more elastic, supple and comfortable. I absolutely love avocado! It’s such a super food! To learn more about their product range please visit www.mustela.ph .
***These prenatal photos were taken by the very talented Sara Black at 30 weeks pregnant with Sebastian.***