Stretchmarks- Question of the Week

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby on. Posted in My Pregnancy, Pregnancy Q of the week

As I am getting closer to the time when my belly is going to start to REALLY grow, I am more and more freaked out about the possiblity of stretchmarks.

I’ve been doing the Vit.E/oil routine since before I got pregnant, I drink plenty of water, my weight gain has been gradual so far. But I know there’s only so much we can all do to prevent/avoid stretchmarks. My mom claims she had no stretchmarks until she got much older, but I am not sure that maybe she  is forgetting it. My sis definitely had stretchmarks (different fathers).


The reason why it would bother me so much is because my stomach is the ONE thing I could never complain about. I could take or leave my other body parts and features, but I love/loved my stomach. It needed NO maintenance whatsoever, it was always flat as a board ( except for when I was bloated), always muscular, even had a 4 pack look at the time when I was modeling.

So it was the one thing that was perfect and needed no work. I would just HATE to lose that. I’m also a total bikini wearer, I despise tankini, and don’t care much for one pieces. It would just suck big time to have to wear one piece from now on, or to feel self-consious about the stretchmarks ( which I will).

So I guess, what I am wondering is this:

IS THERE ANYONE OUT THERE WHO AVOIDED GETTING STRETCHMARKS?

And what do you contribute it to?

Tags: , ,

Trackback from your site.

Comments (130)

  • Lana

    |

    I got them. I was in tip top physical condition prior to pregnancy, I too loved my stomach pre baby. I tried using Cocoa butter, Promise Prenatals stretch mark cream, Coconut oil, the works. I used them twice daily every single day of my pregnancy up until I gave birth. Around 37 weeks pregnant my first few stretch marks popped up and I didn’t worry much about it. AFTER I delivered they multiplied. All in my midsection and lower abdomen. 9.5 months pp they have faded but are still there. My stomach lost all elasticity and I’m trying like hell to get even some of it back. My mother had no stretch marks with any of her pregnancies so I don’t think genetics had a thing to do with it.

    I hate to scare you but this is just proof that if you are going to get them, you are going to get them. Just find a cute one piece and work with what you’ve got :) It bothered me at first but I am over it now. My kid was totally worth it! :)

    Reply

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby

      |

      What don’t we do for our kids? I just find it a bit unfair that pregnancy has to be so hard, breasfeeding is hard AND we loose our beautiful bodies. And men walk away unscathed.

      Reply

  • Laura

    |

    Hello! I found your blog randomly and enjoy reading your updates :) I’m not as thin as you but I was not overweight or anything before baby and I did not get many stretchmarks-and the few I did get faded by the time my son was about 6 months old, so there is hope! They completely faded. I used Palmer’s cocoa butter lotion every night and then their firming lotion afterwards for a few months. Be sure to put whatever you use on your hips as well, not just the tummy. My hips were where I got them. Also, to give you hope, I am very fair skinned (they say this makes you more prone to getting them), AND I gained like, 60lbs, which I’m sure you won’t do haha (I lost it, no worries). I think a lot of it is genetic. If you had/have a belly button piercing, that may scar so put lotion/oil/whatever you decide to use on it :b Best of luck!

    Reply

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby

      |

      Yeah I put the oil on hips, stomach and boobies.
      So you say they faded? How much? Like almost invisible? I just have a few friends from the modelling time who emerged from childbirth looking the same (on pictures at least). Not sure if it’s photoshop or not.

      Reply

  • Jen

    |

    I also was in amazing shape. I had a 6-pack, and my stomach was by far the best feature about me. I was a model too!!! :) Sadly, I got stretch marks later on, and after birth my stomach was pretty unrecognizable. I don’t mind one-pieces though, and I’d do it all over again if I had the choice. Babies are totally worth losing your body, bikinis and entire self-esteem. Haha!

    Reply

  • Victoria

    |

    I’m pretty sure it’s all genetics. I gained 50 pounds with my first pregnancy and didn’t have a single stretchmark. I’m 9 months pregnant with my 2nd and still not a single stretchmark. I didn’t do a think to prevent them either. Nobody in my family has stretchmarks. I did a blog about my PP body

    http://www.adventuresinmommyhood.net/2010/09/shape-of-this-mother.html

    Reply

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby

      |

      Great post!!! You were really lucky! And I totally agree with you on the “complaining but not doing anything about it” part. I’ll be working my butt off to get back in shape.

      Reply

  • Melissa

    |

    Well, I’d say everyone is definitely different! I didn’t get any stretch marks on my stomach, and I never used and creams or lotions, but I also don’t think I got that big and I grew pretty gradually. I did, however, get stretch marks on my boobs, and actually got more after giving birth when I thought I was in the clear. But now they are pretty much all faded, I don’t think you’d even notice them (not that you’d ever see me naked lol)… of course, just in time for round 2, which may be a whole different story. There’s hope for you yet. :)

    Reply

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby

      |

      I wouldn’t mind boob and butt stretchmarks nearly as much because they get covered up easily in bikinis and it’s not like my boobs or butt was ever anything to write home about, so I don’t mind losing them. But stomach is a different story. How’s your stomach tone now? The same?

      Reply

  • MAL

    |

    It’s all genetics. If it is in your genes, you’re screwed, no matter how much of that fancy oil you put on.

    Reply

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby

      |

      Yup I know :(
      Doesn’t mean, though, that I won’t do anything and everything in hopes of minimizing or preventing it.

      Reply

  • Amanda

    |

    I was a professional triathlete before becoming pregnant with my son. I had avery low body fat percentage. Throughout pregnancy I drank tons of water, didn’t gain a lot of weight, ate healthily, used vitE/cocoa butter.

    Around week 35 the stretchmarks started showing up. Luckily, they never got too dark or too deep and dthey didn’t spread above my above my belly button.

    Now, 10 months post-partum, they have mostly faded and I mostly have my stomach back. There is a little loose skin left, but it’s getting better. Another month or two, you won’t be able to notice them at all and I’ll be back in my bikini again. I don’t really care, though. I have a very happy, healthy son to show for it.

    Reply

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby

      |

      I definitely am not as fit as you were, I’m sure my body fat percentage is nothing to brag about but I would totally be able to live with a few almost faded stretchmarks.
      How much weight did you gain if it’s not a secret? And also how hard was it to get your stomach back into shape. Does the loose skin really hang around for a while?

      Reply

      • Amanda

        |

        I gained about 19 lbs. That was not my goal, but I had gestastional diabetes and had to go on a very low carb diet. This caused my weight gain to slow down. I wasn’t trying to. I was supposed to gain 25-35 lbs according to my midwife.

        It wasn’t that hard to get my stomach back in shape, but I still have a little loose skin. The breastfeeding really helps with dropping pregnancy weight at first. However, I have a nagging 5 lbs that probably is going to stick around until I wean. It’s like your body’s way of ensuring you have enough fat stores to continue breastfeeding if famine struck.

        Reply

        • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby

          |

          Oh wow, good for you to sticking to diabetes diet.. how did you end up with it? I didn’t realize that you can still have gestational diabetes if you’re fit and eat well( which I assume you do).

          I’d be ok with extra 5 pounds…I’m not worried about the weight per se, but more the shape and how your body looks. Are you back to training?

          Reply

          • Amanda

            |

            It is a myth that you can’t get GD if you are fit and healthy. GD can strike anyone, no matter how fit. Yes, unhealthy, unfit and overweight people may be more prone to it, but being fit and healthy doesn’t mean you’re free and clear.

            Reply

          • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby

            |

            Were you given any explanation as to why your body would suddenly be unable to control insulin levels? Or is it just the kind of things that “just happens”?

            Reply

          • Lissa

            |

            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001898/

            That link has some information on gestational diabetes. Basically the pregnancy hormones that are wreaking havoc on your system while your baby grows can block insulin from doing what it needs to do. You’re more at risk for GD if you’re older, heavier, have a family history of diabetes, etc., but like Amanda said: anyone can get it. Sometimes it can be controlled by diet and exercise, and sometimes you need medication like Metformin or even insulin shots to control it. I was on Metformin for the last couple months of my pregnancy to control my fasting sugars. Diet & exercise didn’t take care of it for me.

            Reply

          • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby

            |

            That’s too bad :( I was always under the impression that GD mainly happens if you already have some problems controlling blood sugar levels. Yay- I have that glucose test to look forward to now, I had thought I’d totally ace it :) lol Maybe not.

            Reply

          • Amanda

            |

            It’s the placenta and the hormones it releases that can cause your body to become insulin resistant. That is all.

            Reply

          • Amanda

            |

            No, I didn’t really have any symptoms. Most people don’t. Mine was controlled with diet and exercise, but it got harder as the pregnancy went on, since the placenta becomes larger and larger, meaning more and more hormone released into your system.

            Reply

          • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby

            |

            Thanks, that’s really helpful to know. I think reading books and online is one thing, but sometimes things happen that differ from what you were lead to believe. And I would hate to sit here and think that because i eat oh so well and low in simple carbs and sugars that I can’t get GD, and then bam- in your face!

            Reply

          • Lissa

            |

            I didn’t have any symptoms either.

            Didn’t have any lasting effects, either. Blood sugar was normal at the test they do post-partum. Also, my son wasn’t huge (7 lbs 10 oz), and he was healthy as a clam when he was born.

            Reply

          • paula

            |

            It’s because of the placenta. Those with a family history of Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes are obviously at higher risk, but it can happen to anybody, regardless of how well you eat and how good of shape you are in. I had pre-eclampsia, too. FWIW, I only gained 8 lbs while pregnant (due to the GD diet), but I got a TON of stretch marks. It happens. Oh well, the stretch marks go well with my c/s scar. They (the stretch marks and the c/s scar) actually don’t really bother me that much. I just look at them as battle scars that I earned.

            As for symptoms, I was so, so, so thirsty. I just couldn’t drink enough water, I was always thirsty. I also fainted once the week before I was diagnosed. Many women don’t have any symptoms at all, though.

            Reply

  • Alyssa

    |

    They are hereditary, you can’t prevent them with oils and creams.

    Reply

  • Emily

    |

    It’s all fair game my dear. Strechmarks, bloating, weight gain…it’s gonna happen as much as it sucks. This is the price you pay for bringing a sweet child into the world.

    Reply

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby

      |

      Yes, that’s very true. And that’s why I am willing to go through it. However, I don’t think that having a child instantly means not taking care of yourself and letting yourself go, it’s not the lesson I want to teach my kid either. I think everyone should strive for excellence, regardless of how hard it might be.

      Reply

      • Emily

        |

        I’m not saying to let yourself go. However, I tried not to worry about silly little things like strechmarks…that was not my concern. Of course, maybe I have good genes because I didn’t get any strechmarks. I hope you will teach your child to love themselves no matter what though, even if they have zits or strechmarks.

        Reply

        • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby

          |

          Oh I didn’t think you were saying that. :) And I’m sure it’s easy to look at it this way if you never got stretchmarks :) lol
          But I don’t think not caring about what you’ll look like after birth is optimal either. Now, not getting pregnant because you’re afraid of stretchmarks- that’s a different story, and believe me I’ve heard of cases like that. Loving yourself despite physical flaws you can’t change is a must, but not being ok with things you CAN change and not doing anything about them is different. So I’ll do what I can in hopes of preventing stretchmarks, but in the end I might not be able to do much them either. I guess we’ll know in 6 months :)

          Reply

  • Jamie Rubeis

    |

    I am afraid I have the same story as many others. I used everything and was fine up until about 35 weeks. They started to appear. There wasn’t anything I could do about it. Luckily after the 1st they were small enough that they faded and weren’t that noticeable. It wasn’t until after my second child that my stomach really got scarred.

    If you do get them, just think of it as gift instead of a burden. A gift because you were able to get pregnant and have a baby and there are still many women who don’t have that ability, but would gladly accept a stomach full of them in order to.

    Reply

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby

      |

      Yup, that’s the plan :) Hope for the best, do all I can, but in the end, there’s really not much I can do about them :)
      What was different about your second pregnancy that you got more stretchmarks?

      Reply

  • Laura

    |

    I didn’t get a single stretchmark while I was pregnant last year. And I didn’t use anything on my belly. I lie – I used cocoa butter lotion…maybe a handful of times. :) I really wasn’t worried about it, which I know sounds weird, but I wasn’t…and so, I didn’t do anything…and didn’t get anything. I hope you can avoid them!

    Reply

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby

      |

      I don’t think “not worrying is weird” :)
      I’m just a total planner, so I think through EVERY little detail, I want to know what to do to prevent undesireable outcomes, and learn about what can happen so that I can be ok with it if it were to happen to me. So that’s why I am concerned about stretchmarks.
      And you’re so lucky! How did your body change otherwise after pregnancy?

      Reply

  • Laura

    |

    Well, at 38 weeks and some change, we found out my son was breech, so, he was born via schedule c-section at 39 weeks. Recovery and the entire process was great. I really had no issue with my c-section whatsoever. After my 6 weeks or so of recovery, I began exercising and mostly counting calories, and by 5 months PP I was a pound below my pre-pregnancy weight. The last 5 pounds were the hardest to lose, but I found that after having that precious babe, I had so much confidence in just being his mother, that those last 5 pounds really weren’t as big of a deal as I expected them to be. I’ve always been VERY hard on myself about my weight, always wanting to lose just “those last few pounds,” but I found I viewed my body so differently after having a baby. One thing I did not expect PP was all the hair I lost. It came out in CLUMPS. Other than these small (and apparently expected, though I didn’t expect the hair thing…hehe) things, I don’t feel like anything has changed, really. Even though I am under my pre-pregnancy weight, my belly isn’t as firm as it used to be. The number says I’m back to my normal, but your body changes so much, clothing will not fit the way it used to entirely. Sorry…I’m babbling now… ;) Everyone is different! But if I had to guess by looking at you, I’d say you’ll probably be quite successful in getting back to normal after your baby is here! And if it takes a while, just be patient and know your body did something incredible. :)

    Reply

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby

      |

      Babble away… I like reading about other women’s experiences- helps me get prepared for all outcomes :)
      So I’d be totally happy to deal wiht those small changes you describe ( somehow I am not as attached to my hair as I ma to my stomach lol). And good for you for pushing yourself to get back into shape- my respect!

      Reply

  • Melissa

    |

    Stretch marks can be very hard to prevent. From everything that I read it’s mostly genetics there are somethings that you can try to help prevent them but it’s iffy as whether they work. Unfortunately, stretch marks and loose abdominal muscles are part of the process. Fortunately, having a happy and healthy baby can humble a woman and let her know that there is more to life than appearances.

    Reply

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby

      |

      Yeah, that’s exactly what I read too. They say you can “minimize” them with adequate water intake and vit E oils, and gradual weight gain.
      I’d be willing to loose all the looks for a healthy baby, but of course I would RATHER keep my shape AND have a healthy baby :) lol

      Reply

  • Irina

    |

    It sounds like those who gain more weight during pregnancy (like this one lady above who gained 50 lbs), as opposed to the absolute minimum, have less or no stretch marks. It kind of makes sense…

    Reply

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby

      |

      Gradual weight gain is supposed to minimize stretchmarks – I dont know how much it’d do otherwise if you’re prone to them.

      Reply

      • Irina

        |

        So I Googled Heidi Klum :) who’s got a bunch of kids and seemingly no strech marks… You know what she said? “I didn’t get stretch marks during my pregnancies, and I wasn’t even moisturizing myself like a maniac…”

        !!!

        @#$%!!!

        LOL

        Reply

        • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby

          |

          AGH! Lucky Biatch! I love the way she looks btw. You know none of the famous models seem to have gotten stretchmarks, and none of the few model friends who had babies seem to have them. I can’t even say I’ve ever seen stretchmarks on an actual real person, all my friends are either still babyless or those who had babies are now far away, since we’ve moved so much. None of them look like they have stretchmarks, though I’m not sure if it’s photoshop or just not obvious in photos.

          Reply

          • Irina

            |

            Yeah, I have no idea how they do it. Victoria Bekham just had a baby and I bet she’ll show “0″ stretch marks.
            At least all of them, actresses or models regardless, have cellulite. Otherwise, I’d seriously have to wonder if they came from another planet :)

            Reply

  • Kate

    |

    I hate to say it, but as with many others here, it is hereditary. I was pregnant with twins and the first stretch mark showed up at 19 weeks (keep in mind, I probably had gained 16 or 17lbs at that point..which is totally appropriate for a twin mom). I knew I would be prone to them because I have a large bust and went from a 32B to a 34DD over the summer when I was 15 and my breasts were all stretch marks. The good news is that I also knew they would fade, and they did. Now you can’t even tell they were a mass of stretchmarks (and, for a 40 year old woman who breastfeed twins, they actually look pretty great). By the time I delivered the twins (full term) I was covered in stretchmarks from my upper abdomen to my pudenda. In the two years since giving birth they have substantially faded…but they are still pretty obvious. My mother had similar stretchmark issues although by the time I was in my 30s you could barely notice them. BTW — she was a work-out fiend and would lift weights 3 or 4 times a week for 2 hours at a time.

    Reply

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby

      |

      Well yeah id expect stretchmarks with twins- no way around that. :) but it’s good to know they really do fade.
      Thanks for sharing your experience Kate

      Reply

  • Chelsea Pearl

    |

    So I have been blog stalking you for a long time now but I’m in love with your story :)
    I have two boys 13 months apart. They are wonderful. I did however get stretch marks with my first and second. With my oldest I got them on my hips. I was always a size 3 to 5. After having my son my hips grew so much that I am now a size7 no ifs ands or buts about it lol(I’m 5’10″ 136lbs). With my youngest I got stretch marks on the front but not too bad. I have been working on them using lotions. I need to be more proactive about trying to lose them. When I hit puberty I got stretch marks on my breasts big time. They have been horrible since having the children. I breast fed both my kids. I 100% don’t blame you for wanting to avoid them. I hate them so much. I have yet to “own” them and get back into my two piece. I think now my goal will be to start using vit. E.
    Sorry I was of no help lol BUT I will try and keep you posted on my progress with the Vit. E.

    Reply

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby

      |

      Aaaaww thank you :))))
      You’re almost exactly my height and my weight :) I actually don’t mind my hips getting slightly bigger, as I think i look a bit boyish as it is, and I don’t care much about the size I wear, I just want to be fit and thin. I know there are plenty of creams that reduce the appeareance of stretchmarks if you use them right away but most of them can’t be used during breastfeeding, we’re all kinda screwed there :(

      I don’t know how much vit E will do to reduce stretchmarks that are there, i think it just helps with skin’s elasticity. I need to find something that also helps regenerate cells… I think in the end, if I get them and they bother me much, maybe I’ll save up for laser treatment of them?

      Oh questions: where on your hips did you get stretchmarks? I know where you normally get them on the breasts, but what about hips? Is it something that a bikini will cover up?

      Reply

      • Chelsea Pearl

        |

        Yes we are about the same height and weight :) So pretty much it makes your blog one of the best ones I read(us tall girls have to stick together lol). Not only do we have some what of the same build but I 100% agree with your precautions while being pregnant. Your blog inspires me and being a mother of two it’s sometimes needed. An extra kick in the right direction! I don’t have a lot of time but I will always check my e-mail for your post updates lol
        So back to stretch marks! I have been discussing things on my pregnancy forum and from what I hear Vit. E does work for some women on already existing stretch marks. Not a guarantee or anything though. And yes laser surgery would be very nice. My husband and I are not done having kids so maybe one day when they are all here we can look into that. My stretch marks that have taken up residence on my sides are on my upper hip. About two inches long. They are however very light. I’m happy they are not red like the ones on my lower breasts :/ But no two piece for me(to my husbands dismay). Although I am very happy with the new curves :) I would say you are doing the best thing and that’s trying to prevent them before they happen.

        Reply

        • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby

          |

          Then I’m definitely looking forward to hearing how vit E is working for you on existing stretchmarks. Keep me updated, ok? :))))

          Reply

  • sandra

    |

    I’m just curious…I thought you weren’t leaving your home, but in your picture, it looks like your in some sort of public restroom, maybe at a gym?

    Reply

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby

      |

      No offense, but does it look like I’m pregnant in that pic? :) lol
      This was taken at a NYC gym’s bathroom a few years ago. I don’t look like this 13 weeks pregnant, though I wish I did. Hell, I didn’t look like that going into pregnancy (though I am planning/hoping to get back there after).
      And I am not “staying” home, I’m just avoiding unnecessary exposure to germs and illnesses. I could have just as easily taken this pic at my OB’s office, or at the park’s restroom, or wherever else I venture out these days, which is not many places.

      Reply

  • Irina

    |

    Oh, and I agree that Klum looks great. Unlike Gizele or AAmbrosio she’s actually quite bottom heavy and definitely not a typical runway model, but she makes the best of it. Nobody is perfect but we can all make the best of what we got.

    Reply

  • Alyssa Mae

    |

    Could you just stop for a minute and re-evaluate your perspective in regards to your pregnancy? You’re entering a new phase in your life – a phase that is going to take up every minute of the next 18 years because you will be taking care of the child that is growing inside you. Being a mother has plenty of happy times that can be fun and enjoyable, but being a mother means you don’t put yourself first anymore. This child will be first in everything from now on.

    I understand you’re concerned about your physical appearance – we all are to some extent – but the fact that most of your posts regarding your pregnancy are filled with thoughts along the lines of “what on earth is this going to do to my body; I’ll never be the same” just makes you seem ungrateful to being on your way to motherhood. I recommend that you check out theshapeofamother.com to give yourself a little perspective. There are women from all walks of life that have shared their stories about pregnancy and how their body has changed. Some embrace their stretchmarks, others work to get fit again, and others fall somewhere in between. The main thing that the website shows overall is that regardless of how a woman’s body looks after becoming a mother is that her body is still beautiful – for the main reason being that she is a mother and her body reflects the love she has for her child/children.

    Reply

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby

      |

      First of all I would strongly disagree that “most of my posts” are about what’s going to happen to my body. As a matter of fact, most of them are about what I can do to make sure my baby is the healthiest, safest, smartest,strongest it can be.
      Secondly, I despise the idea that becoming a mother means giving up on yourself. I am a strong believer in “doing EVERYTHING” for our children. But at the same time, will having stretchmarks make my child happier or healthier? No!
      How is being concerned about stretchmarks and seeing if you can do anything to minimize them means that I am not putting my child’s wellbeing first?

      Should have I just started wearing mom jeans a few years ago in preparation for “putting my child first”? How is taking care of yourself physically going to be a bad thing? Or a bad example? It’s all about a balance of physical, mental and emotional beauty.

      Some women might be ok with looking one way, others aren’t. Some will do nothing to get back in shape, others will bust their ass. Loving yourself no matter what, but trying to be a better version of self is what women need to strive for, not decide that because they’re mothers, they no longer need to take care of themselves, put on crocs and oversized tees and give up on looking fabulous.

      Reply

      • Ashley

        |

        I have to say it’s totally reasonable for a first time mother to worry about things like stretch marks! Elena’s life is going to change in a million ways and there is a lot of worry and uncertainty that comes along with that. My children come first in every way in my life but that doesn’t mean I don’t miss my old body.

        Reply

      • Carly

        |

        Isn’t it a given that, in a planned pregnancy, the mother cares most for the unborn child? I think it’s totally reasonable to be concerned about what will happen to your body – especially when you have worked hard for it! I am slated to TTC soon and I have the same concerns. And, I don’t believe that anyone who knows me would think that I was putting said concerns before my child. Seriously.

        Reply

    • Irina

      |

      I think you can appreciate the magic of new life making and work hard to be healthy, fit and strong for your baby and yourself.

      Reply

      • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby

        |

        Yeah I think that’s the best approach -do what you can to be healthy and fit and strong, but in the end learn to accept the flaws you can’t change. Easy enough!

        Reply

  • Jess

    |

    My mom and sister both had horrible stretch marks. I used Palmer’s cocoa butter lotion every morning and every night, and any time my stomach started to itch, and I came away without any! I also was not over weight before pregnancy (although not as toned as you are) and gained 65 pounds. Good luck!

    Reply

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby

      |

      WOW! Now where the sense in that if they say it’s hereditary? It just seems hit or miss. I can’t believe it was all the lotion….

      {thanks for the toned comment, though I can tell you, I am no longer toned at all :) lol 3 months of nausea did me in}

      Reply

  • Jo

    |

    I didn’t do anything to avoid stretch marks. I did everything I could to avoid a c-section though and, believe me, the aftermath of that is way uglier than the stretch marks.

    You can plan and strive for excellence all day and night and those babies have a mind of their own. Don’t worry about stretch marks. Your boobs will cover them up when they’re drooping over your belly anyway.

    Reply

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby

      |

      Hahaha :) that’s hilarious! :) and yes, you’re right- you can plan all you want- babies do their thing. I am aware of that, but I’d still rather plan. :)
      So did you end up avoiding stretchmarks and c section?

      Reply

      • Jo

        |

        Nope. Two c-sections, multiple stretch marks, boobs sagging down from years of nursing, lines on my face from lack of sleep, and I occasionally find it necessary to wear crocs and big old t-shirts to boot. But I have the two most gorgeous kids you ever want to see who cured me from having to plan out every minute of my life and taught me to live moment to moment and have fun so it’s all worth it.

        Reply

  • Amber

    |

    I know in your previous post you mention that you are avoiding stress and anxiety, I think worrying about things you cannot control like strechmarks falls into that catagory.

    Gained 60lbs no strechmarks on belly but strechmarks on the tops of my legs and inner thighs. One week after delivery I had lost 40 of the 60lbs, so it was water weight.

    Reply

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby

      |

      I’m not worrying about them in a way that makes me stress or causes me anxiety. It’s more curiousity and concern than worry. ( otherwise, I’d drop the subject and forget about it).
      I wonder what makes one person get stretchmarks on their stomach, and other people on their hips/legs….

      Reply

      • MAL

        |

        GENETICS.

        Reply

  • Karli

    |

    Hi Elena! Nope….no stretch marks. I used this cream called Mother’s Love (or something dorky like that – ha!)…but to tell you the truth, it probably didn’t do a thing. I agree with the people above…. I think it’s the luck of the draw. I gained 35 lbs. with each pregnancy, and my stomach is still flat at age 36. It must be genetics… You’re looking ADORABLE as always!!! HUGS!

    Reply

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby

      |

      Oh you lucky girl!!!!!! Your comment makes me wanna see your flat stomach :) lol is that weird?
      I’m using an oil called mother’s special blend…is that what you’re talking about?

      Reply

  • Mulva

    |

    I’m sure everything will fall perfectly into place during your pregnancy and once the baby is here. Everything is so perfect now, how could it not?! All a baby needs is two parents who love it and do everything in their power to make sure it’s safe and healthy (like install a huge water filter!)

    Some people bring babies into this world in conditions where they’re about to have their home foreclosed on, have poor work ethics, shady business dealings or just plain live in a dream world! Heck, one of their parents could even be in the closet LOL!
    My point is, a few stretch marks are a small price to pay for a happy family these days!

    Reply

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby

      |

      Of course! Everything you’re saying is 100% true ( lol at the water filte comment). A happy healthy family is all that matters in the end, and a healthy smart baby is worth all the stretchmarks in the world. But I’ve done everything I can for this pregnancy, all I can do now is continue and hope I don’t get the “ugly” side of it.

      Reply

      • Amanda

        |

        Wow…the “ugly” side of it….really?!

        Do you see how people can take offense to that? I think you may want to rephrase that comment.

        Reply

        • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby

          |

          Yes the ugly side of pregnancy: the nausea, the heartburn, bad skin, the stretchmarks. There’s also the beautiful side to the pregnancy: the growing a new life, the kicks, the bond.
          There’s no need to be sensitive over these terms, or sugar coat it. I can’t imagine anyone loving the bad parts of pregnancy- everyone just deals with it because that’s what it takes to bring a baby into this life.

          Reply

          • Amanda

            |

            Oookay, then.

            No one is saying sugarcoat it, but the way it came off was pretty offensive to those of us that got the “ugly” side of it.

            I don’t think reality has really hit for you yet. No one is saying let yourself go, but you need to realize (and you will) that once that baby is here, finding the time to exercise and eat perfectly is exponentially harder than it is pre-baby.

            I still work out every day, but I can’t just hop out and do 5 hour bike rides anymore or run off to the gym every morning before work. That’s life with a baby.

            Reply

          • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby

            |

            It’s not meant to be offensive. I deal with all the same things in pregnancy other women do, I’m getting the ugly part of it. The word ugly wasn’t meant literally, just “bad”

            As far as work out, yeah I get it – no time. I thiiiink I’m ready for that part. I’m hoping hubby will be helpful, so I’ll get to work out. Besides I don’t need 5 hour runs, I’m totally not hardcore when it comes to working out. I do 30 minutes of pilates daily to maintain. So I’ll need a bit more to get back in shape. Proper nutrition is what usually does for me.

            Reply

          • Amanda

            |

            Proper nutrition is key. However, pregnancy can screw up your metabolism, royally, so proper nutrition may or may not be what does it for you after pregnancy. You may find that you need to add in more workouts. However if you’re breastfeeding, it’s a delicate balance. If you cut out too many calories or workout too much…there goes your supply. Something to think about.

            Reply

          • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby

            |

            Yeah I read that from the other commentor. I’ll do what I have to do to breastfeed, even if it means not being in perfect shape for a year. And I doubt I’ll have the energy to do more than 30 min of work out. I’m a wimp when it comes to strenuous exercise. That might have to change though if I’m not losing weight naturally. But I’ll be careful. Breast-feeding is a priority.

            Reply

      • Jane

        |

        You know Amanda, I think that there is NO NEED to pick on Elena regarding her methods. Ok, so she has a different perspective than you. But does that mean she will love her child any less or not take care of him/her?? Of course not! If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it!

        Reply

        • Amanda

          |

          I am not picking on her nor have I said anything “not nice”. No one ever said or implied that she would love her child any less or not take care of him/her. Please tell me where I said that. I think saying things like “the ugly side of pregnancy” in reference to strechmarks and weight gain is offensive to those that have experienced those things and I let her know.

          Everything else I’ve said to her is true: Pregnancy can screw up your metabolism, so can breast feeding, you won’t have the time you think you’ll have, etc.

          I have not made fun of her or picked on her. I just think she needs to be prepared for the reality check she will get once that baby arrives.

          Reply

  • Cathy

    |

    I gained the suggested 50lbs with my twin pregnancy and had a c-section because of two breech babies.

    My lower abs are covered in hundreds of stretchmarks. It looks like Freddy Cougar’s face. Also, my skin sags and the muscles have split in the middle. When I lost a ton of weight and got fit, it got WORSE. More saggy.

    All of that happened during my singleton pregnancy where I gained about 25lbs, lathered in lotions every single day, guzzled water like it was going out of style, etc. Oh, and during that pregnancy, I also got the worst case of PUPPS any of my providers had ever seen.

    We won’t talk about what 19 months of breastfeeding did to my boobs. :o

    My twin pregnancy didn’t make any of it worse, strangely, and I didn’t do a damn thing to protect my skin other than drink water (which was more for general health.)

    You’ll need to be really careful about working out and losing weight rapidly after pregnancy. Your body needs some fat to make milk, and women who lose weight quickly or overdo it with exercise generally have a supply tank.

    I second the suggestion to go check out http://theshapeofamother.com/ Sounds like you might need some time to prepare for what a postpartum body is likely to look like and come to see the beauty in what your body did for your baby.

    I’ve been “letting myself go” now because the 60 minutes of the awake day I’m not taking care of a baby is spent doing things like eating, peeing and showering (I’m writing this response during “lunch” at 3pm, lol)

    Gotta say I don’t see much difference between the picture here and what you look like in your latest belly picture. Actually, I think you look better in the belly pics. You looked awfully skinny and sharp before and now look more healthy and softer.

    Reply

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby

      |

      Re:picture, yes I’m too skinny there. I was modeling, I had to be. I want that stomach back but not the arms or legs, they are too skinny.

      As far as our bodies, yes they are amazing for what they do, yes motherhood is hard and most likely I’ll be hating having to work out when I don’t have time to even shower. I realize all these things. But until I experience that and until I have those stretchmarks, I’d like to contemplate about what I can do avoid them. Once I have them, I’ll work on coming to terms with them. But in the meantime I’ll be hoping for some luck in that department!

      Reply

  • Blair

    |

    Elena, I think you’re missing the point of what some other posters are saying. Some readers of your blog are a little concerned about your perspective (how Alyssa put it above). We were all concerned about stretch marks. Hell, I went through bottles and bottles of that horrid smelling lotion. In the grand scheme of things, IT DOESN’T MATTER. Repeat after me. It. Doesn’t. Matter. The sooner you realize this in regards to your pregnancy, I think you will be happier with your pregnancy. I am actually below my pre-pregnancy weight. My stomach looks like a piece of old shoe leather. You know what I did? Bought a fabulous retro one piece bathing suit. I work very hard every day to not fall into the sweats and crocs routine. But you know what? About once a week I don’t get to shower before work. Repeat after me: It doesn’t matter. The whole shape of my body is different now, but I can still rock a cute dress. Why? It doesn’t matter. I mean this in the best way, but I hope the first months of your baby’s life find you lacking in sleep, covered in spit-up, wearing yoga pants, and deliriously happy. Then maybe you will realize what the best parts of being a mother are – raising the happiest child you can. Notice I said happiest. Not best.

    Best of luck to you.

    Reply

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby

      |

      This is an awesome comment! Seriously!
      Btw, hey I’m already in sweats, home, no make up as I go through this pregnancy.
      I totally understand what YOU are saying and I agree 100%. But I also think that what a lot of moms are missing is the fact that when you’ve never had a child, you cannot possibly imagine things that you care about now, not having to matter once you have a child. I don’t have a child, so what I have to think about are stretchmarks. Because noone can imagine the feeling you have for your kid until they have that kid.
      So that being said, I know I’ll be covered in spit up, delirious from lack of sleep and wearing sweat pants. But I sure as hell hope that I’ll still love going to the beach and wearing dresses and looking beautiful. It doesn’t have to be either or. You can care about what you look like and love your baby at the same time. I know Only a few mothers in real life, my other friends don’t have kids, but every single one of them say she hates her stretch marks. It doesn’t make them a bad mother, and it DOES matter to them.
      So I guess what I’m trying to say is NOONE can say that any person should feel a certain way, different things matter to different people, and while one woman couldn’t care less about her stretchmarks, there are 10 others that wish they didn’t have them.

      Reply

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby

      |

      Besides, you said it yourself: you all covered your stomachs in oils in hopes of avoiding stretchmarks. So why should I do differently? I’ll go through the same road of discovering whether it matters to me or not but that will be after the baby comes, just like it was for everyone else.

      Reply

  • Deanna

    |

    I had stretch marks while pregnant. They went away (as in I dont have them any more) I didnt get stretch marks with my 2nd pregnancy at all.

    I used cream with my 1st pregnancy and nothing with my 2nd.

    Reply

  • TJ

    |

    I understand that you still want to look good after giving birth, and that you’ll do anything you can to look good during your pregnancy. However, what’s more important is continuing to have confidence about your body after you give birth. There’s no way of knowing how your body will react and what you will look like post-partum. Some things are out of your control. I was 107 lbs at 5’5 when I got pregnant, and I had a hard, muscular stomach that I was proud of. During pregnancy I gained 35 lbs and didn’t see a single stretch mark until 41 weeks (my daughter was nine days late). She’s almost nine months old now and I’m currently 93 lbs but my stomach is not anything worth bragging about. No stretch marks in sight but there is still extra, wrinkly skin, and a c-section scar below. You know how I feel about it? Awesome. Really, I do. I thought I would care about this stuff but I really don’t, because I have a happy, healthy baby. I still work out and eat well. I haven’t “let myself go,” it’s just out of my control. I’m still me, but this is my new body. This is my Mom body. I think you’ll read this some time next year with a smiling baby in your lap looking up at you, and laugh at how silly this post is. There are more important things in pregnancy and child birth than stretch marks and flat stomachs.

    PS: I’m still rocking all of my bikinis!

    Reply

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby

      |

      TJ, I think it’s awesome that you’re truly proud of your stomach, even though it doesn’t look the way it used to! I know I will be ok, will make myself feel good about whatever I end up with that out of my control. That’s really not an issue. A lot fo my friends are either former and current models or very good looking people, most without kids. A while they would NEVER judge my appearance based on stretch marks, or scars or zits, I do want to look fabulous among them as I always have. I know the “scars” of pregnancy are ALL worth it in the end, and that’s whay I am doing it, rather than decide not to have kids (lol)

      BTW, “letting youself go” is being able to do something to look better/more fit and not doing. It has nothing to do with things out of your controls like scars and stretchmarks. You can’t “let yourself go” if it’s not up to you.

      Reply

  • Darls

    |

    I didn’t get any my entire pregnancy ( and I went from a 00 to about a 4 or a 6) but when J was a few days old I got them on my boobs (I;ll blame going from a b to a double ff over night when my milk came in) and a few on my bootay and inner thighs. Not a big deal since most of those you are only going to see if you see me naked. I don’t know why I didn’t get them on my stomach since all lotions/oils made me SICK and I got a HUGE belly with my 9 lb baby.

    Reply

  • koreen

    |

    I didn’t get stretchmarks on my stomach, just my thighs. I’ve always had a soft tummy, and the 50 lbs I gained was a lot, but still no stretch marks. The ones on my legs faded over time. No one notices them, except for me, and only if I really look. Going low carb finally got me back to my pre-preg weight, actually better than pre-preg weight! It’s all worth it, though. :D

    (It’s the saggy boobs that make me sad.) :(

    Reply

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby

      |

      Haha! I am not worried about boobies as much, because well I don’t have much to speak of :) and i hear when you have small boobs, they don’t sag they just disappear, which wouldn’t be too far from what I have when I am very skinny. So nothing lost there :)

      But I am sorry for your boobs, if it’s something that you liked about you!

      Reply

  • Michelle

    |

    I didn’t get any in either pregnancy :D I think stretchies were the only thing I didn’t get LOL. I think of it as my reward for being so sick, lol.
    I’m guessing it was because I didn’t gain any weight while pregnant (because of all the vomiting) and also my stomach definitely did not look at fabulous as yours does to begin with!! I didn’t use any oils or lotions because the smell would’ve made me sick :/
    I did get a couple on my boobs but you have to look really closely to notice them!

    Reply

  • PJ

    |

    I can’t get pregnant. Be very thankful for every stretch mark you get and every pound you gain.

    Reply

  • Ashley

    |

    Two pregnancies and not a single stretch mark! I have no idea why. I did use belly cream. I can’t remember which one, I tried about 10 and picked the one that the smell didn’t make me nauseous. I’ve heard it has to do with your mother. My belly is NOT the same tho after having kids. Your belly button sags a little and when standing it looks fine but when I sit there are wrinkles and stuff. The skin doesn’t stretch that far and go back perfectly. But I can still wear a bikini no problem! There is hope for stretch marks but I don’t know what causes one to have them and not another.

    Reply

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby

      |

      Wow so you got 2 perfect kiddos AND no stretchmarks? I’m officially your fan! Haha I’m hoping I’ll be so lucky!

      Reply

  • Dana @ DanasPinkRibbon

    |

    Hi Elena! I love reading your blogs, both this one and your photography blog! You are very talented. Congratulations on your pregnancy… it is such an exciting time!

    Like you, I was previously a model and before pregnancy I was 5’9″ and 120 lbs. I always had a naturally toned tummy and loved wearing bikinis. During pregnancy, I went from size 2 to size 10, and gained 50 lbs (even though I am a healthy eater). I was able to lose all of the weight within 4 months, had only one stretch mark on my tummy, but several stretch marks on my butt. Even though I lost all of the weight, my tummy does NOT look the same as it did, because my belly button looks weird (I think that it actually moved higher) and there is extra bulge around that area that I never use to have. So now, I would rather wear a tankini/one-piece.

    I noticed that you are a “planner” and like to be prepared for any bad situation. I use to be the same way, but unfortunately, no amount of planning could have prepared me for being diagnosed with breast cancer at 26 years old. My baby was only 4 months old. Since then, I have been through chemotherapy, pulmonary embolisms, and I just recently had a double mastectomy. Now that I have no hair, no boobs (until they are reconstructed), and a less than flattering tummy, I certainly don’t look like I did when I was modeling in college.

    But you know what? I realized that looks are NOT important, like I use to think that they were. What matters is that I am ALIVE, and healthy (now cancer-free!), and I have the most amazing little boy and I get to be his mommy. I still love to dress up and feel pretty once in a while, but my mindset has definitely changed from the way that I use to think.

    I’m not saying that it is wrong for you to want to look good! I just think that once your baby is here and you go through more life experiences, you will prioritize differently. I hope that nobody has to go through what I did, so please remember (everyone!) to do weekly self breast exams and get any lumps removed immediately! (Even during pregnancy! I waited until after pregnancy, because I didn’t want them to operate on me while I had the baby inside, and the lump quickly grew into stage 2 cancer)

    Reply

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby

      |

      Wow Dana I am so sorry! I’m sure going through something like that makes you really appreciate life! I’m glad you’re alive and healthy (are you cancer free now?) I bet you have a completely different perspective on life now.
      And of course looks don’t matter in the grand scheme of things but we all would rather keep them, you know what I mean!
      Thank you for sharing your story!
      *off to check my breasts for lumps

      Reply

  • Verna

    |

    Ugh! I hate stretchmarks! I’ve got quite a few of them. I had some before getting pregnant (boobs), so I sort of figured I’d get them when I was pregnant anyway. I had mentally prepared for them and the fact that I wouldn’t be wearing a bikini after I had babies. Oh well. Because you are so tall, I would think you wouldn’t get a lot/if any. Even if your belly gets pretty big, you torso is long enough that it should evenly distribute. It’s hard to tell though. Your belly will go through growth spurts, regardless, and that is usually when they come on. Keep up on the lotion, though. My mom swears by pure cocoa butter.

    Reply

  • Ludivine

    |

    I totally relate to Elena’s fears. My stomach is flat without doing any effort and cannot imagine wearing a grandma one piece swimming suit. I’m only 6 weeks pregnant but I already started the creams twice a day with lots of water intake as well. I cannot really tell about genetics as I do not have any siblings and do not know if my mother had strechmarks. I’ve made my own butter using cocoa butter (I want to eat myself as I have a good chocolate smell after applying this butter) mixed with coconut oil, vitamin E, shea butter and jojoba oil. Everything sold for strechmarks are expensive but they all have PARABENS which are really bad. Buying all the ingredients may be expensive at first but you can make a supply of this butter for I think 2 years. I’ll try to put the link for the recipe later on. In the meantime I guess we will have to cross our fingers really hard to not have any strechmarks

    Reply

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby

      |

      I think it’s more difficult to understand when you haven’t had a great stomach, so you don’t mind losing it as much. Like, my boobs are “meh”, so I am not really worried about them being saggy or disappearing, because, well, they were never anything special :) But my stomach is the one thing I need to do nothing about, and I really don’t want to add any new parts of my body that I need to work on.

      Your home made cream sounds amazing. I’m using mother’s blend which is oils and vitamin E only, no preservatives, but I’d love to know your recipe and maybe actually make it myself if I can.

      Crossing my fingers for both of us.

      Reply

  • Ali

    |

    Wow…you really hit quite the nerve on this topic, didn’t you? :) I wrote about stretch marks when I was about half way through my pregnancy and had some great feedback from my readers. I think you can’t help but wonder what your body will look like post-baby so I think you posing this question is perfectly fine and normal – you’re just being honest and curious. Nothing wrong with that in my personal opinion.

    OK so back to stretch marks…you probably know this already, but I used Mother’s Special Blend as well. :) I can’t say I was diligent about applying it all the time, but it was nice to have some peace of mind when I did. To answer your question, I avoided getting stretch marks. Surprisingly enough, my Mom got stretch marks from her two pregnancies so I suppose I got lucky despite my genes (but then again, it probably also helps that I’m 5’10″ and my mom is 5’1″). Small details…haha

    Anyway, I gained 26 lbs during my pregnancy and I was lucky enough to be able to work out daily (I had a smooth pregnancy where I had nausea and headaches but nothing too terribly severe). I was never a model but I was a competitive athlete so staying in shape was also important to me. Plus, I believe that the healthier you keep yourself during your pregnancy will have huge benefits postpartum. Then “getting back in shape” is less of a concern and you can spend all your energy on baby. Workouts during my pregnancy included walking, elliptical and doctor approved ab exercises (because yes, you can do them!). I believe all of that really helped with my post-baby body.

    Thanks to the fact I didn’t gain extra weight during my pregnancy, the fact that I walked regularly when my daughter was born, the fact that I had the desire to work out, AND the fact that I am breastfeeding, I dropped all my pregnancy weight in a month. I know this is not “normal,” but I’m just saying it’s possible. Baby was (and is) priority #1, but getting my body back in shape and being healthy was next on the list (well, along with Hubby and house cleaning and everything else…we women are amazing, aren’t we?). When I had 30 minutes during naps, I lifted 5 lb. weights and did crunches. I made it a priority to take my daughter on a daily walk. Nothing crazy, just consistent.

    I had that dark line from Pregnancy on my belly for almost 5 months but here I am, 6 months postpartum, and it’s pretty much gone. Once again, it’s completely normal to wonder what your body will do once you have a baby. Gosh, I’m curious to see how my body will react when I have another one – that’s just human nature!

    But I will agree with many people who have been commenting on one thing (and this is where I’m sure you know this, but I’m going to say it anyway) – in the event you DO end up with stretch marks on your belly or anywhere else, they won’t be the focus. You’ll have much more awesome things to worry about… :)

    Hope that’s somewhat helpful, Elena!

    7x7xMommy

    Reply

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby

      |

      Yeah, I have a lot of random people reading this blog, and like with everything, opinions are like assholes. But I like getting all sides of the spectrum, as long as they remain respectful and to the point.

      I remember your post and actually bought Mother’s Blend based on your recommendation. I didn’t like at first because of the smell, but you really can’t beat the lack of preservatives in it, so I kept using it. I’ve been really wondering how you did with stretchmarks, since I know how fit you were before and during your pregnancy.

      Everything you said here makes total sense and helps a lot honestly. I hope some of the currently pregnant women who commented and are concerned about what their body will look like, read your comment and check your blog out. You’re definitely my hero, pregnancy wise. And yay to avoiding stretchmarks, I’m so happy you did.

      Finally, yes of course it goes without any saying that baby becomes #1 and stretchmarks don’t matter as much any more, but who says we can’t have it all: the baby and the perfect body- you did!

      Reply

  • anon (not the crazy one)

    |

    Hi Elena, I am preparing my body for pregnancy and your blog is #1 on my read list. I love love love it! I think the diversity of comments really shows the divide in women who have little ones and women who are about to be pregnant or are pregnant with their first little one. I read this post and was like “Yes! Tell me what I can do to avoid or at least diminish stretch marks pleeeeeeease.” While it looks like most people who have had a child are not so interested (to say the least).

    Anyway, I really believe in positive feelings and emotions, as well as visualization. Have you read transurfing? It was writen by a Russian man and is a great book. I read the english translation but everyone on amazon says the original Russian book is way better. So my suggestion is to visualize yourself with a very pregnant belly that is free of stretch marks (as well as visualizing a healthy pregnancy and baby of course). Also continue to prepare your skin and body with everything you are doing now. It is my firm belief that if you will visualize it with positive happy emotions then it will happen. Good luck to you :)

    Reply

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby

      |

      Thanks anon! I’ll check out the book. I was actually getting ready to find a few Russian books I can read in the original to remember my Russian a bit better before the baby comes, so that I didn’t have to search for words or translate them in my head when talking to the baby (we are going the tri-lingual route). So that’s perfect!

      And yes you’re right about mommies vs mommies to be- completely different points of view, with a few exceptions on the mommy side.

      Reply

  • Svetlana

    |

    I was very lucky and did not get stretch marks with either of my pregnancies. Neither did my mother or my sisters. Everything I’ve read indicates that genetics and hormones are the main factors that determine stretch marks. Skin elasticity is likely something you would inherit from your mother, so your sister’s propensity for stretch marks would not depend on her father’s genes. If your mother and sister got them, chances are you will too. Pregnancy hormones also affect the skin in many ways aside from causing acne, melasma, rashes, skin tags, dark spots, and itching. The hormones weaken collagen and elastin in the dermis, making the tissue more prone to tearing when stretched (i.e., stretch marks). The higher the hormone levels, the bigger the damage. I don’t think there is much you can do to avoid them, other than apply some of the creams which won’t prevent them but may make them a teeny, tiny bit less severe. The flip side is that we don’t know how safe those creams are for the baby and is it worth it to rub the chemicals into your skin so close to the womb? I’m just not sure it would be worth the risk just to avoid having to wear a tankini.

    Reply

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby

      |

      That’s the thing: my mom got no stretchmarks, my sister got them relatively bad… So I have no idea.
      And the creams most people use are simple cocoa oil and vit E without any preservatives or anything extra added, which is pretty safe, considering the safest shampoos and soaps out there have a lot more chemicals in them.

      Reply

  • Lynn

    |

    I made it through 2 pregnancies without any stretchmarks, I exfoliated my body, drank a ton of water, and used Mama Mio Tummy Rub Oil everyday. I totally understand that it may be genetic, but if there was even a slight chance that my ritual would prevent stretchmarks, I was going with it. It’s important to take care of your skin anyway, right?
    I was in good shape before having my first, I was lucky enough to be “one of those people” who didn’t have to do much to be thin (5’7″ 120-125lbs.), I ate relatively healthy, never exercised. I have been blessed with an amazing metabolism. I gained 36 lbs, my belly got HUGE (thanks in part to my 9lb. 3oz bundle of joy). After having my daughter, I lost the weight relatively easy and quickly, but my body was out of shape. I began exercising as soon as I could leave her in my gym’s daycare center. I was in great shape before having #2, best shape of my life. I loved the way I looked and felt. After battling through the first trimester morning sickness, I was back to my regular workout routine. I slowed down at about 37 weeks when I was just way to uncomfortable to do it anymore. I was still active however, I was chasing around a two year old after all. I only gained 21 lbs. with my second pregnancy, my body looked the same, I just had a giant belly (this little guy was 8lbs. 14oz.). I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight by 12 weeks. Unfortunately, finding the time to workout with two little one’s is a lot harder, and when I did start working out again, I experienced a huge dip in my milk production, breastfeeding my son until at least 12 months was way too important to me. My little guy is almost 11 months now and I don’t look bad by any means, but I would certainly be happy if I were a little more toned. I did it once though and I will do it again! Good luck to you!

    Reply

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby

      |

      Your story is very encouraging! I hope I have as positive of an experience as you. It just shows that even with a baby you can still be in shape.

      Reply

  • melanie

    |

    I have six kids, including twins and no stretch marks. I have never used anything. It’s completely genetic or else everyone would be running to buy that one miracle product. There is nothing you can do to prevent them, no matter what oil you use. It’s the elasticity of your skin, not the hydration.

    Even so, stretchmarks are a badge of honor. You carried a life inside you. Your perfect baby is wayyyy cooler than your perfect belly anyday.

    Reply

  • Monica

    |

    Wow, I only got through maybe half of the comments, and I just have to say some people are offended WAY too easily! I mean really!
    Anyway… I did get stretchmarks on my lower abdomen during my first pregnancy- not until the end of it though. They were pretty red for a few months but did gradually fade, and now (4 yrs later) are totally faded but almost have a silvery color to them. I don’t think they are super noticeable. I have had another baby since (she is 15 months old now), and did not get any new stretchmarks, thankfully. My stomach is pretty flat now but I still need to work on it some more. I am a few pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight but I do have some loose skin (only really noticeable if I bend over, or when I am doing push-ups lol), and I definitely need to do some more toning. I know that if I could lose just a few more pounds (I am 5’7″ and 136 pounds), and get back to my workouts (consistency is my struggle), I believe I could get my abs to look pretty decent. I would ALMOST consider venturing out in a bikini now… faded stretchmarks and all. :)
    As for what some are saying about stretchmarks not mattering… they are right, to a point. When you compare stretchmarks to the wonder and joy of having a beautiful child to love, yeah, they don’t matter. But of course, on a different level they can still matter to you without causing you to be a terrible mother. It is no different than taking the time to put makeup on or fix your hair when you are going somewhere (which I would assume those other mothers do)- you CAN and should still care about how you look. There is nothing wrong with wondering about how you are going to look after you give birth, and attempting to avoid the UGLY side of pregnancy. Yes, I said ugly… and unlike you, I mean it literally. Yes, I think my stretchmarks are ugly. :)

    Reply

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby

      |

      I know right?
      It’s a given that anyone would go through stretchmarks or worse to have their precious baby. That’s not even an argument. But it’s not like if you managed to avoid stretchmarks you have to give your baby away ;) lol it’s not an “either or” situation. The best case scenario is healthy baby- no stretchmarks. But if you do end up getting them, it is like “oh well it was well worth it”.

      It seems a lot of women get the saggy skin, I wonder if there’s anything that can be done to get it back to normal, aside from surgery of course. Exercises,vitamins? Anything?

      Reply

      • Monica

        |

        Well, I do feel like as I lost weight the saggy skin constantly improved, and now as I get more toned it improves too. So… my hope is that if I get to my ultimate goal weight and continue to work on toning it will mostly go away. Maybe that is unrealistic, but one can hope. I have relied a lot on Jillian Michaels dvds (30 day shred and No More Trouble Zones- NMTZ is awesome for abs) to get me into shape. I know that if I could consistently work out 5 days a week I could totally get where I want to be. If I could get myself to eat as good as you, I would for sure be there in no time lol. Obviously every body is different, but being that you are in were in great shape going into the pregnancy, and have such great eating habits, I am sure you will have no problem getting very close to your pre-baby body.

        Reply

        • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby

          |

          Oh that’s good to know. I’m just not the greatest with working out, I’ll do it every day but I can’t go for long- I hate it. I’d rather not eat for the rest of my life lol. If I have to get on shape I’ll work out but I won’t be happy about it. With food though it’s super easy for me. It’s funny how we have our “things”.
          We will see how motivated I’ll be after giving birth ;)))))

          Reply

  • Jessica

    |

    Sad story I found out after getting prego, Stretchmarks be hereditary… No lie. If your momma or Daddy have them good chance says you will too:/ My dad’s family has them but not my mommy’s, and thanks to daddy, I’m covered in them :/ but I’m sure that to what ever ever extent you can make them better than they would be by not doing anything:) I wish you luck though:)

    Reply

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby

      |

      Wow that writing is beautiful! I understand that now. very much so! But it doesn’t mean I won’t do anything to prevent them- it doesn’t take the magic away.

      Reply

  • Joey

    |

    I gained about 30lbs during my pregnancy and I, too, used all sorts of creams every night, sunned my belly, drank lots of water etc.
    My stretch marks cropped up around 35 weeks — butt, lower abdomen and sides. They’re not too bad now (10 months post-partum) and I have no problem wearing a bathing suit (bikini) as I’m proud of being a mother (I’m sure you will be too!) The stretch marks have faded quite a bit, and the rest of my body is pretty thin these days, so I just don’t feel weird in a bikini. Embrace your body– if you love bikinis, continue to love them :) It’s true that your tummy might not bounce back – it’s definitely been stretched throughout the nine months, but I’m sure you’ll get to a place you’re OK with. And once your kid becomes mobile I swear the pounds also drop off… chasing a little monster around and packing him about helps.

    Funny thing is my baby came one week later. Not a big deal — but hey, baby, you could’ve come a week earlier and momma would be stretch-mark-free (potentially.)

    Reply

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby

      |

      Oh, but it’s good your baby stayed in there one extra week- it’s that much healthier, which is worth all the stretchmarks.
      I think I will be fine with something that fades and is hard to see- what choice will I have? :) And most likely you still won’t find me in a tankini or a one piece ( unless it’s a super sexy/cool one piece)

      Reply

  • Teresa

    |

    My mom had six babies and didn’t get any stretch marks. I gained 45 lbs with my first pregnancy and did not get a single stretch mark. I have always used lotion every day after my shower, and I continued that routine while pregnant but didn’t do anything special. Now I am 25 weeks pregnant and so far so good. My doctor told me if I was going to get stretch marks, I would have gotten them the first time. I’ve heard it all depends on genetics and the skin elasticity you inherited.

    Reply

  • Judy

    |

    So how did it turn out?

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

      |

      If you’re asking if I got stretch marks, the answer is no.
      That is until I started breastfeeding and stopped moisturizing boobies I got 2-3 stretch marks on my breasts. They are now somehow gone though.

      Reply

  • kayla

    |

    I love reading your blogs. Even though you went through this pregnancy almost 3 years ago… I can obviously still relate! I love seeing your bump picture updates… we have the same body type.. so I always get excited to see what I will look like next week!

    Reply

Leave a comment

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.