Homemade Belly Butter: Fighting Stretch Marks

 

What’s the latest item on my pregnancy agenda these days? Prevention of stretch marks.

 

Several people - doctors and moms - have insisted that nothing can be done to prevent stretch marks. However, this hasn’t stopped me from doing everything that I can to take action against them. Sure, if stretch marks are already in my future then obviously there won’t be much that I can do prevention-wise,   but do I want to wait until they appear to do something about them? Not really. If there’s something that I can do to prevent them now, then I am willing to at least give it a try.

After doing some of my own research, the general consensuses to reducing the likelihood of stretch marks are as follows:

 

Drink loads of water (at about three liters a day, my motivation is 25% stretch mark prevention, 75% is because I’m really thirsty these days!).

  • Don’t gain weight too quickly (steady weight gain is attainable with a healthy/balanced diet).
  • Be aware of your skin - does it feel itchy, dry and sensitive? If so, try not to itch it as this could promote loosening of the skin.
  • Don’t expose your belly to sunlight; this could further dry out the skin.
  • Take supplements that contain vitamin C, E and zinc (a prenatal vitamin should cover these).
  • Keep your skin hydrated.

 

A great way to keep your belly hydrated is to applying cream/lotion/oil to it so that the skin remains soft and elastic. Throughout my pregnancy I’ve been following celebrities who are also pregnant (a slight guilty pleasure of mine which also keeps me motivated). One of my favorites to follow has been Molly Sims. On her website, Molly recommends a body butter that you can make at home (recipe created by Lori Bregman). Here it is:

Breggy’s Belly Butter

Lori Bregman

 

Ingredients:

1 jar of organic coconut oil

1 container of organic cocoa butter

1 container of organic Shea butter

1 small bottle of 400 IU of Vitamin E

 

Directions:

Place all ingredients except for the Vitamin E in a pot of boiling water in their separate containers, letting them melt (the cocoa butter will take the longest). After everything is melted, pour into a large bowl and mix together with the Vitamin E. Put the mixture in a glass container and store in the refrigerator or another cool place.

 

 

I’ve made the body butter (which I love) and I’ve been applying it religiously. My husband loves taking 5-10 minutes every night to rub the butter all over my belly as his own special way of bonding and sending good vibes to the baby, plus I get a lovely mini-massage while he’s at it.

 

Many women describe themselves as taking pride in their stretch marks and embracing them as a beautiful way to remember a time in their lives when they carried a little miracle.   Some people even refer to them as “Mommy tattoos”. I can’t say that getting on board with stretch marks will be an easy task for me emotionally, but it’s a great feeling knowing that there is an entire online support network of women who are creating positive vibes around embracing the way we look and feel post-baby. Check out The Shape of a Mother.

 

At the end of the day whether or not I wind up with stretch marks will ultimately depend on genetics. And let’s face it, being pregnant is a blessing in itself and getting stretch marks is not the end all be all. If I’ve tried everything that I can to prevent them, and they still appear on my skin, then so be it.