Monday, August 22, 2011

Stretch Marks aka Striae

Why don't pregnancy and baby belly advertisements/books/pictures show images like this?
NOT my belly- Photo Credit

******Because it's U-G-L-Y!!******

I can only HOPE that I have a baby belly that looks like this

What are stretch marks?  According to Wikipedia,
"Stretch marks are often the result of the rapid stretching of the skin associated with rapid growth (common in puberty) or weight gain (e.g. pregnancy, muscle building, or rapid gain of fat) or, in some cases, severe pulling force on skin that overcomes the dermis's elasticity...
Between 75% and 90% of women develop stretch marks to some degree during pregnancy. The sustained hormonal levels as a result of pregnancy usually means stretch marks may appear during the sixth or seventh month, primarily during the 3rd trimester, as that is when skin tends to be subjected to higher levels of stretching forces."

Great, oh lucky me!

Maybe it's just a cultural thing that stretch marks are ugly? Aren't they considered "love lines" or "trophy" lines in some culture?  Shows active fertility and child bearing abilities! I wonder?!  Why the heck don't celebrities have stretchmarks?! Why why why!?

Anyhow, I also know that stretch marks are hereditary and essentially non-preventable!!  My mom has stretch marks around her side but I don't know if those were from pregnancy or the weight she gained once she moved to Canada.  To my surprise though, she doesn't have frontal abdominal stretch marks like you see above..those gross horizontal maroon lines running vertically down your abdomen. (can you tell how unimpressed I am?)

Sadly, I had stretch marks behind my legs when I was a blossoming teenager, and I can still even see stretch mark residue (ie. faded lines) around the side of my boobs.  I also have some stretch marks around my side, just like my mom which has existed all my life for as long as I remember.  And well, I have accepted those as a part of my life- but I don't go walking around in a bikini on the beach because of it! Ugh! Oh well, Gene doesn't care, he asked about them at one point when we were first going out, and he was gracious enough to tell me about his stretch marks experience though his have faded to non-existent.  (I think that scored some major brownie points for future husband material haha!)

What am I doing about it?

So far, no new stretch marks have showed up since becoming pregnant.  However, I am carefully watching and if I see myself or realize that I am scratching at some localized spot- it's running to the mirror and seeing if something is showing up!  There's lots of products out there like cocoa butter, Bio-oil, and Mederma. Most are definitely targeted towards pregnant women as stretch marks are a major source of self consciousness.  None of course advertise the prevention of stretch marks, but "reduce the appearance of" them.  I'm good with that FOR NOW! 

Right now, i'm going natural and using some sweet almond oil.  It's natural, it's nourishing, not super greasy, it's nicely priced, and even though it's nut based; won't put my child at risk for a nut allergy.

Plus, sweet almond oil is a carrier oil that RMT's use for their massages- so I know from before that I have not reacted to it.  Finally, can I mention again that sweet almond oil is NATURAL and basically, has one ingredient unlike certain above mentioned oils that have things like Retinol in it?! Oh well.  Currently, a few minutes after my DAILY and nightly shower, I slather almond oil around my belly, my sides, and my boobs.  Keeps the moisture trapped in the skin post shower, and it's just easier in general to remember to do it.  Also, though i'm not on a diet, i'm not using pregnancy as an excuse to eat like a pig!  I'm doing the best I can with some rules in portions and better food choices (however, chips and possibly sushi are another story- i can eat it everyday with every meal). 

So far so good- NO NEW STRETCH MARKS!! I can't beat the freakin' genetics but i'm at least going to put up a fight!


What is on your mind?


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