When I found out I was pregnant, one of the first things that came into my mind was 1) I’m going to get fat and 2) I’m going to be left with disgusting stretch marks all over my belly.
Neither of those are 100 per cent true.
Sure, if you “eat for two” throughout your pregnancy, you’re going to gain weight and you’re going to find it even harder to lose it after the baby but if you watch what you eat, stay active and throw yourself back into training as soon as your doctor says it’s safe to do so, there’s no reason why you can’t slip back into your size 8 jeans.
As for stretch marks, I don’t know if I’ll get any tiger stripes while I’m carrying my baby but I’m doing everything I can now to prevent them so that if I do end up with a few red marks on my belly, they will fade relatively quickly or be almost invisible to the naked eye.
I started my stretch mark prevention routine as soon as I found out I was pregnant.
Most people and a lot of the lotions and potions advertised for pregnancy recommend that you start applying your creams/gels and oils once you’re in the second trimester. But why would you wait until your body has already started to grow before you start pumping it with moisture?
I’ve been suffering with hyperemesis throughout my pregnancy thus far so I really struggled to get enough fluid into me to keep my skin hydrated and most of the first trimester I felt so weak and fatigued that I really couldn’t be bothered to stand around applying creams to my flesh.
Now that I’m finally on the route to brighter days, I’ve been taking my anti stretch mark routine very seriously. I apply it at least twice a day to my thighs, butt, belly, lower back and boobs.
I also try to dry body brush once a day – depending on when I take my shower – to try and get the blood moving as it’s quite common to get more cellulite during pregnancy, too!
I use the Superdrug Restore Skin Oil – which retails at £12.99 a bottle and is cruelty free and vegan – first because it leaves my skin feeling so smooth and plump after application, before I follow up with Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Stretch Mark Lotion – which retails at £3.99 – afterwards.
I haven’t actually tried Bio Oil on my skin for this pregnancy but I didn’t find it to be that great when I had my appendix out a few years back and wanted to fade my keyhole scar. It’s also not cruelty free and it’s super expensive, in my opinion, for what you get.
Now, there’s definitely no magic potion that will miraculously get rid/prevent your stretch marks because a lot of it comes down to your age, your skin type and your genetics but making sure your skin is pumped with loads of moisture will help its elasticity and therefore reduce red marks.
Since I’ve been pregnant I’ve completely gone off plain water (weird, I know) but I try to make sure I drink as much fluid as possible because my baby steals the majority of it! And I like to include foods high in antioxidants – think blueberries, strawberries, kale and red cabbage.
I don’t know whether I’ll get any stretch marks while carrying my little bundle of joy but I’m hoping these little things I do will help keep my skin nice and supple… only time will tell!