A mother's hidden sacrifice: Stretchmarks & Scars
When I was pregnant with my first baby, I read many books to prepare myself on how to take care of the baby. There was so much to learn. I was so excited and concerned about taking care of our child, I forgot to take better care of my skin to prevent stretchmarks and scarring. Moms would talk about sacrifices such as losing sleep, deprioritizing careers, or spending less on ourselves. But no one really talked to me about how it feels to have stretchmarks and a big scar across my belly. I wish someone did, perhaps I would've been more emotionally prepared.
Stretchmarks and scars are something we'd rather keep out of sight. Both from others and from ourselves. Yes, my mind knows these battle scars are worth it. But when I see myself in the mirror, my heart still weeps a little. I've accepted that my skin won't be as baby smooth as pre-pregnancy. I just wish they'd feel less like old panties with overstretched, wavy garters. I wish my keloid scar would feel flatter and look less like a fat slug. I wish they'd look less obvious.
WE ARE NOT ALONE.
In a US research, 75% of pregnant women with stretchmarks said their primary concern was that the marks would be permanent. Over one-third of the participants said they feel more self-conscious, embarrassed, and it has impacted their choices of clothing and leisure activities.
WHY DO SOME HAVE IT AND SOME DON'T?
Genetics lottery play a major factor. If your mother had it, most likely you'll have it too. But there are some factors for scarring that you can help PREVENT. These are the same secrets to help NATURALLY LESSEN the appearance of scars & stretchmarks, if you've got them already.
Manage your weight. Stretch marks can happen when your skin pulls apart too quickly due to rapid gain in body mass. Whether pregnant or not, eating healthy to maintain weight steadily will help prevent stretchmarks.
Less Scratching Less Scarring. Skin tends to itch when it gets dry, overstretched, and damaged. The more you scratch, the more it will itch and risk dark scarring.
Next time it feels itchy, do not scratch. Soothe yourself with Bebebugs Natural Skin Soother (purple) with Lavender and Neem.
Eat more Vitamins & Zinc.
Stretchmarks may occur when our bodies lack certain nutrients. Vitamins C, D, E, zinc, and protein are friends of the skin.
Exfoliate once a week. Scoop a dollop of Bebebalm ByeDry (blue jar) and dip it in fine brown sugar. Massage this scrub on clean, damp skin in a a circular motion. The AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) in sugar helps brighten skin. The Organic Virgin Coconut Oil and Monolaurin in Bebebalm ByeDry promotes softer, stronger skin.
(Editor's Note: Do NOT exfoliate keloid scars).
Nourish Skin Deeply. A well-nourished skin is more elastic and less prone to damage. Choose a balm with Helichrysum, Frankincense, Sandalwood & Lavender oils. These plant oils are prized for their ability to promote collagen & elastic production; and have numerous studies on their role in having less noticeable scarring.
Find these prized plant oils in Bebebalm ByeSpots Skin Radiance Moisturizer (yellow tube). Massage every morning and night until fully absorbed; reapply more often daily for smooth, refined, glowing skin. The earlier you start nourishing skin, the better.
Reminder: Before trying any of these, make sure your wounds have completely healed inside and out, and you have the go signal from your doctor. Usually, it takes 2-3 months for a caesarian section to heal.
HOW FAST WILL THESE WORK?
Let's manage expectations. Newer stretchmarks & scars may see faster effects. Older, darker, or bigger stretchmarks & scars will take more diligence and patience to be less noticeable. In the first 30-90 days, look for initial results: skin that feels a little smoother and looks a little brighter. Be diligent in continuing to take care of your skin. Over time you'll notice your skin looking and feeling more confidently beautiful.