Saturday, April 24, 2010

Stretch marks during pregnancy?

Mummylicious at Week 12 of PP's pregnancy-Milk Cravings.

Have you ever had the weirdest dream? and days past, you are still thinking about it? Well i did and that is what happening. I dreamt i had gotten new stretch marks POST-pregnancy. Is my subconscious still worried about that?! If i follow Freud's theory on dreams, most probably yes. He would also add that I am jealous of my daughter and wish I had men's body parts. Right.

I didn't get stretch marks when i was pregnant. At all. I had cellulites but no stretch marks. i think i would prefer stretch marks than cellulites. Plus, I had a really dark linea nigra from 3 months onward of my pregnancy.

I theorise, i didn't have stretch marks because of 3 factors.

1. Genetic - G-Na doesn't have any even after 4 children. None. So that was in my favour. 

Dear PP, if you get any, that's your father's gene, not mine.

2. Gradual weight gain - I gained slowly for the first 2 trimesters, i ate  alot, but always in small portions 24 hours a day. Only the last trimester i started to gain at a much faster rate. Ps: Dr Tang never let me worried about my weight gain. She said "it's totally normal and you're not supposed to be eating for 2 early in the pregnancy anyway. You are gaining healthly." her.

3. Luck.

Every pregnant women would worry about getting stretch marks. Especially the new Mummylicious and especially when the statistics of getting them is higher than not getting them. 

"Between 75% and 90% of women develop stretch marks to some degree during pregnancy...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" Wikipedia

Early in the pregnancy i was 50-50 worried about stretch marks. I would inspect myself, abdomen, chest, buttocks and thighs for any reddish lines forming. Asked Daddylicious "Would you still be attracted to me if i had stretch marks?" every.single.week. 

When I got bigger (which you will because you are pregnant), I had Daddylicious inspect me nearly every week. Especially under the belly cause  you will get to a point, it will be so difficult to check there! and thats where the first stretch marks were to appear if it was going to appear! I was going crazy at that point just trying to look for the elusive stretch marks. I would sit in front of the mirror. Lift my butt to check under the belly. Go round in circles looking at my backside. Using multiple mirrors to bounce images. TAKE PHOTOS! 

Mummylicious at Week 33 of PP's pregnancy. No stretch marks visible

at the same time, I was not afraid of stretch marks. Maybe I was trying to channel positive thinking. But sometimes...I really did want some cause i think they can be a beautiful thing. A story of your pregnancy. The beautiful journey of the miracle of life in lines etched onto your skin.

So when I really didn't get any, not even a bit. (i was hoping for teeny tiny stretch mark), I was to be honest, dissapointed. Where was my lines to proof i carried PP for 9 months? Where was my mark of motherhood? I didn't have that....i didn't have my mark of motherhood that some mothers carries so proudly everywhere they go.

But because God hates complainers....He told my doctor to give me a C-section scar instead. SO there. Padan muka.  (roughly translated: Ha! Ha!)

While writing this post, I asked for the last time to Daddylicious "Would you think I still be sexy if i had stretch marks?" To which he answered for the gazillionth time since I got pregnant, 

"You've asked this question a gazillion times, if you had stretch marks it really wouldn't matter. You will still be my sexy wife". 

Sometimes, that's all you need to hear. So go on dear pregnant friends, ask your Hubbylicious that and you will know to him, you will always be Mummylicious, stretch mark or no.

Concern or not for possible stretch marks, when your bump starts to show and grow, it will be itchy! Everyone from the lady at the supermarket to your MIL will warn you, "Don't scratch them! they causes stretch marks!"
I wish I could answer, 

1. It doesn't cause stretch marks. 

"Stretch marks are caused by changes in the elastic supportive tissue that lies just beneath the skin. They start out pink, reddish brown, purple, or dark brown, depending on your skin color."Baby Center

"The second factor, which is still a subject of debate among experts, involves the priming of the skin by increased levels of hormones in pregnancy. Together, these hormones attract more water into the skin, which relaxes the bonds between collagen fibers. This makes it easier for the skin to tear when it is stretched and for stretch marks to form" American

2. It's not the end of the world if i had stretch marks.

"Renet DeRepetigny..."I'm proud motherhood has left an imprint on my body as well as my heart," she says. "It reminds me that I'm a strong, capable and courageous woman."

Her words prove that your stretch marks are what you make of them. See them as a reminder of your strengths, and they will empower you. See them as a source of embarrassment, and they will hold you back." Babies Today "The beautiful side of stretch marks"

3. It blardy itches!!! 

Scratching tummy was out mainly because simply the more you scratch, the more irritated your stretch ed tummy skin will be, the more it itches. and it really does itch.

So what does one do? Other than a lot of rubbing  my tummy like rubbing little buddha's tummy for luck and if i had to scratch, it must be done above your outer wear. Ie: Not on skin directly. .....but it sure was tempting.

This might sound contradictory, but I bought moisturisers for stretch marks, even when i know, if you are gonna get it, no amount of cream or oil will prevent it. but it will minimise the scars if any formed. But I bought them for different reasons, normal moisturisers that i already had, made my itchiness itchier. Gah!

"This study found a daily application of a cream containing Gotu Kola extract, vitamin E, and collagen hydrolysates was associated with fewer stretch marks during pregnancy.[7][8] Another study, though lacking a placebo control, examined a cream (Verum) containing vitamin E, panthenol, hyaluronic acid, elastin and menthol. It was associated with fewer stretch marks during pregnancy versus no treatment.[9] Though cocoa butter is an effective moisturizer, no research studies have shown its ability to either prevent stretchmarks, or to reduce their appearance once a stretch mark has already formed" Wikipedia

First, i used Palmer's Cocoa Butter because everyone raved about it. Daddylicious did not liked the smell. And personally, i didn't like it. It felt heavy and my skin didn't feel soft for long.

Then someone gave me BioOil. Smell weird. and i found it's too oily for my liking.

Then i bought Earth Mama Angel Baby. Perfect. Loved the smell. (Daddylicious did too). Skin remained moisterised for hours and hours and I like to think this helped my skin remain soft and supple that whatever stretch mark that were to appear at the last trimester of my pregnancy, did not. It can be hard to find but I really recommend this to any pregnant mothers out there to give it a try. Plus! Its ORGANICS! Needless to say, I became a loyalist to Earth Mama Angel Baby products. (See links for more) 

PS: If you are still worried about stretch marks, start using the oil as early as possible! Like, first trimester early. Not when there's an existing stretch mark. 

Facebook status back when i was pregnant at Week 13.

Dayang is at 51.8kg! The last time she hit that was in melb (Mon, 13 Apr 2009 09:58:54 GMT)

I think i am around that weight now. 6 months post-pregnancy and i am still at Week 13 pregnancy weight. Haigh.

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Eyeshadow Colour said...

Lucky girl!
Getting the really does depend on genetics and how much weight you gain.

Mummylicious said...

i gained 20kg. Thats a lot! but genetics played a big part for me i guess :)

Anonymous said...

I love your story really it's beautiful and congratulations on your new bundle of joy.
All my love and best wishes to your family