Issues with stretch marks

J - posted on 06/04/2013 ( 24 moms have responded )

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I have serious issues with my stretch marks. I know a lot of moms say they are "battle scars" or "badges of honor" but I just haven't been able to look at them that way. My husband says that he doesn't care about them and still thinks that I look great but I just can't get over my saggy, stretch mark covered stomach. They have faded a bit but my skin looks all crinkly from them and I have a bit of excess skin too. It really bothers me that my stomach will never be the same. Despite my hubby saying that he isn't any less attracted to me I really feel that's not the entire truth. I asked if he didn't know me and he saw me before stretch marks and me after walking on the beach would he be more attracted to me pre-stretch marks (sorry if that sounds confusing ha!) and he admitted that pre-stretch mark me would be more attractive. I feel like a terrible, selfish human being for not being able to come to grips with this and I feel super guilty. I know other moms have them too but it doesn't make me feel any better. I understand it's my reality now but...does anyone else feel like this? Does anyone know of any tried and true solutions for getting rid of them? Thanks for any help you can offer, I really appreciate it.

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Allicia - posted on 06/06/2013

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I am in the same boat as u are in. My belly will never look the same again. I had 3 children and my last 2 really killed my belly. I am a tiny woman and ended up with an 8 lb baby. After his birth I pretty much kissed my body good bye. My husband also says I look great but I don't feel great in my body. So ur not alone I totally know how u feel.

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Awww hugs to you! This can be very frustrating I agree! I actually just pinned something on pinterest about a natural way to help with stretch marks. It looks to be like natural ingredients like foods you use in the kitchen, etc. I thought about trying it myself so I'm going to put think link in here: http://pinterest.com/pin/404972191463034...

Kathleen - posted on 06/14/2013

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eventually you will be 50 years old and that will be the last thing you worry about...... Your baby days will be over and you will really miss your periods, your stretch marks,
your lumpy boobs, and you armpit hair........yes they do fade with time......

Sara - posted on 06/11/2013

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Feel the same way about mine. Won't wear a bathing suit or anything anymore. And not just on my stomach my boobs got them pretty bad too (went from a B to a D) :/ I wish there was an options button for getting them lol at the beginning of each pregnancy just opt out of stretch marks :P

Kimberly - posted on 06/09/2013

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I have thought about getting implants but with 3 kids to raise I can't afford them :( maybe one day ill be able to afford them lol

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Ronni - posted on 10/09/2017

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I was in my second month, and throughout the whole pregnancy I used the Somaluxe Stretch Mark Cream because its 100% chemical free. I used it twice a day, and three times per day during the last trimester. I continued to use it for one more month postpartum. I don’t have stretchmarks at all! It works perfectly. (I also drank a lot of water during my pregnancy (at least 10-12 glasses per day), I read it also helps you with stretchmarks and swolleness.

Ronni - posted on 10/09/2017

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I was in my second month, and throughout the whole pregnancy I used the Somaluxe Stretch Mark Cream because its 100% chemical free. I used it twice a day, and three times per day during the last trimester. I continued to use it for one more month postpartum. I don’t have stretchmarks at all! It works perfectly. (I also drank a lot of water during my pregnancy (at least 10-12 glasses per day), I read it also helps you with stretchmarks and swolleness.

Ess - posted on 06/26/2013

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Awww, I can relate. I feel the EXACT same way after giving birth to my first child last year. I use Strivectin and it DID help to smooth the skin some, shrink them lengthwise and widthwise. My husband noticed the difference as well, we agreed that the texture of my skin had definitely improved. I'm considering laser therapy if I'm still not happy after losing more weight and trying more cream in a few months. I used the cream very consistently, two to three times daily immediately after birth, but I've slowed up some in recent months.
You can purchase Strivectin from various places, Ulta, Dillards & GNC are what immediately come to mind. I think there are quite a few reviews on Ulta to, it's expensive so maybe you'll want to read other people's experiences with it before purchasing a full size bottle. If you have a Dillards you can check to see if they have sample packs, I've gotten a few from there. Ulta sells trial sized tubes as well.

I've read that a derma roller could also help, but I haven't tried one yet. I hope you see an improvement over time. If you come upon a miracle, please share it with me.

J - posted on 06/23/2013

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I'd just like to say thanks for all of the input. It makes me feel better to know there are other women out there who feel the way that I do instead of just hearing "get over it". That only makes it worse for me.

I started using Avon Perfecting Oil and my husband said he noticed a difference. I feel like my skin regained some of its elasticity and isn't as saggy. I didn't think it would do anything and now I wish I took pictures to be sure it's not my mind playing tricks on me. It's only been a couple of weeks at most. It could just be coincidence I suppose. I keep thinking if my body had this hard of a time recovering from 1 baby (who was only 6.5lbs and stretched my stomach out this badly) how will I do with a second. SO, a few years from now, if I remember, I'll repost.

If any of you noticed a difference in your body bouncing back or the look of your stomach from a second or third baby please do let me know so that I can mentally prepare. I think it might be easier instead of getting shocked in the last couple weeks of pregnancy when you haven't gained more than you should and have a very reasonable sized baby for your body type.

Gena - posted on 06/20/2013

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I was happy with my body befor my pregnancy... I have HUGE strechmarks and i put on so much weight. At first they realy bothered me and i felt ashame.. but now i dont care anymore...
I am not a model, i have a beautiful son, i am healthy and even if i will never wear a bikini ever again... Who cares? I have a wonderful husband and he said i look like a cute zebra with the marks( he said it in a sweet way not being nasty) ..

The only thing i have heard is that Bi-oil could help make them lighter..

Alicia - posted on 06/17/2013

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i have the same problem and the same husband saying the same things and i still feel the same way. i've tried eating less giving up things and nothing is working my husband trys to boost my confidence but it still not working. i will sometimes wear special clothes fancy bra fancy underwear when i want to feel beautiful. i have used bio oil in the past and it has helped me a bit (but i'm in the middle of moving and havent kept up with it.) i tell my self every night that my husband loves me and i should love me too and sometimes it works. try maybe it'll work for you. i also talk to my public health nurse regularly about my feelings and she too lets me know that its all part of being a mommy

Mrs. - posted on 06/16/2013

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Just so you know, don't feel guilty if you feel you haven't gotten fit enough to make the stretch marks look better or anything. It really is in the genes. My MIL is an Ironman athlete and incredibly fit—really not a stitch of fat on her. She still has some loose skin and stretch marks on her stomach that are visible.

In fact, many triathletes, who are also mothers, do. Most of them show their stomachs, and do it without much fuss. Maybe you could look toward these women as body roll models instead of an airbrushed idea of what a mother's stomach should look like.

If that's not for you, check out this link: http://www.abeautifulbodyproject.com/
It really puts things in perspective, as far as what real bodies look like through all there big life changes.

I don't have stretch marks, but I do have surgery scars. So, I do also know this: what you think is a big glaring flaw is often not even noticeable by most. Your husband appears to feel the same way (even though it looks like you pressured him into saying he'd like you better if the past you were to magically appear on a beach or something that he'd like that better. Seriously though, has his hair line and waist line stayed the same? Do you like him less for it...I doubt he does either). You might need some catch up to come to the same conclusions.

Sara - posted on 06/12/2013

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We had our first when we were 18/19 now 3 kids later and 23. I agree feeling healthy has helped me a lot lately as well as some other adjustments. Since my son was born 2.5 months ago I've lost over 20lbs thanks to working out every other day and eating healthy, got a tattoo for my oldest (he's autistic so I got a small puzzle piece with his name) and a piercing like I used to have pre-first baby and I have to say my confidence is coming back slowly. Still not bikini ready as Heidi is but getting there by next summer at this rate lol.

Heidi - posted on 06/12/2013

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I was a fairly young mother being 29 when my daughter was born and I carried her to 42 weeks and 3 days. In the last two weeks of my pregnancy my abdomen was stretched to the maximum, resulting in very serious stretch marks and lots of extra skin. I was never a very sporty person, but in the last few years I have been doing a lot of fitness. Of course my body will never return to pre-pregnancy days, but I am no longer ashamed to wear a bikini. Even though the stretch marks are still there they have faded and the extra skin has diminished quite a bit. I also think that when you FEEL HEALTHY you will feel better about your appearance, whether you have stretch marks or not. Obviously, I wouldn't include a breast augmentation to be a healthy choice. I hope this helps. Good Luck!

Cathy - posted on 06/11/2013

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Stretch marks stink and really short of surgery that are just part of who you are now as a mother. You may just need more time to accept that you are so much more than your skin. You carried a baby and your body had to change a little. Personally I think having a baby is so amazing and such a blessing that we can do it and be healthy. Unless you are a model and have to show your tummy in perfect condition it doesn't matter. besides we are all aging. what are we going to look like at 60 or 80? I think at some point we have to come to grips that our bodies are only temporary and we are just trying to make the most of our lives with or without stretch marks. It is ok if you don't love them. try not to hate them though. You earned them. so many women who can not have babies would kill for those marks!!!
Cathy

Jennifer - posted on 06/07/2013

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The it works company makes a defining gel that I have been using in my daughters stretch marks and they are clearing up nicely. I understand this product will firm up the breast tissue as well! Www.facebook.com/whynotbeskinnyin45

J - posted on 06/07/2013

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Kimberly, one of my friends' breasts shrank a bit and turned into "flaps" as she liked to put it. She got implants and is very please with the result. That's not for everyone but it worked for her. I don't know if that would help with the stretch marks too since it would fill the skin back out. That's the best I can come up with. Sorry if it's not helpful at all.

Kimberly - posted on 06/07/2013

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I fortunately didn't get stretch marks on my stomach but I got them on my hips and butt (not too bad) but they are on my breast and are horrible! And now my boobs are way smaller than they were before 3 kids(like now I'm a very small A cup) and they sag(yes small breast can sag I swear! Lol) and they are covered in deep ugly stretch marks :( I don't even want my husband to look at them anymore! I hate them! Anyone have any suggestions for how to get them to at least lighten up? I tried the cream that you apply 3 times a day but no results :( I'm tired of looking at them!

Jennifer - posted on 06/07/2013

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Have you tried that crazy wrap thing? It helps with stretch marks. My daughter has them from rapid weight gain and I used their defining gel on hers and they are fading nicely. The gel and the wrap have the same ingredients just in different concentrations. Www.facebook.com/whynotbeskinnyin45

J - posted on 06/06/2013

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Thanks Kelly! I will look into the laser treatment. It's been over a year and I think my stretch marks have faded as much as they're going to. My skin doesn't heal very well so I'm sure that's what I'd need when I'm done having kids. Since we plan on having one more I'll wait on the skin removal and see how much worse it gets after the 2nd before deciding. I've heard from a lot of women that if they're skin gets really stretched with the 1st, it doesn't really get worse with the 2nd. Fingers crossed!

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Two of my neighbors are partners in a dermatology and cosmetic surgery spa. They have a treatment combo that includes surgical removal of the extra skin (and sometimes fat too, but there can't be too much fat), then a laser treatment for the stretch marks and scarring from the surgery or c-sec. They've done about half the moms in our neighborhood, and they all look fabulous. I don't think it's too expensive, but insurance doesn't usually cover it. I have heard that these spas are popping up all over the country, maybe you can find one near you. Just make sure it is reputable--check out the doctors and their history and records. The surgeons have to be board certified, obviously, but sometimes these places just hire one dermatologist and staff them with a team of "skin experts" who can do some of the procedures. I wouldn't want anyone with less than a doctorate working on my skin.

Ann - posted on 06/06/2013

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I'm in the same boat. I have lost a substantial amount of weight after both of my pregnancies (my daughters are 11 months apart) and my stomach looks gross yet i dont mind them as much now as I've been using cocoa butter, mederma worked really well, and believe it or not that sunless tanning lotion, it's covered them up quite good :)

Edna - posted on 06/05/2013

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I've been using Apothederm stretch mark cream for some time now. Its seems to be working it helped the texture they use to be deep and I could feel them. Now they are sooth but still visible and it help even the color. I used to have ugly purple color ones and I am light skin so I prefer the look now that they all look more like silver I've had three kids am 26. I try to post tonight on my blog to show you if I get some courage to show my stomach like I side they are still visible. I too have some loose skin; If anyone found something to help with that please share. http://kiwime87g.blogspot.com/

Danicia - posted on 06/05/2013

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working out has helped me come to terms with my stretch marks. they are beginning to diminish b/c my skin isn't stretched as much holding extra baby weight. the thinner I get the less noticeable the become! :) tanning helps hide them. I try hard to remember to moisturize my skin to keep them healing. (I used raw shea butter throughout my pregnancy but genetics took over and I got BAD stretch marks anyway- rib cage down to the back of my knees just from one normal pregnancy.)
I had the hardest time for the first year after having my daughter accepting my stretch marks. HATED them. seriously once I started working out they started to be less visible. my thinking has changed from utter shame and wanting to rip my skin off just not to see them to thinking, "damn! I look good, if people have problems with my skin that's their problem, not mine! I have a gorgeous baby girl because of them, they can just look the other way if they don't like what my skin looks like!"

I wish you luck in gaining the confidence you deserve, don't let stretch marks get in the way of enjoying the life you have! :)

Alina - posted on 06/05/2013

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Hey there. On the practical side of things, I started using plain shea butter, the unrefined, pure stuff. Worked great for me and cleared my skin up. Almost can't see the marks. As far as the excess skin, I tried every excercise I could, even intense cardio. Turns out I have collapsed muscles and unless I have surgery, this rather large tummy is mine to enjoy for the long haul lol. Sweetie . . . you have to change the way you think about yourself. Yes we all have had issues with our pre-and-post baby bodies, but like you previously stated, you know that and it still hasn't helped. It sounds as if your focus is 100% on your belly. I bet you have other very beautiful qualities about you, and it's time to start focusing on them instead of your belly. As far as the question you asked your husband - of course he would have chosen a pre-stretchmarked you; he was only seeing you with his eyes then. Now he sees you with his eyes, his mind and his heart, so your beauty has grown beyond the physical with him (as he was telling you before you roped him into a physical attraction issue). You have to force yourself to stop paying attention to your belly or it's going to consume you. When you look at yourself, you will have to deliberately NOT look at your belly. It's a battle in your mind that you have to (and can!) win. I asked my husband the same question as you, and my husband put it like this: "I was attracted to what you looked like then because that's what you looked like then. I'm attracted to you now because this is what you look like now! You didn't have kids when I met you, and now you have kids. Stop harping about things out of your control and be thankful that God blessed you to have kids! Now talk to me about something else, because I'm not going to help you tear yourself down. You want to tear yourself down - do it by yourself!" Maybe it sounds harsh, but he was right! And I love him for the reality check. Didn't happen overnight, but my attitude did change. I still have a saggy belly, stretchmarks are faded but still slightly visible, but it is what it is and I feel I'm beautiful with it! You'll get there . . .

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