28 answers

Preventing Belly Stretch Marks

Is it an old wives tale that you need to heavily moisturize your belly in order to prevent stretch marks?
If this is true, what is the best moisturizer to use to prevent stretch marks in your belly, and how often should it be applied?

My sister had her first baby and she told me that she never had to wear maternity underwear, she just bought larger sized ones. I am still able to wear my regular underwear in my 22nd week, but the girls in my office keep on telling me that I must buy special maternity underwear in order to prevent stretch marks and to have more support.

What do you recommend? Buy regular larger underwear, or buy special maternity underwear?

Thanks for your input!

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you ladies for all your comments and suggestions!
I hope that I fall into the "Good" genes and won't get stretch marks!
I will try to put some type of oil right after my shower, so that I won't get itchy dry skin.
I will also have my hubby participate in a new routine; moisturize my tummy at bedtime!

Featured Answers

Stretch marks are going to come on their own no matter what you do. DO NOT SCRATCH or you WILL get them! You can use Vitamin E cream (it is expensive, but works well) I would apply it twice a day, but the shirts I wore still have a greese spot in the belly - so use shirts you don't mind destroying.

Underwear: Where whatever is comfortable. I loved the maternity underwear because they were the most comfortable even when I thought what I had was comfortable these were better. Also, if you dress up, the maternity nylons were great. Wonderful support and feel just great.

i had 4 pregnancies, and my stretch marks are all on my thighs and breasts. My belly is fine. I wore low under wear-so they went below my belly.

I used some cream I got from CVS that was for pregnant women to prevent stretch marks. I put it on before bed. I bought maternity underwear when mine got too small. It is up to you. :-)

More Answers

Stretchmarks are anyones guess. My mom never got them and neither did I. I didn't use lotion or anything unless my skin felt particularly dry. I think genetics has a great deal to do with it as well as how one carries the baby. Some carry the baby totally in front while others seem to carry lengthwise. Just an opinion.
T.

I used "Palmers Cocoa Butter Formula Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks" with Shea Butter at least twice a day. I loved it so much that I still use it as my daily hand lotion. I never got stretch marks and I always wore my regular underwear. Even weighing 180 at the end of my pregnancy, I still wore regular undies. The girls in my office kept telling me not to wear heels....but did I listen...NO. I wore heels and I have a healthy boy. : )
Congrats on your pregnancy!!!
S.

I have no stretch marks at all. I used a normal amount Burt's Bees cream every morning after my shower (don't remember exactly what it's called, but it's for bellies). Also, I didn't use special maternity underwear or any sort of support garments.

I am thin and my belly was HUGE so there was a potential for major stretch marks.

After hearing advice from many, many women over the course of my pregnancy, I think maybe stretch marks are largely a factor of heredity. I wouldn't recommend spending a lot of money or time trying to prevent it.

Hey M.. Just my opinion here, but I think if your gonna get em', nothing's gonna stop em'. I would douse my belly with oils and lotion that cost a ton of money that were suppose to prevent strech marks. But I still got them bad anyway. I was told it's hereditary. All the women in my family had them. It's looks like Freddy Kruger sliced me up! But it's worth a try for sure. vitamin E oil is suppose to help. I wish you very good luck with this. I know what it feels like to have heavy stretch marks and it's not fun. But in the end it was all worth it. I have two beautiful girls to show for. Good luck to you!

Personally I think it's a "luck of the draw" sort of thing. I took all the preventative measures and still came out covered in stretch marks. Although I did have the softest, nicest-smelling belly when I was pregnant :) Congratulations and enjoy your pregnancy!

Cocoa Butter worked great for me! I'm not even 5 foot, gave birth to a 8.5 lb. baby with no stretching.....!

Congratulations!! Underwear, there is no support in most maternity underwear unless you buy the special support band. If your underwear are uncomfortable or causing "lines" in your skin at the end of the day then get some others or go commando.Not sure what special underwear have to do with preventing stretch marks?? I believe that has to do with elasticity in the skin. As far as stretch marks, well they do say they are hereditary, my mother had them I was great with my first until she dropped. Literally, everyone say her go from rib cage to pelvic bones, on Christmas eve, well I ended up with stretch marks right then, clear across the lower stomach, where she landed. I used cocoa butter, the stick and just rubbed, relatively inexpensive, vitamin E is great too.(the next baby was so big, there was no hope :) ) Good luck. Enjoy this wonderful time! (it wont last..)

Almond oil is great at preventing stretch marks. I have two babies, and not one stretch mark. It's a little messy, but worth it. I applied it at bed time. I never bought wore underwear.

Burt's Bees Belly Butter at Target.

Hello M.. I'm sure you'll get a lot of responses to this post, but keep in mind that people are genetically predisposed to stretch marks. They either get them or they don't. There is no way to prevent them, although I do advise lots and lots of oil and heavy creams to reduce the appearance of them, if you do get them. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news :(

BTW.... I would buy whatever underwear you feel comfortable in. I bought a bigger size this time around, even though I know that a "maternity" style offers more support for the belly, which is ideal. I have lost all of my elasticity in my lower abdomen, and really didn't care this time. If I were in shape, I'd probably go for the maternity style, but then again, I can't call it. It's a personal preference.

Many others said it's hereditary but, while I do still believe that, I'm the only one I know in my family with them. My mother only got one tiny stretch mark under her belly button (with 10 full pregnancies!) and I look like a cat attacked me. I don't think my sister (with 5 kids) has any either, and we are built very much the same. With my first, a boy, I carried high and got them all over the bottom of my belly. With my 2nd, a girl, I carried low and got them all over the middle/higher up. Strange, I know. We'll see what happens with this 3rd pregnancy.

I believe the woman who says stretch marks happen deeper inside so creams/oils/lotions won't do any good, but it's still a nice relaxing ritual to massage it on every day. Just a little extra pampering during those special months. And it couldn't hurt to apply something...plus it'll help with the itching (which was terrible for me the last month).

i had 4 pregnancies, and my stretch marks are all on my thighs and breasts. My belly is fine. I wore low under wear-so they went below my belly.

I just had my third- no stretch marks at all with the first two... finally got some this time! I used the same creams with all three. My friend swears by vitamin E oil. Toward the end, you may like more support from the belly bands just for comfort (the maternity underwear I bought were just like my regular ones except the slightly different cut- no extra support). But I do recommend tummy control underwear for after- they help tuck your belly in. I just had my little boy a week ago and with the support underwear, most of my normal clothes fit and I don't look like I'm still pregnant! I wish I would have tried them with my first two.

Don't use anything with petroleum in it would be a start. Sensaria Natural Bodycare is perfect as you will also be able to use it with your brand new beautiful baby. There is Jojoba Oil that will blend and absorb right into your skin. Body butters, in eight different scents of essential oils and plant extracts that will melt and moisturize. There is our line of body lotions that will nourish and moisturize immediately.

The BEST way to apply - have your husband massage it in though you will love doing it yourself.

www.sensaria.com/J.

I don't know that underwear has anything to do with it btw... if it is too tight, it would be uncomfortable and could leave a temporary mark, like for five minutes.

I wore my regular underwear (the comfier ones of course) and used Jojoba Oil. It's available at Trader Joe's and is about $7-9 bottle. It's very oily though and I'm not sure if it was just luck/genetics that prevented stretch marks or the oil. It sure did help with the dry, itchy skin which I only had when not using the oil. Con was that it made my shirts tough to launder (they had oily marks when I got bigger.) I guess the answer is, do what feels right for you!

I used some cream I got from CVS that was for pregnant women to prevent stretch marks. I put it on before bed. I bought maternity underwear when mine got too small. It is up to you. :-)

Stretch marks are going to come on their own no matter what you do. DO NOT SCRATCH or you WILL get them! You can use Vitamin E cream (it is expensive, but works well) I would apply it twice a day, but the shirts I wore still have a greese spot in the belly - so use shirts you don't mind destroying.

Underwear: Where whatever is comfortable. I loved the maternity underwear because they were the most comfortable even when I thought what I had was comfortable these were better. Also, if you dress up, the maternity nylons were great. Wonderful support and feel just great.

I've heard it didn't matter, but I wasn't going to give it a chance!! My mom and sister have horrible, red stretch marks and I didn't want that. I used Palmer's massage cream for stretch marks. I was just freakishly dry during my pregnancy that I had to lotion up all over, every day. I don't know if my skin was just different than my mom and sister or if the lotion worked. It just felt good to rub it on anyways!!

Hi M.
FWIW, I delivered two 9 pound babies within 2 years of each other. I never wore special underwear, or used cream and I never got any stretch marks except a few on the bottom of my belly at the very end of my 2nd pregnancy and they didn't last after he was born.
I suppose it couldn't hurt to use cream, it's probably good for your skin anyhow. I notice now that I'm 40, my belly skin has lost some elasticity. But I have also lost ~60 lb since I had the babies, so...i don't know. But I probably wouldn't waste the money on underwear. Just my two cents. I am not a dermatologist tho ;-) Congratulations on your pregnancy! good luck

What are special maternity underwear???
I wore my regular underwear my entire pregnancy, I don't have stress marks, but I also lathered up every night with Bella B homey tummy butter and it helped, I guess that's what did it.
I know my sisters didn't wear any kind of stretch mark cream and they have them and my Mother doesn't have them. I don't know if it's hereditary or not. But I do know my belly looks the same as it did before I had the baby, well except for the love handles that just won't go away!!

Anyway, good luck!!

Yes, it is an old wives tale. Whether you get stretch marks is or not is based on heredity. If your mom got them, you'll get them. My mom didn't get them and even though I had twins and went from 128 lbs. to 200 pounds I didn't get one stretch mark. I wore my regular underwear until my last trimester. If they fit, wear them.

Everything I have ever read says that stretch marks are hereditary, so check out your mom if you want to know if you are going to get them.

I didn't get stretch marks, but I did itch like crazy as my skin expanded. I found pure shea butter to be helpful. Never bought any special underwear for my pregnancies.

Hi M.,
I didn't read all of the comments from others. I wore my regular undies for all four of my pregnancies. Now days with the lowrise panties, I can't imagine you will have any issues. The panties will be under your belly line. It is a great idea to keep the elastic waistbands off of your belly, just for your comfort. I don't have one stretch mark but I believe that is a genetic factor. But, I did rub baby oil on my tummy while in the shower. It just felt good and made my tummy not so itchy from dry skin. With my third, my two older kids enjoyed rubbing the baby oil on my tummy while they talked to the baby and felt him kick. It was a nice time I spent with all of my kids and gave me an excuse to lay down and rest at the end of a busy day.
Best of luck with your little one,
T.

It is more about genetics than anything else for stretchmarks, but I still lather my belly up morning and night just in case (at the very least it helps the skin to not be itchy as it stretches). I use Burts Bees Mama Bee for the morning since it absorbs better into the skin, and Bella B Tummy Honey at night since it is thicker (I can still feel it on my skin in the morning when I wake up) and more expensive. Same goes with the underwear, wear whatever makes you feel comfortable - there's no way that a little bit of elastic is going to be *that* much more supportive, they do have the belts that you can wear if you need more support though. Hope that helps!

Hi there, I just bought larger underwear. I didn't get stretch marks with either of my two pregnancies. The first time around I used a moisturizer called Mother's Friend that came highly recommended from a lot of older women who have each had several children of their own and had no strecth marks. However, the 2nd time around I had morning sickness really bad and I couldn't take the smell of the mother's friend so I just used palmer's and a lot of regular lotion and I still didn't get any stretch marks. Well that's my story. Hope everything works out for you. Good luck and congratulations!

Sure didn't have the money to buy "fancy maternity underwear"...the regular ones worked just fine.
After FOUR births which included a set of twins (and they weighed in at 5.6 and 6.6 and two others at and above 8 lb. babies and I never got one stretch mark. YAY!!! As the other respondants said...you are predisposed to them or not. Hope you're in the latter. I also gained very little weight with my pregnancies (as did my sister and Mom), just happened that way...only 20 lbs. with my twins, 12 with my first and 14 with my second...I'm NOT a big person, 5'3" and I can assure you, my stomach stretched MIGHTILY ;-) Looked like a big beach ball. Good luck. I never once used cream on my tummy, hope you're in the group of "no stretch marks"...

Isn't it nice when people believe silly things and then share them as truth?

There is nothing you can do to prevent stretch marks. It's mostly your genetics. The only slight thing you can do to help yourself out is keep very well hydrated, but strechmarks happen under the skin, not on it so no matter what lotions you put on, they will make no difference.

Your underwear also makes no difference. Wear what is comfortable for you. I never put lotion on my stomach, wore my normal low-rise thong underwear everyday of my three pregnancies and have not one stretch mark on my stomach. It's the one thing I won in the genetic lottery. Trust me...I lost plenty of other places!

Good luck!
-M

Ha! If the solution was as simple as underwear, there would be a lot fewer stretchmarks in the world!
You wear whatever underwear you want. It's not the underwear.

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