Stretchmarks aka tiger stripes can occur at any time during your pregnancy. The areas most affected are the bum, hips, thighs, stomach, upper arms, behind the knees and around the waist. However, they can appear anywhere. The best way to handle them is through prevention. However, if they have already formed then there are tips and tricks to minimize their appearance. This is a personal account of what worked for me. please note that I am not a medical practitioner of any kind. I’ll break it down into 2 parts. There are two main ways to deal with tiger stripes. One is from the inside out and the other is from the outside in.
Let’s start with the first part; from the inside out.
Ensure you take your multivitamins religiously. This will help ensure that your body is getting all the vitamins it needs at this crucial time. It also helps improve skin elasticity.
Take your omega 3 supplements daily. Omega 3 is not only good for your skin but also for your baby’s brain.
Eat fish at least twice a week. Be careful not to eat too much because of the mercury content.
Add avocados to your diet. Celebrities have sworn that avocados have helped them retain youthful skin.
Add flax seeds to your diet. You can have this in your smoothies salads or soup. One teaspoon a day is enough. Flax seeds make the skin glow.
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. This is non-negotiable.
Drink plenty of water, hydration is key. Carry a bottle of water with you everywhere you go. The thirst in pregnancy is real.
Get some exercise. Walking is a great option, but don’t strain your body. Not only does exercise help to get your blood flowing, it’s good for your mental health as well. It’s also a well-known fact that mothers who exercise during pregnancy are more likely to have intelligent children. it also helps your body bounce back faster to its original shape.
Don’t smoke during your pregnancy. it’s bad for your baby and your skin. it’s the worst toxin for your skin. don’t expose yourself to second-hand smoke either, it’s just as bad if not worse than first-hand smoking.
The second part is preventing stretch marks from the outside in.
Use a gentle and moisturizing shower gel or soap. Soap can be very harsh on our bodies and most are very drying. Dry skin is perfect for stretch marks to develop.
Apply a good moisturizer all over your body. You never know where they can develop. Raw products that are free from chemicals are good for pregnant women.
Apply heavier creams or body butter at night and in colder months. In warmer months a light moisturizer or oil will do.
Apply body oil to the stretch mark prone areas i.e., stomach hips and bum frequently, at the minimum twice a day. I highly recommend palmers stretch marks cocoa butter and any raw organic Shea butter.
Continue to moisturize after delivery. Most ladies think that they are out of the woods after delivery, but stretch marks can appear even after pregnancy. This is because the body is losing weight and the stomach is contracting and all this plays around with skin elasticity. Bio-oil helps greatly with skin pigmentation and stretch marks. It also gives the skin a youthful appearance.
Don’t scratch your belly when you feel itchy. Get some oil and massage. Raw coconut oil helps reduce itching quickly and you can carry a tub of oil with you. Any raw coconut oil will do.
I love raising a girl because not very long ago I was a little girl. I feel more confident because I can confidently say been there done that. However, I do acknowledge that times are different and she will have different challenges and opportunities. Here are a few things I would like her to know so that she can be the best version of herself and fulfill that which she was destined to be.
Don’t take women’s rights for granted. Once upon a time woman didn’t have half the rights and privileges we enjoy today. And unfortunately, in some parts of the world, some women don’t have these rights. We owe it to those before us to take advantage of the opportunities given to us and to help other women attain these rights. Because until we are all free, then nobody is free.
You might have to work twice as hard to get half as far. But if you tap into your femininity it will be a walk in the park. Women have charm and emotional intelligence that is underrated and overlooked. These are going to be one of your essential tools at the game of life and winning at it.
Being a woman is nothing to be ashamed of so don’t allow anyone to use it as an insult. This is the best time to be a woman, do you and be happy, after all, everything you do will be wrong in somebody’s eyes. Make sure you are at peace with you.
Do not look to the outside world for credit or validation. Neither should you concern yourself with what they think. If you do you will forever remain their prisoner.
Never stop learning. That’s the only way to grow and discover yourself, your strengths and your weaknesses and when you do embrace them. For when you embrace your weaknesses then nobody can use them against you.
Life is not fair. You will succeed at a lot of things but, you will also fail miserably at plenty of other things and its okay. There will always be people that are better than you at somethings but, they will never be you. It’s not a competition. It’s not you versus them but you versus you.
Read as much as you possibly can. All leaders are readers.
Watch your friends. Be careful who you associate with. Who you allow into your mental, physical and spiritual space. You can be happy and successful for no reason just because of who you hang out with or you could be sad and miserable just because of the people you hang out with.
Don’t let the internet fool you. I am smarter than you think. What an old woman sees sitting down is more than what a young girl sees standing up. Mothers and daughters have had this debate for centuries and guess what, the verdict is out. Mom knows best.
There will be plenty of time for boys. That is all for now.
There’s God he is almighty and all-knowing. You will never be alone in the world he will always walk with you. You could walk without him if you choose to but, walking with him will make your life a whole lot easier. Anything you ask of him all you need to do is believe and you shall receive.
You are not just beautiful you are beyond it. You come from a long lineage of smart and strong women. You are made in the image and likeness of God.
Finally, I save the most important one for last. I need you to love you like Kanye loves Kanye. I am not afraid of dying I am afraid of leaving you behind knowing that nobody will love you as I do. For that reason, I need you to be on your team and be your biggest cheerleader. Don’t betray or disrespect yourself. Your dreams, wants and needs are all valid. Don’t push them to the side. Anybody that can’t understand this has no business being in your life.
Motherhood besides being one of the most satisfying things one can ever have the privilege of experiencing is harder than it looks. Behind all the glory there is untold hard work and challenges that nobody can explain until you walk a mile in that shoe. I don’t mean to scare anybody but nothing good comes easy. Below are some of the things I wish I knew.
You will never be truly prepared no matter how many books you read or how many babies you babysit. However, all the babysitting I had done over the years went a long way in giving me some confidence.
Having a group of supportive women is very important. It’s amazing how women come together to help a new mother. It’s an elevated form of sisterhood where they support you emotionally and physically.
When you are out in public with a child people are kinder, they open doors for you and they smile more. Children have a way of bringing the niceness out of people.
Practical gifts like a bowl of stew say “I love you more than a box of chocolates.
Overnight breast Ville is no longer a “weapon of mass destruction” you become a living food pipe and it’s not as scary as I thought it would be.
Get rid of the idea that you should do it all by yourself. This isn’t the time to be superwoman. It takes a village to raise a child. Get as much help as you can, that way you aren’t running on empty.
Women get a lot of backlash for neglecting their partners when a child comes into the picture. However, it’s time for your partner to dot on you not the other way round. You’ve earned it.
A messy house will be the order of the day. I am not exactly a neat freak and I’m not a perfectionist either but even for my standards, this is a new level of messy. As a new mother take as much time to rest and get your energy back. Nobody will die if you don’t do the dishes.
You will spend an awful lot of time trying to see if your baby looks like you, and it won’t be a one-off event, it will be an everyday affair.
They say if you don’t want your son to be like him or you don’t want your daughter to marry a man like him then don’t have a baby by him. This saying hit different when you have a child. It becomes crucial that your partner isn’t just your partner but a father figure that your child can look up to.
Financial freedom and literacy stops being a want and becomes a need. Something that you need to sort out quickly. You can’t stay broke because you have a child but you must become rich precisely because you have a child. In a twisted way, you start to think about death and for once you aren’t scared about dying. You will be more concerned about how your child will fare on. Selfishness goes out of the window.
You have no idea how much time you have until you become a parent and your hands are figuratively and literally full. You will not have much time for yourself but you will be able to get more done in a shorter amount of time.
Sleep as much as you can. I can’t stress this enough. Once you become a mother you will never sleep the same way again. When an insect crawls, you will hear. If the wind blows, you will hear. Before your baby cries, you will hear.
You will have a newfound respect for your parents and all parents in general. You realize how much you took for granted. You will want to hug all the single mothers and teen mothers and tell them it will be okay. Their hardships become all too real and you can’t help but truly sympathize with them.
I finally realized that the real superheroes are not on tv. It’s the lady on the supermarket aisle with 3 kids that are yelling their lungs out while she is picking groceries talking on the phone and she still manages to say “excuse me miss, I think you dropped something.” Ladies and gentlemen, that superpower is called multi-tasking. I didn’t know it was in me until I became a mum.
Some days you are going to be a hot mum that has it together. Other days you will just want to chill on the couch and do nothing. There is no such thing as the perfect mum. Out of all the beautiful wonderful women out there it’s you that gets to be their mother. So, enjoy the journey.