In the beginning of my pregnancy, I wondered about stretch marks. Okay AND everything else.  Most of my friends had an idea or two about stretch marks.  A lot of my friends with kids under five walked away without stretch marks.  Randomly, my friends with kids older than five seemed to have stretch marks.  Coincidence, maybe.  But definitely interesting.

After doing my own research, I think it’s a crap shoot.  Research suggests that stretch marks are primarily genetic.  However, the rate at which your belly grows along with nutrition, health and skin tone can play a factor.  So, I started “lubing” my belly with cocoa butter and shea butter because I heard these are the best natural lubricants.  There really are a million products that claim to prevent stretch marks.  And they are not cheap.  I doubt there is one product which actually prevents stretch marks.  Which is why I chose to use natural oils.  They claim to moisturize and help prevent stretch marks while soothing your stretching skin.  One product I like is called Wild Carrot Herbals from New Seasons and Whole Foods.  It has olive oil, cocoa butter, shea butter, vitamin E and even St. John’s wort along with a few other special ingredients.  Like anything else in life, there’s no guarantee but I figured lubing up couldn’t hurt.  At the very least it minimizes the itching from my growing belly and body.  And it feels good to pamper my skin.

The funny part is that the die hard marinators were two prominent Portland yoga instructors.  They both openly shared their pregnancy/stretch mark experience with me.  The NE Portland yoga instructor said she gained 60 pounds with her son and “lubed up” five times a day.  And, no stretch marks.  Wow, that sounds amazing.  The second instructor in SE Portland said that she used oil called Mother’s Special Blend found at Whole Foods.  She would lube up from head to toe and cruise around naked for 20 minutes or so two to three times a day.  She said she didn’t get any stretch marks either.  Lubing up 2-5 times a day and letting it soak in sounded like a big time commitment to me.

So, I’ve been doing what’s realistic for me.  I’m lubing up once a day and try to do the head to toe lube job because it feels so good.  I can’t say I do it everyday but definitely get the belly on a daily basis.  It feels like I’m giving my skin a drink of water.  My husband likes to sing “Marin-nnnnaaation” when I oil up and scoot around naked.

Bottom line is that all things being equal, I’d rather not get stretch marks but know it’s the smallest trade-off for the miracle of life.  To date, I’m packing 30 pounds and still stripe free.  However, I know those victory stripes can show up any ole time so we shall see.

I would love to hear your tips or stories about lubing up?

Please leave a comment below.  Thanks for sharing!