Yet another glamourous side of pregnancy.
During pregnancy your skin has to stretch something silly like two feet to make room for your expanding bump can you believe it? And that's not including any other expansion due to all the ice cream and chocolate you suddenly crave *cough* want *cough*! All that stretching has to give at some point and if you're unlucky you can end up with stretch marks. Luckily, however, there are lots of products out there designed to help either prevent or reduce the appearance of these angry, red tiger stripes.
One such product is MaterniCare Pre & Post Natal Nourishing Cream. I'm rather happy to say that the lovely people over at MaterniCare have sent me a tube of their nourishing cream to try out after noticing I was pregnant over on Twitter. I've now been using it for around two weeks and have to say I really like it!
I'm not the biggest fan of the smell of cocoa butter and many of the other stretch mark solutions out there seem to have this as a base ingredient, this doesn't (point 1 to MaterniCare). The ingredients in this cream include almond, avocado and grapeseed oils as well as vitamin E and calendula oil. They're top ingredient - Pro-Vitamin B5 is packed full of benefits for the prevention and treatment of stretchmarks as well as being excellent for moisturising the rest of your skin and keeping it hydrated and smooth. This pro-vitamin helps to reduce water loss, prevent itching and redness, helps to heal the skin and is excellent at increasing the elasticity of your skin - essential in stretch mark prevention (point 2 to MaterniCare). The scent of the cream is lightweight and refreshing, although I can't put my finger exactly on what the fragrance is I would compare it to after sun lotion - this is a good thing! It's not sickly sweet, not overpowering and feels cool and refreshing on the skin (point 3 to MaterniCare).
Oh and lets not forget it's hypoallergenic (point 4 to MaterniCare!) this stuff is brilliant!
A major factor in the prevention and treatment of stretch marks, as far as I'm concerned, is stimulating the skin to repair itself. As well as using a product that will nourish the skin you need to massage the skin as well. A lot of products out there are either absorbed too quickly or leave the skin feeling sticky and hot after application. This lightweight formula works very well for massage, it melts onto the skin quickly and isn't absorbed so quickly that you can't get a good massage. My advice would be to use it in sections, don't slather it all over your body and start massaging as you could be left with a little bit too much on the skin and get that sticky, oil-cream slick that we don't like. Apply in sections and massage until absorbed and you won't have a problem - even better get your other half to do it for you! It's a great bonding experience for you both and the baby and you get a free massage (point 1 to mummy!)
MaterniCare Pre & Post Natal Nourishing Cream will continue to be useful after the birth of your child(ren). The hydrating and repairing features will continue to aid your skins elasticity as it (hopefully - slightly worried about this!) reduces back after birth. It will continue to treat your stretchmarks and hopefully reduce them from their angry red to sliver and beyond as well as being super gentle on your skin.
Priced at £14.99 for 200ml this product isn't the cheapest out there but I do believe it's worth it. At 36 weeks pregnant I so far (touch wood, spit, cross your fingers, grab a rabbit's foot and spin around 3 times) have no new stretch marks and have just noticed some old ones (from previous weight gain) starting to look a little red. After using the nourishing cream for two weeks these haven't gotten any worse - Final point to MaterniCare!!
I'll be continuing to use this product for the rest of my pregnancy and afterwards - this being a yummy mummy malarky is hard work!
Disclaimer - The lovely people at MaterniCare sent me this product free of charge, this has not influenced my opinion of their product and all words and opinions in this blog post are my own.