Like most pregnant women, I hoped to avoid stretch marks. Or if not avoid them altogether, at least have a minimal outbreak.
So, I started buttering up quite early on.
And I know what you are thinking. That stretch marks are genetic. That if I'm meant to get them, I will.
Maybe you are right. But, I figure it can't hurt keeping my belly, boobs, thighs, and love handles nice and moisturized, right? And if it even helps in the slightest, well... hot dog. Yes, hot dog.
Although I didn't get my wish of avoiding stretch marks altogether, I did manage to not get one on my belly. I think that's quite a feat, right? Instead, they are on my boobs... But, at least they aren't covering both, right?
Here is my 38w3d bare belly:
The only "issue" I've had on my belly is where my belly button was once pierced (17-year-old me had this done back in 1999 at a store called 4:20 in Myrtle Beach... classy, right?!). Well I haven't worn a belly ring in 10+ years, but man does the pierced area do funny things while pregnant.
I thought I would run down which products I've been using and what I like or dislike about them. I have no idea if they have really helped me, but even if they mentally helped me, that's good enough for me.
What I love most about this cream is that it is all-natural, and doesn't contain any parabens or phthalates (two things I tried to avoid using on my skin while pregnant). The fragrance is pleasant. It's not amazing, but it's nice and not overwhelming.
I ran out of DreamBelly Butter about a week ago. Since I'm so close to my due date (11 days!), I decided not to restock. I'm starting to regret that decision, as my belly has been noticeably itchier since I stopped using it.
Price-wise, it's not too bad. It's currently on sale over at Fairhaven Health for $14.95/jar, plus free shipping. I definitely recommend this product!
BURT'S BEES MAMA BEE BELLY BUTTER
I'm a Burt's Bees girl. So, I had high, high hopes for this product. And it did nothing but disappoint.
I can't say I used it for very long. The consistency and smell did nothing for me. The smell is... well, not good. It's not awful, but definitely not good. I can't even explain what it smells like. Close to nothing, with a hint of bad. Or sour.
The consistency of the "butter" is really like a thin lotion. It did not leave me feeling as moisturized as I had hoped. And since I got the DreamBelly and this one at the same time, I quickly shelved the Mama Bee Belly Butter.
The only upside to this one is that you may be able to find it at a Target or WalMart. And that's the only real plus. Unfortunately, I could not find it at my local stores, and ended up ordering it from Amazon.
BURT'S BEES MAMA BEE NOURISHING BODY OIL
Thankfully, Burt's Bees Mama Bee products didn't completely let me down.
I love this oil! It has a really great, clean scent, and leaves you feeling incredibly moisturized. A little goes a long way, and a bottle lasts quite a while.
The downside is that it is, well, oil. And so it leaves you greasy... which is why I did this one at night. I could let it air dry while I'm in bed reading, and don't have to worry about getting a shirt all greasy.
Although I do love this oil very much, I'm not sure I would have used it on its own (without a belly butter). I liked having the combo of belly butter in the morning, nourishing oil at night. I felt like I was covering more of my bases that way.
This product is also available at your local Target or WalMart, which is handy.
PALMER'S COCOA BUTTER FORMULA TUMMY BUTTER
This was a gift given to me at my baby shower. I didn't open it until I ran out of my Dream Belly Butter, because I was well-entrenched in my routine.
Palmer's Tummy Butter is probably the most popular of butters. And the formula is impressive: collagen, elastin, and no parabens or phthalates.
And it's an ok product.
It's hard to apply. It's chunky and greasy. I have yet to apply it to my whole stomach. Wayyyy too much work. I use this on my boobs every day, though. Since that is where I have the most stretch marks, I figure I will concentrate this "Intensive Treatment" on the part of my body that is most heavily affected.
The smell is just ok... nothing to write home about.
I don't think I would purchase this product again. I'm glad it was given as a gift, though. Especially since I'm running low on all of these stretch mark butters/oils/creams.
In summary, next time around (if I'm lucky enough to be pregnant again), I will definitely use the DreamBelly Butter + Burt's Bees Mama Bee Nourishing Body Oil combo. And although I'm not sure that any of it has helped prevent stretch marks, staying moisturized and not itchy is imperative, especially so the bigger your belly gets. No one likes an itchy belly!