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Avoiding Stretch Marks During Pregnancy

Hillary – one of our ESU staff members – was recently pregnant. After 9-months, she ended up with a beautiful baby…and didn’t end up with a single stretch mark! We asked her to share her real life tips and tricks that can help keep skin flawless from the first trimester to post-partum bliss.

Hillary’s Pregnancy Skincare Ritual

Before We Begin…

Despite many products and blogs touting a “secret” to preventing stretch marks, the truth is there is no such thing. Stretch marks are largely genetic and can be impossible to completely avoid. Plus, the ultimate goal of a pregnancy is a perfect baby, not a perfect body.

I realize that none of these products are a surefire way to prevent stretch marks, but they’re all good for your health and your skin so they definitely won’t hurt!


Vitamin E Oil

I spent hours scouring the Internet for a special lotion that would ‘prevent’ stretch marks. After looking at ALL the options, I realized that the one thing they all had in common was that they were packed with Vitamin E. Instead of paying a high price tag, I just added a few drops of Vitamin E Oil into my regular body lotion and put it on my stomach and lower back every night before going to bed.

I Used

Sundown Naturals – Vitamin E Oil

Aveeno – Sheer Hydration Daily Moisturizing Lotion

Moisturizing Face Masks

When you’re pregnant, you run into plenty of websites that offer “designer” items for moms-to-be. I almost spent over $100 on biodegradable sheet masks that were “specially designed” to moisturize my baby bump and prevent stretch marks. Then I realized – there’s probably no difference between these “luxury” sheet masks and the ones they sell at my local drug store. Whenever I took a bath (which was all the time during my pregnancy) I put one of these sheet masks on my bump for extra hydration.

I Used

Burt’s Bees – Hydrating Single Use Sheet Mask


Drink Tons of Water

I usually hate drinking water, but my desire to prevent stretch marks motivated me to up my intake. Drinking lots of water is a great way to stay healthy while growing a baby. Hydrating your body every single day means your skin will stay super hydrated as well.

I Used

Contigo – Autospout Ashland Water Bottle



Bio-Oil is one of those cult products that I had never heard of until I got pregnant. Not only does it claim to prevent stretch marks, it will is said to diminish the appearance of existing stretch marks, too. Every morning when I got out of the shower, I put Bio-Oil on the places where stretch marks most commonly occur – aka the stomach, breasts, butt, and upper thighs.

I Used

Bio-Oil – Specialist Skin Care



Gain Weight Evenly

Trust me, this one is easier said than done. Gaining weight during your pregnancy is not only normal, it’s (obviously) completely necessary! With that said, rapid weight gain in a very short amount of time can definitely contribute to stretch marks during pregnancy. I tried to eat healthy throughout my entire pregnancy – even in the first trimester, when all I wanted was peanut butter & jelly sandwiches and lemonade. I highly recommend keeping lots of fruit in your fridge and healthy snacks in your freezer.

I Used

Outshine – Strawberry Frozen Fruit Bar

One Last Thing…

I’ll admit that when I was pregnant I stressed about my body looking different post-pregnancy. Now that I’m 6-weeks out I can tell you with complete honesty:

You will not look exactly the same after giving birth and you will not care. Seriously.

That fact absolutely horrified me before giving birth. But now, I understand why so many women say this. Of course I look different – I am different! Focus on your health and be kind to yourself. No matter how many stretch marks, pounds, or inches you accumulate, it will all seem very small in comparison to the great big things happening in your life.

– Hillary