how do you feel about stretch marks? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 57 Old 04-19-2011, 12:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Do you try to prevent them? Do anything for them after they appear?

Do you feel good about them, like they're a sign of growth and change? Has it been a process where you originally felt worse about them and came to feel better or think of them differently?

As a side note, at this point I'm pregnant and a little emotional and not really looking for responses from people who've never had them.

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#2 of 57 Old 04-19-2011, 12:32 PM
 
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I did everything to prevent them: I lathered up with various oils and lotions, 3 x a day for ...8 months or so. I took supplements. Agonized about getting them. Cried about getting them. Thought if I didn't pay attention, maybe I'd be one of the lucky women who didn't get them.

 

I gained 50 lbs during pregnancy and retained a great deal of water. I also carried DD "in the front", so all my stretch marks were at or below the belly button level. I also got a few on my hips, some on my thighs and calves. There was no escaping them. I kind of knew I'd get them because I already had some from doing ballet...heck, I was *10* and getting little stretchmarks, so I guess I'm not blessed with stretchy skin.

 

For me, it has been a process, and it still is, almost 3 year ppd. For the first 4-5 months after I had DD, I avoided looking at myself in the mirror or in the shower. I knew that my belly was flabby after pregnancy (no 2-3 bounce back for this mama!), so I bound it and did my best to ignore it. I told myself it had taken 9 months for me to get super preggo, so I'd give myself 9 months to recover. Around the 9 month mark, I started to shrink. My maternity clothing didn't fit and the stretchmarks started to thin out. I still massaged my belly a lot with vitamin E, to help the skin heal.

 

Lately, I've been working out very hard to try to at least strengthen my tummy muscles. If I can't have a pretty tummy, at least it'll do its job supporting my back! I still have trouble with the stretchmarks, but those who have seen me nude (mostly my mother) have commented that they've gotten a lot better over time. They used to be red and thicker, and now they are thin white lines. There are just A LOT of them...like a little spider web of scars from belly button to pubic bone, and hip to hip. I try to remind myself that they are badges of my pregnancy and birth (which I did without any pain meds...I'm real proud of that), and that there are women who haven't had kids who have stretch marks too. All in all, they're not *that* bad and they've forced me to face some of my issues regarding my physical appearance.

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#3 of 57 Old 04-19-2011, 12:35 PM
 
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I had them on my legs even before kids, but now I have them on my belly too. I am pretty neutral about them. I didn't try to prevent them or do anything about them, since I think that is pointless. So many more things changed in my life because of having kids that stretch marks seem trivial in comparison. (Not saying that you are being trivial by worrying about them, just that they aren't on my radar.)

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#4 of 57 Old 04-19-2011, 12:44 PM
 
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I didn't get them until 39 weeks, and was a little dismayed when they first appeared on my lower belly, but that feeling didn't last long. I don't really care about them, one way or the other -- either to be distressed over it or to embrace them as battle scars. They're just a part of me, and that's fine.  

 

They're genetic -- there's really nothing you can do to prevent them, really nothing you can to do get rid of them, and if you get them it's not because you did anything wrong (and it's not, as Ina May Gaskin says in Spiritual Midwifery, because you were "too uptight" -- what a ridiculous and damaging thing to say eyesroll.gif).

 

It just happens, and some people are more susceptible than others. I don't feel any particular way about that -- it's just a matter of fact. ETA: I guess that means I feel "neutral" about them. smile.gif


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#5 of 57 Old 04-19-2011, 12:58 PM
 
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Mine are pretty tame, I have them on my breast, thighs, and tummy.  My son on the other had has major ones on his back.  We had not noticed guys with them before.  They are very common on darker skin people --  He is very light skin, other than the summer months. His use to be PINK!  They are fading now, since he has stop growing for the most part.  

 

More than one person has looked at his back and gone WTF!  

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#6 of 57 Old 04-19-2011, 01:03 PM
 
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I put stretch mark oil on my belly everyday while I was pregnant with DS and I still got stretch marks. I only gained 24 lbs with him, but when I think back on how much my skin had to stretch, I can't imagine how I could have avoided them. When they were new they were purple and I was pretty repulsed by them, but they've since faded to white and I don't find them ugly anymore. I'm pretty indifferent to them now, but it did take a little while to accept all of the changes in my body from having a baby. I think the pregnancy hormones and the hormone changes postpartum made everything seem a lot worse than it actually was.  


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#7 of 57 Old 04-19-2011, 01:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean View Post

They're genetic -- there's really nothing you can do to prevent them, really nothing you can to do get rid of them, and if you get them it's not because you did anything wrong (and it's not, as Ina May Gaskin says in Spiritual Midwifery, because you were "too uptight" -- what a ridiculous and damaging thing to say eyesroll.gif).

 

It just happens, and some people are more susceptible than others. I don't feel any particular way about that -- it's just a matter of fact. ETA: I guess that means I feel "neutral" about them. smile.gif



I have a few but don't even think about them.   I also was told that they are genetic, no way to avoid them.  

 


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#8 of 57 Old 04-19-2011, 01:08 PM
 
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I love mine...they let me know that I have beautiful children and would do anything for them. I've gotten new ones with every pg. This time, I got them all over my tummy...and I made them 10X worse by scratching the crap out of them lol! I wouldn't change them for anything. And I dont try to cover them up wink1.gif
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#9 of 57 Old 04-19-2011, 01:20 PM
 
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I was simply thrilled at the end of my 1st pregnancy that I hadn't gotten any...turns out I just couldn't see them while there was still a baby in there as they were all on the underside of my belly! I have gotten more over the years on my hips and thighs. I also had my belly button pierced as a teenager and that scar ripped on either side and is lovely. eyesroll.gif

 

I did gain 80, 60, 50, 50, and currently gaining now. They are pretty mild and blend in with my skin tone. I also don't have any desire to wear a bikini, and no one would ever really see them. I guess if I had a choice if they were there or not, I would bid them farewell in a heartbeat, but I don't really think about them all that much.

 

 

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#10 of 57 Old 04-19-2011, 01:21 PM
 
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I only got a few around my belly button with ds, but he's my first and I didn't really get super huge with him, and I suspect that I'll get more in subsequent pregnancies.  I'd like to have 3 or 4 more (babies, not stretch marks, lol).  I also got a couple on my breasts after he was born and my milk came in.  I didn't do anything to prevent them really, from what I'd read there's not usually much that can be done.  I knew I was susceptible to them because I got big ones on my bum when I was 13 and all of the sudden developed hips.  Having had them before made me a little less nervous about getting them in pregnancy, because the ones on my bum went from bright purple lightening bolts to barely noticeable white lines (which match my super pale skin) over time and so I figured that any new pregnancy ones would do the same. 

 

I was a little disappointed when I got them, especially the ones on my breasts, I thought I was done with stretch marks for awhile, I had already had the baby!  But they have faded as I thought they would, and I no longer feel self conscious putting on some belly baring lingerie for dh once in a while. 


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#11 of 57 Old 04-19-2011, 01:23 PM
 
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I already have some faded ones on my hips and breasts from puberty. I didn't even notice them forming at the time and now I kind of like them. They're silvery and delicate. I have a few new ones on my breasts now and am pretty much expecting some eventually on my belly too as it stretches still more. I put lotion on my breasts and belly when they itch but I don't do anything to "prevent" marks. I think of them sort of like tattoos - body art, marks of something important that happened in my life. 

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#12 of 57 Old 04-19-2011, 01:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Halfasianmomma View Post
and now they are thin white lines. There are just A LOT of them...like a little spider web of scars from belly button to pubic bone, and hip to hip. I try to remind myself that they are badges of my pregnancy and birth (which I did without any pain meds...I'm real proud of that), and that there are women who haven't had kids who have stretch marks too.


This reminds me of a dream I had quite a while ago. There was a woman with a large, soft belly, full of the most intricate white stretch marks that entranced me and seemed full of mysterious meaning, like some amazing map. It was a very positive dream.

 


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#13 of 57 Old 04-19-2011, 01:34 PM
 
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I gained a bunch of weight with DS and got some pretty serious stretch marks. They didn't bother me much at all. I even began to really appreciate them after my DS (around 4 at the time) said to me "I like your pretty lines mama! The pink & purple ones on your belly!" lol.gif They are a reminder of what my body created and the wonderful gift my son is.


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#14 of 57 Old 04-19-2011, 01:37 PM
 
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I'm not a fan of my stretchmarks.  I got them on my breasts while I was pregnant/nursing ds1 and then all over my butt with ds2. 

 

But they're there and not going anywhere and those are two areas that are always covered except at home, so oh well.  I don't see them as anything special from having kids, some women who haven't had kids have stretchmarks and some who have had kids don't have any.

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#15 of 57 Old 04-19-2011, 01:42 PM
 
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I try to prevent them, if I think of it (mostly just Vitamin E, though - it's not something I put a lot of time, effort or research into, yk?), because they itch, which drives me nuts. Other than that, I don't really think about them at all. I got them on my breasts, inner thighs and hips when I hit puberty, on my biceps when I was weight training in my early 20s, and have a ton on my abdomen from pregnancy, as well. I don't think of them as a badge of honour or anything, but I don't think of them as disfiguring, either. They're just there.


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#16 of 57 Old 04-19-2011, 01:51 PM
 
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I quit complaining about them when dh responded "Why do you hate them?  Those are your permanent medals of honor.  When I see them, I see that you did the hard work of bearing children and I'm proud of you."  (In his own words, it's hard to translate his version of English, lol)

 

Nobody else sees them, so really, I have nothing to worry about.  After three kids, I honestly don't think about them much anymore.  They're just part of me.

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#17 of 57 Old 04-19-2011, 01:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Marsupialmom View Post

Mine are pretty tame, I have them on my breast, thighs, and tummy.  My son on the other had has major ones on his back.  We had not noticed guys with them before.  They are very common on darker skin people --  He is very light skin, other than the summer months. His use to be PINK!  They are fading now, since he has stop growing for the most part.  

 

More than one person has looked at his back and gone WTF!  



I've actually noticed them on men lots of times...not so much on the back, but on the thighs, and occasionally the stomach or other parts of the legs. I once knew a guy who had a couple mild ones on his chest - think he bulked up really quickly when he started bodybuilding or something.


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#18 of 57 Old 04-19-2011, 02:01 PM
 
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I love this! Go girl. thumb.gif

quote name="imogenlily" url= As a side note, at this point I'm pregnant and a little emotional and not really looking for responses from people who've never had them.[/quote]


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#19 of 57 Old 04-19-2011, 02:04 PM
 
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I have stretchmarks on my outer thighs and I really don't notice them. I never did anything at all to prevent them. I also have a c-section scar that's just a part of life. I appreciate my body for its strength and beauty. For real.

Oh, I also have them on my breasts, but I hardly ever notice them. They kinda disappear when I put on my push up bra. winky.gif

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#20 of 57 Old 04-19-2011, 02:10 PM
 
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I had some on my hips & breasts before I got pregnant. My whole belly was covered with them starting about week 27 of my pregnancy. By the end of my pregnancy they were quite pronounced! Now they've faded and are no longer all purple. You know how you blow up a balloon and then let all the air out and then the balloon is all puckered? That's my belly now.

 

I definitely don't love my stretch marks. Over time, I'm not hating them either. They're just there. It helps that I'm getting lots of exercise + adequate sleep and feeling pretty good these days. I have toned muscles underneath my saggy belly, and when I'm not looking at myself in the mirror, I feel just fine.

 

 


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#21 of 57 Old 04-19-2011, 02:26 PM
 
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i had a few pre-pregnancy (hips i think?) and got a lot more with pregnancy.  they never bothered me - the ones from just growing, that is.  the preggo ones?  awesome!  it's a badge i wear proudly.  that being said, there's nothing wrong with having some mixed emotions about all the changes your body goes through.  it's emotional.  hug2.gif

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#22 of 57 Old 04-19-2011, 04:33 PM
 
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I got stretch marks on my hips when I had a growth spurt at 14. The only ones I got during pregnancy were a couple small ones my breasts. They've all faded a lot and are really not that noticeable so they don't bother me. 

 

 


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#23 of 57 Old 04-19-2011, 04:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So they do/can fade? I haven't gotten red or purple ones, only white. Is it scar tissue? Scars don't tend to be terribly visible on my skin, so I wonder if stretch marks will fade in time as well?

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#24 of 57 Old 04-19-2011, 04:56 PM
 
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I haven't gotten any during pregnancy but (before you kick me out of this thread!) I did get them brutally during early puberty. Big thick angry reddish-purple lines all over my hips, butt and thighs. I even got a few behind my knees. I was horrified & devastated at the time, but they faded fairly quickly, and by my early twenties I was over the worst of my insecurities about them. They're still noticeable, but definitely not obvious.

 

I can't honestly say I wear them as a badge of pride, but I don't think they're the end of the world either. I take comfort in the fact that it's normal. Most women get them.

 

If you're getting them for the first time, then I can assure you that they won't look like that forever! They won't disappear completely, but they do fade a lot.hug2.gif


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#25 of 57 Old 04-19-2011, 05:03 PM
 
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i thought i had escaped pregnancy without them, but a couple months pp i suddenly saw a silvery network of stretch marks all over my butt. haha, i had to laugh at myself a little for being so smug about it. i have a funny feeling i will probably get a whole lot with my next pregnancy. my dh has really bad stretch marks on his lower back. i don't think he had them when we first started dating, but i don't know what happened when he did get them. they are really thick and pink... it would bother me to have them there, but he doesn't seem to mind.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imogenlily View Post

So they do/can fade? I haven't gotten red or purple ones, only white. Is it scar tissue? Scars don't tend to be terribly visible on my skin, so I wonder if stretch marks will fade in time as well?



My worst ones (on my belly, during my last two pregnancies) were huge and violently purple at first. They're still not tiny, but have faded to a pale pink.

 

The ones I had from earlier pregnancies, puberty, etc. are very thin white lines and aren't really noticeable, except they cause a little extra crinkling in a couple of spots. They definitely don't look the same as they did when they were fresh!


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#27 of 57 Old 04-19-2011, 05:51 PM
 
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I'm very indifferent about them.  I have some, but they're skin-colored (just indentions in my skin), so they're barely noticeable.  My sister has serious ones (huge & purple), and they don't gross me out or anything... I don't think I would care whatsoever if I had them.  To me, they just scream that you've had a baby, and I've had three of them & don't care who knows it.

 

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#28 of 57 Old 04-19-2011, 05:52 PM
 
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Quote:
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The ones I had from earlier pregnancies, puberty, etc. are very thin white lines and aren't really noticeable, except they cause a little extra crinkling in a couple of spots. They definitely don't look the same as they did when they were fresh!



Yeah that's a perfect description for it actually (crinkle in a couple spots)! And to be honest I think you really have to be looking to notice them.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by imogenlily View Post

So they do/can fade? I haven't gotten red or purple ones, only white. Is it scar tissue? Scars don't tend to be terribly visible on my skin, so I wonder if stretch marks will fade in time as well?

 

 

They fade! I don't really have a close up of them but you can kinda see them (on my thigh/hip) in this picture: CLICK (click on the image to enlarge it) and that was taken in bright early morning sun. Yours sound like they will definitely fade in time. hug.gif

 


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#29 of 57 Old 04-19-2011, 06:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Coconut - thanks so much for that whole post. It was really reassuring. I know part of the deal is accepting how my body is changing, but knowing they'll fade doesn't hurt either.

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#30 of 57 Old 04-19-2011, 07:32 PM
 
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You may be more accepting of them once you meet your new baby.

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