How to Prevent Stretch Marks in a Twin Pregnancy
I am so excited to share my skincare routine with you as I’m going through my twin pregnancy. I know that there are a few things I need to put out there for everyone to understand when I share this, a disclaimer of sorts. This is what I’m doing, for me, to keep my skin in the best condition possible as it will be pushed to the limits in the next few months of my twin pregnancy.
Stretch marks are hereditary in part when looking at how likely it is you’ll get them. I know that I’ll be very susceptible to them because I got them during a growth spurt between high school and college and am very aware that even with all the preventative stuff I do I could still end up with them. I won’t be upset if I end up with more stretch as it will also be marks of an amazing twin pregnancy.
But I also feel it’s great to do as much as possible to keep your skin happy as it goes through these wild changes. This is just what I’m doing for my skin and it feels great for me. These might not be right for you, but I’m just here to share how I’m doing it and how it’s working so far.
I’m also not promising these will keep you from getting stretch marks as there is no 100% certain way to prevent them. I am, however, currently 28 weeks, measuring 37 weeks and do not have stretch marks yet so I will keep doing what I’m doing and see how it works out for preventing stretch marks after I have the babies! So far, so good!
Hydrating from the outside
I started at first, in the first trimester, using lotions. I quickly found out that they were not enough for me even before my belly started to expand. My skin was just so dry and drinking up anything I put on it. I found with lotions I was applying them 3-4 times a day and that was just too much hassle. I was also drinking a ton of water and would still have dry skin on my arms, legs and bottom of my stomach.
I found a combination of two things really helped. Body butters and body oils used twice throughout the day seem to really keep my skin moisturized and not as itchy. I chose to buy a few and then I also ended up making one of my own. I was really picky about using clean products because my skin felt very sensitive and I have been applying so much of it for so long I wanted the products to be as healthy as possible.
I first switched from a lotion to a super rich hand cream, similar to a body butter, that I know was probably just meant for your hands but it was so thick it worked amazing on my stomach. I only had a small tube of it from the brand 100% Pure so it went so fast that I had to find a full tub of body butter to use later on.
I also wanted to find a few really clean AND organic if possible options to use. When I first started looking at body care products that were meant for a growing baby belly I didn’t find many organic options. Two places I found to have great products are:
100% Pure Cosmetics
The hand butter from 100% Pure is the product I gravitated towards and I really love the orange scent. There are no artificial colors, preservatives, scents or toxins in these products.
It’s also in an easy to handle squeeze tube like regular lotion and is small enough to carry around in my purse. I know they have other scents as well and you can choose which one works for you. I have been loving everything citrus while pregnant so the blood orange hand butter really spoke to me.
Mambino Organics is the full line I found that was actually dedicated to pregnancy skin care and post pregnancy skincare. The first product I tried from their line is their “Oh Baby! Anti-Stretch Belly Butter.”
This product comes in a short tub and is actually a solid butter. It, however, melts into an oil-like consistency when you massage it into your skin. It still has a light feel like a lotion when its rubbed into your skin so I have been using it in the morning now. It’s also USDA certified organic so I feel good putting it all over my belly.
Some of the featured ingredients in this butter are shea, mango, and cocoa butter. These all work to strengthen and protect the skin. It also has calendula infused oil which helps regenerate skin tissue that is torn and the rosehip fruit oil helps promote healing the skin.
Mambino Organic Skin Care makes an actual oil as well. This has been my go-to at night. I make sure to wear a loose t-shirt or robe that I don’t mind staining even though it hasn’t been a problem so far.
The “Oh Baby! Anti-stretch Body Oil” is thick and you can really feel it sealing itself into your skin. This oil helps a lot of skin elasticity (think twins growing huge in your belly stretching it) with the tamanu oil and sea buckthorn berries. Plus it incorporates shea butter oil to deeply hydrate and penetrate the skin and the jojoba oil helps to seal in the moisture.
Making your own stretch mark prevention oil
If you want to be cost-effective you can make your own oil. You can find these oils to put into your homemade anti-stretch mark oil.
Gently mix all the oils together and store in a dark glass jar to preserve the oil integrity.
I found all of these oils at my local natural grocery store, Sprouts. But these are also widely available on Amazon. Stores like Whole Foods or other natural grocers may carry these locally too if you live by one. For those of you that don’t have access to these stores, or like online ordering better, I have provided an Amazon link to these in the recipe.
The lavender oil I linked is from Rocky Mountain Oils because I believe strongly in their dedication to pure essential oils and the way they process them and their transparency in testing. When using essential oils I think it’s important to always use a trusted brand.
When dousing yourself in oil, and yes I mean dousing because my skin is so dry I feel like I’m dumping it on myself, you need to be conscious of your clothes. This was the biggest reason I chose to use body butter during the day under my dress clothes. Body butter absorbed quickly and didn’t leave a residue to transfer to my clothes.
When using oils at night I’m sure to pick clothing I do not intend to wear out again. I have a pile of 4-5 large t-shirts that I don’t mind if oil gets on them because after this pregnancy I won’t be wearing them. The oil does go into your skin, but there is always a thin barrier still sitting on top. One other great solution is to get a robe, again one that you’re not going to be sad to get oil stains. I wear mine over my oiled up belly for 20-30 minutes until it all soaks in. I found a cheap one for $5 and use that after I oil up.
Hydrating from the inside
The doctor right away told me to hydrate when I got pregnant. I upped my water intake when I realized we were having twins and hydrating for two babies. She told me to hydrate, even more, when the weather hit 100 degrees here.
I started by adding 20 more ounces of water to what I was already doing. Now I’m drinking around 30 more ounces per day. I am using the bathroom around the same amount (I had a tiny bladder before I was pregnant too) and so I’m guessing I’m really using up all the water I’m drinking.
In the beginning, to remind me to drink more water I downloaded a free water app on my phone. The app I use is called “My Water Balance” and it has a free version on the iOS app store. It allowed me to log how much water I was consuming through the day and even sent me reminders to hydrate which I found super helpful.
I can’t stress enough the importance of creating a water habit. I find it’s too easy to just think I’m drinking enough water and then get to the end of the day and realize I’ve barely drunk 30 oz. I have left the water app on my phone and continue to use it. I just log it as I’m filling up my water bottle again throughout the day.
Hydration isn’t just for keeping your skin in the best shape during pregnancy either. I know that my doctor’s recommendation was based on the fact that your growing baby needs the water to stay healthy in the womb and dehydration could lead to premature contractions and other health issues. So the best way to remember to drink water is for your pregnancy health and then for your skin!
I was also recommended to eat a ton of protein for the two growing babies. I know that I can easily just log protein in an app and determine how much I’m eating. But more importantly, I find that I am trying to consciously pick protein first in a meal and determine everything else around it.
Collagen protein is a specific type of protein that is known to support skin health. It’s toted to help grow hair and nails. Glowing skin is a plus but what’s more than that is the skin elasticity that it is said to help with.
So I picked up a large tub of Orgain Grassfed Collagen Protein and have been adding it to my meals when possible. I use it in my blueberry flaxseed oats, soups, and even mixed in with my Greek yogurt. It’s heat stable so you can cook with it, and flavorless so you can mix it easily into almost anything. Add a scoop or two for muffins, sauce or other things that while it won’t make a huge difference, you’re still getting a few extra grams of protein here and there.
With your growing belly, it’s important to consider keeping the skin as healthy and elastic as possible in preventing stretch marks. While I’m not sure how quick the collagen kicks in I do know plenty of friends who swear by it as a beauty boost that only took about a month to see a difference. Anecdotal maybe, but I’m all about doing whatever I can to help!
This is a small part of my routine but I still make sure to include it as I consciously try to keep my vitamin C intake up. I enjoy a glass of lemon water each morning for my liver and digestive support as well as the antioxidant properties. But a little known role of vitamin C is that it helps with collagen synthesis which means it helps your body use and optimize the collagen protein you’re consuming!
So if you like citrus, just one lemon a day is more than enough to help keep your vitamin C levels up.
Hydrating from the inside and outside is my main focus during this pregnancy not only for my health and the health of the twins but also for my skin health and comfort. Even if all this does not totally prevent stretch marks I will say it’s provided a lot more comfort to my skin.
For example, if I get dehydrated any other time or don’t wear chapstick in the sun my lips crack and bleed. It’s cosmetic, yes, but it’s also downright painful and uncomfortable. A little hydration from the inside and protectant product from the outside really helps prevent painful cracking or bleeding of my lips.
I feel the same about my skin right now on my belly. It’s itchy and downright painful sometimes as my twin belly expands so I’m doing all I can to keep it comfortable and hopefully prevent as many stretch marks as possible at the same time.
Did anyone have a twin pregnancy that they didn’t end up with stretch marks after birth? If so what did you do and what did you use to prevent them? And if you did get stretch marks, what were some things you did for your belly to keep it comfortable as it was stretching out?