It won’t help, but at least you’ll feel proactive.
When I got pregnant for the first time, I wasn’t worried about stretch marks. I was twenty-one years old, newly married, and totally naive about what pregnancy was about to do to my body.
In those days, access to the internet was still relatively rare. I wasn’t a member of the mommy message boards, and I couldn’t Google an answer to my pressing late night questions. I had to do what most women throughout history have done – accept the wisdom and council of my mother. After all, she’d had five children. She was an expert. I figured she’d fill me in on the necessary details.
Somehow, a lot of details got left out.
My mom’s not a prude, but she’s a conservative lady. Born in 1940, raised in a conservative home, there were just some things you didn’t talk about. So, I was totally unprepared for leaky boobs, cracked nipples, and the shrunken horror I saw in the mirror when, after nine months of morphing, I deflated. Wrinkly, red lines crossed by belly. They were on the underside where I hadn’t been able to see when my stomach was swollen to the size of a monster truck tire. Ugly, but there were just a few. And I wasn’t so bothered that I wanted to bring it up with my lady mother.
But then my milk came in, and my little boobs stretched and stretched until red scars zigzagged from my armpits to my nipples. I was tired. I was sore. I had a squalling infant. And the stretch marks were the last straw. I finally called my mom.
“What are these, and what do I do about them?”
“Stretch marks? Number one, don’t panic. Number two, they fade. Number three, cocoa butter and vitamin E. It probably won’t help, but it’ll make you feel better to be proactive.”
That’s all the advice she gave me. And that’s all the advice I can give you.
I won’t insult your intelligence by giving you a line of garbage about stretch marks being a “badge of honor.” I won’t tell you 80% of women get them, so you should just embrace them. I’ll just share with you the wisdom that was passed down to me – They’re ugly. They fade. Smear on some cocoa butter and vitamin E. It probably won’t help, but it’ll make you feel better to be proactive.