As their tummy gradually expands many mums to be experience feelings of tightness, itchiness and express concern about stretch marks. This product combines oils of camellia, almond, baobab and evening primrose with shea and cocoa butters known to target the above. As it is free from essential oils it is suitable for use throughout pregnancy giving you a head start on stretch mark prevention right from the first trimester. No overpowering fragrance, just a delicious, soft and gently lingering vanilla aroma which will appeal to the most sensitive pregnancy nose.
Use daily. This butter melts with your body heat and a little goes a long way. Pay special attention to your tummy, upper thighs, buttocks and breasts where stretch marks most commonly appear. However, when you need to avoid essential oils in the first trimester and may prefer not to use fragranced products, it can be used all over as a nourishing body butter.
Massage – During the first trimester rub gently onto your tummy.
From the second trimester place one hand on top of the other and massage slowly in large circles in a clockwise direction. If you have a willing partner to massage you get yourself comfortable in a semi reclined position (as you progress through your pregnancy you will want to sit more upright). Facing you, your partner should warm Stretch Butter in their hands before gently placing them on your sides at the bottom of your bump, fingers facing towards your back. Drawing their hands towards each other they turn them so fingers are facing up the body as they reach the centre before massaging upwards. As they reach the top of your bump they should gently glide back down the sides to the starting position. It is easiest to think of this as drawing a large heart shape. This massage helps to draw the rectus abdominus muscles in and is a wonderful opportunity to connect with each other and your growing baby.
Before you begin read Massage for pregnancy.
Ingredients: Butospermum parkii (Shea) butter*, Camellia oleifera (Camellia) seed oil*, Theobroma cacao (Cocoa) butter*, Cocos nucifera (Coconut) oil*, Prunus amygdalus dulcis (Almond) oil*, Oenothera biennis (Evening primrose) oil*, Adansonia digitata (Baobab) seed oil*, Vanilla planifolia (Vanilla) fruit extract*, Tocopherol (Vitamin E from Sunflower)
*from organic agriculture 99.5% Organic of total. 100% natural origin
Nutrition – To keep your skin pliable and improve its ability to expand without damage good nutrition is important to feed your skin. Research shows that a higher fat intake is significantly associated with increased skin elasticity. Top of the list for maintaining good skin elasticity are the beneficial essential fatty acids provided by certain oils in our diet:
Omega 3 fatty acids are deficient in the modern diet. The best source is fish – mackerel, salmon (preferably wild) and sardines. If you’re not a fish lover, flax, pumpkin and chia seeds, walnuts and leafy greens are also a good source.
Omega 6 obtained from nuts and seeds and cold pressed vegetable oils such as sunflower.
Other nutrients essential for skin tissue health, elasticity and regeneration include:
Protein the building block of collagen and elastin (and your baby). From lean meats, fish, dairy and beans, pulses and nuts.
Vitamins C needed for healthy collagen and elastin. Found in red peppers, potatoes, broccoli, citrus fruits and berries.
Vitamin E benefits overall skin health and promotes wound healing. Dietary sources include sunflower seeds, almonds, wheatgerm and dark leafy greens.
Silica strengthens the skin and promotes elasticity and healing. From whole grains, dark leafy greens, leeks, green beans, chickpeas, strawberries, cucumber, mango, celery and asparagus.
Selenium promotes skin elasticity and prevents free radical cell damage. Brazil nuts are a rich source and it’s also found in wheatgerm, fish, garlic, eggs, brown rice, and whole-wheat bread.
A lack of zinc is associated with slow healing and stretch mark formation. Choose lean meat, eggs, leafy green vegetables, nuts, pumpkin seeds and wholegrains.
Avoid hydrogenated oils and trans fats as they interfere with your body’s use of essential fats and can lead to free radical damage affecting the health and elasticity of your skin.
Limit simple sugars which can contribute to a process know as glycation where glucose binds with proteins like elastin affecting how well the skin stretches and springs back.
Massage for pregnancy
During pregnancy massage can benefit skin tone and elasticity and particularly when given by a partner, help reduce stress, anxiety, aches and pains and improve sleep. It can also help you both connect with your unborn baby.
During the first trimester gentle head, hand and foot massage may be welcome but you should avoid massage to the legs, back and abdominal area. In the second trimester proceed gently on the lower back and abdomen.
Avoid massage if you are unwell and over skin that has infectious rashes, cuts, sores, recent bruising or is inflamed. Wait at least an hour after eating a meal.
If you have any medical concerns always check with a health professional.