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“As a new mom-to-be, and working full time, I really needed a practical and easy to follow program to keep me and my growing baby healthy. The Fit and Healthy Pregnancy Guide gave me all of that and more! It helped me to gain only an optimal, healthy amount of weight and deliver a beautiful baby boy.”
-Michelle Woodham of Columbus, OH
“Finally- a holistic pregnancy book that I can truly recommend to my patients! Laura and Michelle have done an excellent job of debunking the myths of pregnancy exercise and nutrition, and putting together a clear plan for any women who cares about herself and her baby. This book will be in office and required reading for all of my expecting mothers.”
- Eric Serrano, M.D. of Columbus OH
“As an experienced fitness professional, I thought I knew everything about pregnancy exercise and pregnancy nutrition. How wrong I was! The FHP Guide opened my eyes to key changes that made a huge difference in the way I look and feel. Even at this late stage of my pregnancy, I feel functionally strong, in great posture, and without the aches and pains that so many of my pregnant friends think is normal. Thank you so much.”
- Sarah Bucher of Toledo, OH
“Laura might just start a revolution for holistic mother worldwide. The combination of her traditional dietetics education, extensive studies in natural and alternative health and nutrition, real-world experience as a working mom, and her ‘tell it like it is’ personality, make for an inspirational role model and coach.”
- Dr. Tamara Stickland, ND of Columbus OH
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What Can I Use to Stop Stretch Marks?

Nobody wants to have stretch marks. They tend to make women very self conscious, as if they have no control over their appearance. Most women never feel confident in a swimsuit again  once they have stretch marks.

Depending on the color of your skin, they can appear a reddish brown, a light pink, purple, or a dark brown color. Over time, stretch marks fade to a white or silvery color. They usually look like stripes, bands, or lines running across your skin. They have a rippled texture, too.

Stretch marks are actually little scars from your skin stretching too far. When you skin and supportive tissue just under the skin gets stretched to quickly, it results in a tear. Scar tissue then grows in these tears to create the reddish lines you are left with.

Because stretch marks are indeed scars, they cannot be removed instantly. In fact, once they are past the initial stage, they are much more challenging to treat. If you are going to use a topical cream on them, try to use it as early as they appear.

While it is not painful to get stretch marks, you can suspect them as soon as you start feeling a tingling or itchy sensation around your belly. A good time to watch for them is in your last three months of pregnancy when your baby is growing the most. Remember too that during your pregnancy, you are growing everywhere, not just in your belly. So watch for them around your breasts, buttocks, and hips as well.

When trying to treat stretch marks, you have a variety of different options. There are many creams, salves, and oils available. There is no proof that any of them actually work, so beware of false promises. A good pregnancy belly cream will contain some key ingredients that are listed below. You can look for products with these in them, or try the following on their own:

  • Shea Butter – In just about every “stretch mark” cream available, you'll find shea butter to be one of the main ingredients. This is because shea butter has an amazing ability to protect skin from dehydration. It's also known as Karite butter because it comes from the nut of a Karite tree. Shea butter is perfect for keeping skin smooth and also has natural UV ray blockers. It provides long-lasting hydration that makes skin more resilient and elastic. Shea butter is astonishingly great for you skin just by itself. But if you are looking for a good stretch mark cream, make sure it has some shea butter in it. You'll be happy you did.
  • Vitamin E Oil – You can buy Vitamin E in the form of an oil, or you can even break open a capsule of pure Vitamin E and apply it directly to the scar. This helps heal and fade it.
  • Olive Oil – Olive oils and other similar oils are great for massaging into your skin. They provide relief for itchy skin and have lasting benefits.
  • Cocoa Butter – Not to be confused with shea butter, cocoa butter is also known as theobroma oil. Cocoa butter is the  fat extracted from the cocoa bean. It is a great moisturizer with natural antioxidants. The only drawback is it's scent. Some women LOVE it, and others hate it. Of course, women are more sensitive to smell during pregnancy. Cocoa butter is great at keeping skin  supple.
  • Retin-A – Retin-A is NOT safe during pregnancy. There is not much information available on whether it's safe during nursing. Retin-A would be a topical medication to use on stretch marks well after pregnancy.
  • Laser Treatment – If all else fails and you are determined to get rid stretch marks, you can talk to your dermatologist about treatment options. Always consult your physician before starting any stretch mark treatment.

Stretch marks will not disappear if left untreated. They do fade with time, which is good news. Even with treatment, they will never fully go away because they are a scar.

Therefore, prevention is the key. Although you may not be able to completely prevent stretch marks, you do have some influence over them. As just discussed, keep your belly well moisturized. Use these common household moisturizers to keep your belly soft and supple. The items like shea butter, cocoa butter, Vitamin E, and olive oil are inexpensive and can be found at your local retailers, super markets, and drug stores. There are also many products available in stores and online designed specifically for your pregnancy. They range anywhere from inexpensive to a little over the top, but all are meant to pamper you during your pregnancy. Look for scents that you enjoy when shopping for these. There are even a few reviews you'll find on this website about stretch marks creams and oils.

Remember to  moisturize your belly and other ares three to four times a day. This will make a big difference in keeping your skin hydrated. Using the oils as a deep massage in your skin tissues also works wonders.

Another key in prevention is water. Keeping moisturizers on your belly helps your skin stay hydrated on the outside. Drinking plenty of water keeps you well-hydrated on the inside. Water is so good for you! The benefits are long lasting, so drink up.

Eating a balanced, nutritious diet will also give your body the vitamins needed to maintain healthy skin. Exercise is also known for firming skin and improving blood circulation. By combining a healthy diet with exercise, you will avoid excess and rapid weight gain, which is the biggest cause of stretch marks. Gain you pregnancy weight slowly and gradually. Don't get too worked up over stress marks. Relax and enjoy your pregnancy. You and your precious baby deserve it.