Step 1: Invite your Mamma over for a cup of coffee and a slice of gluten free cake - my Mamma is a coeliac. If your Mamma has no such dietry requirements, feel free to offer her normal gluten filled cake. The presence or absence of gluten is not important in this step. Once there's cake, your grand!
Once cake, gluten free or otherwise, has been eaten, ask your Mamma this question; so, how's your tummy looking since bearing me for 9 months? If she says smooth as the baby's bum you are currently growing, your golden! If she says it now resembles a scrotum, well, you can still go buy the lotions and potions but it's probably a waste of time... I do realise that the above is a vulgar way to describe a post pregnancy tummy, but as vulgar as it is, it's effective!
I have been applying a certain oil, at a price of €17 a bottle, twice daily for the last 34 weeks. I have been having baths with baby oil in, I have even invested in some stretch mark specific cream that set me back €35. All in a vain attempt to avoid stretch marks.
I thought I was doing very well. I hadn't a mark in sight. When I looked down at my tummy, it was lovely and soft and smooth. I was delighted with myself! Genetics, says I? I laugh in the face of genetics! Well, it turns out that genetics has had the last laugh. You see, from about 26 or so weeks, you can ONLY see the top of your tummy when you look down, your neck doesn't bend so that you can see under your bump. The only way to see under your bump is to have a look in the mirror. So imagine my horror when I looked in the mirror at about 30 or so weeks and realised that while, yes, the top of my bump was soft and unmarked, the feckin underneath of it wasn't! It resembled a cross between a London Tube map and a bloody brain!
Well! Disgusted isn't the word for it! All that time dedicated to rubbing in the lotions and potions and the promises of those company's that I believed whole heatedly, and here I am with a tummy that resembles a brain!
I have been assured that all that tummy TLC will pay off once the baby is out and the skin returns to it's normal I stretched self. I really hope so!
I realise that I should wear my stretch marks with pride. That they are my "tiger stripes" (read that in a quote somewhere once but can't remember the full thing), but I am a young(ish) woman. I had notions of once again being able to wear a bikini. Obviously, once I'd returned to the sevelt size 10 I've always imagined I could be... But with a tummy resembling a mans nether regions, well, suffice to say I wouldn't put the general public through such a sight!
So, ladies! My advice on avoiding stretch marks? Consult your genes, pray to the gene Gods that you got the no stretch mark gene and if you didn't, pray anyway!