Stretch Marks – It Happens - this mom gives real life advice about balancing healthy eating with real life
I probably sat here for about 30 minutes before I got the guts to click “post” for this picture, but when I started this page I promised myself I would stay as authentic as possible in all my posts, and I wanted to share with you something that came up in a conversation with some friends tonight – stretch marks. The reality is, that most women have stretch marks somewhere on their body and almost ALL moms do! Due to genetics, some people get them worse than others, but during pregnancy your body changes so much that stretch marks are very NORMAL!

Someone said to me tonight, “You don’t have any stretch marks – I have seen your pictures!”. The reality is that, yes, I do have stretch marks! I delivered a 10-lb baby and gained 60 lbs when I was pregnant. My stretch marks were bright purple during pregnancy, and in the past two years they have faded more of a clear color now. When I take progress pictures I try to make it so they don’t always show, but I definitely have them. When I get cold, they are a lot more noticeable.

I hope that this post helps you guys realize that pregnancy stretch marks aren’t necessarily a bad thing!! They are proof that our bodies went through something completely amazing and carried a child. I have days, of course, where I wish I didn’t have them…but then I look down at my beautiful little two year old and his sweet little laugh and dimpled smile make those stretch marks all worth it.

Most photos that we see in print ads, professional photos, etc have been photoshopped to get rid of stretch marks. Most people have them, so please don’t look at your own body and feel bad if you have some stretch marks. YOUR body is a beautiful thing – even with so-called ‘imperfections’ like stretch marks!! The more you love and embrace all the things you don’t like about your body the happier you will be with where you are at in your journey.

Your Friend,

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  • Thanks so much for all you do God Bless you and thanks for this post ~~~~HUGS~~~

  • Thanks Cecilia!! haha, Stacey glad to hear someone else has the same problem too πŸ™‚

  • Thank you for sharing with us. I seriously thought the same thing your friend did because I was sure you didn’t have stretch marks, esp. not on your belly. thank you for helping me to “get over it” when I look at my stretch marks.

  • Thanks for sharing this. I’m not a parent but the 5-10lbs I’ve been playing with for the last 10 yrs has proven that my skin is not on my side. I have a friend that is 33 weeks pregnant with her 2nd child & has NONE! I am amazed by this! I wonder where one can find this super skin! I’d be first in line! I also have hirsutism which causes excessive “furriness” I like to call it. I find it much more difficult to deal with being a woman that has LOTS of “pechfuzz on her lower back, belly & other areas than I do the stretch marks but I’m SURE that if that wasn’t there I’d be obsessed with the looks of my stretch marks. There’s always something. Luv your new page! This is going to be fun.

  • Thanks for posting this! It sure does take courage to show what we consider imperfections. As most mommies, I too have stretch marks. But I have to say, I actually love my marks as they remind me of my accomplishments carrying my babies and delivering them safely. They were worth it!

  • I have had three children and have no stretch marks. I don’t post this to Bragg but to share what I’ve done. During pregnancy every time I take a shower I put lotion on and then baby oil on top. During the last two months I make sure that my belly never gets dry. I put the lotion and oil on my belly, boobs, back, and every place that stretches. I just wanted to share what has worked for me hopefully it will work for you to.

  • Worth a try, pregnant or not. Thanks for the tip!

  • Dang Sabra!! You got all the good genes in the family!! πŸ˜‰ That’s awesome to know about the lotion.

  • Thanks Isabel! I was really nervous when I first posted this, but the response I got on Facebook was so overwhelmingly supportive. I’m glad that sharing my own imperfections have been able to help other people realize it’s ok not to be perfect πŸ™‚

    Thanks for taking the time to post!

  • Thanks for sharing, I also gained 60 pounds & had a 10 pound baby lol. I have lost the baby weight, but I want to learn a better way of building strength, I to eat very little & only do cardio, I am actually underweight for my height, I am so happy I found your site. I was looking at your story were a lot alike even stretch marks in the same area, lol thank u for sharing.

  • Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment Michele! Have a great day!

  • I just saw this post today and I have to say THANK YOU!!!! I try to surround myself with friends who are authentic, especially friends who are fellow mommies. I get so tired of Moms who act like being a mom is all peaches and cream. The reality is that there are times where it can really stink or be super frustrating, but this doesn’t mean that you’re a bad mommy, it means you’re human. To see that there are other moms who go through the same struggles as I do, including worrying about stretch marks is such an encouragement, and I plan on working on your words of advice – to embrace my body as a whole, imperfections and everything. Thanks!

  • This means more to us than you probably realize. I am trying so hard to lose the last 60 pounds after a pregnancy but when I look in the mirror I almost feel like it is no use. Lately, I have been feeling like I would never look good again because of the stretch marks. This has given me another reason why I should continue to lose the weight. I can still look good, feel great and be a mommy. Thank so much for “keeping it real!”

  • its all about being true to the cause. Embracing where you are, what you have to work with and then making things work for yourself is the only way to go. Appreciate the guts you did with this one. Hope you do accept our invitation(on twitter) to become our profile of the month

  • Thanks for sharing…I only had 1 child, but if you saw my belly you would think I had 3. I gained 80 lbs during my pregnancy. I was very young and thought I was eating for two…I’ve since lost that weight and slowly gaining muscle. Thanks for making me feel better about my stretch marks:)

  • I have them too! But have come to accept them. I take lots of fitness pictures and make sure that my stretch marks are never edited out. Like you, I think it’s SO important for women to see the “REAL” us. Thank you!

  • Tabitha thank you SO much for your feedback! It was really scary for me to make that post, but I got such great feedback on it that it made me really happy that I stepped outside my comfort zone to do it. I LOVE hearing that you don’t edit out your stretchmarks!! We need more mamas like you to put those pictures out there!! πŸ™‚

  • Shannon thank you so much for leaving such a nice comment. It was really scary for me to post this, and I almost didn’t even post it, but in hindsight I am really grateful I did. Good luck with your fitness journey! Remember, every day you make a good food decision is one day you are closer to your goals πŸ™‚ Don’t beat yourself up too much over not losing the weight too quickly – it took me almost 18 months to lose all the weight from my son. Slowly and surely is usually the best way to ensure it stays off πŸ™‚ Keep me posted with your progress!

  • Rebeka thank you SO much for taking the time to leave such a nice comment!!! I really appreciated all your kind words and it’s people like you that continue to keep me motivated! Thank you!

  • You are so welcome!!! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment πŸ™‚

  • You bet!!! Thank you so much for sharing your story – I think it helps all of us to read of everyone’s stories and know that no one out there is perfect πŸ™‚

  • Rebekah,

    I completely agree. Authenticity is so hard to find in people these days. It’s nice to have beautiful (inside and out) role models/motivators, and Natalie has definitely been one for me since discovering her page a couple of weeks ago. I am a mom with stretch marks and we have to remember what our bodies went through to get them!

  • Natalie,
    I salute you! Thank you for your bravery and honesty. I also have stretch marks, serious ones actually, due to two 65+ lb pregnancy gains. I’ve since lost over 85 lbs, made it to goal weight, and on the road to toning. Large pregnancy gain, genetics, rapid weight loss, whatever the cause I now have stretch marks across my abdomen, hips, inner thighs, even backs of my knees! I think we “see” them more so than others do. It’s taken a few years for them to fade and I’ve come to accept them (or at least I’m trying!). Toning has made the biggest difference, especially with two C-sections and the extra skin that’s typical afterwards.
    Thank you for being such an inspiration!! And thank you for the reminder to stop being so laser focused on our imperfections.

  • Amanda thank you so much for your comment!! I am proud of you for the amazing progress you’ve made – keep me posted on your toning process!!

  • Gretchen thank you so much for your sweet post!!! I truly appreciate people like you who provide positive feedback for the things I share – sometimes it is scary to put yourself out there like that, but comments like yours make it worth it for me. Thank you!!

  • This is awesome Natalie. Thanks for posting! My post baby stretch marks are so bad and get me down sometimes but it’s so reassuring to be reminded that we all have them! And of course my beautiful little boy was worth every line!

  • Good for you, posting this is a service to all women! And stretch marks or not, you are an absolutely gorgeous woman and an inspiration to us all. Keep it up!

  • I’ve had stretch marks since puberty and no I wasn’t heavy I played plenty of sports. So I knew once I had kids there was no hope in not getting more on my stomach. For those of you who think you can avoid stretch marks by using lotions and oils your wrong. Stretch marks are genetic ask any Dr. Thank You Natalie for letting everyone know we are the majority!

  • I can’t thank you enough for this!! I was wondering if my ability to be considered part of the fitness community was doomed because of stretch marks! But I love each one of them– they gave me a healthy 9 pound baby girl!

    Thank you so much for your open honesty Natalie!

  • Thanks for such a sweet comment Jenny!! I’m glad you liked it and thanks for your feedback – it was kind of scary to post about! πŸ™‚

  • I got your name off of a post on James Wilson’s program page. I look forward to reading and being remotivated by you. I fell of the wagon a few weeks ago and am in desperate need to get back on!!!

  • My wife used my Dr max Powers Stretch Mark Treatment when she was pregnant morning and night from the time she started having a small belly show. We went through about 5 jars of the stuff – its spreads very well. Our baby was born and my wife has no stretch marks on her. Love the Dr Max Powers Stretch Mark Cream.

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I’m Natalie

Ten years ago I started out in the online world in the fitness space. I started blogging, sharing at-home exercises, and offering easy recipes. This turned into writing eBooks β€” one of which blew up in a way I could never imagine!

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