Let’s Talk Bumps: Caring for that (FABULOUS) Growing Belly

At around 12 weeks your bump might start showing…and growing fast. Here’s the play-by-play on what you could expect once that bump starts to POP!

Week 13: Enter Stretch Marks (Maybe)

What’s happening?

If your mama had stretch marks, you likely will too. And they’ll typically make their way to the stage some time between week 13 and 21. While genetics are the biggest driver, there are some things you can do to help prevent them before and reduce the appearance of them postpartum.

What you can do:

First, own them – they are your mama marks and a symbol of your journey. However, if you do want to work on preventing or reducing them: MOISTURIZE. MOISTURIZE. MOISTURIZE. Moisturizing helps keep the skin barrier elastic and protects against developing excess mama marks as you grow. Nutrient-rich botanical oils like jojoba, sweet almond, argan and olive oil will help. Even better, add in any antioxidant-rich citrus peel extract to help target stretch marks! And by chance, what has the combo of all of these? HATCH MAMA Belly Oil. Check it! 

Why does moisturizing with oils help? They’re undiluted with water and other fillers + they’re deeply absorbed into the skin’s surface for optimal impact (especially jojoba, which is known for its quick-absorption!). More so, they’re typically rich with antioxidants, fatty acids + vitamins that help aid in cell renewal as you grow.

Week 19: Waddle it, Mama

What’s happening?

Believe it or not, your growing belly will actually shift your center of gravity and may throw your spinal alignment out of whack, which can cause backache and fatigue. It’s when your waddle will go full throttle.

What you can do:

At this stage, you’re going to have to get comfortable with slowing down a little. Keeping your exercise routine is important for maintaining balance, but now is the time to really listen to that cute bod of yours and focus on kicking your feet up with a good back support as you sink into some deep healing rest. Backache got you frustrated? Our Down, Girl cooling cream can actually be used beyond the limbs on the low back to help offer relief. 

Week 21: They’re feelin’ themselves…

What’s happening?

That little bebe is starting to move and shake, so you may start to feel a little fluttering or kicking inside. 

What you can do:

Really use this time to start connecting with your little one. Their hearing starts to develop around  Week 16 when you’re able to feel what is happening, so it is the perfect opportunity to slow down and reconnect.  It’s also a great time to start using baths + massage to make that conscious connection to your baby and the magic of this process. Life moves fast, and so will these nine months.

Samantha Huggins, co-founder of Carriage House Birth + HATCH doula advisor, recommends bath time as a venue for you to get centered + reconnect with what is happening inside. Struggling with swelling? Throw some bath salts in the mix to help with bloated limbs. Fighting dry, itchy skin? Drop a few drops of Belly Oil to seal in moisture. Now go relax and reconnect, darling. You deserve it! 

Week 23: Welcome that Cute Lil Line

What is happening:

The Linea Negra (the dark line that forms between your belly button and your pubic bone) typically comes through at around this time. It’s totally normal, and it’s not permanent. What’s even more interesting? We ALWAYS have a line there that we just can’t see. When your hormones go on their preggo rollercoaster ride, they trigger more melanocyte stimulation in your skin which means more color on everything — nipples, lips, scars… and that line! EVEN COOLER? Newborns can’t see well when they are born, so the darker lines and areola actually help baby find the breasts. Science FTW.

What you can do:

Own it! However, if you’re concerned about it being too pronounced, ensure you’re covering your bump when in the sun so that you don’t add more pigment. It WILL go away on its own. If you want to try to accelerate its exit out the door, you can exfoliate away the darker skin cells using a GENTLE physical exfoliant scrub or brush. Our advice? Be patient with yourself. This time is precious and you may miss these marks one day…

Week 26: Here Comes the Outie

What is happening:

Got an innie? Get ready for an outie around this time. Got a SUPER innie? Then you may just see it slightly pushed forward. 

What you can do:

Nothing. Just telling you for funsies.

Week 30-Birthday: Case of the Itchy Belly

What is happening:

In your third trimester, your bump starts growing quickly. Believe it or not, your baby will likely go from 2.5 pounds to 9 pounds or more. What might this rapid stretch of the skin mean? ITCHY BELLY. If you’re like many of us, you may have already started dousing your limbs in oils + lotions due to hormonal dryness. However, if you weren’t itchy then, you WILL be itchy now. Don’t worry – it won’t last too long!

What you can do:

Moisturize with clean, soothing ingredients. Our Belly Oil is rich in calendula extract that’s renowned for its ability to calm the skin. If you’re really feelin’ the itch, try a more targeted treatment like the Belly Mask, which is cooling to the touch and has aloe to help soothe + bee pollen to help promote skin renewal. Oatmeal baths can also help to bring it down a notch. Starting to see a rash or have itchy hands and feet as well? Then it’s time to go see the doctor.

Postpartum Bump Care BeginsWhat is happening:

So much is going to happen on its own within the first six weeks after baby comes  — between your skin tightening up, you losing some of that pregnancy weight, and the uterus going back to its old home, you’re going to slowly see your stomach get tighter and flatter. You may be left behind with a few mama marks or a few L-B’s and that’s okay.

What you should do:

You’re going to be TIRED. WE FEEL YOU!  But try to come up with ways to make time for movement + appropriate exercise (start with some stroller walks in the sunshine!). And please don’t stop moisturizing. Moisturizing is PROVEN to help reduce the appearance of stretch marks + scars and is a generous way to connect with your new body. So, if you’ve got some extra Belly Oil or Belly Masks from your pregnancy, keep using them postpartum. It’s tempting to put them down, but you’ll thank us later.

As always, if ANYTHING is feeling out-of-the-ordinary, please go consult your medical professional. Otherwise, enjoy the journey! xx

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