Looking to prevent stretch marks during a twin pregnancy? We’ve outlined four trusted home remedies and two of the best products to minimize stretch marks when pregnant with twins below.
In a hurry or just plain curious?
How and Why Stretch Marks with Twins Occur
Besides stretch marks, twin mamas are blessed with all sorts of battle scars: linea nigra, sometimes c-section scars, and umbilical hernia.
While these are all, truly, badges of honor, there are a few ways to help prevent getting stretch marks and to later minimize the appearance of them.
Your skin is like the gallon of Neapolitan ice cream that you want to plow into: three layers. You have the epidermis on the outside, the dermis beneath that, and the hypodermis at the bottom. And similar to the ice cream, your skin contains fat and protein.
In the case of your skin, the key protein is collagen. Together with elastin, collagen weaves the fabric of your dermis.
Collagen, like the elastic in your sweat pants come week 20 of twin pregnancy, can tear when stretched past its tensile limits. When it heals, the result is a scar that is visible through the epidermis. Shucks!
With pregnancy, your skin is stretching to accommodate your rapidly growing body, and sometimes too fast for the collagen to keep up.
Stretch marks appear in the skin as slightly depressed, narrow bands (a.k.a. striae) ranging in color from pink to dark brown. They can occur with any pregnancy, but are particularly dreaded in multiple pregnancies because, simply put, you get bigger!
More babies, more stretching, more stretch marks.
Your tiger stripes are most common on the abdomen where the most stretching occurs, but can also occur in other places like the thighs and breasts.
Since you will most likely need to put on more weight to carry twins than a single baby, stretch marks can also occur as a result of weight gain and show up on your arms or legs.
There is no way to entirely prevent stretch marks, especially when your skin is stretching to accommodate two babies!
There is also no overnight miracle treatment to rid yourself of stretch marks. They will fade over time, but there are precautions you can take to avoid exacerbating the stretch marks, and ways that you can help them heal.
With both courses of action, the secret likes in maintaining strong, supple, hydrated skin from the inside out.
When Stretch Marks Start to Appear During a Twin Pregnancy
It isn’t just the greater size of your belly, but that it happens very suddenly with twins as opposed to a singleton pregnancy, where the growth can be a bit more gradual. Every woman is different, but a mother expecting twins might look full term at seven months!
For this reason, stretch marks can show up earlier in twin pregnancies. Typically, an expecting mom may see stretch marks appearing in the last trimester, but lucky for twin moms, they can appear as early as the first trimester.
Your belly will feel itchy as it stretches which is a good cue for painting on a quality moisturizer. Since stretch marks can appear very early, it is a good idea to start a good moisturizing regimen as soon as you learn that you are pregnant with twins.
You can also start putting stretch mark cream on as soon as they appear, provided you clear the ingredients with your OB first. This might help minimize the damage.
You may feel silly slapping a thick lotion on your belly before you are showing, but it will be there before you know it! Moisturize early and often.
Your breasts may grow before you even notice a baby bump, so go ahead and slather on from armpits to knees.
Home Remedies to Prevent Stretch Marks From Twins
This home remedy is actually a home recipe! Don’t worry, you aren’t about to read that you have to climb in a tub full of tomato soup or something ludicrous.
Rather than slathering pantry ingredients on your skin and wishing away the stretch marks, you will gobble them up and fight them from the inside out.
The idea here is to consume lots of nutrients that make skin happy: collagen protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, and water.
You can find all of these in this healthful soup containing super-foods like sweet potato.
Of course, this soup is just an example of how you can incorporate these vitamins into your diet, not something you need to eat every day.
Look to nutritional powerhouses like sweet potato, bell pepper, carrots, spinach, broccoli, nuts, seeds, and citrus for more of what’s good. And of course, drink LOTS of water!
Do not substitute the bone broth for a regular broth, as this is a key source of nutrients in this recipe. The difference between bone broth and typical broths is how long the bones are simmered.
With bone broth, the bones are simmered much longer than needed to impart a subtle flavor, so that nutrients leach from the bones and into the broth. As a result, it is stock full of collagen, which can help maintain the elasticity of your skin and promote healing.
Vitamin C helps your body to create collagen of its own, while vitamins A and E are free-radical fighting antioxidants.
No promises that you won’t get any stretch marks, you ARE carrying twins after all, but at least your skin will have a fighting chance.
What’s more, your babies will thank you as this soup contains lots of foods that are tremendously healthy for growing fetuses. For more of these recipes, give this a read: What to Eat When You’re Pregnant: A Week-by-Week Guide to Support Your Health. Win-Win!
Recommended Reading: 13 Quintessential Twin Pregnancy Books Expectant Mothers MUST Read
-1 red bell pepper, chopped
-2 carrots, peeled and chopped
-1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
-1 tbs oil (coconut, olive, or ghee)
-4 cups quality store-bought bone broth (or homemade!)
-1 tbs Priya tomato pickle with garlic
-1 tbs fish sauce or soy sauce (optional, to taste)
-1 stick of cinnamon
Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper and carrots, and cook until vegetables begin to soften.
Stir in sweet potato, tomato pickle, and cinnamon stick. Let cook for about 1 minute, then add bone broth and fish sauce.
Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer until sweet potato is soft enough mash with a spoon.
Remove from heat and discard cinnamon stick. Allow to cool slightly and then blend using an immersion blender until smooth. Enjoy!
Home Remedy #2: Scrub! Scrub!
We discussed feeding and watering your skin from the inside-out. Now, you need to keep your skin moist and supple from the outside-in!
Though stretch marks can’t be prevented entirely, they are sure to look and feel worse if you have itchy, dry lizard skin (poor lizards…they get such a bad rap).
This home remedy combines an exfoliant and a moisturizer to slough off dead skin cells so the moisture component can better penetrate the epidermis.
Making your own scrub is a great idea because you know what is going into it and that the ingredients are safe for pregnancy.
Actually, this one is so safe you could eat it! But let’s not. Coconut oil like this one here is the perfect vehicle for this scrub because it has anti-inflammatory properties, can have a positive effect on collagen production, hydrates skin deeply, and helps speed healing of the skin.
Brown Sugar Body Scrub
-2 cups brown sugar
-1 cup coconut oil (solid)
Simply combine the coconut oil and brown sugar then whip to desired consistency with a hand mixer.
If coconut oil is too hard you can warm in a pot on the stove first. Store in an airtight container.
Take a nice bath, relax those achy joints, and enjoy your new scrub! Use once or twice a week to keep skin soft and silky, and be sure to check out the DIY Bump Butter below for daily use!
Home Remedy #3: DIY Bump Butter
No list of home remedies is complete without a good potion to concoct at home. This one is pretty easy though, no cauldron required (unless you want one, then by all means…).
This is just a thick cream stuffed full of heavy-duty moisturizers that can be whipped into a luxurious texture for smoothing onto your itchy baby bump.
There are plenty of commercially available lotions that can do the job so why make your own? Because you can make A LOT of it.
Moisturizing from knees to armpits every day (or multiple times a day if you tend toward dry skin) for nine months will use up a lot of product… especially as your, ah, surface area grows. Here’s what to do:
DIY Twin Baby Bump Butter
In a double boiler (or glass bowl placed over a pot of water), place equal parts cocoa butter, shea butter, coconut oil, and almond oil.
Place on the stove on very low heat and warm until all of the ingredients melt and can be stirred together.
If you would like to add scent to your lotion, you can add a few drops of essential oil. Move your mixture to the refrigerator to cool down.
Once cool, you can whip using a hand mixer to create a light, fluffy texture. Finally, strip down and butter up! This is good for daily or twice daily use.
Home Remedy #4: Walking and other Low Impact Exercises
In days of old, a positive pregnancy test was a prescription for nine sedentary months spent eating for two, or in the case of twins, eating for three.
Though you must always consult with your OB, it is not only considered safe for most pregnant women to exercise these days, but encouraged! Women with weights in a normal BMI range are expected to gain 37 to 54 pounds during a twin pregnancy.
Putting on enough weight to support your twin pregnancy is very important for the health of those beans growing inside you, but doing so at an appropriate rate is key for your health and for, since that is what we are here to talk about, preventing stretch marks!
Remember, stretch marks are caused when the skin stretches to accommodate rapid growth. Staying within the recommended weight gain for each trimester can help prevent the formation of stretch marks, and can also help with delivery and recovery.
Low impact exercise such as walking is the perfect way to stay active later in twin pregnancy. Plus, it is fun for your nosy neighbors to watch you get bigger and speculate on how many kids are in there.
Twin Tip: this may seem like a stretch (haha…) but a balancing ball will become your new favorite piece of furniture. Seriously…it might even earn a place at the dinner table in the last trimester!
You can use it for gentle exercise, to relieve pressure caused by sitting in a hard chair, to stretch out hip and back pain, to rock those babies down during delivery, and to soothe your newborns with a gentle bouncing motion. Scoop one up, you won’t regret it.
The Best Stretch Mark Cream for A Twin Pregnancy
Home remedies are great, but sometimes you just want a ready-made cream that you can buy and apply. The following selections are favorites among twin moms:
Recommendation #1 Palmers Cocoa Butter Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks
Palmer’s Massage Lotion is one of the most popular and widely available stretch mark creams, and for good reason! It is packed with hydrators including cocoa butter, shea butter, vitamin E oil, coconut oil, argan oil, lutein, and almond oil.
Some twin moms who started daily application of this lotion early on (12 weeks) saw few to no stretch marks during their pregnancy. This lotion is considered safe to use during pregnancy and is free of mineral oil and parabens.
For all the goodness in this bottle, it is one of the least expensive stretch mark creams on the market. The only downside? The vaguely chocolate smell may result in some late night market runs to satisfy chocolate cravings!
Palmers also makes a host of other skin hydrating products you might try including a foaming body wash, a skin therapy oil, and a bust cream (don’t forget about stretch marks on your breasts!). Some moms swear by Palmers and get the whole kit and caboodle.
Recommendation #2 Weleda Stretch Mark Massage Oil
From Weleda, a trusted manufacturer of natural products, the Stretch Mark Massage Oil contains almond oil to hydrate and organic arnica flower extract to soothe itchy skin.
This product has been raved about by many expecting mothers, including those carrying twins, for it’s lightweight application, subtle herby scent, and most importantly, effectiveness at preventing stretch marks!
Some even find that it eases tension and aches when used for massage. Massage in light circles once or twice a day on belly, thighs, and breasts.
It should go without saying, but this product is considered safe for use during pregnancy and breastfeeding (Weleda even recommends continued use during breastfeeding).