Preventing & Treating Stretch Marks during Pregnancy

Preventing & Treating Stretch Marks during Pregnancy

Preventing & treating stretch marks during pregnancy are two common pregnancy concerns. About 80% of pregnant women will get them, and they can show up any time during pregnancy – but typically around the sixth or seventh month. Stretch marks happen when the skin stretches quickly – as it does during pregnancy – and the connective tissues below the surface break down. The abrupt change causes the collagen and elastin, two things that keep your skin healthy - to rupture, leaving behind these streaks and marks on the skin that can show up in many different colors.

The biggest take away here?  It's normal, not harmful, and a sign of the power of a woman's body. You have helped create life!  Wear those "tiger stripes" with pride!!!  If you are still pregnant and need a little motivation to stop sweating the small stuff, I've got you.  Sprinkled throughout the article are portraits taken during this sweet infant's baby photoshoot, aka, newborn session.  He was a dream to photograph during our time together in my portrait studio.

Still interested in learning possible ways to help prevent or reduce the effects?  Below are some wonderful tips and bits of information which may help.

Early Signs of Stretch Marks

The earlier you catch stretch marks, the easier they are to treat. Here are some early signs to look for:

- Redness or inflammation of the skin

- A feeling of tightness or itchiness in the area where stretch marks may form

- Appearance of small bumps on the skin that look like goosebumps

- Indented streaks on your stomach, butt, breasts and thighs

- Colorful streaks that can be pink, red, black, blue or purple

How to Avoid Stretch Marks during Pregnancy

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It's no secret that pregnant women need to take extra care of themselves. Aside from eating right and getting enough exercise, taking prenatal vitamins is one of the most important things you can do for your baby and yourself.

But what many people don't know is that prenatal vitamins can also help you avoid stretch marks during pregnancy. Vitamins C and E, in particular, are two key nutrients for keeping your skin healthy - and preventing those stretch marks from forming.

So if you're pregnant, be sure to include a good vitamin supplement in your daily routine. Not only will it help keep you healthy, but it may also help keep your skin looking its best.

Preventing & treating stretch marks during pregnancy


One way to help avoid stretch marks is to make sure you're eating enough protein. Protein helps keep your skin healthy by providing it with key nutrients like collagen and elastin. Throughout your pregnancy, be sure to include plenty of high-quality protein in your diet.

Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is another key factor in preventing stretch marks. When you're well hydrated, your skin stays elastic and less likely to stretch and tear. So be sure to drink plenty of water throughout your pregnancy. Not only will it keep you healthy, but it may also help keep those pesky stretch marks at bay.

Control Weight Gain

One of the best ways to avoid stretch marks during pregnancy is to gain weight gradually. However, even slower weight gain during a pregnancy's timeline can cause stretch marks in those with a genetic disposition, so don't fret too much!

When you put on weight too quickly, your skin doesn't have time to stretch properly and may end up tearing. But if you gain weight gradually over the course of your pregnancy, your skin will have a chance to stretch slowly and without any tears. This can help prevent the formation of stretch marks altogether.

How to Treat Fresh Stretch Marks

Most stretch marks will slowly fade and lighten after pregnancy, but they are unlikely to completely disappear. There are treatments available that can help reduce the appearance of stretch marks, but they are not 100% effective. Some women find that using a good moisturizer every day can help keep their skin healthy and elastic, which may lessen the chance of getting stretch marks. Here are more tips on treating stretch marks.

Home Remedies for Stretch Marks

Many women swear by lotions, creams, oils, and body butters to reduce or avoid stretch marks. Popular ones include things like almond oil, cocoa butter, olive oil, or vitamin E oil. If you choose to use a topical solution, doctors recommend that you

-Use the product daily

-Start using the produce before stretch marks appear

-Take time to massage your skin as you rub the oils in

Preventing & treating stretch marks during pregnancy

Hyaluronic Acid & Tretinoin

Hyaluronic acid and tretinoin are two of the most popular treatments for stretch marks. Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance that helps to keep skin healthy and elastic. It is often used to treat wrinkles, but it can also be effective in reducing the appearance of stretch marks.

Tretinoin is a form of vitamin A that helps to rebuild collagen fibers in the skin. This can help reduce the appearance of stretch marks and make them less noticeable.

Both hyaluronic acid and tretinoin are available as over-the-counter treatments, or they can be prescribed by your doctor.

Retinoid Cream for Stretch Mark Prevention

Retinoid is a type of vitamin A that has been shown to be effective in reducing stretch marks. It helps increase collagen production, which keeps the skin healthy and elastic. Retinoid can be applied topically as a cream or gel, or it can be taken orally as a pill or liquid.

If you're pregnant and want to avoid stretch marks, talk to your doctor about using retinoid. It may help keep your skin looking its best during these nine months - and beyond!

Preventing & treating stretch marks during pregnancy

Light and Laser Therapies for Stretch Marks

Some doctors offer light or laser therapies to help reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Light therapy uses lasers or LED lights to stimulate collagen production and improve skin elasticity.

Laser therapy is similar to light treatment for stretch marks, but instead of lasers, doctors use beams of concentrated light to break down the fibers that cause stretch marks. This helps reduce their appearance and makes them less noticeable.


Microneedling is another treatment that may help reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Microneedling is a procedure that uses tiny needles to create hundreds of micro-injuries in the skin. This stimulates the body to produce more collagen and elastin, which helps keep the skin healthy and elastic. And since collagen and elastin are what give skin its elasticity, this can help prevent stretch marks from forming in the first place.

Microneedling is a relatively new treatment, so more research is needed to determine just how effective it is. But early results seem promising, and it may be worth considering if you're pregnant and want to avoid getting stretch marks.

Before Delivering

No more worries about preventing & treating stretch marks during pregnancy before delivery baby...time for a fun topic!  Do consider planning ahead by scheduling a newborn portrait session.  It may seem strange to book a photoshoot before baby is born, but many newborn photographer studios' schedules fill up quickly.  At Lillybelle Rose Photography, I schedule newborn portraits months before baby arrives, and guarantee parents a date adjustment as needed after giving birth.  If you'd like to find out more about the newborn session package with Lillybelle Rose Photography, click HERE.  If you are ready to schedule your baby's first photo shoot, you can click HERE and select a date which falls 5-10 days after your expected due date.  Once baby arrives, we will adjust the date if necessary!  As always, do not hesitate to CONTACT ME if you have any questions prior to scheduling your newborn portrait session.

Preventing & treating stretch marks during pregnancy

Teething Tips & Tricks for helping Baby through this Trying Time

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Teething: Tips & Tricks for helping Baby through this Trying Time

Teething is the process of growing new teeth. Babies start teething when they are about 6 months old, but it can happen as early as 3 months or as late as 12 months. Most babies have all 20 of their primary teeth by the time they’re two years old. Here I'll discuss some teething tips and tricks to help you through the journey.

Signs your Baby has Started Teething

Every baby is different, but these are some common signs that your baby has started the teething process.

-Your usually happy and content baby may become fussier and cry more than normal. Let's face it - teething can be painful, so crying is just a normal way for your baby to express his frustration.

-You may notice that your baby's gums are swollen.

-Your baby wants to chew on things. This is the time to be extra vigilant about keeping small items that your baby could choke on out of reach. Your baby chews when teething to relieve the pressure on her gums. Make sure you're stocked with lots of suitable teething toys.

-Your baby has diarrhea. Teething babies generate more saliva, and that can cause stomach irritation and loose bowel movements.

-You'll notice more drooling or a rash around your baby's mouth. Babies drool much more when they are teething. This constant flow of saliva around the mouth and down the chin can lead to a rash in that area. You can help control the rash by using an ointment like Vaseline or Aquaphor which can protect your baby's skin from the drool. You can also use beeswax ointments to treat this rash, but stay away from lotions.

-Your baby's sleep patterns may change. He make take shorter naps, have trouble settling down to sleep, and could start waking up in the middle of the night even if he has been sleeping through consistently.

-Your baby might start rubbing and pulling on her ears. Teething pain can spread across your baby’s face and into the area near the ears, so pulling and tugging at the ears is your baby's way of trying to relieve that pain.

Ways to Soothe your Teething Baby

Teething is a natural process and usually no cause for alarm, but there are some things you can do to make it easier for your baby.  Below you will find some fantastic teething tips and tricks.

Teething Toys

-Some babies like softer teethers, and some prefer ones that are more firm. Try out a couple of different options to see which ones your baby seems to like best. Keep these things in mind when shopping for teethers.

-Know what's in your teethers. Some popular teething toys can contain harmful ingredients like BPA, latex, lead, or phthalates, to name a few.

-Search for teething toys made from natural substances, like untreated wood, natural organic fabrics, or 100% food-grade or medical-grade silicone.

-Try out teething toys with bristles, bumps, and other textures. Some babies like these better than a smooth teether.

-Try cool teething toys. Many teethers are designed to be cooled then given to baby. You can even use a washcloth. Just wet it, cool it in the fridge, then let your baby suck and chew on it.

-Try frozen breast milk to soothe your teething baby. Just pop a cube into a teething mesh and allow your baby to chew and suck on it.

-If your baby will allow it, try massaging his gums with your finger.

-Select teething toys that are easily washable, then wash them frequently with hot water. If possible, boil your teething toys. Just check the packaging first to make sure the material is strong enough to withstand the heat without melting.

Teething Necklaces

Over the last several years, teething necklaces have become a big hit for new parents trying to soothe their teething baby. These teething necklaces are commonly made from beaded amber, wood, marble, or silicone and warn by mom or baby. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics warns parents against using these teething necklaces. These necklaces pose both strangulation and choking hazards to your baby. The necklaces can break and the beads can get lodged in your baby's throat. And the necklaces can also strangle a baby if it becomes caught too tightly around his little neck.

Baby Teething Medications

There are lots of medications, oils, and gels available to parents whose babies are teething. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you not use any medications on baby's teething gums, saying there's no proof they offer any real comfort, and they can come with some nasty side effects. Medications that numb the gums can reduce the blood flow to them, which can cause serious side effects.

Teething Cookies & Biscuits

Teething cookies and biscuits are a great way to help soothe your teething baby. They can provide a little comfort and help to ease the pain. Plus, they're a fun snack for baby to chew on!

There are lots of recipes for teething cookies and biscuits available online. You can try out a few different recipes to find one your baby likes best. Just make sure the ingredients are safe for babies and try to avoid ones with added sugar.

Moms share their Teething Tricks and Tips

Those Dr. Brown all-natural teething tablets worked for my baby. I also bought this specific teething toy they sold at target that was a rubber star and when the baby chews on it, it vibrates. I bought it for two of my kids because it worked so well.

-Elizabeth Sneed, Indianapolis

We used natural organic clove oil on the gums, frozen breast milk cubes, frozen applesauce cubes, and frozen fresh fruits in mesh teethers were always a win for our babies.

-Bella Duncan, Indianapolis

Frozen pancakes!

-Mel McMahon, Indianapolis

We used the Baltic amber bracelet under a sock! Make sure it’s certified and not just beads.

-Rachel Bowles, Indianapolis

Lillybelle Rose Photography offers milestone sessions perfect for capturing your baby and those cute "toofers" coming through!  Click HERE to find out more about a baby photo shoot, or HERE to browse the portfolio bursting with adorable new born babies and infants.

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Fall Portrait Sessions

Dusting off my backpack and heading outdoors, and I can't wait!

Join me in Glen Ellyn, IL for a morning of snuggles and giggles with your loved ones.  Unlike mini sessions of the past, these limited edition sessions afford plenty of time to relax and enjoy the experience, lasting up to thirty minutes!  Sessions are for your immediate family, with well trained pets welcome.  *Please be sure you can attend both the event date AND the rain date!*. You will receive an online gallery of proofs within one week of your session.  The proofs gallery provides the tools you need to purchase your digital collection of choice (See investment information below.), meaning your final gallery will be filled with the images you love most!



Caring for your newborn baby’s skin

Caring for your Newborn Baby's Skin

Your newborn baby’s skin may be soft and glowing, or rashy, raw, and flaky. Despite the flawless skin depicted in newborn portraits like below, babies can suffer from a whole list of skin issues, incuding rashes, eczema, acne, and dry, flaky skin. Newborn babies skin is much more sensitive than adults skin. It might take some trial and error to figure out how to best manage your newborn baby’s skin so it’s healthy and glowing.

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Causes and Treatments of Different Baby Skin Issues

When a baby is born, they are born with a protective film called a Vernix. Rather than an immediate bath after birth, experts now recommend leaving this layer on a bit longer to help moisten baby’s delicate skin. Despite this, baby’s skin will likely dry and flake quite dramatically over the first few weeks. This is perfectly normal and you shouldn’t be concerned. There is no need to cake baby’s skin with lotions or try to gently scrub the flakes away, as they will naturally peel off on their own.  As a newborn photographer, I adore documenting the presence of vernix!

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Less is more when it comes to your newborn baby’s skincare. Bathing should happen less frequently as this will prevent over-drying of the skin. Limit your newborn’s bath to two or three times a week. While in the bath, just rinse the baby with warm water or a gentle cleanser designed specifically for baby skin. Immediately after the bath, apply hypoallergenic lotion all over baby’s skin to help them retain some of the moisture.

Baby Eczema

One of the most challenging issues for new parents to deal with is eczema. This can be seen as rough, dry, itchy patches on baby’s skin. Most often, babies will get eczema on their cheeks, arms, and legs. Most children will outgrow their eczema by the time they start kindergarten.

Here are a few things that might cause your baby’s eczema:

-Synthetic or scratchy fabrics. Opt for soft, natural fibers when shopping for baby clothes.

-Heat and sweat. Try to keep your baby comfortably cool and dry.

-Some lotions, baby bath products, and laundry detergents can cause eczema.

-Food allergies

Diaper Rash

Another skin malady that just about every baby will suffer from during the early years is diaper rash. There can be several different causes of diaper rash, including

-Leaving a wet or dirty diaper on too long

-Diapers or clothing that fit too tightly

-Skincare products or medications used in the diaper area

-Antibiotic Use

-Foods that baby is allergic or sensitive to

To prevent diaper rashes, change your baby’s diaper frequently, and make sure your baby is completely dry before putting on a fresh diaper. To treat a diaper rash, clean the affected area gently, avoid baby wipes with alcohol or fragrance, and avoid baby powder altogether. Moisturize the diaper area with Vaseline or a protective ointment such as A&D. Make sure that the diaper is on tight enough to contain the contents, but not too tight.

Cradle Cap

Within your newborn’s first three months, she may develop a scalp condition called cradle cap. This is when your newborn baby produces too much sebum on her scalp. This oily scalp will cause crusting and yellow or white scales. A common treatment is to delicately wash your baby’s scalp with baby shampoo, gently massaging the scalp with a baby brush to loosen up the flakes. If your baby’s head is super crusty, doctors recommend applying baby oil for about 15 minutes prior to shampooing to loosen up the crust. In most cases, the cradle cap will resolve on its own. The good news is, while it might be unpleasant to look at, cradle cap typically won’t cause your baby any pain or discomfort.

Baby Acne

It may surprise many new parents to learn that babies can have acne. In fact, it’s much more common than you think. 40% of all newborn babies develop acne within two to three weeks of birth. This is due to maternal hormones still circulating in the infant’s body. Luckily, this acne resolves on its own and doesn’t require any harsh treatments. There is no special skin care regimen required to treat baby acne.

Contact Dermatitis

This is a term for skin irritation caused when baby’s skin comes in contact with something that irritates it. It might be soap, laundry detergent, or fragrances in wipes and lotions. You might have to do a bit of trial and error to figure out what is causing your baby’s contact dermatitis. Switch out baby washes and lotions, trade adult laundry soaps for ones designed specifically for baby’s clothes, and pay extra close attention to anything that comes in contact with your baby’s skin on a regular basis.

Prickly Heat Rash

It’s second nature to want to swaddle and wrap a new baby warmly. But too much warmth can cause skin issues. Prickly heat rash appears as tiny red bumps on baby’s bottom, back, neck and face. Luckily, the treatment for this is quite simple. Dress baby more lightly and bring her into a cool, air-conditioned room until the rash disappears.

Hope this helps you and your little one on your journey with skin care.  Be sure to contact your Pediatrician if you have any concerns or questions!  In the meantime, here are two sweet souls I've had the honor of capturing recently. You can learn more about session packages and investment HERE.  Enjoy!

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Cake Smash Session

A cake smash with a faux smash cake

A cake smash session celebrating your sweet baby's big milestone has become a popular type of portrait session.  Cake smash sessions typically involves a studio portrait session during which your photographer will capture a variety of portraits of your birthday baby.  The session is finished with baby and a cake, and even a change of decor.  It's been years since Lillybelle Rose Photography has offered a cake smash session, but I've come up with a way to include the signature birthday cake without the mess!

First birthday milestone

Below are images from one of my latest milestone sessions celebrating a first birthday.  This beautiful baby girl was a dream to photograph, as you can see.  Mama picked out the perfect, subtle, comfortable outfit for Miss M.  Trust me when I say comfort makes all the difference in your portraits.  Babies in stiff clothing, fluffy dresses with layers and scratchy fabrics, collars flipping up on their cheeks, bow ties snug around their necks, suspenders falling down every 30 seconds are going to act differently than babies in comfy clothes.  Just like adults!  She brought along a quick change and adorable birthday crowns. As you can see, Miss M, like most littles, had no interest in a birthday crown, so I got creative!  After over thirteen years of experience with milestone and cake smash sessions, I can usually come up with a quick solution and keep baby smiling!

A milestone gallery sampling

Here is the milestone model during the first stage of her first birthday session.  I've collected an assortment of versatile props which fit your littles just right.  I'll add accessories and such as we go, making sure baby is spotted by mom or dad for safety.

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If your little one is standing but not walking, I've got the perfect support!  This antique chair may be the best prop purchase I've ever made.  It is the perfect perch for a newborn and young sibling pose, and the ideal height for new standers!  The beautiful bear celebrating with Miss M has been in our family for 26 years.  Yep, you read that right!  My twin sister gifted this Vermont Teddy Bear to my first born.  When my daughter decided she was done with teddies, I popped this beauty in a closet for safe keeping.  Then came Lillybelle Rose Photography and all the milestone sessions.  It's perfect, isn't it???  Miss M seems to think so!

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The best way to end a first birthday session is definitely with cake!  Popping this adorable faux cake as the final accessory, implying a fun cake smash and birthday celebration, is my favorite way to wrap up these exciting sessions.  No messy cakes, no over the top decor, but that's my style, and I hope you enjoy it.  Let's plan your first birthday cake smash session and let your birthday baby be the star of the show!

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photos of newborn babies


799 Roosevelt Rd, Bldg 3, Suite 102, Glen Ellyn, IL 60137