Community Curated • Updated 03, 2019
Pregnant women have lots of things to consider and take care of during those wonderful, but also demanding months of pregnancy. From pregnancy vitamins to special nutrition, they have to be mindful of a lot of products they use, because they’re affecting another person in the process.
But, they also need to take good care of themselves, and pregnancy can sometimes be a bit demanding on a woman’s skin. Dryness, itchiness, stretched skin is all a part of the belly-expansion process that’s supposed to house a healthy and happy baby inside the mother’s tummy.
Nowadays there are lots of products that are designed to take care of the belly stretchmarks that often show up during and after pregnancy. Belly creams, belly oils, and belly balms and their daily and nighttime routines are here to save the belly from any unwanted pregnancy side-effects. Choosing the right one for you, though, can be a bit tricky and time-consuming, which is why we’ve prepared a guide such as this one, where you can take a bit of a short cut and end up with a careful selection of the best belly balms you can currently find.
Make sure you go through the end of this article for more info on pregnancy belly balms for a happy belly!
Not as well known as some other favorite brands on our list, the Belli Elasticity Belly Oil is one of the tad more expensive stretch marks prevention products on the market. This is an oil which you can spray on your skin for easier and mess-free application. The Belli Oil is a more luxurious brand that uses pure plant extracts in its formula which, combines, as the company says, ‘science and aromatherapy’. With its skin-nourishing and moisturizing ingredients such as lavender oil, vitamin E and gotu kola, this oil is a successful stretch mark prevention option for mothers out there who wish to splurge a little more on a unique, plant-based product. The lavender provides an additional aromatherapy benefit for the skin, managing to calm irritated spots, while the vitamin E and the grape seed oil play their roles in being perfect skin antioxidants. The Belli Oil is a hypoallergenic product - it has been tested for allergies, and is certified free from preservatives such as parabens, as well as phthalates, and artificial fragrances and dyes. Specifically oriented towards pregnant women and nursing mothers, Belli Oil has implemented a safety process for screening ingredients (both synthetic and natural) that would otherwise be harmful to new moms, making sure the ingredients they use won’t represent any danger for causing birth defects or having any harmful effects during the months of breastfeeding. The Belli Oil can be used day and night during pregnancy, and can be applied on the belly, hips, thighs, buttocks, and the breasts as well.
This is by far the most popular product on our list, if we judge by the number of Amazon reviewers and their feedback. No doubt, Bio-Oil is truly a favorite among mothers, serving as a highly effective stretch mark prevention and treatment oil, and also generally as a daily moisturizer. This is one of the best skin care products for women that prefer using oil rather than a cream or a balm for treating their stretch marks. What’s more, Bio-Oil is great not only for treating scars and marks, but it’s proved to also improve aging skin, making it the perfect product to use on all areas of your body. Made from a blend of various nourishing oils, such as lavender, calendula, rosemary and chamomile oils, and enriched with skin nourishing vitamins such as vitamin A and E, Bio-Oil adds additional moisture to the belly area as it gets bigger and stretches more, making it easier to restore itself and heal faster after pregnancy. One possible downside of this product may be that, since it’s oil, it might be messier to apply as opposed to a regular balm; nevertheless, for a great product such as this one, it’s definitely worth the occasional sloppiness. Note: Beware of fakes on the market though! Popular products tend to draw these kinds of unwanted activities, and many people have complained of making this mistake when buying this product on the internet, so next time you buy something online, be extra careful and make sure to compare and confirm it’s the right product you got and wanted!
Earth Mama is definitely one of the most popular products on our list, as well as one of the most affordable ones, especially in terms of the quantity-price ratio. Reviewers on Amazon have been very satisfied with this product, saying how they haven’t gotten a single stretch mark during pregnancy while using it. And this is no wonder considering the superb blend of ingredients such as the naturally hydrating shea butter, organic essential oils such as olive oil and sunflower seed oil, jojoba seed oil, and organic herbs such as rooibos leaf extract, red raspberry, calendula, and aloe vera leaf juice, all of which are great for boosting the skin’s natural elasticity. This particular product is a lotion, but there is also an oil version if you prefer using oil (some women find it more convenient for nighttime use). A lot of customers have praised the Earth Mama’s subtle scent that comes from natural ingredients and won’t irritate the skin, and it also won’t cause any morning sickness in pregnant women with a more delicate sense of smell. Customers have also noted that this lotion absorbs particularly well, doesn’t leave you greasy, which means it will also prevent any unwanted grease stains on favorite clothing items! Also great for women with drier skin and issues with eczema.
Perhaps it’s worth noting that the Mambino Organics belly butter has been voted a winner of the Disney's iParenting Media Award Outstanding Product of the Year, as well as being rated one of the "Top Ten Pregnancy Essentials" by Disney Family Editors. This makes the Mambino a very popular must-have cream, constantly present on the internet, populating lists and articles about pregnancy products. USDA-certified as organic, with the Mambino Organics balm you won’t have to worry that anything artificial or synthetically-induced will enter your body and get absorbed in your skin, which is especially delicate and prone to intensive changes during and after the months of pregnancy. With all organic ingredients such as shea butter, tamanu, jojoba, and sea buckthorn berries, you’ll definitely feel the moisturizing power of this alluring orange-colored balm, which also helps in soothing the itchy, irritated skin and improves its elasticity over time. What’s more, it’s appropriate for all skin types - normal, oily (acne-prone one as well), dry, sensitive, combination, you name it! A lot of pregnant women have praised the smell - a mix of lavender and red mandarin. The smell is not something to be taken for granted, and it’s oftentimes very important for pregnant women because their sense of smell increases significantly during pregnancy and a lot of creams out there can be quite the dealbreaker if they don’t satisfy their delicate senses! Not only a great stretch mark balm (best to use early on in pregnancy), the Mambino Organic butter actually works small wonders in the area under the eyes as well! Just put a small amount of it under your eyes during night time and see how it effectively improves the wrinkles and lines that tend to form a lot around the area!
Another belly balm on Amazon’s choice list, still, the Mama Mio Tummy Rub Butter is perhaps not the perfect product for moms who look for belly balms that are budget-friendly. Nevertheless, this is a product that is packed with shea butter and other organic oils, such as avocado oil, considered as a superfood for the skin, a great source for fatty acids that soothe the skin and keep it hydrated; it also contains coconut oil, a good-old skin strengthener and moisturizer, rich with lauric acid that also helps the skin stay elastic and stretchy. And when it comes to pregnancy and nursing, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. That’s why if you want to make extra sure the product you’re using doesn’t contain any unwanted potentially dangerous chemicals, this is the one for you. You’re definitely in safe hands with the Mama Mio brand and their No Nasties policy, which guarantees products free from PEG’s, phthalates, parabens, petrolatum, xenoestrogens, and various colorants. The Mama Mio is also proud to call itself a cruelty-free brand, something which we know is very important to a lot of animal-friendly moms out there. This belly butter that especially targets areas of the skin where it stretches easily, is just bursting with ingredients that encourage the skin’s natural elasticity. Great for areas such as the tummy, but also the breasts, thighs and hips, this is one effective, albeit more expensive product, that you can use during the very elastic and stretchy 9 months of your pregnancy, and also afterward, in the period while you’re nursing, which is also the period where the skin and your body, in general, is slowly getting back to its previous shape.
The Motherlove Pregnant Belly Salve is another product we have on our list that’s also one of Amazon’s Choice recommendations, and this time the price is definitely one to additionally confirm its place on the list. With its certified organic herbs such as beeswax, shea butter, lavender oil and lavender flower, calendula, chamomile, and marshmallow root, this superb mix of ingredients will affect the stretching skin during pregnancy, relieving it from itchiness - one of the first stretch marks signs before they actually show up - while also preventing their further occurrence. It can be rubbed on the most affected areas, such as the hips and thighs, the breasts, and, of course, the belly with all its shapes and sizes during and after pregnancy. The Motherlove belly salve formula is also certified cruelty-free, so you won’t have to worry about any animals being harmed in the process of making this cream. It’s also very pleasant on the senses, with the light notes of the soothing scents of lavender and chamomile, making it a salve convenient for any period of the day. It has been hailed as a great moisturizer, with a thick texture that nevertheless absorbs quickly into the skin.
If you’re not a first-time mom, maybe you’ll already know this brand for their creams, soaps, and shampoos made especially for babies. However, the Mustela brand is oriented to make moms lives healthier, easier and prettier as well. This cream uses only naturally derived ingredients, and absolutely no alcohol, phthalates, parabens or phenoxyethanol. The team behind this Mustela cream uses a plant-based formula with avocado peptides that are very successful to relieve skin-tightness sensations, as well as larch tree for encouraging skin elasticity, with the must-have shea butter and beeswax for better moisture and overall skin nourishment. All of this works in perfect orchestration to reduce and prevent the occurrence of stretch marks on the body during and after pregnancy, while it’s safe to use during the breastfeeding months as well. Maybe a little pricier than other belly creams on our list, this is nevertheless a high-quality skin-care hypoallergenic product that is natural and safe to use during and after pregnancy, with a special non-greasy formula; it’s also very delicately scented, so it doesn’t represent an additional nuisance to the already quite annoying morning sickness that a lot of women face while carrying.
Despite being on Amazon’s choice list, the Spoiled Mama stretch mark butter is still going to be too pricy for a lot of women out there. Nevertheless, the reviews of Amazon users so far have been generally positive, although there aren’t nearly as many as there are for other products on our list, such as the Bio Oil and Earth Mama. The Spoiled Mama Stretch Mark Butter is a cream or balm for stretch mark prevention, intended to use during and after pregnancy. It can also be used for scar-reduction purposes for women that have had C-sections. It’s safe to use during the breastfeeding phase as well. This balm is vegan and toxin-free, so it’s pretty convenient for moms who are extra-concerned what they put on their tummies, during or after pregnancy, is additionally safe both for their babies and for their own changing skin. The balm acts on a cellular level by nourishing and strengthening the skin with all organic and natural ingredients such as cocoa seed butter, shea butter, distilled water, aloe vera leaf juice, sweet almond oil, avocado oil, olive oil, and Vitamin E among others. These ingredients go through the deepest layers of the skin and thus create a moisture barrier, preventing the dehydration of the skin and providing enough moisture for your tummy. It has generally been favored as a product that has been a great help in fading scars from recent C-sections, soothing the skin that was stressed and irritated from the operation, as well as preventing pregnancy and postpartum stretch marks and scars, while also diminishing the look of more recent stretch marks. Locking in moisture is one of its best qualities, but also its scent, a mixture of chocolate and orange notes that will leave you feeling nurtured and smelling fresh all day long.
Products that contain natural and organic ingredients are always recommended much more than synthetic ones. This is because it’s important to take note of what you put on your skin during and immediately after pregnancy since it will affect your baby as well.
One of the most common recommendations for preventing stretch marks during pregnancy is to do light exercises, drink a healthy amount of water, and keep your skin moisturized. You can use long-time favorites such as coconut oil, shea butter, and cocoa butter, to name a few - you can be sure these will greatly benefit the skin on your thighs, butt, breasts, and belly. A lot of our products contain these essential natural stretchmark-fighting ingredients.
Stretch marks start to appear somewhere around the 13th week of pregnancy, but sometimes they also don’t show up until the 21st week of pregnancy. Lots of women develop stretch marks during pregnancy - in fact, a whopping 90% of them (cheers to the lucky 10% out there!). Perfectly harmless and nothing to worry about, you can expect to see red, yellowish, tan, pink and even brown or purple streaks on your belly, though.
There are a couple of things you can do to avoid, prevent, or at least lower the number of stretch marks on your belly during and after pregnancy:
Massage them with belly balms, oils or creams, several times throughout the day.
Make sure to always stay hydrated and keep the skin areas affected by stretch marks moisturized.
Do light exercises in order to improve muscle and skin tone, and to enhance elasticity.
Exfoliate once a week.
Develop healthy eating habits.
When choosing belly balms, make sure to search for natural and organic ingredients such as shea butter, cocoa butter, lavender oil, almond oil, avocado oil, and also creams that are rich in vitamin A and E, as well as organic herbs. All of this will have a soothing effect on the dry, itchy, and will do their best to do their natural magic on the stretchmark-affected skin.
Sometimes it’s good to try out several different products, to make sure you’ve got the right one for you. But, whether you prefer using oils, creams or balms, we’ve got it all covered in our list, yours is only to make the choice and enjoy a stretch mark-free, post-pregnancy belly!