I just thought stretch marks was a pregnancy branding, something that was a given. At around 7 months the first purple streaked marks appeared on one side of my growing belly, as the middle layer of my skin was stretched to breaking point. I did have large babies but I also did not regularly do anything to prevent them. Now I look at my silvery belly marks with fondness as a reminder to the time I was my child’s incubator. But, I am partial to finding that silver lining… literally.
I have friends who do not have any stretch marks though, because they regularly rubbed lotions or balms onto their bellies. Now not all lotions are made equally in quality or in natural ingredients, so I went to the source of holistic healing Upcountry and met Cheshire behind the counter at The Dragon’s Den. Cheshire began studying herbs in 1994 whilst in her first year at university and later got to study under Christa Sinadinos at the NorthWest School for Botanical Studies. It was there that she fell in love with growing and working with the flower Calendula which later became one of the main ingredients to her product Belly-Bum-Balm.
Calendula extracts have anti-viral, anti genotoxic and anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it a great herb for soothing irritated tissue. The other ingredients such as cocoa butter, coconut oil and vitamin E adds much needed moisture and flexibility to stretching skin while astringents like red raspberry and rose help the skin tighten. She came up with the balm when she was six months pregnant and noticed her first stretch marks. She then applied the Belly rub a few times a day to help prevent the marks growing and it worked!
She also discovered after her baby was born, due to the natural anti-fungal properties, that it worked great as a diaper rash cream too. It also helped prevent cradle cap if applied to a babies head and helped prevent thrush by applying the balm to the breastfeeding breasts, which if you follow Aunty Tina’s advice would also be healing for sore nipples too. She was so happy with the results she branded it and you can find it at the Dragon’s Den and the Green Ti Boutique. You can find other products of hers at Mana Foods, Rodeo General, Psychedelic Emporium and Hanzawas. You can find out more at www.cheshiresherbals.etsy.com or on Facebook at Cheshire’s Herbals
It is really recommended to use a natural rub on your belly or anywhere else on your body, as your skin is your largest organ and permeable to chemicals, which end up in your blood stream. Herbal balms are recommended as you and your baby get the benefits of the healing properties of the herbs with no signs of toxicity. Belly-Bum-Balm is great as it is all natural, works great and is made and sold by a local Maui Mama!
Image Credit: Emma Whitney Photography