Beauty & The Bump - How Bio-Oil Brought Back my Body Confidence

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Self-love is not an easy relationship to maintain. In fact, it's been my most tumultuous one to date. I've struggled with body confidence for years. From being deemed 'too skinny' throughout high school, to fussing over my waistline in adulthood, it has been a constant battle to be able to truly love the way I look.
But this year I finally reached a point where I was comfortable in my own skin. Regardless of what the number said on the scale, I could look in the mirror and smile back at myself. I finally felt at peace with my body. Dare I say it, I felt beautiful.

And then I got pregnant.

We all know that with pregnancy comes many changes and side-effects. Nausea, weight gain, acne (which I've talked about previously), and the list goes on. As if pregnant women don't have enough worries on their mind already, I had a concern at the forefront which felt shameful to even say out loud. "What will my body look like after?"
As vain as it is, I was scared of how my appearance would change. Like all the progress I made would be put to waste. I was angry at myself for allowing the thought to even cross my mind during what should be the happiest moment of my life. Yet I panicked internally about something that so many pregnant women deal with; stretch marks.

This bottle of Bio-Oil has completely changed the way I see my body during this pregnancy.

Bio-Oil - $21.99 for 125 mL at  (also available in 60mL & 200mL)
Robe - In Bloom by Jonquil (shop similar)
I've heard many old wives tales stating that if my mother had stretch marks during pregnancy, that I would as well. While there are several factors that may contribute to stretch marks' debut, there is no definitive way to predict if they will or won't appear. In my case, I've dealt with stretch marks on my inner thighs a few years back. And during this pregnancy, I had some start to appear on my breasts (which makes complete sense given how quickly I went up in cup size as my belly started to swell).

My bestie Dana happens to be a new-mom, and the second I confessed my secret skincare concern to her, she said "Pick up some Bio-Oil, ASAP". She swore by the stuff, using it day and night (even using it on her face to boost that gorgeous glow she had throughout her pregnancy). Such a positive recommendation had me running out to the store to grab a bottle for myself (okay... two bottles).

For those unfamiliar, Bio-Oil is one of the most reached for products when it comes to healing scars and stretch marks. It's packed with beautiful botanical oils like rosemary, chamomile, lavender & calendula, as well as Vitamins A & E to help promote hydration and healing. I loved it instantly for it's lightweight and non-greasy formula.
For use during pregnancy, it's recommended to start applying twice daily at the beginning of the second trimester. I however, started around halfway through my 2nd trimester when stretchmarks had already begun to appear.  While these are permanent, Bio-Oil can help lessen their appearance  with regular use (though these results may vary from person to person).

I'll admit, the minute I saw those red streaks adorning my body had me feeling intense pangs of insecurity. I uttered harmful words to myself, I sobbed to my husband (who throughout has been incredibly supportive and loving), and I avoided the mirror altogether. It was a rough mindset to be in. But I kept to my twice-daily routine, in hopes that they'd fade as fast as they could.

One evening, as I was massaging the oil into my skin, I felt reassurance - literally.
My baby kicked me.
And it was the perfect little wake-up call that I needed. What my body is doing is nothing short of amazing. I'm growing a life inside of me, and if that means my skin will stretch and fat will grow, so be it.

I've turned my daily Bio-Oil routine into a time for reflection. I remind myself I'm nourishing my skin with some extra encouragement so it may continue down this road to motherhood. It gives me a chance to admire & feel the changes I'm going through. It's become this special moment every day to tell myself, "Embrace this journey. You are beautiful."

While I know these marks will fade with time, they'll be a constant reminder of this journey I'm currently on. And if you're on this same path to find body acceptance and self-love, know that you are beautiful, too.

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