This mama-to-be suffers from Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), which is an inherited disorder that affects the connective tissues in the body by weakening those tissues. In my case, I have Type III of the syndrome, or the hypermobility type. The biggest symptom of my form of EDS is joints that extend beyond the normal range of motion. You might even call me double-jointed. However, in addition to my joint hypermobility—which can be a huge pain in the butt…and hips and ankles and shoulders and pelvis…—I have found one positive of my Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome: minimal stretch marks during pregnancy.
Another common symptom of EDS is stretchy skin as the syndrome can also affect the connective tissues in the skin. One side effect of pregnancy that many mothers-to-be fret over is the dreaded stretch mark. Personally, I think that a mother earns every stretch mark on her body, kind of like a medal of courage for bringing forth a baby into the world. I know that stretch marks largely cannot be prevented. I also know that worrying about stretch marks is a huge waste of my time. Yes, I have been using lotion and cocoa butter on my hips, abdomen, stomach, and chest, but my use is more about my terribly dry and itchy skin than about preventing stretch marks.
Regardless, I have so far been blessed with minimal stretch marks. I have a few small stretch marks on my sides right above my hips. I also have about four tiny stretch marks on my lower abdomen. However, for the most part, other than stretching over my protruding belly, the skin of my tummy shows limited signs of my pregnancy with just a few stretch marks on my abdomen. So, although my Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome has caused me some extra joint pain throughout my pregnancy, I can acknowledge at least positive about the disorder: Unlike some women, I have minimal stretch marks due to my abnormally stretchy skin.
Pregnancy Stretch Marks 1 © 2011 Heather Johnson
Pregnancy Stretch Marks 2 © 2011 Heather Johnson