When it comes to stretch marks, science agrees that the majority of women, especially moms, will develop them at some point in their lifetime. But for some reason, it’s one of the cosmetic issues women seek to eliminate or hide the most. New Jersey mom and beauty blogger Christina Temitope Abiola fought back against this stigma with a stunning maternity shoot just before the birth of her baby girl.

Throughout her pregnancy, Abiola developed deep stretch marks that covered the entirety of her growing belly. The marks made her so uncomfortable, she says she delayed her maternity shoot until she was 38 weeks pregnant. Abiola says that after being dissatisfied with the heavily edited versions of her photos, she decided to confront her fears head-on and show her belly in its true form.

“I’ve been struggling with embracing my marks because I felt like I was the only one who’s experienced such an extreme amount,” she shared on Instagram. “My entire belly was covered and I felt like I was doing something wrong.. I was more worried about after having her if they’d even go away and how long it would take. Through the love and support of friends and family I feel very secure!”

To no surprise, the shoot came turned out stunning. They even went viral just before Abiola and her partner Lamar Grant welcomed their baby girl Aniyah to the world!

There are a number of products being marketed to expecting moms to prevent stretch marks from forming. Ingredients like cocoa butter, almond oil and olive oil are said to be helpful with maintaining elasticity as the belly stretches. However, no magic bullet exists. About 90% of women will get them after their sixth or seventh month of pregnancy, according to the American Academy of Dermatology Genetics also plays a role, meaning women will likely have stretch marks if their mother had them.

Kudos to Ms. Abiola for her bravery! See more photos from her maternity shoot in the gallery below.

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