Homemade Belly Butter (All-Natural Pampering for Pregnant Mamas)
The gift of a child is certainly a blessing and pregnancy can be a wonderful experience. However, for many of us, the joy and privilege of carrying a new life comes with a few physical discomforts. Itchy, dry skin on our ever-expanding bellies is a common complaint.
While moisturizing a mother’s tummy can bring some relief to this condition, ordinary lotion often lacks the power to soothe stretched out skin—enter belly butter. Rich and emollient belly butter does the job regular lotion can’t.
Today I want to show you how easy it is to make your own belly butter. There are many good products on the market, but they can be expensive and may contain questionable ingredients. What we put on our skin is absorbed into the blood stream, so it’s important to use natural ingredients whenever possible, especially during pregnancy. It always gives me peace of mind to know exactly what is in the products I use.
If you have ever been intimidated by the thought of creating homemade body care, I hope this post will demonstrate how painless it can be. Honestly, it is as easy as following a simple recipe. Once the ingredients are gathered, all that’s left to do is melt and pour (and it only takes a few minutes).
Mama’s Belly Butter
This recipe is adapted from the Stretch Mark Cream in Natural Beauty at Home by Janice Cox.
- 1/2 cup cocoa butter
- 2 tablespoons wheat germ oil
- 2 teaspoons sesame seed oil
- 2 teaspoons apricot kernel oil
- 2 teaspoons vitamin E oil
- 4 teaspoons grated beeswax
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (optional)
- Measure all ingredients, except vanilla, into a heavy saucepan. Warm mixture over low heat until cocoa butter and beeswax have melted (two to five minutes). Stir well.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, if using. Another option would be to add a few drops of essential oil such as those mentioned in this post.
- Cool briefly then pour into jar(s). Leave lid off and allow to cool completely (this should take about an hour). It will look very runny at first:
- The butter will begin to thicken and harden immediately. It will look something like this after 10 minutes:
- Once completely cool, place lid on tightly and add a label. Then “wow” your friends at the next baby shower with a gift of homemade belly butter!
- To help skin remain soft, rub a small amount onto the stomach daily. Upon application, it may appear oily, but will quickly be absorbed.
About the ingredients
Cocoa Butter, derived from the cocoa bean, has a mild chocolate scent. It is also rich in vitamin E, and is an excellent skin softener. Wonderful for adding a creamy, luxurious texture to personal care products, cocoa butter can also be used alone. It typically comes in solid form, but melts at body temperature, allowing it to be readily absorbed into the skin.
Wheat Germ Oil comes from the germ (or heart) of the wheat kernel. It is rich in vitamins A, D and E. Vitamin E is especially helpful in this belly butter as it aids skin cell formation and reduces scars such as stretch marks.
Wheat germ oil breaks down quickly and has a shelf life of about eight months. If you buy some, use it; don’t let it sit waiting for a special occasion (as I did). It can often be found in the refrigerated section at the health food store.
Wheat Germ oil should not be used by those with wheat or gluten allergies. Can be replaced in this recipe with sweet almond oil.
Sesame Seed Oil is naturally abundant in protein as well as vitamins A and E. It is a stable oil with a long shelf-life, making it a desirable addition to body care products. Sesame seed oil can be found in the cooking section of most grocery stores. Just don’t use “toasted” sesame seed oil, or you’ll smell like a stir-fry dinner.
Apricot Kernel Oil is a wonderful skin softener. It moisturizes and tightens skin without leaving an oily residue. This oil is mild enough to use alone around the eyes. It can be found at most health food stores.
Vitamin E Oil is well known for its moisturizing properties and is often used to reduce or prevent scar tissue. It is also an antioxidant and acts as a preservative in lotions and creams, hindering fatty ingredients from going rancid.
Some suggest it is best to avoid using straight vitamin E on the face as it may cause eye irritation.
Beeswax is naturally hydrating and is found in many body care products. It often comes as a hard block and needs to be grated or melted for measuring. It is also available in small beads, which eliminates the need for grating, but is more expensive. Beeswax adds a lovely golden color to this belly butter and is the main thickening agent.
Vanilla is included in this recipe to add a pleasant aroma. Since vanilla is purported to balance mood and reduce stress, it is a perfect fit for the expecting mother. If vanilla is not something you enjoy, omit it. You may leave the belly butter unscented or add a few drops of essential oil.
That sounds and looks wonderful! And you are right. It would make a very welcome shower gift.
I can’t wait to try this! I only have 8 weeks left but I do have a friend due several weeks after me that might like some too! I think it’s too late to give as a shower gift. It should be something you give the mom soon after she says she’s pregnant!
Mmmm! This looks amazing and vanilla is my favorite scent!
Thank you for such a great recipe. I made some belly butter this week and I love it. I’ve also been using it on my heals too :o).
That’s wonderful. I’m so glad you like it. Great idea to use it on your heels, too!
I know this post is old now, but I’ve been wanting to make this. I am expecting again, so it was the perfect excuse to finally give it a try. It was easy to make and turned out great! Thanks for the recipe!
This looks great! I’m going to try this for my sisters baby shower. Can you make it different colors with food coloring or would that leave a stain on the skin when you use it?
I’ve never tried adding color. I always worry about the chemicals in coloring. There may be some natural dyes, but I haven’t used them as yet.
I’m not sure that they would stain the skin. It’s possible.
Sorry I’m not more help!
This recipe looks fantastic, I’ve just purchased all of the ingredients! would this be safe to use on a babies bum?
I cannot find the vitamin e oil on the website I am ordering the ingredients from..would it create much of a difference to skip that out??? or just throw in the liquid out of a vit e capsule?
I am also wondering if this butter spreads easily?
You can usually find it at your local pharmacy if they have a vitamin section. That’s where we keep it it comes in both liquid and pill form
I just made this for my sweet pregnant daughter-in-law and then made a jar for myself because it is so fantastic and easy.
Where can I get the wheat germ oil and apricot oil?? Also the coca butter is that just in the lotion aisle? The hard form? And where can I get the sesame seed oil and bees wax??
Thank you so much for this recipe. I am in my second trimester, and am now making my second batch for myself. I can’t live without it! My skin does not react well to vanilla, but I have tried it with lavender and bergamot and it smells delicious.
What exactly is cocoa butter/where can I buy it? If I were to go to my nearest health food store, would they have it there?
Also, I have some orange essential oil and cinnamon essential oil. Could I use that instead of the vanilla? I like those scents!
If allergic to sesame, what would be the best alternative for substitution?
Does it help with stretch marks?