What I’m Loving Right Now: Pregnancy Edition
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As I'm nearing the end of my pregnancy, I thought it would be fun to look back on the things that have helped get me through as happily and comfortably as possible. I'm very lucky that this little guy has been super good to his mama, but it's still a lot of changes for a body to go through, and anything I could find that made my life easier was added to my bag of tricks.
Homemade stretch mark serum: Some say stretch marks are genetic; if your mother had them, you'll have them, while others say you can help prevent the stretch by keeping your skin well hydrated. I'm not sure which theory I buy into, but I figured a little moisture never hurt anyone, so I hunted for an oil, serum, lotion, or cream that I could make myself.
I found this recipe for a serum that I just love. I recycled an empty bottle of hair serum and very easily combined all of the ingredients listed. Earlier in my pregnancy, I used a squirt of this on my breasts and two on my tummy, but as my belly has grown larger, I've worked my way up to three squirts on my belly.
Basically, use as much as you need! I rub it into my breasts, hips, and all over my belly from my pelvis on up. I like to think I'm giving my baby a mini-massage while I'm at it. The smell is amazing, and it feels so nice on my skin. It absorbs nicely as well, so I'm never concerned about ruining any clothes when I get dressed immediately after.
I'm 35 weeks along and no stretch marks so far!
Bathing myself in coconut oil: Life in Colorado is dry! My skin glows with joy whenever I visit my hometown, Seattle, or my husband's family in Tampa. I have a jar of coconut oil in my bathroom that I use on my face, lips, hands — wherever I feel like my skin needs some love. It feels great, smells divine, and is super safe to use.
Hot baths with Epsom salts and essential oil: Earlier in my pregnancy, throughout the winter, I was all about baths. I've still taken a few since then, but not as religiously as I did at the start. It's a nice time to dim the lights and have some quiet time with the little person you're growing.
You don't want the bath water too hot — it's safest close to your own body temperature, so under 100 degrees. I also make sure I have a bottle of water nearby to sip on while I relax. Feel free to read a good book, too!
There are a lot of essential oils that are safe to use during pregnancy; however, there are some that are not. For more information on essential oils to avoid during pregnancy, see here.
GAP underwear: These are my favorite panties. They're not tight on my growing belly and are super soft.
Disclaimer: I read the reviews, and apparently GAP has added tags into these that people are not happy about. I bought mine pre-tags, and I hope GAP listens to its customers and does away with the tags so I can stock back up on these panties!
One professional massage a month! I'm a lucky girl; there is a massage parlor at the end of my street! You'd think I would take advantage of this and increase my massage frequency, but one a month has done me well so far.
A little trick: I choose to only see male massage therapists. I love deep tissue massages and have found that men are better able to provide the pressure I'm looking for. Also be sure to ask if the studio has a pregnancy pillow with a hole for your belly and breasts so you can lie on your stomach for your massage. It is so much better than lying on your side the whole time!
To keep this affordable, look into massage schools in your area. Be sure you let the person setting your appointment know that you're pregnant!
Hot pad: This is my best friend these days. After a day of work, working out, cooking dinner, and whatever else we've had going on, sitting on the couch with the hot pad on my back to relax with a book or a TV show is my happy place. This is the hot pad I have. It works well and is reasonably priced!
Super soft socks Despite the rest of my body's sauna effect, my feet are always cold. Especially in the winter months, there's just something about socks on my feet and toes that warms my cold feet up just right.
This brand is my favorite because they fit just right, aren't too thick/thin, and provide the amount of warmth I'm looking for. Did I mention they're soft? Oh, so soft.
Leggings (duh!): I never ended up buying maternity leggings. I may regret this later if the waistband on my current leggings is stretched to the max, but it doesn't seem to be.
After asking around with my lady friends, I found these Zella by Nordstrom leggings were the most highly recommended. I'm digging them! Comfy, soft, not see-through, and they don't seem to fade!
Comfortable pajamas: I have a recommendation for warm winter jammies and cooler summer jammies.
Winter/cooler weather: My husband bought these for me for Christmas, and they're the best! So cozy warm and comfortable. Now that my belly is bigger, I do have a little showage when I wear them on the freak cold nights we've had this spring in Colorado, but it's not uncomfortable, and I'm not worried about it. Bonus that they're adorable!
My warmer-weather jammies: GAP uses very soft fabrics for their body collection, and this is no exception. I had this pre-pregnancy and have kept right on loving it in my 7 1/2 month body. So soft!
Memory foam mattress topper: We've had this on our bed for only a few nights, and I fell fast in love. It's helping with the hip and back pain I was experiencing when trying to fall asleep. I feel as though I'm able to get into a deeper sleep, which allows me to wake feeling more rested. The only trouble? When I have to get out of bed one of many times in the middle of the night to pee, it's a bit of a workout to get out of the comfy and wrestle away from my body pillow.
Foam roller: The foam roller is an amazing invention. It allows you to get into a deep self-massage and release myofascial tissue. I first started using a foam roller after running, and it quickly helped to clear up the left hip pain I had been experiencing.
It was also recommended to me by my massage therapist that I roll out my back to help with my posture since I sit at a computer all day. You can check on YouTube for all sorts of videos for how to use a foam roller to relieve pain you're experiencing most places on your body.
Chiropractor: At the end of the day, my back is tired from the added weight up front. I've found my visits to the chiropractor have lightened the amount of pain I experience and keep it to only the evenings, whereas before I had been experiencing a lot of discomfort throughout the day as well.
Although all should have covered pregnancy in training, be sure to find a chiropractor with prenatal experience.
Mumberry maternity athletic wear: I'm actually in the middle of reviewing this product right now. More to come soon!
My husband: I really landed a good one; he is patient, supportive, caring, and so excited to meet our little boy.
Kitchen mat: I do pretty much all of the cooking in our home, which I really enjoy (most of the time!). We have hardwood floors in our kitchen/dining/living area, and our squishy kitchen mat is a godsend while I prep and cook meals. It doesn't cover the entire kitchen and normally lives in front of the sink, but I move it while I cook, so I'm on it while chopping and using the stove.
Water bottle: My water bottle and I are attached at the hip. I pretty much never leave home without it. I average 96 ounces a day and would probably be consuming a lot less if it weren't for my water bottle. I'm actually looking to make a move to a glass water bottle right now, but I haven't decided which one.
The bottle I've been using for quite some time now, which is great, is the Contigo (pictured). This water bottle will not spill! There is a push button at the back of the bottle to open the spout for tilt-your-head-back drinking. There is also a carabineer, which is great for clipping to a backpack or whatever for a hands-free solution.
Having a reusable water bottle also appeals greatly to my hippy side, as I can refill this rather than using a single-use water bottle, which took a lot of resources to make and, even if you're recycling it, takes a good amount of energy to recycle.
Deep Blue Rub, DoTERRA: I know essential oils are all the rage right now, and I've bought into the hype. I am not locked into a specific brand, and to be honest, I'm not the biggest fan of DoTERRA's pyramid sales structure; however, I do have friends who sell the product and are very happy with the experience.
I was gifted this specific product by my sister-in-law, and I really like it. It's similar to Icy Hot, but with natural ingredients and a nicer scent. I personally use it on my hip, which has been tight this pregnancy, and on my knees if I ever tweak them working out. It provides a tingling sensation and definitely helps to alleviate my discomfort!
Meditating with guidance from Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful: I'm not the best at meditating consistently, but I try to get time in for a sit a morning each week. Typically, I use a zafu, which is a round meditation cushion, and sit in the corner of our bedroom, which I have designated for this space.
It's nice to take a short while to be silent with myself and feel a connection with my baby. The meditations within this book are simple and guided and range from letting go of past struggles to harnessing strength for labor and delivery. Highly recommend!
Not having my cycle: I know this is the opposite for most women, but pregnancy has really balanced my mental and emotional (read: hormonal) state out! I feel much more on an even keel and less sensitive than I do normally with my monthly cycle.
I haven't been on birth control for some time now and intend to start something again post-baby. I'd rather not take anything with hormones, but the balance I've felt with pregnancy leads me to believe that that might be my best option. We shall see!
What helped you to enjoy your pregnancy even more?Read More