I found this post in my archives and realized I never posted it. I have since had another baby and still stand by these pregnancy tips.
Pregnancy was something I was always curious about. In fact, my baby(s) are a product of curiosity- in the best way possible. :) I tend to be very in tune with my body and what is going on, so pregnancy was one big sensation overload for me. These are things that I have learned, that have helped me, or that I wished I had done more of:
This is something that I wish I had done more of. I exercised for the first two months of pregnancy and then morning sickness and bronchitis knocked me flat on my back. I didn't exercise again until about my 7th month of pregnancy and by then I couldn't do much. If I had known of the future weight gain that would happen, I think I would have worked through the sickness to exercise more in the beginning. Plus, exercising always helps with emotional well-being.
This one is obvious. But really, I could have eaten a LOT better. Instead, I felt bad for my pregnant sick self and indulged in whatever I wanted. (Ice-cream everyday, drive through french fries, tons of candy and dessert, DOUGHNUTS, raw ramen noodles...) Probably because of that, I've had a hard time losing the baby weight. Indulging is fine in moderation, but I often gorged myself on junk food and used pregnancy as an excuse. (Not good and probably caused my gestational diabetes, ugh.)
Motherhood Maternity Store
I didn't visit/discover this store until toward the end of my pregnancy, but wow, what a gem! In a world full of tiny maternity clothing sections ie: Target and Old Navy, Motherhood Maternity is heaven. It is a store full of only maternity clothes that are not only cute and fashionable, but decently priced. Oh, and they give you a goodie bag of free stuff on your first visit. You can also find some MM things on Amazon as well.
Buy Clothes on Sale For Next Season
I got pregnant in October and quickly realized that I would be in the peak of wearing maternity clothes in the dead of summer. So in October/November I jumped online and ordered all sorts of summer maternity clothes that were on sale. While it felt funny to order clothes for a body that I didn't have yet for a season that had just passed, it was probably the smartest thing I could have done. Come the warmer months and the bigger belly, I was all set with a closet full of clothes that fit well and didn't break the bank.
Best Maternity Jeans
H&M online has the best maternity jeans in my opinion. I actually ordered a pair of maternity skinny jeans on sale for only $15 and they were perfect. I also had a backup pair of jeggings that I liked.
Best Maternity Dresses
Being toward the end of my pregnancy during spring and summer meant I lived in dresses...and attended a lot of weddings. The best maternity dresses (both formal and casual) for affordable prices I found at ASOS online and amazon. This dress was a go-to staple, this dress I STILL wear, and I had one of these dresses for postpartum breastfeeding.
Initially, I had cut coffee out of my routine because I'd always heard that pregnant ladies can't drink coffee. Then, due to morning sickness, I stopped liking it for a while. During my second trimester though, I got horrible headaches. My midwife told me to drink a small glass of coffee and low and behold, it helped! So I continued to drink a small cup of coffee for the rest of my pregnancy and never had headaches again.
Pregnancy Sleeping Pillow
Andy got me one of these for Christmas and I hated it. I am a one-pillow kind of gal. No fluff, no frills, keep it flat, cotton, and simple. Starting around the 6th month of my pregnancy though, I pulled the prego-pillow out of storage and discovered its greatness. From that moment on, I used it every day and even carted it on trips. It was that helpful!
Being pregnant in the dry winter sucks. They also say the extra hormones can lead to congestion...not sure how that works, but I felt it. I couldn't get past bronchitis or the common cold. Having a humidifier in our bedroom was so helpful and provided much-needed relief.
Yes, massage can be expensive and seem indulgent, but if there's ever a time to get one it is pregnancy. Getting a prenatal massage put me on cloud nine, literally, I got a body high from it. (Dare I say it was better than sex!?) Just do it.
I made a snack box and kept it loaded with goodies that I could grab for my purse and car. Best decision ever! Crackers, granola bars, little baggies of trail mix, dried fruit, rice cakes, cut apple slices in little baggies kept in the fridge, applesauce pouches for kids, cheese sticks, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches bagged by the half sandwich...
I love a nice tall glass of beer or wine at the end of the day. So getting pregnant definitely put a halt to that. It was always frustrating to be around drinking friends or not to have something to sip on at the end of the day. That's when I discovered flavored water. Slicing up fruit and putting it in my water or buying flavored Pellegrino was such a treat. In fact, it is a fun and more healthy habit that I will probably continue. (Coconut water too!)
Black Maternity Tights
This was one of my first maternity clothing purchases and proved to be the best purchase. I splurged on a $45 pair of maternity tights at Kohls and wore them through the whole pregnancy. They were helpful in the awkward transition stage where I didn't look pregnant yet, but nothing else fit. And- I can even wear them past pregnancy with the belly band folded down. I also loved these leggings for exercising and these leggings for wearing with dresses and long sweaters.
Get Fitted For a Bra
This was a game-changer! During month 6 of pregnancy, I decided to get fitted for a bra because my boobs would not stop hurting. I was blown away! I went from a small A-cup to a full-on D-cup. For those first 6-months though, I had been shoving my new (and unbeknownst to me) D-sized boobies into my old A bras thinking that was ok. Getting well-fitting bras changed my life! These were some of my favorite nursing bras.
Floss In my Purse
Pregnant women have more dental problems. My dentist told me this and I quickly realized it for myself after getting a cavity a few months into pregnancy. I started keeping floss in my purse to help get stuff out of my teeth after meals. Now I always have floss on hand and it is so helpful.
Online Prenatal Yoga
This is something I did a few times, but wished I had done more of. There are all sorts of free online videos for prenatal yoga. I think if I had done it more regularly it would have helped with everything.
Coconut Oil For Skin
This tip was actually given to me by a friend. She said to just smear on the coconut oil right out of the jar. It weirded me out at first, but then I got used to it. The coconut oil worked wonders on my winter dry skin which was exaggerated by pregnancy. I also used it on my belly and didn't get any stretch marks.
Start evening primrose oil and drink red raspberry leaf tea for vaginal elasticity. I had a smooth vaginal birth and did not tear, and I personally believe it was because I did these two things.
Compression shorts are the best! They keep everything in and helped me to feel more sturdy and stable if that makes sense at all.