Hello everyone! It's been a while. Between getting ready for baby, still working full time, and attempting to maintain some kind of social life, I've been a little busy! But I thought I'd pop in and share with all of you a few of the things that have made my life a lot easier these past few months. From clothing items to books, if you're an expecting mama I'd highly recommend making a few of these purchases.
1. MATERNITY LEGGINGS
I tried not to buy a ton of maternity clothes and stick with flowy dresses as long as possible, BUT if you have to buy one thing get a pair of maternity leggings. I wear them with everything and they are SO COMFY! I also bought maternity yoga pants, a pair of jeans, and a few maternity tank tops(the kind that are just extra long, so I feel like I'll still wear them after birth) and that has gotten me through the majority of my pregnancy.
2. A COMFY BRA
By about month 5 I had to switch out my favorite victoria's secret bras for something a little more practical. One of my biggest issues during pregnancy has been rib pain, even in my second trimester, so I had to start wearing something loose or I just couldn't stand it. This "sleeping bra" from Medela has been AMAZING! I bought a few and it's all I wear. Even if you aren't pregnant, if you want something comfy and minimalistic, go get one! It can also be used for nursing when the time comes. Got mine at target for about $16.
3. MATERNITY SPANX
I bought these babies early on and have used them til I worn them out(just this week I wore a hole in them). I got a nude pair and wore them under everything. Surprisingly they feel amazing just because they keep everything supported and also acted as a slip under any dress once slips didn't fit. About $50 but well worth it.
4. EXERCISE BALL
This has been great as I'm nearing the end of this pregnancy. There are times when there's literally no comfortable position but I can lay over the ball and just let everything hang for a while to get some relief. It's also a nice spot to just sit and bounce and I plan on using it while laboring at home in the early stages. You can get a ball and pump together for under $20 most places.
5. SACRAL BELT
This is something I had before pregnancy but there have been times I would not be able to function without it! I already had low back issues, particularly around my sacrum and pelvis, so with everything loosening from the hormones even in my first month I had crippling pain. This belt sits low on the hips around the pelvis and tightens to literally hold everything together. It has been a life saver! In my first trimester it did the job my ligaments could not by holding everything together while I got chiropractic adjustments and giving my own body a little time to strengthen and heal. Now in the third trimester it's an amazing way to provide that counter pressure that feels amazing as the baby is pressing down so low on everything. I recommend this serola brand belt. You can find it on their website serola.net for $44.
6. BELLY OIL/LOTION
This one has been a bit of an experiment. While I'm honestly not super concerned with getting stretch marks, I did want to see if I could do anything to make the stretching process a little easier on my skin. This stretch mark oil from Clary Collection mixed into my Grape Stem Cell body lotion from Ilike Organics has been my go to since day one. I am three weeks away from my due date and no stretch marks yet! For me that's saying a lot because I have stretch marks all over my body! Got my first set as a teenager and have had them pop up every time I gain a few pounds all my life, so I really expected to get them. I picked up this oil(which smells AMAZING) from my friend Laura Lemon's local Nashville shop Lemon Lane, where they cary tons of amazing natural body products. It retails for about $20. I chose the Grape Stem Cell lotion from the line I cary at where I work at Pure Organic Salon+Spa because it's an anti-again body lotion. This means it helps your skin naturally boost collagen and elastin production which is exactly what you want when your skin has to stretch and heal. At about $76 the stem cell lotion costs a pretty penny, but this is pro quality, super concentrated, organic, anti aging skincare, and if it works, well....it might be totally worth it to some.
7. INA MAY'S GUIDE TO CHILDBIRTH
If you read one thing during your pregnancy please make it THIS BOOK! The first half is a collection of beautiful and positive birth stories. The second half presents more technical information but in such a loving and non-scary way that it is really an enjoyable read that leaves you feeling empowered, informed, and ready to rock birth! You can find this book online I'm sure, but I got mine used at my favorite discount book store, McKays for about $3. And I'm pretty sure there were about 5 more copies when I was there.
8. PRENATAL YOGA
Ok these last two aren't really products but have been amazing resources during my pregnancy. Prenatal yoga has not only been a way to prepare my body for labor and delivery, but a great way to connect with other women going through the same struggles I'm currently facing. At Blooma yoga studio in Nashville, pre and post natal is all they do so every instructor really has a heart for working with pregnant women and mothers and providing exactly what we didn't even know we needed. Every class starts with a circle where we all share a little about ourselves and our pregnancies and have a chance to talk through whatever we may need to that day all before stretching out all these crazy aches and pains. If you're in the Nashville area make sure to check them out.
Last but not at all least, my amazing birth center Baby+Co. I feel SO lucky to have a place like this in my town. Where do I even start? How about these gorgeous, cozy rooms! Every room comes with big comfy queen sized beds, an amazing deep tub, pilates bars, water therapy rooms(aka the fanciest shower ever!), different sized exercise balls, essential oil bar and diffusers, and plenty of space and freedom to give birth in whatever way feels best. Birth in the center is all natural but I'll have access to different natural pain relief methods not available in hospitals. I'll be assisted by the very best nurses and midwives as long as everything goes smoothly, and if I need anything more than they can offer I'm a quick transfer away from Vanderbilt hospital, right across the street. In addition to amazing prenatal support through all my visits, they include a six week birth class that has been incredible. A week was spent on early labor, active labor, transition and pushing, post natal recovery, infant care, and breastfeeding. We feel so much more prepared after taking this amazing class with our incredible instructor Angela Graham. Baby+Co also offers plenty of extra classes and support groups before and after baby that we plan on taking advantage of. If you're even thinking about becoming pregnant I highly recommend you tour this beautiful space.
Any other ladies have anything they'd add to this list? Let me know what worked for you!