September 1, 2018

Pregnancy Must-Haves

Everything I'd recommend for the most comfortable 40 weeks. 

The first pregnancy-related item I ever got was The Snoogle and it was actually a surprise gift from Kyle. It is the best and probably most used gift ever. I've slept with it every single night since the first month and it's been a blessing on my belly and back. I love how you can hug it and mold it to fit different positions. Right now, I'm nesting in it with my huge bump, while I sleep slightly sitting up against this ultracomfortable Sleeping Pillow. I also got this Travel Pillow originally for my airplane rides, but this has become an amazing comfort on my back for riding in the car and sitting in the movie theater.

As my body continuously changed and stretched through these weeks, my skin became very sensitive to fabrics, so I bought a few True & Co. True Body Bras and lots of True & Co. True Body Hipsters. The super soft, seamless fabric with full support makes these the best investment for pregnancy and beyond. In an effort to minimize buying short-term maternity wear, I found the Bellaband to be super effective in keeping my favorite jeans and pants on rotation for the first and second trimester. But by the time third trimester rolled around, I succumbed to investing in a pair of good Maternity Jeans from my favorite denim brand. While I mostly wear loose dresses on a normal day, there are just some occasions where pants/jeans are necessary, like during my last few photography jobs. To treat myself, I bought some organic cotton loungewear from Skin: this robe and matching chemise. As much as I love a soft pair of sweatpants like these from Lou & Grey, wearing the Skin chemise and robe makes me feel beautiful, sexy, and womanly, when I may not really feel my best with the aches and pains. Lastly, I only discovered these Allbirds shoes the last month of my pregnancy and I wish I had known about them since day one! These are like walking on cozy, breathable clouds and the fabric is stretchy and soft to really hug aching, swollen feet. I love wearing them with my dresses for a casual day out.

Most of you know I've been using Natural Skincare and Makeup as a normal part of my routine, but I think it's so important during pregnancy to commit to clean, natural, toxin-free products. I did switch my deodorant to Type A, which has actually worked so amazingly during this hot, hot summer. Every night, I massage a liberal amount of Elemis Japanese Camellia Oil on my belly, breasts, butt, and underarms to prevent and treat stretch marks (they've shown up on my breasts). One bottle has lasted me the entire pregnancy. My skin has gotten drier, so I also love this thick La Roche Posay Body Cream that keeps my skin hydrated and silky soft for days. Every other night, I use my Dry Body Brush on my body, focusing on my arms and legs to help reduce swelling and increase lymphatic drainage and circulation. 

These are the prenatal vitamins that I love and trust: Rainbow Light First Thousand Days and mykind Organics Prenatal Multi, Prenatal DHA, and Prenatal Probiotics. Rainbow Light First Thousand Days only launched this past month, so I've been taking mykind Organics Prenatal Multi throughout my entire first and second trimester and part of my third trimester until Rainbow Light's First Thousand Days Trimester 3 came out. For the last few weeks, I've been taking the Trimester 3 prenatal vitamins because I like that it's higher in calcium, iron, and magnesium, of which I need more with my current diet and third trimester growth. I love that both Rainbow Light and mykind Organics are made of organic fruit and vegetables, so I suggest just checking the supplement facts of each to see how the formulations fit with your diet. I have always eaten very clean and lots of greens, but as soon as that baby started growing, all I craved was pasta, bread, and meat. To help supplement my new pregnancy diet, I mix Philosophie Green Dream Superfood in my cereal, oatmeal, or glass of milk daily to try to get as much healthy greens in as possible. Starting from my second trimester, I drink 2-3 cups of Red Raspberry Leaf Tea per day, because midwives suggest that the tea helps strengthen the womb for uncomplicated, natural labor. It tastes amazing as an iced tea and with a bit of lemon. To balance my blood sugar levels thanks to my cookie and ice cream addiction, I drink a tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar mixed with water every morning. My BKR Water Bottle has become my best friend; I carry a full bottle of water with me whenever I step out of the house, because I'm always thirsty and extra hydration is so important during pregnancy. My Aromatherapy Diffuser with lavender oil helps me sleep a little more soundly at night. I truly don't sleep as well when I forget to turn it on before bed. Also, no one had ever told me how dependent I would be on panty liners during pregnancy, so I'm telling you now to stock up on Rael Panty Liners as soon as you know you're pregnant and keep a subscription going. To be totally transparent, I easily go through 4 packs a month. I love the Rael brand specifically, because the panty liners are made with organic cotton and they're soft, breathable, absorbent, chemical-free and non-irritable to my skin. I personally love Rael so much more than Lola or Honest, because I've found the latter to be lacking in some of the former traits and it's so easy to get Rael quickly through Amazon Prime. 

Expecting Better was the best pregnancy book I've read and I know I've heard the same from other mamas. It gave me a realistic, factual basis behind the many "rules" of pregnancy, like drinking wine, caffeine, eating sushi, and the risks of certain tests and procedures. I'm happy after reading this book to enjoy my tea and occasional cup of coffee freely. As an Economics graduate who loves data and reasoning, this book armed me with the knowledge I needed to make my own, educated choices during my pregnancy. Bringing Up Bébé is a great read to understand a different culture's perspective on child rearing and I can confidently take away from this book a few key strategies in raising darling children. I keep The Whole 9 Months on my kitchen counter, because it's like a nutritional bible for the pregnant woman. And lastly, The First Forty Days is a must-read during the last trimester to emotionally and mentally prepare for the 4th trimester, after birth. It's a beautifully written book that focuses on the best health and diet for the new mom, which I strongly feel should be the priority for a family with a newborn. If the mother is happy, healthy, and taken care of, the baby will be just as well and perfect.

Phone Apps
The Bump is my go-to resource for everything pregnancy. I love how short, sweet, and relatable the articles are written and the weekly updates on baby's growth and development is something I look forward to. Ovia Pregnancy is another great app that I use to track my pregnancy, like my symptoms, mood, diet, and milestones. There's also great articles and weekly updates on baby's growth too; it's nice to read a second resource and perspective.


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