Ok, I am finally just weeks away from having my first baby (she's due in October). Let's hope she doesn't come early, because momma's NOT ready!
This has been a really good pregnancy and she's been a good baby--I can only hope this is a reflection of how she will be as a teenager. ;)
I do have to say, over the past couple of months as I have been dealing with an ever expanding belly, occasional acne breakouts and trying my best to keep those hormones in check, I have found some favorite finds I REALLY love and other items that left me wondering, "Why did I fall for that?"
I want to share a few of my favorite finds for those of you with expanding bellies. I'd love to hear what has helped you through your pregnancy too!
As some of you know, I try to eat and use a lot of simple foods and products with common ingredients that are easy to pronounce. I write a lot of natural health related stories (including pregnancy tips) on Heather's Natural Health.
Yes, I was skeptical at first, but I have to say acupuncture has stood the test of time (some 3,000 years) and had to contribute to the fact that I felt really great throughout this pregnancy. No morning sickness, swollen ankles or severe fatigue even though I work until midnight. Check to see if your insurance will cover a portion of it. Medical doctor, Dr. Xiao Zhang says it can also help to get a few treatments at the end of your pregnancy for a smoother labor and delivery. Click here to find a licensed acupuncturist.
Click here to watch my interview with her
#2.) Good quality prenatal
I spent years as an investigative/consumer reporter and learned that vitamins and supplements are not regulated. I try to pick brands that have gone through independent testing at Consumer Labs. My stomach can't tolerate a lot of vitamins/supplements so when I first learned I was pregnant, I took a whole foods based prenatal vitamin.
I liked Vitamin Code raw because it was easy on my stomach and had 1,4000 IU of vitamin D (something emerging research shows we need. Click here to learn more about why you should have your vitamin D levels checked. It's an interview with holistic pediatrician, Dr. David Berger).
After a month or so, I switched to Pregnancy Plus multivitamin created by natural health minded OBGYN/Dr. Amos Grunebaum. Consumer Labs rated it as one of its best brands, plus it has 222mcg of iodine which I needed.
#3.) Fish oil
Talk to your doctor about adding this to your vitamins. Pregnant or not, I always take fish oil for anti-inflammatory properties and my little girl's brain development.
Being pregnant during the wonderful summer heat in Florida can be tough, but at least we get to enjoy a bunch of perfectly ripe fruit! Every week, I always made sure we were stocked up because if I didn't, this former junk food junkie might stuff her face with a cupcake!
#5) Acne breakout blaster
Yes, it is wonderful to live out my entire pregnancy on HD TV, especially those hormonal moments when momma has a good looking growth on her chin! I don't like to put harsh chemicals on my face but I did find that the Clarisonic cleanser made a DRAMATIC difference! I like to use Eminence products because they are organic and really work to balance my skin so I can keep breakouts at bay.
#6) Lube it all up
My skin is tight after I use the Clarisonic, I need to moisturize. I really like Kae, a simple oil made from Argon oil. It doesn't cause me to breakout. Don't forget to lube up that belly! Kae makes a body oil which is also nice. I put it on at night because it was too hard to wear it at work... greasy clothing during the day just doesn't make a pregnant gal feel good!
#7.) Smell naturally good
As much as I would like to go o' naturale, you can't fault a girl for wanting to smell fresh and fruity. Many perfumes are loaded with chemicals. I like a more natural option made with essential oils. I really love Pacifica Hawaiian Ruby Guava. I buy it at Whole Foods.
#8. ) Comfortable heels
I ditched the designer shoes and opted for whatever made my piggies feel comfortable. The reality is I can only wear flip-flops to certain places. Now, before you get mad at me, (pregnant women are NOT supposed to wear heels) there are a few occasions where I have to dress up. I was surprised to see that Ann Taylor has the MOST COMFORTABLE shoes I've ever worn! (They have a foam cushion bottom and a wider fit--promise you'll feel like you are wearing flats or flip-flops!).
#9) Stylish professional clothing
If only I could wear moo-moos everyday... ;) I was surprised how quickly I could NOT squeeze into ANYTHING in my closet! It's hard to think you have to buy a whole new wardrobe (but HD forced me to make some smart buys. Yes, people really will email me if I wear the same outfit over and over).
I wish I had discovered Isabella Oliver Maternity Clothing at the start of my pregnancy! You buy your pre-pregnancy size so you can wear it again! The stretchy jersey is so comfortable and comes in many stylish designs. i love the wrap tops and fitted dresses. Yes, you can also find a sexy dress for a special occasion even at 8 months prego!
I also found some great dresses from Annee Matthews maternity. I love the fitted Vanna dress! I know I can wear it after baby too. I bought a few more casual dresses too because the colors are bright and easy to wear (like sliding into a stylish moo-moo-shhhhhh!)
#10) Fast workouts
I wish I had time to exercise everyday! (I would probably come up with an excuse anyway... you know, I have to clean out the garage first). Winsor Pilates 20 minute workout tape is always my back-up just so I can feel like I am doing SOMETHING! It's not specifically designed for pregnant women so I avoided the stomach exercise portion.
I also recommend taking the pre-natal yoga classes at Yogani in Tampa. The instructor, Laraine not only gets you excited about labor and delivery, but she reinforces a lot of the relaxation/breathing techniques and body stretches that you'll need during the BIG DAY.
It's also a great class to get to know other moms who are getting ready to give birth.
Ok moms, now I want to hear about some of your favorite finds pre-baby and after baby.
You can read all of my natural health related BABY WEEK stories on Heather's Natural Health.
Shoot me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Heather Van Nest