Pregnancy is by far the hardest thing that I’ve done in my short quarter of a century here on earth. When people ask how I’m feeling, I make sure to let them know that I feel like I could run a marathon…now. I felt like everyone told me that it would get better magically when week 12 hit. They (aka all of you doctors, midwives, and moms who are luckier than I) are either massive liars, or my body just never got that message. I was so miserably sick in the first sixteen weeks of pregnancy I swore our daughter would be an only child. In fact I frequently tell people that my husband may need a week 1-16 surrogate for future Leonard babes. But the second trimester, and what’s happening in the third so far (we are almost to week 38!!!)…this I can do and enjoy! Thank God that somewhere, some person decided to make things that can help make pregnant life a bit less rough for us all. Here’s the list of items that I think have made a drastic improvement in my pregnancy to this point!
A friend of mine delivered her daughter a month before I found out that I was pregnant. She and her husband are finished creating new little babes, and she gave me the most amazing hand-me-down gift ever. Her Snoogle. I’ve always slept with a body pillow, but this sucker is on an entirely different level of pregnancy comfort. If you’re anything like me, and were a stomach sleeper before baby began blooming in your guts, you had a rude awakening when the doctor told you to STOP SLEEPING THAT WAY! The Snoogle was genuinely like my built in reminder to not lay flat on my stomach. It also helps me to feel cuddled and supported with my lower back and knees separated. I purchased the jersey cover for my second generation Snoogle and LOVE it. The original cases that they come with can be really hard to get on and off, so I highly recommend purchasing one with the zipper cover already included, or getting one from Amazon! Thanks for the gift that keeps on giving, Jenni!
Seriously, I can’t be the only millennial that immediately after confirming a pregnancy downloaded every.single.app. that Apple had to offer. Pretty rapidly I decided which ones I loved, hated, and didn’t understand how to use. The hands down winner in all categories that mattered was the Ovia pregnancy app. Not only are the features SO easy to use, they are seriously the cutest graphics and messages. You have very little data to input initially, which I loved. You can pick a nickname for your little human (we used to call Virginia Claire Sprout before we knew she was a girl!) and get right into looking at all kinds of cool stuff within the app. Some of my favorite features include a super neat graphic of a hand print that shows you how big baby’s hand print is during the current week/day of pregnancy, and how big it will be when baby is born. You can watch a video with all kinds of interesting facts (seriously, it’s not the stupid boring What To Expect style video) with someone who is JUST as pregnant as you are. There is a tool for easy Food Lookup where you can remind yourself that things like an Alaskan Roll, Brie, and Caviar are NOT things you are allowed to put into your body for nine months. Similarly, there is a medication lookup tool that is really easy to use and get a quick answer with. My favorite Lookup feature, though, is the Symptom Lookup. Backaches? Lookup. Insomnia? Lookup. Pelvic Girdle Pain? Lookup. Here’s a peak at what my app looks like on the home screen. If you download ONE pregnancy app that’s amazing…it should be this one.
3. DoTERRA’s Deep Blue Muscle Rub
You are going to have aches in places that you never knew could ache. They really warn against using using the standard heating pad remedy, and if you’re anything like me you refuse to take acetaminophen for every ache and pain you experience. The only thing that I really found any type of “relief” with achy mommy to be muscles was this liquid gold. I have an amazing DoTERRA lady (if you need one, shoot me an email for her contact information) who suggested using this instead of grabbing something over the counter. Even if you think Essential Oils are a bunch of hippy bullshit (shoutout to my Dad!), you should really give this a try. I’ve always used things like IcyHot in years prior, but I will NEVER go back to that after using Deep Blue Rub. Usually I would get relief for about an hour with the rubs you can buy at your local store, but with this I’ve felt MUCH better for almost three hours before wanting to slather it on again. I’ve tried the oil version, but really prefer this instead. It’s way easier to apply and gives you an excuse to promote some circulation by having your significant other give you a mini massage.
After roughly eight weeks of never ending vomiting and dehydration, I finally told my doctor that the “morning sickness” was all day and night and I needed some help. I lost sixteen pounds in my first trimester of pregnancy simply because I could NOT keep anything down. Pizza? Bye. Too much water? Bye. Waffles and bacon? Bye. I was experiencing all of that during the summer months, which as a teacher was a real bonus to our work schedule. When I realized I would rapidly be going back to teaching full time without access to a 24 hour bathroom puke stall I sent up the white flag. Luckily my doctor told me not to feel terrible, and that there was a semi-natural solution that I could give a try. First I started taking an additional B-6 vitamin with my prenatal vitamin twice a day. That alone was a major help in making me feel remotely human again. When I still couldn’t keep a meal down for longer than about an hour he told me to add some Unisom (one tablet) in the evening to my routine. Holy.Gamechanger.Batgirl. I was still sick from time to time, and felt constantly sick to my stomach…but I could actually digest my food again! Which was a great thing, because the sickness didn’t go away until week sixteen for me, so I saved myself over a month of feeling like an absolute slug.
Not that my body is blemish free by any stretch of the imagination, but I have been super “lucky” in the no stretch mark department. Immediately once I found out I was pregnant I upped my daily water intake and started using this Palmer’s Stretch Mark lotion on my bumps. (Yeah, because there’s definitely more than one that was growing. Ugh.) After I hit about 30 weeks I started using this twice daily. I’ve only really got one teeny tiny stretch mark, and I’m sure I’ll be able to fade it with some of the products I’ve been researching after Virginia Claire is here with us! Whatever moisturizer you like to use would likely do JUST as well but I really love this one for this first time pregnancy!
6. Nature’S Way Red Raspberry Leaves Capsules
After reading approx. 310498130948 (estimate) studies about Red Raspberry Leaves and how magical they are for a strong and healthy uterus and lady system I decided to start taking these capsules when I hit the second trimester. I took one a day for the entire second trimester, and when I reached the third trimester I started taking two a day. I’m not much for the actual Red Raspberry Tea that they tell you to go buy and drink, but these I love! They do all of the things for your body, and when I hit 38 weeks I will be taking four a day, then six a day until she arrives. Hang tight, I’ll be doing an entire blog post on the health benefits of Red Raspberry Leaves and why I’m probs taking it for the rest of my earthly days.
As someone who has NEVER in their ENTIRE life experienced heartburn. Holy. Shit. Heartburn during pregnancy is apparently super common, and I’m usually super not cool with self-medicating for things like this. Cue 9 months pregnant Jordan in tears because she has to sleep sitting up because the reflux and heartburn are SO bad and I was begging for any kind of relief. I read that Tums are a lesser evil than Zantac, so I keep a Costco size of these babies beside my nightstand and will happily pop 2-3 each night so I am able to get some sleep.
8. Belly Laughs by Jenny McCarthy
So as an avid reader what do you think the first thing I did after a confirmed pregnancy test? I bought all of the books. First, learn from my mistake and do not ever buy What To Expect When You Are Expecting. As someone with (for the first time in forever it felt like) unmedicated, rampant anxiety you will convince yourself that you are miscarrying every night, or that your baby is going to die if you sleep on your stomach, or that you have a brain tumor because logic. This book was recommended to me by my BFF Jamie, and she told me time and time again I HAD TO BUY IT. It’s legitimately my favorite book ever written about pregnancy, and trust me I’ve read a ton of them. We are all you, Jenny, waiting for the breadsticks at the Italian Restaurant. We are all you, Jenny, having to eat nothing but white bread and saltine crackers and crying when we can’t poop for three weeks. Seriously–you need this book.
Panties that rest UNDER your bump and are super comfortable and breathable. Enough said. PS they run 40% off and buy more save more deals almost every week–you can use GapCash, too!
We used to be an exclusive Camelbak household–and then Costco had an amazing sale on this three pack of Contigo water bottles and we snagged it. I love them! The spout auto locks so it doesn’t get exposed to dust, or snotty middle schoolers with fevers that sneeze all over your desk! You have to drink so.much.water. when you are pregnant, and I love that I know I have drank 24 ounces each time I empty this bottle. Plus the straw never gets stuck, never gets grimy, and you don’t have to bite the mouthpiece to suck the water out. Plus, the whole thing goes in the top rack of your dishwasher. I think it’s easier to consume the mass goldfish level water intake when you have something cute to do it out of.
What were your maternity must haves? Shoot me an email, or leave a comment!