When I found out I was pregnant, I went in to crazy research mode. I found every book and blog on the matter and made it my business to know every single thing about everything possible. In hindsight, it was a bit of overkill really. However, I have now become the go to gal with all things pregnancy & registry related for my friends. I thought I would share the knowledge for anyone who might want the inside scoop.
So this is just me, but I read the What to Expect book, well half of it, and realized very quickly that it just wasn’t for me. Everything I read made me psychotic and I felt like a complete lunatic half the time. It was totally overkill, gave the worst-case scenarios and didn’t talk about real life pregnancy, like gas and getting so much extra saliva you drooled like a dog at a barbeque. So I found some awesome blogs and got some great information from those sources. My favorites are Pregnant Chicken (this chick is hilarious and tells you like it is) and Lucie’s List (great product reviews).
Daily Routine & Products
- Get prenatal vitamins and take them every single day…don’t skimp – they are very important!
- Get a great water bottle as you will need to drink tons of water. It will be annoying going to the bathroom non-stop but it’s key for you and baby. Also, it will help your soon to be expanding belly. So drink water til you can’t drink anymore. I think I was drinking 80-100 oz. a day.
- Start putting creams and oils on your belly asap. They say there is no way to prevent stretch marks and it is genetic, but my theory is you have to be in it to win it. I was originally using Palmers cocoa butter (or something like that). It worked fine, but when the itching phase started, it did not help at all. I used a cream (Mambino Oh Baby! Belly Butter) in the morning and an oil (Bio Oil) at night. I put the Mambino belly butter on in the morning and the Bio oil on at night. They take a long time to soak in, so I always did it at the very beginning of my morning/evening routine. Even if you do end up getting stretch marks, keep using both and even after you give birth use the bio oil because that is a miracle worker at getting rid of scars and such. Put it on your belly, back, hips, butt and boobs. It ALL stretches and gets bigger.
*I have not tried this cream while pregnant, but I will probably give it a go next pregnancy because I love all things Honest and I think it is less oily than the others.
- Bump Nest pregnancy pillow – This pillow is a little pricier than others out there but I assure you this thing is seriously a miracle worker. My husband tried to steal it every night and I even considered buying him one. The fabric is buttery soft, they have adorable patterns, it arrived like 2 days after I ordered it and it is oh, so comfy. I used it for months after I had my baby and it was a sad day when I put it away.
- Belly band – I bought a belly band to put over shorts/jeans so when I got bigger I could just leave them unbuttoned. I actually found it to be too tight & really uncomfortable as my hips grew really fast so I have actually told my friends to not even bother with this.
- Face Wash – I was a freak and stopped using my normal face wash because it had ingredients that were allegedly bad for baby. So, I got two Belli face washes (this and this) and used them throughout my entire pregnancy and I actually loved them so much I still buy them every once in a while. And a major bonus – they smell amazing.
First Trimester Tid Bits
- First trimester exhaustion – This is no joke. Holy crap. I was on my honeymoon and I fell asleep while walking (yes you read correct), fell asleep on the back of a 4 wheeler and fell asleep on the floor of a nasty subway station in Europe. I just couldn’t stay awake. It was awful. But the good news is that it does go away after the 1st trimester, but damn, that is a long time to endure the total exhaustion.
- Exercise – If you already have an exercise routine, keep it up. If you are hardcore you might need to tone it down eventually but that is something you may want to talk to your doctor about. You will thank yourself later down the road that you stayed active and it will help when the back pain kicks in. I worked out until 38 weeks and I truly believe it made the pregnancy easier and made delivery easier. Even if you don’t have the energy for hard-core stuff, walking will help. I didn’t start working out again out until 15 weeks or so because that is when I finally got my energy back. So, don’t push yourself to workout until you are over the exhaustion. (Side note: my favorite workout while pregnant was barre).
- Boob explosion – Your boobs will get massive early on. I mean massive bajungas. Do yourself a favor and go to Victoria’s Secret or Nordstrom and get measured so you get a good fit. Normally I’m a C and before the 1st trimester was even over I was wearing a DD. By the end of pregnancy those babies were so massive, I can’t even begin to imagine what size I was.
- Symptoms/side effects (just me – not everybody) – Oh geez. I feel like I got it all at the beginning. I broke out like a teenager, got a super itchy belly, got very bloated, had a daily bloody nose, had the worst gas you can ever imagine, I got hair everywhere (on my face and belly), my feet grew half a size, back pain that lasted the entire pregnancy and was worse during some months than others, the worlds worst migraines & I produced so much saliva which was the weirdest thing ever. My OB didn’t want me taking any medication for the migraines so I sucked it up, but that is definitely something you should speak to your doctor about if you do get them. I used ice packs on my head daily to help with the pain.
- Maternity clothes – I waited as long as possible to buy maternity clothes. I am not sure who I was trying to impress but they are actually really comfy so I would suggest buying some basics to wear in the beginning that you can wear all the time. I only bought inexpensive maternity wear and my favorite places were Old Navy, Asos (free shipping both ways) and Gap (they usually have good sales). I’ve seen a few maternity shops on Instagram, but I’ve never bought anything from them so I can’t speak to their quality and selection. I also found a few cute dresses on Zulily, but don’t forget most things are non-refundable so choose wisely.
- Track your pregnancy – I did this for fun, so I could remember everything later on & for family and friends who lived far away. You can check out my weekly updates here. http://andreaandciaran.com/blog
- Most importantly, enjoy your pregnancy. It is so cool & special to be able to grow a human. Some feel like 9 months is so long, but in reality, it is such a short time in your life, so enjoy it and soak it up even when you are in pain, can’t sleep & feel deprived of some of your favorite food & drinks.