Just last week I posted a travel packing survival guide via Urban Darling. It was the first in a stylish series to gear people up for summer vacation. I had so much fun sharing my tips that it inspired me to create this pregnancy survival guide. Not to mention, I have several friends who are pregnant (or trying to get pregnant) right now, so I figured this post might come in handy. I’m now over halfway through this crazy pregnancy and this is what’s worked for me along the way. Note that none of these companies are paying me and this is NOT an ad, it’s my honest input and advice.
Olly Essential Prenatal Vitamins: Almost immediately upon discovering I was pregnant, my husband insisted we pick up some prenatal vitamins. I was so clueless about pregnancy that the thought hadn’t even crossed my mind. I’m not a fan of vitamins in general, because I tend to to eat well (isn’t that enough?), and I hate swallowing horse pills. I was so glad when we popped into Target and I discovered these tasty chewable prenatals. Instead of a disgusting horse pill I get a sweet little treat after breakfast every morning. They were approved by my OB as well, so I know baby is getting what she needs.
LA Fitness Training Sessions: Hubby and I have been working with an LA Fitness trainer for just over year now. When I signed up for training my number one goal was to get my super skinny early 20’s body back. (Sounds crazy but some of my favorite jeans don’t fit these days!) Unfortunately, February rolled around and I had to switch gears. Erring on the side of caution, I immediately let my trainer know that I was pregnant, and I have to say he’s been absolutely great about it. He knows just what exercises I should and shouldn’t be doing, and gives me me a good workout without pushing too hard. For the most part, you can still exercise at your usual level, though it’s advised not do anything that leaves you breathless (i.e. intense cardio) or puts too much strain on your core. (Abs are mostly off-limits after the 1st trimester.) Training has been soooooo important for me because I’m adamant that I will not gain excess weight. Even as my belly grows, there’s nothing to stop the rest of me from staying in shape. This makes bouncing back so much easier, and honestly that’s important to me. In addition, I find it’s helpful mentally/emotionally. Even when I was super down and depressed during the first few months, I made an effort to attend nearly every training session, because I would feel a bit better afterwards. Staying in shape while pregnant gives me something to work towards and helps cement my priorities. Plus it’s good for the baby!! Even if you’re not in the market for a trainer, exercising while pregnant is almost always a good idea.
Chai Tea: Soooooo I’m a coffee addict. Prior to getting pregnant I would drink about three cups a day. That’s definitely too much caffeine for a baby, so I knew I had to cut back. I went straight to drinking one cup in the morning (and again my hubby was on my ass so I couldn’t even cheat if I wanted to). It was working for a while, but right around the end of my first trimester I started to react badly. Something about that morning cup triggered my gag reflex and I just couldn’t drink it anymore. Was really sad to give it up, but I find that chai tea has the opposite (soothing) effect and serves as a good replacement since there’s still a caffeine kick. I’m lucky enough to have an Indian master chef for a husband, so he makes me chai from scratch almost every morning. That being said, if I can’t get a fresh cup, I favor Teavanna Oprah Chai Tea. The flavor combination is more true to traditional chai.
The Honest Company Organic Belly Balm: I’m literally obsessed with this stuff!!! I was looking for a good stretch mark prevention cream and when I read the reviews for this belly balm (via Nordstrom) I was sold. I started using it right around 12 weeks because I’ve read that it’s better (i.e. more effective) to start early. At 21 weeks it’s too early to comment on stretch marks, but the balm leaves my skin super soft and glowing. It definitely has an earthy smell, kind of like grass, but I love that it’s clean and organic. I use it liberally and religiously, because the thought of stretch marks is just too scary.
Warner’s Back To Smooth Bra: I’m a pretty tiny person and fit comfortably into a (pre-pregnancy) 32B. To be honest, my chest hasn’t grown that much yet, but my regular bras have definitely started to fit snug and become uncomfortable. Because everything is more sore and achey during pregnancy, I was dying to find a bra that felt as close as possible to wearing nothing, while still providing support. I picked up two of these during a BOGO sale and couldn’t be happier. They have no underwire and the straps are self adjusting…I truly hate messing with straps! Not sure how this style might work for a busty gal, but for me the 34C was a comfy fit with some room to grow as the bra stretches out.
Massage Envy Prenatal Massage & Facials: I’ve had a Massage Envy membership for a while now, and would go religiously once a month because I suffer from chronic low-level back pain. But during my miserable 1st trimester I stopped completely. I was too depressed and detached to bother with massage. However, when I started to feel better around 16 weeks, I doubled up scheduling a massage and a facial for a spa day treat. Seriously it was sooooo good. Both the massage and facial have to be done differently because you can’t lay flat on your back or belly after the 1st trimester. I thought it would be awkward laying on my side for a massage, but they make it super cozy and my massage therapist knew exactly what she was doing. Only certain therapists are certified for prenatal and the best part it doesn’t cost any extra if you’re a member. I don’t know why but the massage was actually more enjoyable than usual and I’m looking forward to going again this month.
Inexpensive Stores Like H&M & Kohls’s: I plan to avoid maternity clothes for as long as possible. The cheap styles seem so ugly and the expensive styles don’t seem worth it (especially since I’m only doing this once). I don’t want to invest a ton of money in clothes I’ll only wear for a few months, and as crazy as it sounds I also don’t want to buy something I love if it’s not in my usual pre-pregnancy size (because anything I really love I’d want to be able to wear later). So instead I’ve done a lot of shopping at H&M and Kohl’s in recent weeks. Rather than buying maternity clothes, I’ve simply sized up (or bought oversized flowy items). It’s been a bit of trial and error as I find this doesn’t work for everything, but I’ve managed to throw together some cute outfits on a shoestring budget. The biggest challenge has been dressing for a reverse body type!!! I’m a petite hourglass and my waist has always been my tiniest point. Now at 5+ months pregnant my waist is my largest point. That being said, I haven’t really gained anywhere else, so I’ve been able to incorporate some of my regular clothes into my outfits, allowing me to mix and match with new pieces as needed. I plan to do a bunch of preggo outfit posts in the coming months so keep an eye out 🙂