Pregnancy is a wonderful thing. Well, some of it is. My first pregnancy was pretty easy physically, once I was over morning sickness. Mentally and emotionally is was awful! I love my son but having a baby at 19 (and it being unplanned) with no money is pretty crappy. My second pregnancy has been the complete opposite! Physically I have been miserable, so many more aches and pains, I feel so much more tired than I was the first time and my morning sickness lasted about a month longer this time around. I have to say though, things are much easier when it’s a planned pregnancy and you can actually afford baby stuff. Since it was planned I felt more mentally and emotionally prepared for all the yucky pregnancy stuff like feeling like a busted can of biscuits and the possibility of stretch marks. Don’t get me wrong, I hate feeling huge and I do not want stretch marks but at least I had time to think about those possibilities before getting pregnant, unlike with my son.
Here are some of the essentials I have been using to feel more comfortable and to take care of my skin and how I feel about myself in general.
I have been using bio oil like crazy. I use it every morning and every night and love it! The smell is very mild so it doesn’t bother your heightened sense of smell (and upset your stomach) as much as other lotions and oils for stretch marks! It also feels like it absorbs pretty quickly and it makes your skin look great! I didn’t use it during my first pregnancy but I used it after to make my belly skin look nicer as I was waiting for it to tighten up. I would woke up the next morning and the skin on my stomach would be so glowy and even and smooth looking! I would recommend this even if you’re not pregnant!
I used the Palmers Cocoa Belly Butter during my first pregnancy and I can’t say for certain that it was the product but I did get out stretch mark free (and I wasn’t even very good about lotioning up during the first two trimesters. I don’t recommend waiting too long to start, you should start moisturizing your stomach, thighs, hips, and breasts as soon as you find out you’re pregnant)! I found out later that it was actually endorsed by Courtney Kardashian. I mean, obviously she was paid to say she liked and used it but I haven’t seen her promoting any other stretch mark lotion brands sooo, interpret that as you will. Palmers Cocoa Butter also smells really good but it is kind of a strong smell, so if you are really sensitive to scents during pregnancy you might want something with a more mild scent.
A new thing that I started doing during this pregnancy is making sure that I kind of “double moisturize” or use as much skin moisturizing as I can. When I take a bath I like to add oil to my water if I plan on soaking for a while. I either use the Neutrogena sesame bath oil, a lush bath melt, or lavender essential oil. I added some bio oil for a while but since it is around $20 a bottle I started using cheaper oils to put in my bath water. I also wash myself with a moisturizing body wash and put the sesame oil on my stomach in the bath tub. After I am dried off I moisturize with bio oil.
Moisture is one of the most important components in fighting stretch marks (there are genetic factors such as collagen production etc.) but moisture is one of the components that we can actually try to control! Using a moisturizing shave cream when shaving gives you some moisture and helps keep your skin from getting dried out from shaving.
I don’t know about you but I don’t get a “glowing” complexion when I pregnant. Both times I have had horrible acne (I always have acne but it gets so much worse during pregnancy). While I haven’t been able to get my face completely clear so far due to crazy hormones, I am able to help keep it from getting too bad using the Murad acne kit. Like I said, I still breakout but I can’t imagine how bad my face would be without using this kit! I use literally every step every single day and love it. I will continue using it after pregnancy and hopefully it will help me control my acne even better then. The active ingredient is salicylic acid which I use because I am insanely allergic to benzoyl peroxide. I heard someone say once that salicylic acid is not safe during pregnancy but I have only heard that once, my midwives have never asked me about what skincare products I use, and I used salicylic acid during my first pregnancy as well as this one and haven’t had any issues. Ask your doctor just in case though! You can get a Murad Acne Control 30 Day Kit to test it out for only $37
Heart burn is a very common during pregnancy and while it may feel awful, supposedly it means your baby will have a lot of hair. I don’t know if that’s true or not but I had heart burn with my son and he was born with so much adorable dark hair! I loved it and am hoping Catalina has a lot of dark hair like her brother did (I’ve had plenty of heart burn too). Heart burn can actually be caused by not having enough acid in your stomach. Super confusing right?! But if you don’t have enough acid in your stomach the muscles in your esophagus loosen and can lead to indigestion and all kind of yucky feelings. Why else do you think pregnant women crave picked ;). Drinking apple cider vinegar watered down or mixed with orange juice is supposed give some relief. I haven’t tried this myself but I have found that when I have heart burn and I eat a couple of pickles, the vinegar from them really settles my stomach!
I try to prop my belly up with a pillow but plan on getting something like this when I get a little bigger!
I hadn’t tried using a body pillow with my first pregnancy or this one until I got my first prenatal massage. I almost fell asleep and am going to get one!
I use melatonin every night since it is a natural sleep aide and it is amazing, but definitely ask your doctor first!
Loose clothing is so much more comfortable and I feel so much less self conscious when I wear something more flowing (even when I’m not pregnant) but especially when I am. I wrote a post featuring non-maternity maternity clothes that are adorable and loose fitting!
Leggings are amazing throughout pregnancy but specially during the third trimester. Leggings can be thrown on with a cute blouse and some pretty flats and you will instantly look better than you feel! I just ordered these leggings and I love the material, (I prefer my leggings to be the slippery polyester/spandex kind of feel)! They only come in one size but are pretty stretchy and only $6.99. I need to order more!
I still get pretty sick if I go too long without eating so I try to take little snacks in my purse when I leave the house. Granola/protein/any bars are obviously the easiest snack to carry around and one of my favorites are Clif Bars!
They’re delicious, and were a staple in my pantry when I was vegan and I still eat them and love them (especially the white chocolate macadamia). I’m hoping to go vegan or at least vegetarian after I give birth and sometimes grabbing snacks on the go when you’re vegan is hard but most if not all flavors of Clif bars are vegan and they are found at just about any store or gas station! KIND Bars are also another delicious and healthy snack to carry around.
My current favorite snack has been Oven Roasted Chocolate Almonds since they are healthy and satisfy my sweet tooth. Almonds are a great source of protein and healthy fats and the dark chocolate has antioxidants and makes them taste amazing.
This one is kind of random and not really about comfort but it’s so fun to keep a Pregnancy Journal and document the whole thing to look back on a show your little one. It also helps remind you that even though pregnancy can be miserable, it’s all worth it in the end when you have your perfect little baby in your arms.
Here are some other posts you might enjoy if you’re expecting!