Things that helped me through 9 months of growing a human

Here’s what I’ve learned over the past almost 8 months of growing baby. IT’S HARD because things are constantly changing. One week you may have one symptom and then BAM! The next week that symptom goes away or gets worse AND makes way for a new symptom to make it’s way into your new normal. This has definitely been the case for me this pregnancy. Luckily, I have had a very pleasant pregnancy and for the most part, have enjoyed being pregnant. Until the last week or so (I’m now in my 33rd week), I have felt mostly like usual self and didn’t feel like pregnancy slowed me down or made me feel crazy. However, my body can’t take all the credit for this because I have found some pretty amazing things that have helped my body cope with all the changes that have happened and continue to happen as I near the end. Today, I wanted to share with you some of my favorites that I could not live without.

1.) Aveeno Extra Dry Skin Relief Lotion mixed with Mother’s Special Blend Skin Toning Oil

My friend Ashley of Two Peas in a Prada actually recommended Mother’s Special Blend as we are only a month apart in our pregnancies. A bottle of this stuff goes a long way and I only just ordered my second bottle. Because I was super itchy during my first trimester, I found that the oil wasn’t enough to help hydrate my skin so I mixed it with the Aveeno lotion and the two together have been amazing. I talked to my doctor early on about stretch marks and she told me that they are actually genetic and there’s nothing you can really do to avoid them if you are genetically prone to them. Luckily, I have not gotten any stretch marks (thanks mom!) but I do feel like this combo would work for any mama to be.

2.) Barry’s Bootcamp and SoulCycle

My doctor okayed me to continue with my normal workout routine with some modifications and it really did help me feel stronger during the first trimester. Plus, I’ve heard that working out consistently during pregnancy can actually help with labor and with recovery post birth! As I continued to get bigger, it got more challenging and it wasn’t until this week that I decided I need to pause my SoulCycle workouts until after the baby is born. Fortunately, Barry’s still seems to be working well for me and I will continue to do that at a modified rate.

3.) The Bump App

I look forward to Wednesday every week because that’s the day I find out how big the baby has grown and what developmental things are happening in utero. This app is incredible and not only do I love the weekly updates but it also updates me on my own body’s changes AND includes articles that are relevant to what stage of pregnancy you are in. It also lets you share your weekly updates via text and/or e-mail which has been fun to do with family.

4.) Snoogle Pregnancy Pillow and Wedge Pillow

I actually got my Snoogle very early on in pregnancy so that I could start to get used to sleeping with it. From the second I laid down with it, I knew it was love. The one thing I will say about this pillow is that as you get bigger, it gets harder to maneuver at night, which can be annoying since my sleep has become pretty restless during the 3rd trimester. However, the pillow is very supportive and I love sleeping with it. I just wish it wasn’t so hard to turn over on. I also bought a wedge pillow from Amazon because I have had the craziest desire to sleep on my back while pregnant. I have always been a side sleeper and never a back sleeper so it’s strange. When you enter the 2nd trimester, everyone will tell you that you should not lay flat on your back anymore because it can slow blood supply to the baby. My doctor recommended the wedge pillow for me to try since sleeping on my back helped me get comfortable at night. It has worked really well and I have liked sleeping with it!

Pregnancy Podcasts

I actually discovered pregnancy podcasts during my last trimester. I’ve been listening to them during down times at work and I’ve learned so much from them. My favorite ones have been Preggie Pals and Pushing It. Both are very informative but also light and casual, which makes for a great listening experience.

Exercise Ball

This ball came in CLUTCH during the third trimester and I wished I had bought one much earlier on to help relieve my back pain. I sit and roll on this ball every night and it really does help stretch everything out from my lower back down and really does relieve the back pain I have been experiencing lately.

Prenatal Massage

Two words: GAME. CHANGER. No seriously. You will feel like a new person after you walk out of a prenatal massage. I was a little nervous at first because I (obviously) had never experienced a prenatal massage before this pregnancy, but once I was laying down on my side with a comfy body pillow between my legs, I kicked myself for not doing it sooner. The massage therapists are well trained in prenatal massage and are really a wealth of knowledge as well. I learned a lot of stretches and massage moves that Jonny could help me with to help relieve my carpal tunnel pain from these sessions. Hoping to squeeze in one more before baby arrives!

Wrist Braces For Sleeping And Day Use

Ugh. Pregnancy carpal tunnel is literally the vain of my existence. It is horrible and so annoying to deal with. Holding my phone for more than five minutes will trigger my hands, particularly my right hand, to feel numb and fall asleep. I finally couldn’t stand it anymore and bought braces to wear at night time and ones to wear during the day as well. I will say that they do help with pain, but the numbness prevails, unfortunately. However, I do think they make a difference overall and I would recommend them to those that are struggling with this super common pregnancy symptom.

BKR Water Bottle

I have always been a big water drinker but it is so important to drink tons of water each day while pregnant. I have been using BKR water bottles for a long time and I literally carry mine everywhere with me. My tip for you would be to buy the largest size so that you are drinking more each day.

Lululemon Align Leggings

My friend Shannon recommended the Align leggings to me as she told that they saved her in the last couple months. My sister bought me a pair for Christmas and omg, I was immediately hooked. They are FANTASTIC. So soft and not maternity so I can wear them post partum as well, which is great. I did get them two sizes larger than usual to accommodate the bump but really, who knows how long things will take to get back to “normal” post birth.

SheaMoisture African Black Soap and Aztec Clay Mask

I have had the worst luck with pregnancy hormonal acne. To be fair, I have always struggled with hormonal acne but growing a little babe inside of me really sent my skin into a tailspin. It wasn’t until about two months ago that a few of my readers recommended trying the SheaMoisture African Black Soap and Aztec Clay Mask. I decided to give them a try since the bar of soap cost $3 and the mask was $6 and OMG what a difference these two products have made. My skin still has it’s issues but it’s mostly clear, which is really saying something after struggling with it for MONTHS. I use the soap twice daily (AM and PM) and use the clay mask once a week (I mix mine with apple cider vinegar). Both have virtually changed my skin and I am so thankful for this community and their recommendations!

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