I’m 32 weeks pregnant with a baby boy that I’m rather certain is quite large. Among other things, getting this child out of me is something I process daily and anything I can do to relax a little is proving to be very helpful in me not losing my mind. I think there’s a whole market out there of things you “need” when you’re pregnant, and while some of them are certainly wonderful to have, my must haves aren’t really “products” that are exclusively maternity, but rather parts of my day or week that I’ve found I really do need.
1. Warm/Hot Bath: You know when you were little and were mesmerized when you realized that you could pick up your dad in the pool? It’s kind of like that. Some days in pregnancy, it feels like you have dumbbells inside your body and being weightless for a little while can work miracles for stress and soreness and tiredness. But I have to fight this one for a turn. She’s all about the bath tub these days.
2. Stretching: I try to stretch every day. My 2 year old likes to help. In fact, sometimes she asks to stretch. I don’t really have a stretching regimen. I just try to stay loose and stretch specific muscles that are sore or tired or achy. Areas that I find the most relaxing are my hips, my back and my calves. I don’t know about you, but I get charlie horses in my calves while I’m sleeping and keeping them stretched has made that happen much less frequently.
3. Coconut Oil mixed with essential oils: Coconut oil is fantastic for stretch marks of which I have plenty. I told my husband the other day that this kid better be REALLY cute or else. It’s also a great moisturizer in general. But in addition to that, it’s a great “carrier” for essential oils. (see 6)
4. Alba Body Lotion: I came across this lotion at Target. I’m pretty picky about the contents of our household items so it took me a while to find a lotion that I really liked, kept my skin moisturized, didn’t smell awful, and was free of some seriously harmful chemicals. Plus, it was on some crazy super sale for only $7 when it’s normally $22. I was thrilled and it works wonderfully at soothing my skin which has decided to become desert like during this pregnancy.
5. Sleep: I’ve always required a good nights sleep to function properly and between chasing a two year old, working, taking care of the house and growing a human, I’m a little more tired than normal. Napping when my two year old naps often leaves me feeling better than if the whole house were spotless. However, there are certainly days where sleeping through all the time I would have had alone results in some serious frustration.
6. Essential Oils: Lavender oil was our most used oil for almost 2 years before I fell in love with Eucalyptus oil. I can’t get enough. Essential oils are good for more things than I can count or list, but eucalyptus oil seems to calm my senses and relax my body more than anything else. I’m not big on medicines around here. Even before I was careful about paying attention to what went into my body I shied away from all things over the counter. But when you’re pregnant there are so many things you CAN’T take even if you want to. I rely heavily on a concoction of coconut oil, lavender oil, eucalyptus oil and peppermint oil to open up sinuses, relax sore muscles, sooth headaches, and help me get good rest. I also plan to use them during labor as I’ve read that they can really assist in keeping you from being anxious as your body is contracting a child out of you.
7. Honest Pre-Natal Vitamins: This one is specifically for pregnancy, but I can’t imagine not having them. We were gone for a week over Thanksgiving and I forgot to take them with us and I could tell a HUGE difference in my energy levels. I felt more nauseous and just weaker in general. They’re much more expensive than the cheap-o bottles you can by in the vitamin section at your drug store, but they are so much better for you.
They are filled with iron, probiotics, and include ginger and vitamin B6 to help with nausea. Plus, the packaging is fantastic. And I’m a sucker for good packaging.
8. Good Food: This one has been hard because food doesn’t sound good, but I found that I feel so, so much better when I force myself to eat food that nourishes my body rather than food that my taste buds tolerate (mostly sweeter things and bread). I started keeping track of my meals and snacks and forcing myself to include plenty of fruits and vegetables at each meal time. Fruits weren’t too hard, but vegetables sounded like garbage. I almost had to treat myself like a child and find ways to “hide” good food in other food. For instance I made a nacho meat sauce that was only half meat and the other half diced up veggies that I otherwise would have turned down. Then I loaded it up with guacamole and a little sour cream and cheese because those are three things that always sound good.
I took advantage of my bread loving self and “hid” lots of lettuce, tomato, and cucumber between two pieces of warm toasty bread. But mostly it was a lot of, “suck it up and eat good food.” And while chocolate and french bread sound good, I always felt significantly more energized and much less irritable when my body had veggies rather than junk.
What are your current/past must haves?