During pregnancy you have so much to think about it’s often easy to forget about looking after yourself. Things like eating habits, exercise and skincare can quickly get replaced with morning sickness, birth plans and midwife appointments. For me it took a concerted effort to focus on myself and make sure that I got through pregnancy in a half decent state! When you do decide to research ways to stay healthy and happy in pregnancy you can easily become overloaded with tips and advice. You can also spend a fortune on products that have very little effect. Hopefully the following tips, put together based on my experiences and research, will help guide you towards some sense of well-being and relaxation. They certainly worked for me!
James and I have always tried to eat healthily, but we are certainly not too strict on our diets. During pregnancy I found that my diet didn’t change too much and I managed to suppress any strange cravings I was getting (Doughnut cravings were a regular occurrence!). The biggest challenge I faced was a complete drain of energy. To combat this I tried to include some foods to help boost my energy levels. Porridge with banana and honey is certainly a great start to the day. I found that if I had cereals such as Corn Flakes I was starting to get hungry again an hour or so later, but porridge easily kept me going until lunchtime.
I would also have cereal bars as an afternoon snack. Nakd Cocoa Orange bars are my favourite! I seemed to have a lull around 3pm, which isn’t a problem at home as I could doze off for a cheeky nap, but in work I was struggling. Having a cereal bar kept me feeling full until tea time and stopped me from picking at one too many biscuits!
I also used our Nutribullet to make some great smoothies. They would sometimes, but not always have a baby spinach base, different fruits, some chia and flax seeds and topped up with coconut milk. These were absolutely brilliant and gave me loads of energy.
I have mentioned in earlier posts that I have had regular break outs during pregnancy, especially on my chin. For this I used Garnier PureActive Fruit Energy Scrub. It is a really gentle exfoliator, therefore isn’t harsh on sensitive skin, smells amazing and has salicylic acid which is great at reducing spots. Prior to pregnancy I used Clinique Liquid Facial Soap, however this didn’t seem to help much during pregnancy.
Moisturising your skin often is always important, but during pregancy dry skin goes to the next level! Prior to having baby Jacob I used Clarins Hydraquench and I stuck with this during pregnancy. It feels and smells amazing! James has also picked this up a few times and loves using it. I was prone to dry patches before pregnancy, which got much worse over the nine months, but this product certainly helped.
Apart from the small break I got in my second trimester I very rarely got through a full nights sleep. The dark circles under my eyes were getting really strong so I started using Nip and Fab Viper Venom eye roll on, which really helped. The cool metal ball soothes the area and I noticed a difference in redness and dark circles within a few days.
To help prevent stretch marks I used Bio Oil. I started using Bio Oil at around eight weeks. I liked how easily it rubbed in and how soft my skin felt afterwards. Thankfully I managed to get through pregnancy without any stretch marks appearing. This may have been more down to luck than the Bio Oil, but you never know. I certainly wouldn’t risk not using it in the next pregnancy.
Relaxation & Comfort
I jumped on the band wagon of adult colouring books a while ago and haven’t looked back since. I love sitting down and focusing on the intricate designs. Before you know it a few hours have passed without thinking of anything beyond your next colour choice. This is otherwise very hard to do in our busy lives. During pregnancy you can easily become anxious or stressed and sitting down with a colouring book is a great way to detach yourself from these pressures.
I started to get in to yoga as a stress reliever about two years ago. I’m no expert, but I really enjoy it and find it immensely relaxing. Obviously during pregnancy you must be careful with certain positions, but this doesn’t limit you much. I downloaded the guide Pregnancy Stretching with D. I found this so useful and easy to follow. It is a picture guide with added helpful tips on positions where you must exercise caution. I found my back was getting really sore with the added weight, but regular stretching helped improve this.
A strange one to end on, but I found that browsing Instagram was a great way to relax and clear my head. I love photography and scrolling through the explore section can make me laugh and cheer me up. It is also great for passing the time when waiting for appointments.
Maternity clothes were something that was difficult for me to get my head around. How do I deal with the inevitable expanding waistline? Do I use an extender belt for my current jeans or do I buy new jeans. Do I go for over the bump or under the bump jeans? So many options. James stumbled across some very positive reviews from a company called Seraphine. This place has the best maternity jeans, in my opinion. They are a little more expensive than the high street shops but the quality and comfort are amazing! I’ve bought two pairs and they are all I needed throughout my pregnancy! I am now two months after Jacob’s birth and even with my shrinking waistline they still fit me comfortably.
Finally a very important choice is what to wear to bed. Sleeping becomes more and more difficult as pregnancy progresses, so being comfortable in bed is essential. I bought a pair of Baby Be Mine pyjamas and I absolutely loved them! They were so comfortable and kept me cool at night which is another important factor to consider. The fact they also look really good makes them even better.
I hope you found these tips useful and interesting. The products here really helped me and I would love for them to help other expectant mothers. Let me know your experiences with these products or any other pregnancy essentials you couldn’t be without.