While pregnancy is a special time in one’s life, I’d be lying to you if I said it was all blissful. The body is changing in strange ways, there are endless appointments with the OB or midwife, physical discomforts (swelling feet, round ligament pain, etc) and of course all the things you aren’t supposed to do while pregnant. Not to mention all the stuff that you need to buy for this little human who won’t do much but sleep, eat, poop, and cry for awhile. As a prenatal yoga teacher, I meet with lots pregnant women every week and I started to think about the things that have been really, really helpful to me. Hopefully this mini pregnancy survival guide will help you too.
p.s. I've added links to the underlined items for your shopping convenience. These are things I genuinely like, I have no affiliation with the companies (except SkyTing where I teach).
Lululemon Align Leggings
These leggings are super soft and grow with you. I bought a size larger than I normally wear (around 25/26 weeks) and I expect they will fit me through the entire pregnancy as I only have about three and half weeks left to go. This is a must have for fit mamas and anyone who likes to be comfortable.
Beyond Yoga Maternity Tops
These tops are buttery soft and look cute. I highly recommend them.
Aura Cacia Sweet Almond Oil / Honest Company Belly Balm / Hatch Belly Oil
Luckily I don't have any stretch marks (as far as I can tell) and I really think it has to do with moisturizing my belly daily. Usually I just slather the sweet almond oil all over my body immediately after showering, before I even towel off. When I remember I will massage my belly with the honest company balm or hatch oil before bed.
Hatch Belly Fix Sheet Masks
These sheet masks are also supposed to help prevent stretch marks. Probably not necessary if you moisturize daily, but something fun to do and super cute.
Expectful Meditation App
Limiting stress during pregnancy has been shown to benefit your baby. Meditation is not only a great way to reduce stress, but it is a way to connect with the tiny human growing inside you. When I was googling for pregnancy guided meditations, I came across the Expectful App. It's a little pricey at $9.99 a month and you can certainly meditate without it, but I like that it is geared toward each trimester and even has meditations for both partners.
SkyTing Prenatal Yoga Classes
I am a little biased as I am a prenatal yoga teacher at SkyTing, but I am a student too. Yoga helps to reduce stress as well as to maintain flexibility and strength during pregnancy. Prenatal specific classes are great because you will learn about contraindicated posses as well as techniques for strengthening the transverse abdominis and pelvic floor to help prevent or mitigate diastasis recti (see previous post for more info). I love the studio, the teachers and the owners, Chloe & Krissy. You will not regret taking a class at one of the three SkyTing locations.
East River Pilates Prenatal Reformer Classes
I try to take three reformer classes a week at East River Pilates. The teachers are great and the classes are geared toward preventing or mitigating diastasis recti with specific transverse abdominis and pelvic floor strengthening exercises. I didn't really take pilates classes before pregnancy, but I am a convert and will continue with pilates postpartum and beyond. I love the mindful and functional aspects of this type of movement.
Fit Pregnancy Club
This studio is dedicated to workouts that are safe, vigorous and will increase your fitness level for a stronger pregnancy and a faster postpartum recovery. In addition to classes, FPC offers a wide range of workshops. I attended a diastasis recti and pelvic floor workshop that was really informative. The owners of the studio are both fit mamas, super sweet and extremely knowledgeable. You should definitely check this place out.
Yoga Bloster / Blocks / Strap
These are like icing on the cake. Not necessary to have at home, but super useful for pregnancy friendly meditation and yoga postures.
Loving Kindness Meditation (pregnancy variation)
Loving Kindness Meditation is another easy way to connect with and to channel loving, positive energy towards your baby as well as yourself (very important for me when my body started expanding all over). My partner, Sirish, suggested this practice since it is a very simple yet powerful form of meditation. I have found it to be quite lovely at this unique time in life. In fact, I now end all of my prenatal yoga classes with a short loving kindness meditation.
Iced Passion Tea (Unsweetened) from Starbucks (with a reusable cup and straw)
It is recommended that you limit your caffeine intake to about 200mg per day during pregnancy and lucky for me my "pregnancy craving" has been this caffeine-free tea. I drink at least two "Venti Unsweetened Iced Passion Teas with Light Ice" per day. I also invested in a reusable cup and straw because I want to protect the environment for my baby boy.
25oz Swell Bottle
Hydration is super important during pregnancy. I tried to drink as much water as possible, especially since I've been pregnant during what feels like the hottest summer ever. I keep my bottle with me at all times and will even add a NUUN hydration tablet when I am working out (according to the website NUUN is safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding).
Compression stockings for traveling or if standing for extended periods
I can't say that I wore compression stockings daily, but I did wear them during a second trimester flight to Morocco and I did not get swollen feet. Yay! I've heard that because of the increased blood volume during pregnancy, women are at higher risk for developing varicose veins and even DVT (you can google this yourself for more info and references). Wearing compression socks may keep your legs healthy.
Baby Registry Consultant - Natalie Gentile, King Kidlet
This might seem like a ridiculous luxury, but when it comes to baby gear there are so many choices and unnecessary items. Since I live in an NYC apartment, I wanted to pair my registry down to the essentials. Not to mention that everyone I know seemed to have an opinion about what I needed, but I wanted expert advice. Natalie is not only a mother, she is a baby gear reviewers for several mom websites. After setting up the appointment, Natalie came to my apartment, assessed the space, talked with me about my preferences, and reviewed the registry I had started. A few days later she sent me a detailed document with links to all of the items that she felt would fit with my lifestyle, taste and needs. She really seemed to get me and my aesthetic. After the list we had a follow-up phone for additional questions and she even sent me a few more recommendations while she was in Italy with her family. I think this was a valuable service and I have to give a shout out to my mom for hooking me up with this one.
I hope to post a few more times before the little guy arrives and then perhaps some postpartum advice and baby gear reviews.