I really thought that my second pregnancy would be easier and that this time I would have a better understanding of what my body needed and when. But truth be told, it has probably been tougher than before. I know that every pregnancy is different, but I mean, I didn’t expect it to be THIS different! From not being able to sleep anymore, never wanting to go out, and somehow ripping a tummy muscle (several times), I am definitely struggling a lot more. However, there are a few things that haven’t changed; my pregnancy essentials.
Through both my pregnancies, I have played and explored with loads of new products, trying to find ones that make me as comfortable as can be, while growing a human during the hottest summer, ever. There are a few new products in my list of Pregnancy Essentials, that I have only recently discovered, but also a few goodies that I have gone back to because they’re just that great!
1. Pregnancy Sense
I have walked down that scary aisle in the book shop; there are literally hundreds of new parenting books and each one can be as intimidating as the next. I know that my husband picked up a few and by opening his third, he looked up in shock horror and asked if he was really ready for this new role.
Although I have read several pregnancy books, I find that the newly launched Pregnancy Sense book offers everything and more that new parents need to know about the next 40 weeks. From weekly updates of what is going on with your body, offering tips to dads on what they can do to help their partners through the changes that they’re experiencing and even helpful guides for navigating those first few weeks after birth.
I find that the language is a lot easier to understand and the sections are broken up into smaller chunks so that you actually have some time to process it all and truly understand what is going on inside there. I also liked that because it is written by our very own Meg Faure, Heather Wood, and Jacky Searle, all of the recommendations are locally available. For instance, while trying to figure out how to handle morning sickness or the inevitable heartburn, all of the medication mentioned were available at my local pharmacy and I didn’t have to wait for the pharmacist to look up the ingredients and provide a local alternative.
Pregnancy Sense offers guidance to expecting moms and whether it is your first our fourth pregnancy, you are bound to find a wealth of knowledge in these pages. From nutritional advice, handling your emotions and your general wellbeing, there is something for every expecting mom. The book reads like a guide and puts to rest any anxieties you may have, giving you the confidence of feeling prepared for your new role.
2. Oh So Heavenly Revive and Revitalise Leg & Foot Spray
Oh So Heavenly have become a local favorite for their incredible line of pampering gift boxes, but during my last pregnancy I discovered their Mum and Cherub range and have been hooked ever since. I wasn’t the smartest cookie when planning my pregnancies and have had to face them both in the dead of summer, so believe me when I say that I know all about sore and tired feet that resemble sausages or tree trunks.
Oh So Heavenly offer a leg and foot spray that is budget friendly, and especially convenient for when you have a bump in the way! The spray is a light mist that can be sprayed on your legs and feet when they’re feeling tired and sore, after a long day, and helps to soothe the aches away. The uplifting spray is enriched with soothing flower oils, argan oil, and a special cooling ingredient which helps with swelling, commonly faced by all of us preggy mommas. Thanks to its affordability and instant relief, you can expect to find a bottle of this gem in my handbag, next to my bed and in the lounge, so that there is always one nearby.
3. Mama Mio Tummy Rub Oil
I first discovered Mama Mio after welcoming Axl and found that their pregnancy related products provided great relief, especially through the early days of motherhood. Pregnant mommas are prone to stretch marks, which is why there are SO many products on the market offering unique formulas to help combat stretch marks. I really think that it comes down to what you prefer, in terms of the formulation of the product as there are butters, creams, oils and even sprays. I personally love a good body oil, especially right after a bath or shower, as I feel that it absorbs into the skin better and provides instant relief to my itchy, stretching skin. I have long given up on being stretch mark free (if that were the case, I’d have to have no stretch marks, to begin with) but as my skin stretches to accommodate the long legs of my son, I have noticed that I can become irritable from the constant itching.
The Mama Mio Tummy Oil is probably one of the best oils that I have tried – it is light-weight, has a nice scent and absorbs into the skin quickly. The result is softer, nourished skin that is equipped with the right nutrients to help improve your skin’s natural elasticity. The formula is an omega-packed blend of organic oils that are safe for use during pregnancy and while nursing. It is recommended to apply twice daily from above your boobs to below your bum, front, back, and sides. Follow the Tummy Rub Oil with the Tummy Rub Butter for maximum results.
4. Mama Mio Tummy Rub Butter
Mama Mio’s Tummy Rub Butter is an ultra thick and luxurious cream that helps to lock in moisture, helping to improve the elasticity of your skin to accommodate your growing bump. This cream is the creme da le creme of body butters and while it is technically for bump care, I have a feeling that it will be great as we transition to the cooler months when skin can be prone to dryness. Admittedly, I did struggle with the scent especially in the beginning of my pregnancy when I had a sensitive stomach and any scent could set me off, but as we wind down to the final trimester, I find that I am not nearly as bothered and if I remember correctly, it is a very similar scent to the Mama Mio Boob Tube cream (which I will speak about in an upcoming breastfeeding essentials post). Overall, if you’re looking to prepare your skin for pregnancy, I’d recommend using the oil and butter together, for optimal care. Remember that bump time can also be a great time for older siblings to bond and get used to the idea of a new baby coming soon.
5. Purity & Elizabeth Anne’s Nipple Cream
This one shouldn’t come as a surprise as I sort of consider Purity & Elizabeth Anne’s Nipple cream to be an essential whether you’re pregnant or not. Wait, before you think I am going crazy, hear me out. The formula of their nipple cream is thick and made with your most sensitive skin in mind, to help improve moisture so that your skin repairs quicker, especially during breastfeeding. That being said, this is a great and affordable alternative to your typical 8-hour balm, and can be used on dry heels, elbows, sunburn, sensitive skin, and my most common use – lips!
I have really been struggling with dry lips this pregnancy, so I tend to be coating my lips in nourishing formulas, to prevent them from cracking and becoming sensitive. The Purity & Elizabeth Anne’s nipple cream comes in a handy tube which is small enough to slip into my handbag and while I may get some raised eyebrows for slathering nipple cream on my lips, I couldn’t be bothered especially as it is the only thing that doesn’t instantly absorb into my lips, but rather works over time to restore lips and keep them hydrated.
6. Dermalogica Multi-Vitamin Power Firm
During my first trimester, I kept getting all sorts of comments from strangers about looking so tired. It really took everything for me not to hit back with a comment of trying to look human while spending 90% of my time, with my head in the toilet. Truth is, I wasn’t getting enough sleep; I had quit one job and took on a new one which demanded more time and for a short while, I was working both at the same time, all while running my blog during the day, and putting together The Mom’s Guide campaign. The lack of sleep showed and before long, huge bags started to form below my eyes.
Thankfully, I still had my trusted Multi-Vitamin Power Form under eye cream, from Dermalogica. Beside this scent being absolutely phenomenal and fruity, the formula helps to improve elasticity to help combat lines around the eye area. It also works to accelerate the skin’s natural repair process with a combination of Vitamin A (Retinol) as antioxidant, vitamins C and E which, as mentioned, increases elasticity while scavenging free radicals.
7. Oh So Heavenly Time to Unwind Bath Soak
Returning back to the lovely scented range from Oh So Heavenly, I just had to include the Bath Soak that is also part of their Mum and Cherub range. If you’re wanting a quick pick me up, there’s nothing better than a soak in the bath with this bubbly indulgence. The scent of the essential oils helps to calm and relax you, while the formulation soaks in and soothes your aching body. The result is a quick escape that every mommy-to-be, needs at the end of a long day.
8. Pedi Relax Regenerative Cream for Damaged Feet
For something a little more intensive that helps to heal damaged feet, I have turned to the Pedi Relax range which offers several products to help treat and heal feet. My favourite product from the range, especially during pregnancy, has been their Regenerative Cream which provides a soothing effect, while leaving no residue on the skin thanks to its fast absorbing qualities. Perhaps it is because I am living barefoot, (not perhaps, I know that it is) but my feet have never been so dry and cracked. Honestly, feet are gross but right now, mine are atrocious. I love that I have discovered the Pedi Relax range of products, designed for feet, that include active ingredients to help soothe and heal the skin, while restoring moisture. The formula includes Lavender oil and Thyme essential oil which helps to prevent water loss and repair lipid layers.
9. Sleep Mask
Yes, this seems like a bizarre addition but I have really struggled to find sleep this pregnancy. I recently bought an eye mask from Checkers, which has a second layer of black material, to block out any light. Since introducing it into my sleep routine, I find I sleep deeper and longer and am not bothered if my husband stays up all night reading Reddit, on his cellphone. A couple of nights ago, I misplaced my mask and honestly tossed and turned before eventually giving up on getting any sleep, and went to watch some TV. That being said, I have stocked up on a few funky designs and refuse to go without.
10. SoyLites Massage Candles
Last but certainly not least, my pregnancy essentials also include the Soy Lite Massage candles. These babies are beautifully scented and are crafted with 100% natural ingredients. I have always loved scented candles, but these burn down to a moisturizing essential oil that absorbs beautifully into the skin. I really like burning these while bathing and then using the massage oils to give my skin an extra bit of oomph. While candles are great for setting a calming tone, especially before bed, these are just so much better than your typical candle and give hubby an excuse to massage those feet too! As you can probably tell, there is a recurring theme of products that restore and lock in moisture which is particularly important when your skin is being stretched to accommodate your growing baby.
That rounds up my first post of pregnancy essentials, I am sure there’ll be a follow up soon sharing some other products I find particularly useful during my pregnancy. I’d love to know, which products do you love and trust when expecting?