For my first pregnancy, I was 24 - young, elated, and every kick was brand new.
Now, ten years later - I am 34, happily expecting baby #4, and every kick is [still] a miracle.
This time around, I'm a bit of a minimalist when it comes to pregnancy products. I've tried a lot of things and know what works best for me and my body. Below are my top 8 - listed in alphabetical order.
As my stomach expands in the 2nd + 3rd trimester, I love to reach for a belly oil to keep my skin taut and moisturized. I'm not a fan of the cocoa-scented products on the market because I decisively don't like my skin to smell like chocolate. Belli's Elasticity Belly Oil has a very light lavender smell and smoothes on with a lovely luminosity. With a small ingredient profile that features Vitamin E and Grape Seed Oil, I feel good about a product that is paraben-free, allergy-tested, and free of artificial dyes/fragrances.
I've also been using Belli's Healthy Glow Facial Hydrator after showers. With Vitamin C, Grape Seed, and Chamomile - I only need to use a teensy bit to effectively moisturize my face.
Last, but not least, the Eye Brightening Cream is terrific for after nights with pregnancy insomnia. I'm sure this handy tube will also be put to good use after baby arrives in mid-August too.
Since this is my 4th (and almost certainly my last) pregnancy, the last thing I wanted to do was spend a pretty penny on maternity clothing. I barely saved anything from baby #3, but I was fortunate to receive a few key pieces from a friend. Other than one maternity tee and one pair of khaki maternity shorts, I've been wearing my pre-pregnancy jeans and blouses with Bellabands. Thank goodness "uniforms" are in style because I have basically alternated the same two outfits for the past four months. Don't hesitate to buy a BellaBand if you are newly pregnant. Huge bang for your buck whether this is your first or last pregnancy!
Get used to saying "blanqi" if you are newly pregnant because this is a brand that will be your best bud for all nine months and beyond. I seriously wore the Bodystyler Maternity Support Tank almost every other day for my last pregnancy and it's still going strong for this pregnancy. The material is stretchy, without being constricting. The tank does a terrific job of defining and lifting the tummy, while smoothing out your back and hips. Although some people wear it as a stand-alone tank, I felt that I needed another tank over the top for optimal coverage (and modesty).
Bending over becomes a burden in the home stretch of pregnancy, but - ironically - that is also the time when expecting mamas want to clean and organize with a fury. Dyson saves the day with its range of cordless vacuums! I can keep my floors pristine, thanks to Dyson's powerful motors and smartly designed cleaning powers. The lightweight, cordless design means that I can operate this vacuum with ease - even at eight months pregnant! I can even put my older daughters to work with this because it weighs a pithy fifteen pounds. Hang it on the wall for convenient, every day access. This vacuum will be equally invaluable for one-handed cleaning when baby arrives.
I may be one of the rare women who is not a regular Target go-er. I'm generally not a fan of their business practices, customer service, or flashing overhead lights. That being said, they do offer some great products at affordable prices. Case in point - Liz Lange's Maternity Tank Tops have pretty much seen me through this summertime pregnancy! At approximately $13/pop, the tanks are a modest financial investment that reap a big reward. I have two in black and one in gray.
For my first pregnancy, I was skeptical about the merits of a maternity pillow. "Wouldn't it be the same to use a few pillows behind my back and between my legs?" I wondered. For my second pregnancy, I saw the light and ordered a specially-designed maternity pillow and have never turned back. I'm currently using a Boppy one and am very pleased. This is a "splurge" that your hips, back, and belly will be grateful for. Put one on your registry stat for sweeter dreams.
I've been wearing long-lasting lipsticks for the past decade. Ordinary lipsticks just won't do because I don't like to get lipstick all over the place - including my sweet baby's cheeks, head, and smoochable toes! After a bit of experimentation, I've settled on "Ultimate Wine" as a great pick for my complexion. A day rarely goes by when I don't glide on some red lip color. I even wear it on runs and hikes - and during childbirth too!
Stay tuned for an upcoming post about what I'll be packing in my "hospital bag" this time around.
*As always, feel free to leave your comments, questions, and/or favorites. I'm an old-school blogger who loves to have conversations with my readers.
WHAT I'M WEARING: Blanqi Bodystyler Maternity Support Tank Top, Liz Lange Maternity Tank Top, US Polo Assn Skinny Jeans (similar to this one), DownEast Basics V-neck Cardigan (similar to this one), gray cap from a local thrift store