A few months ago, I brought you Surviving the First Trimester: There Is Hope. And now, I’m happy to report that I’m well into the THIRD trimester and counting down the weeks until baby girl gets here! I’m checking off everything on the third trimester bucket list: waddling, endless potty-trips, NOT SLEEPING, snoring, swaying, and “nesting”, which is the polite term for PURGING. I want it ALL GONE. Nothing is safe. (Heck, I even threw my phone away the other day, but recovered it, thanks to the “Ping my phone” feature on my Apple Watch.) I feel like my bump is following the Law of Diminishing Returns where the “cuteness” factor is slowly curving toward the “painful” end of the bell-shaped curve, if you will.
So before I pass the pregnancy torch on to some of you sweet, innocent, eager mamas, allow me to share some of my maternity must-haves that have helped me through pregnancy.
I am just as interested & excited as any mama about the miracle growing inside of my tummy. But y’all, we live in a world with an OVERABUNDANCE of information. I found that Googling every strange symptom during my first pregnancy (and there are some STRANGE ones) made me a little anxious. OK, a LOT anxious. Like, I was super conscious of how many M&M’s I ate, because RED DYE, Y’ALL. Really. Lord, have mercy. So my super logical and protective husband cut me off of Google pretty quick and told me to buy a couple “safe” books and stick to them. So I ended up with these two:
The infamous encyclopedia of pregnancy. I see why this book has such a long running successful history. It has all the facts of the baby’s stages of growth while realistically and scientifically explaining why your body may be experiencing some of things it is without making you super paranoid. I highly suggest it.
This book also has all the “facts,” but also has the “cute” factor with fun facts, tips, and graphics. It was a great book to keep up with if I didn’t have the energy to read ALL the details in the What to Expect book.
Let’s be honest, all the stages of pregnancy are uncomfortable in their own rite. But there’s few things that have been worth their weight IN GOLD to ease the awkwardness of this very odd time for your body.
As we all know, after about 17 weeks, it’s advised to close the door on flat back-sleeping. Sleeping on your side is recommended, especially your LEFT side, which encourages the most blood flow. (Insert BIG EYE ROLL here…seriously, who sleeps on one side ALL. NIGHT. LONG?!) Anyway, this was very hard for me, so I immediately invested in the famous “pregnancy pillow” and it helps SO MUCH. I prefer the LeachCo Snoogle, as it wraps around you, giving support to your hips, back, and something in between your legs to align your hips. There are many brands of these and they can be found at Target, Buy Buy Baby, Bed Bath and Beyond or Amazon. I’ll admit, I cringe a bit to spend over $50 on a super huge pillow that I’m gonna use temporarily, but I promise, it’s worth every penny!
I know, you’ve already spent money on an obnoxiously large pillow, but this wedge pillow from Bed Bath & Beyond has been a huge help, too! In the third trimester, I’ve reached a point where sleeping on my side has become so painful that I actually would rather sleep on my back at an incline. This pillow folds into several different positions and is a firm memory foam, so I know that I can sleep soundly and stay inclined so my sweet cherub is getting all the blood flow she needs. I’ll talk later about sinus trouble/chest congestion, but sleeping at an incline on this pillow also helped tremendously with that! I think this will also come in great handy to prop up for those middle-of-the night feedings in the bed.
Let’s be real ladies. The hips are streeeeetching and I’ll be honest…I’ve had a few extra cookies during pregnancy. The underwear doesn’t fit like it used to. I’m going to be REAL transparent and admit that for me, thongs are no longer an option during pregnancy for lots of reasons. My cousin told me about these “under the bump” panties, and LISTEN. THEY ARE GAME CHANGERS. I want to shout it from the rooftops. They are the most comfortable panties that offer full coverage without moving, sagging, OR riding up. I don’t even understand how it works. But praise the Lord. Stop reading right now (but come back!) and go order these NOW. Like two-hour-Amazon-delivery-now. I wish I would’ve ordered these earlier in my pregnancy. These will also be great for post-partum, especially if you have a C-section.
During my first pregnancy, I barely showed until I was like 26 weeks pregnant. I managed to get away with unbuttoned pants or using the extender for a while. For #2, I swear my belly popped out the second the two lines turned pink. It was absurd. So I HAD to give in and purchase some maternity clothes pretty early on.
Gap Maternity Leggings
These Maternity Pure Body full-panel leggings have been lifesavers! They aren’t too thick OR too thin, and are perfect for bumming around the house OR can be paired with a cute tunic for a legitimate outfit. I wear them a little too much to admit. (You can also fold the panel down if you aren’t a full-panel girl.)
These Maternity bi-stretch full panel ultra skinny constitute official “pants”, but the fabric is so soft and stretchy that they don’t feel confining. Grab a couple colors in each of these pants, and I promise, you’ll be set for your entire pregnancy!
To fill in the rest of your pregnancy wardrobe, I recommend second hand or consignment! While I LOVE the darling maternity shops and ads running across my Facebook feed, we are probably done after cherub #2, so I just hate to spend a bunch of money on clothes that I’m only going to wear a few months. ThredUP actually has a maternity “department”, and there are some darling shops in our area like The Nappy Shoppe and Small Pockets that carry maternity consignment! This is a shocker, but I also have to mention that Ross (specifically the one on Preston Road in Frisco) has a great maternity selection that is SUPER affordable! Also, keep an eye out for the big consignment sales like Just Between Friends, Divine Consign, and Rhea Lana. These are usually annual or semi-annual; regardless, there should be one going on at some point during your pregnancy and they always have maternity clothes!
Another little “blessing” of pregnancy is that it ROBS you of any and all immunity. Starting in the first trimester, my sinuses really suffered during this pregnancy, and as we all know, medicinal options are very limited. But a couple things have helped me survive!
Again, not a glamourous thing to talk about, but my ENT says keeping your sinuses clean and clear is the number one key to avoiding sinus infections. Stopping the drainage also avoids it going to your chest, which is super important! This bottle and solution works sort of like the Netti Pot. And listen. I was as skeptical and hesitant as anyone else about doing this but the relief is indescribable when you can’t take a lot of medicine. Just buy it and do it and thank me later.
This was another recommendation from my ENT a couple years ago, but the price tag (around $120) deterred me. BUT, after being pregnant and taking like three showers a day just to breathe in the steam, I finally marched into Bed Bath & Beyond with my 20% off coupon and bit the bullet. And again, it’s been worth its weight in gold. It’s 100% natural and I can enjoy the relief of steam anytime with this hand-held steamer. Pairing this with the sinus rinse has seriously saved me.
After this post, I seriously hope I haven’t discouraged you from even becoming pregnant! Ha! But again, let’s be real. That tummy’s gonna do LOTS of stretching and it needs to be buttered up like a Thanksgiving turkey. For both pregnancies, I’ve used this Palmer’s lotion, and while I refuse to add an image, I’m happy to report that my tummy does not bear any stretch marks. It’s nothing expensive; I get mine at Wal-Mart. But CLEARLY, it’s something that is worth every penny.
As mentioned above, the side sleeping can get SUPER uncomfortable, especially as your pregnancy progresses and the baby gets bigger. I am carrying super low this time, and I was starting to wake up with excruciating hip pain every day. Coincidentally, I had met Dr. Denisa Weber with Serving Life Chiropractic over the summer (they sponsored CCMB’s play date series!) and so I finally gave in and set up an appointment. Again, I was a little skeptical, as I have never even been to a chiropractor before and really didn’t know what it was all about. But I have already learned SO MUCH about my body and nervous system after starting this care and I feel SO much better even after just a few adjustments! There are a ton of benefits to seeing a chiropractor during pregnancy (per their website: 25% less labor time!), so it is definitely something I would recommend investing in!
If you are expecting, I hope you are enjoying this time. It is uncomfortable, awkward, and strange, but there is a miracle taking place inside your body and the end result is worth every single second. I’d love to hear what’s on YOUR “Maternity Must-Haves” list!