1 // Simply Saline Nasal Spray - One of the more bizarre pregnancy symptoms I've had this trimester is a stuffy nose. I have a constant case of the sniffles during the day and most nights my nose feels like I shoved a bunch of cotton balls up there to block any air whatsoever from getting in. Apparently the hormones can cause nasal congestion (who knew?) and most cold/sinus medicines are off limits during pregnancy. Yippee. Luckily, this nasal spray is a drug-free saline solution and it actually helps quite a bit. I also tried nasal strips (Breathe Right) but they did cause a few pimples to pop up right where the strip goes, so I had to stop. I'd rather deal with a stuffy nose than a pimply nose!
2 // Expecting Better - I found this book to be fascinating and incredibly helpful in assuaging some of my pregnancy fears. There are lots of general "rules" and recommendations about pregnancy that everyone loves to tell you about (don't eat deli meat! sushi is the devil! no caffeine ever!) but finding the reasons behind those rules is a lot more challenging. Oster is an economics professor who did the research I'd like to do (in theory) into why we're told to do or not do certain things and put it all together in a nice, easy-to-read book. It's a great resource for any expecting parent (of course, always check with your doc if you have any specific concerns/questions).
3 // Floradix Iron & Herbs - I was diagnosed with anemia at 10 weeks and started taking an iron supplement in pill form. Even though I was taking it religiously everyday, with foods high in vitamin C to help absorption, I didn't really feel much of a difference. I had headaches almost everyday, dizziness if I stood or sat up too quickly, and needed multiple naps -sometimes for up to two hours at a time- just to get through the day. After about 6 weeks, my doc did more lab work to see if the anemia had improved with the iron pills and, sure enough, it confirmed what I'd been feeling. There was absolutely no difference in my blood work from when I was initially diagnosed. I found this liquid iron supplement at Whole Foods (after a few different ladies recommended I look for it) and my doc gave me the green light to go ahead and try it. Within about a week of taking it, I felt a night-and-day difference. The headaches & dizziness were gone and I no longer need naps just to get through the day. It's a little on the pricey side but it's absolutely worth it. I have another appointment next week to check up on the anemia and I have a feeling this time, the lab work will show an improvement. If you're anemic, I highly recommend it. Don't even bother with the pill supplements.
4 // CamelBak Water Bottle - Honestly, any water bottle will do, this just happens to be the one I have. It's super important to stay hydrated in general but especially during pregnancy. It'll help with leg & foot cramps, relieve constipation (yeah, I said it) & indigestion, reduce your risk of edema/swelling & UTIs, and provide your body with much-needed liquids to produce extra blood-volume, amniotic fluid, build new tissue, and flush out toxins. My water bottle has become my security blanket and I keep it with me all day long. These days, room temp water is really unappealing to me though, so I spice it up with ice and cucumbers to make it a little tastier.
5 // Yoga - I've read that women who do prenatal yoga had shorter labor and delivery times and an easier time with pain management (it's still going to be painful, yoga just helps you manage it better) so, along with walking, this has been my go-to exercise of choice for the last few months. I don't always make it to class as often as I'd like but having a mat at home and being able to do a little bit on my own feels great and helps ease some of the aches and discomfort that come with a growing belly and shifting center of gravity.
6 // Pink Blush Maternity Jeans - I've tried on a few different brands of maternity jeans but didn't really find any that I thought looked good on me until I discovered Pink Blush. The sizing on the website is pretty accurate and the full panel allows for lots of room for a growing tummy. (I'm seriously considering making these my regular Thanksgiving pants even when I'm no longer pregnant!) Plus, they look stylish, too -like normal, non-pregnant jeans- and the denim doesn't get overstretched or saggy after wearing. A little side note - I tried pants with the side panels, too (like these) but they just weren't comfortable to me. I much prefer the full stretchy panel that goes up over the belly.
7 // Avocado Oil - From what I've read, your likelihood of getting stretch marks during pregnancy is determined mostly by genetics - you're either going to get them or you're not. There's really no cream you can lather on that will actually prevent them from happening if that's the way your genetic cookie crumbles. So spending lots of dough on expensive belly rubs/creams seems a little pointless to me. However, I see no harm in keeping your skin hydrated and doing what you can to improve its elasticity, and vitamin E is one of the best ways to do that. So I purchased a bottle of all-natural food-grade avocado oil and use it to moisturize my torso from shoulders to hips! A little goes a long way so this is a really great value. I bought a 16 oz. bottle back in early December and I'm barely a quarter of the way through it. I actually have some stretch marks on my hips and lower back already (thanks puberty!) but so far, none from pregnancy. Fingers crossed it stays that way!
8 // Burt's Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter - I also use this cream in rotation with the avocado oil. I found it for just under $12 at Target and I love how smooth and pleasant it is. My routine has been avocado oil most days with the belly butter at night a few times a week. I also take it with me when I travel because I'm a little paranoid about the big bottle of avocado oil leaking in my bag.
9 // Prenatal Gummy Vitamins - The gummies served me well during the first trimester so I've just continued with them in the second. It's like eating a little piece of candy every morning. The Up&Up brand has the exact same ingredients as the name brand gummies but they're a few bucks cheaper so, why not?
10 // Snoogle - I am not a side sleeper. I much prefer sleeping on my back or belly, both of which are not recommended or even possible during pregnancy. So it's been a little bit of an adjustment for me to get used to sleeping on my side. It's still not the most comfortable position for me but the Snoogle body pillow has made it a little easier to make the change. I still wake up a few times a night and have to readjust the pillow if I switch sides, but it's much more comfortable than trying to sleep on my side without the extra support.