A few of my favorite things…for the pregnant woman you know
If I could make a gift bag for all my pregnant friends and fill it up with everything that has helped me throughout my pregnancy I would. While certain things like macaroons and angel food cake offer no nutritional value but I’ve wanted at some point or another, others have been a constant source of comfort. Yes food tastes are fleeting and there is no way to predict what I might want to eat from one day to the next but the following items are what I’d most want to bestow on my pregnant companions as these items have brought me the most joy:
1. Tom’s are a shoe you can enjoy pregnant or not but these black glittery ones are what I first treated myself to when I learned I was pregnant. Because they are slip on I can wear them even in these last few weeks as it gets harder and harder to bend over. They are flat soled so my feet won’t ache (like you need another body part aching now) and they add a bit of pizzazz to my basic wardrobe. If glittery shoes made Dorthy from the Wizard of Oz so happy I guarantee they will do the same thing for you even on days you feel as big as a house boat.
2. After bragging about how I wasn’t having heart burn, well I got heart burn. It came over Christmas in a bad way and even vomiting wouldn’t give me any relief. This is when I learned two important lessons – eat smaller more frequent meals and take tums before I went to bed. The calcium they provide can’t hurt you either and they come in a variety of flavors to quench any palate. You can have up to ten a day and be good and trust me some days you might be eating that many.
3. One of the perks of pregnancy is your mucus membranes become inflamed which can cause them to dry out or produce an overload of mucus. Sleeping on my side definitely has not helped the cause and so I find myself waking up with a dry mouth and cracked lips because I’m breathing through my mouth instead of my stopped up nose. I tried a humidifier but that didn’t give me as much relief as Aquaphor has. I keep it in my purse and in my bathroom at home at all times. I know coconut oil is supposed to be amazing and an all natural cure for dry lips, cracked skin etc but a jar of coconut oil just doesn’t travel as well as this does.
4. There will come a day when not even tum’s can cure your heart burn or you may run out. My prenatal massage therapist recommended baking soda and if you look on the box the number one ingredient is sodium bicarbonate which is an antacid. So the same stuff that makes your fridge not smell like meat will also cure your heart burn. You just mix half a teaspoon with half a glass of water and chug away. The first time I did it the first glass didn’t offer immediate relief so I had another glass 2 hours later as recommended and it worked like a charm.
5. I teach a lot of yoga and spin and therefor wear quite a few tank tops even in the dead of winter. I have quite the collection of hoodies as coverups but the more my bump grew the harder I found it to zip these hoodies up. I found this hoodie on Old Navy’s website under maternity and it has been a lifesaver. It has pockets that I can keep my phone in before class (my phone has all of my music on it so I need it close by) and ties in the front so it can grow as I do. It’s lightweight so I can wear it as I’m teaching or take it off when should I become too hot. I will be looking for a robe of similar material when the time comes to be prancing the hospital halls on my D date.
6. Before the NutriBullet we had both the Magic bullet and a blender. Both worked well as far as making smoothies although neither did an amazing job of pulverizing vegetables like I would have liked. My husband just recently bought us this and I love it. Being pregnant causes your digestive system to slow down so I have been drinking a lot of my meals because they are easier on my stomach. How else can you eat two carrots, a beat, kale, spinach, strawberries, blueberries, two bananas, chia seeds, an orange and a can of coconut water without feeling sick? It also makes a wonderful milkshake – my latest craving.
7. I don’t care what anyone tells you, getting stretch marks is genetics so no amount of expensive creams or oils will help you. Instead you need a lotion that will keep you from tearing off your clothing at any given moment due to itchy skin and this is my choice. Again, I hear coconut oil is wonderful for the skin but this Vaseline Cocoa Butter lotion is the most convenient for me to apply daily. Plus the smell doesn’t make me ill.
8. If I could wrap up yoga and give it to my pregnant friends I would. Granted there have been times when heartburn strikes and I’m taking a class and want to puke with every forward fold…or I can’t make it the whole 75 minutes without peeing. However the benefits of breathing alone have been worth it to me. Lately I am finding it harder and harder to take deep full breaths. I took for granted my lungs capacity and now my lungs are being shoved up my throat make it nearly impossible to find a full inhale and exhale. But yoga has been so important for me mind and body. The message of yoga and the childbirth class I took this past weekend are pretty much consistent – let your body do the work, relax and go with the flow. Every expectant mom needs a little time to herself and yoga has been my much needed escape.
9. A birth-ball is the same thing that you will see at Target or Walmart in the exercise equipment department. This is one of those things I did not think I needed to purchase because the hospital provides them – however I grossly underestimated before our childbirth class how much time one spends laboring at home. Every video you will watch on birth you will see a woman using one of these. They are also great for sciatica pain because you can sit on this instead of the couch when you are home. As a bonus, after the birth you can use it to get back in shape!
10. Last but not least I would make sure to include a water bottle with straw in my pregnancy gift basket for an expectant mom. In labor you are encouraged to drink water between every contraction and the built in straw makes it easy to drink out of. Also dehydration is one of the main causes of pre-term labor contractions so women in their last few weeks of pregnancy need to be sure they consume plenty of water. I personally carry mine around all day with me to remind me to drink up and if I start to get a headache I know that I have been slacking drinking water.
There you have it – my top ten gift ideas. I guarantee you any expectant mother would appreciate any of these things even more so than a cookie or slice of cake. Ok a slice of cake works too BUT these are guaranteed to fit her fickle tastes far better than any food item. Some of these things I discovered the benefit of right away and others not until these last few weeks of my pregnancy but nonetheless they have all served me well.
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About the Author: Natalie Magee writes a regular column for Happiness Series about what motherhood and beyond - from prenatal to postpartum. Her intention with her column, "Baby & Beyond - What No One Else Will Tell You" is to give practical advice and tips to the busy mom and mom-to-be. She also shares her experiences good, bad and ugly as a woman, wife, mom, flight attendant and fitness instructor. Natalie is also a regular fitness contributor on Happiness Series. She will continue to create great, effective workouts for anyone - including the busy moms out there - who wants to get fit and stay in shape.