Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Pregnancy essentials: What I've found useful in four pregnancies in five years.

Throughout each of my pregnancies, I've found a wonderful selection of things that I've felt have helped and sometimes comforted me through each stage & journey. You hear about so many things that you 'need' when quite frankly you just need to keep it simple. Here's i've rounded up a few things which i've found very useful for different reasons in each of my four pregnancies in the past five years. All of these is obviously in my experience, but above all - keeping as relaxed as possible is the best essential in any pregnancy!

Health

Vitamins
At the start of each pregnancy I have always taken to recommended dose of folic acid, but as the weeks go on I have also tried my best and keeping vitamin levels higher too. In this pregnancy I have been taking Centrum Multivitamins. 

I also take iron in the later stages of pregnancy as anaemia can be such an awful thing for most people but when your body dips so fast it can really wear my body down. This was also a thought of a contributing factor for why I had a haemorrhage two hours post-birth with my first. Ensuring you keep hydrated when taking them as well otherwise this could lead to awful stuff up feeling!

Aromatherapy oils - I find having a massage with lavender oil can be so relaxing in pregnancy, but so much so that my sister-in-law did this when I was labouring with Phoenix and I almost fell asleep!  and the smell really helps to encourage sleep

Chamomile tea
I love most teas, the traditional is my favourite (decaf) but when I'm in need of a little relaxed drink in the evening I like to enjoy a hot cup of chamomile. Its really funny as in all three previous pregnancies I completely went off tea, but in our fourth, I find it really comforting!

Exercise
I've written before about my worries with my Diastasis Recti. So this leads me to having it when expecting too - not nice at all and making sure that i'm doing some easy stretches and nice walking keeps me healthier. I was doing my core exercises until last week when my back completely gave in on me so i'm trying to rest at the moment (in between seeing to the kiddo's) I will definitely make sure I do more soon, along with my yoga DVD and then the post natal fitness to strengthen my core. Having four littles in a short space of time has left me with this crappy diagnosis but I will never stop being thankful for being able to carry and birth my babies happily.

Keeping hydrated
An absolute must for anyone, especially expectant Mamas. This is something I struggle with but am trying my best to keep up with it as I know it benefits us both, and my energy levels for my little three.

Enough quality sleep 
if possible! This can prove almost impossible when you have three children already but when you can grab an early night, or even a moment to just rest when they're napping or playing nicely - embrace it, you'll feel much better.

Self care & Comfort

Pillows
I was bought a DreamGenii by my colleague when expecting our first and this did help and was also very beneficial when breastfeeding in those first few weeks. Its been very helpful in all pregnancies, but this time around I have found even using ordinary pillows a great help as sometimes having the DreamGenii around me and a kicking fidgeting two year old who's got into our bed can be a bit of a squeeze! 

In this pregnancy mostly so but also in my previous two I have suffered with very bad lower backand hip pain. With my last pregnancy & this time I have had/have SPD, PGP which is not only so uncomfortable when keeping up with the little ones but also when trying to get a good nights sleep. Having had four babies in five years has left me with a bad case of Diastasis Recti also so making sure I am keeping my core well protected is paramount.

Nourishing your skin -
I was lucky enough to not get stretch marks in my first pregnancy despite carrying a rock solid football shape on my front but I did use a lot of Bio Oil, aloe vera gel and olive oil. I did get marks from my second & third time and will predict that I get more this time around just because I have carried big babies in a small but tall frame in the space of five years. Or it may just be genetic! Who knows but i'm finding using coconut oil very helpful and soothing for my achy bump this time. Using a face & hand creams has helped wonders too as i've been getting quite dry skin as its coming into winter time. 

A good mouth wash: 
I'm not sure why but in all four pregnancies I have suffered with bleeding gums and even cracked teeth, very bizzre but what I find helps is using a good mouth wash to keep it healthy, i'm currently using Corsodyl.

Style

Bump support band -
 in my last pregnancy and do use currently. The only thing I would say is to not rely on it all the time as you need to train your body to keep your muscles tight and not let them hang loose or feel dependent on a support band. 

Comfortable underwear & maternity/nursing bras
Two completely relevant components when expecting and for the time when you're nursing your new baby. I've loved my bras from the blooming Marvellous range at Mothercare, M&S & H&M. I have a small amount of maternity bras as I feel buying the nursing bras was just a smarter move than buying twice!

Leggings & comfortable clothing (& shoes!)
I've not ever purchased maternity clothing other than bras but other than the comfortable clothing i already have, I like to update this if needed. Finding nice dresses that fit in the right places is good, those that will also be handy when breastfeeding our newborn. Leggings are a no brainer for me, especially now i'm a 'school-run Mama', they're easy to get on (ish!) and go with anything really, teaming them with a loose fitting tee or cardigan this time of year with some comfortable shoes. I've practically lived in my converse, vans or leather boots recently! 

I'm not sure what it is, somedays I find that i'm styling something really nicely, adding pops of colour or textures, then most days I find that I look very bland. I have a friend who makes anything look good in pregnancy, and I think maybe its just my confidence? I do believe in 'It's not what you wear, it's how you wear it', maybe I need to think more like this! I do however grow a very funny pokey out bump and don't seem to put on weight elsewhere, so fitting clothes looks nice - with the neat but poking out bump or those lovely baggy, flowing dresses that they make just make me look huge! 


Treat yourself once in a while too! 

After all, you're growing a human being in there! This is something thats new to me in some ways, but in this pregnancy, I'm hoping to get some fresh new pyjamas which will also see me through into the fourth trimester (breastfeeding friendly of course) as my others are still my special ones as they've seen my last three babies through, I just want a fresh pair alongside! ....and I would love to relieve my feet at the end of most days so a nice foot spa would be awesome! 
* I was kindly sent the products in a 'Mum-to-be hamper' pictured above to review. They are a wonderful bunch of products that I am using daily along with my ones mentioned above. Using natural products is something I like to do as my skin can be so sensitive at the best of times let alone in pregnancy, the hand cream smells amazing too!

All words, thoughts, & opinions are my own.




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