There are so many obvious things you need to buy when you're pregnant, like maternity pants and tops, of course. But I'm talking about things that made life more comfortable, that I didn't know I needed until I was using it and realized I couldn't live without it!
3. Home Dopplar
It sounds like a great idea to be able to hear your baby and know there are still in there, but leave this to the professionals! The ones sold to the general public are not regulated at all. Also, you don't really know what you're listening to. Midwives and OBGYNs are trained to listen and know in 2 seconds if what they hear is normal or abnormal. If you don't have the training, you may be listening to nothing of importance. After watching them use a dopplar in the office, I can confidently say I don't know enough about what I'm hearing. In fact, I thought I heard static and she exclaimed "Wow! great heartbeat!"--- which to me sounded like nothing. If I did this at home it would have freaked me out and caused unnecessary anxiety. Plus, exposing baby to the waves emitted by devices such as these have not been fully tested.
6. An EMF shielding blanket
This is something I originally thought I needed and something I wanted. I have a laptop and I figured what a great way to shield myself and baby from the unnecessary EMF coming out of the thing. I have my own person EMF detector (exciting, I know) and I of course tested the product that claimed to shield you from EMF. Well, it literally did nothing. I mean the numbers didn't even pretend to decrease a little bit. I called the company out on it and they agreed to refund me the $80. Just because a product makes a claim doesn't mean it's valid.
7. Pregnancy Bras
I'm not saying you don't need these, I'm just saying you should skip right to nursing bras. I just felt that nursing bras did just as good a job as the pregnancy ones and the nursing ones had the added feature of being more accessible to baby post-partum. Don't waste your money and just stick to nursing bras for both!
Reflecting back on pregnancy, I realized that the sooner people know you are pregnant, the sooner the comments begin. With that comes a lot of feeling about those comments.....
1. One thing I really grew to hate was people saying, "How are you feeling?" It was a nice question, but after you hear it 10 times a day, every day, for months, it gets old. I equally found it hard to be mad about this (I mean, people are just being nice!), but the fact remained that it annoyed me. I thought about it a lot and I figured people just don't know what else to say. Then when others around me were pregnant, I realized I started doing the same thing!! I had to stop myself right there and figure out something else.
What I liked better: I realized that what didn't bother me was when people asked specific questions. Like instead of how are you feeling, asking if the nausea subsided yet, or did you pick out a name, is your nursery finished, are you excited to start maternity leave.... things like that! I guess I just wanted something to say besides, 'yeah so far so good'.
2. "You popped!" I found to be almost equally irritating! I got this the second someone noticed I had a belly, then I got it again if I haven't seen someone in awhile. I think this bothered me because you notice changes in yourself before anyone else notices so you're like... duh i've been like this! What really got to me was when I was over 30 weeks pregnant and someone says this! Okay, I obviously "popped" a very long time ago and at this point the baby belly is obvious. Why are you pointing this out now?! So I found out 'popped' means different things to different people. Basically it means... haven't seen you in awhile and you grew. I was over it.
What I liked better: You have such a cute pregnant belly!! The complements never got old! I will miss them dearly. No one is ever this excited for your stomach to grow so embrace the belly love! I also loved when people asked or talked about baby movement. This is tricky though because I know not everyone's baby moves a lot and that question might make some people feel anxious.
3. "Get all your sleep now while you can!" I hate that almost threat that comes with this phrase. As if no one has mentioned before that you don't get a lot of sleep with a newborn. Thank you for the sound words of advice. This of course is useless advice. Even if I slept great all pregnancy, you need a certain amount of sleep every day so once the baby is born it's not like sleeping well at month 5 I stored up enough energy to get me through day 3 of baby's arrival. It's just stupid and annoying. Please don't say it people.
What I liked better: Literally saying nothing would have been better than this comment in my opinion, but if you must, I loved when the occasional person would say something like "don't worry about the sleep thing, you'll get through it it's not so bad" I feel like encouragement was better than useless fluff.
4. "Make sure you enjoy yourself now" was also a comment I disliked. Way to get me excited for baby! Implying that after a baby comes all the joy will be sucked out of your life isn't really something most people want to hear. In fact, this really made my husband mad because he was already stressed about life after baby and comments like this sent his anxiety through the roof. Who gets to deal with that aftermath? Me...
What I liked better: Asking if you are planning any trips before (or after) baby arrives is much better. Or words of encouragement, like 'don't let baby stop you from enjoying your lives, just bring them with you!' The people that say this to me have embraced parenthood and travel (even internationally) successfully with children. Empower people to do things, don't discourage them!
5. "Are you ready?" Okay. Tell me who is actually ready for a baby? I mean mentally. I have never met someone who said they were ready to be parents. Ready for everything in their life to change. It's a little scary and nerve-wracking at the end of pregnancy when it's your first baby. How does one answer this question? Don't stress out new parents to be!
What I liked better: "Did you get everything from your registry?" or "Did you get the clothes all clean and ready?" "Did your furniture arrive yet?" Maybe something specifically about the preparation of items for a baby would be better. I just know when asked, I felt like they were asking if I was mentally prepared to become a parent. This is not only hard to answer, but begins to stress me out! I truly don't think anyone can be ready for that.. it's just something that happens I think!
What are some questions you hated getting?!
When my midwife called and said, "You actually failed the glucose test, and not by a little either... You will have to take the three hour test!... it's always the healthy ones who fail!"
This really made me upset for two reasons.
1. I am a super healthy person, or at least I strive to be in almost every way. My pregnancy I took to new levels of healthy! I ate all organic, mostly fruits and vegetables, barely any meat or dairy and no gluten... everyday. I rarely ate anything processed and no more than a couple bites of a sweet per day! Getting a fail was like a punch in the gut. The test was basically mocking me... saying... "haha you tried so hard but it didn't matter!"
2. This is a mandatory test in most doctors offices and failure means taking a longer test (3 hours) and drinking more too! It actually meant I would have to take a day off work too because the test was only given weekdays, in a lab, in the morning, and I would have to sit there the whole 3 hours! There is another option to get a blood glucose monitor and test your blood sugar after meals every day for two weeks. There is a third option to do 'the jellybean test' which involves eating a specific packet of jelly beans. I would have loved this option if they were organic without artificial colors and flavors, but since it wasn't, it was out as an option.
3. "It's the healthy ones that fail" tells me something is wrong with this system! Why would I fail if I am healthy? Why would you expect me to? Is it possible that my body isn't used to processing sugar like in that drink? Maybe my failure is a sign that I am very healthy ?
So this lead me to do some research on this so called 'test' because I wasn't buying that I had Diabetes. If you understand the disorder of Diabetes, you would know that it would be nearly impossible given my diet to have this. Now, gestational diabetes also has hormones that affect how you process sugar, it's not just the diet apparently. This website explained what GD is by an MD.
.....................When I researched, I was shocked at what I found!!!!
As it turns out.. 1 in 3 women to 1 in 5 women would be over-diagnosed (meaning they don't have it, but the test falsely told them they had it) if a three hour test was not performed. The link the this research study by Temming et. al (2016) can be found here. So if 1/3 of people fail, this one hour test is in no way reliable!
This made me feel a little bit better because at least I wasn't crazy.
The downside: it made me mad. Why wasn't I told that it might be unreliable? Why are doctor's giving it and making pregnant women drink this unhealthy drink!? For more details on the horrible things they put in there please read this fantastic article by Food Babe! She breaks down what's in it and why it's bad! So I had of course read this and didn't want the stupid drink in the first place! Now I would have to drink more?!
The upside:The test isn't reliable. That made more sense than me having diabetes to be honest.
So now I was left with the choice between taking the three hour test, doing home glucose monitoring, or doing nothing at all. I will tell you that I debated this for days, consulted many people, and researched consequences of each action. The general consensus was that I should just take the three hour test because I would very likely pass. Thanks to America and our shitty maternity leave policies, I needed all my sick days for the end of pregnancy and post-partum. Sorry! Not taking off for this!
I decided to do glucose monitoring at home. I could avoid the lab, the day off, the blood draws, and the gross drink. So I ordered a glucose monitor and I determined thanks to the internet what was a good reading. Of course, I got no guidance whatsoever from my midwife or the doctors in the practice. I might have been the first person to decline the test, who knows! Surprise surprise, all numbers were fine! Now, was it more work and finger pricks, yes! So most people will just do the 3 hour test, and that is fine! As long as you know your options!
Had I failed and did have gestational diabetes, what was the treatment? My midwife said she would have sent me for nutritional counseling to determine a diet. So that means that even if hormones were affecting my sugar levels... no matter what the cure was change your diet?
SO! What is the diet a gestational diabetic should be eating!? It turns out... it's the diet i've been on all along!
So the bottom line is... do your research and choose to do what is best for you! Just know that in the end, it comes down to diet anyway. If you eat healthy, as outlined above, you shouldn't get GD.
I learned some interesting things along the way that might help you in your quest for knowledge!
Tell me about your experiences in the comments below!
So I ended up at Crate and Barrel with the BabyLetto Kiwi Glider (who offered free shipping). They also sell it at Amazon and Buy Buy Baby... but coupons don't apply and it was the same price, so buy wherever you want it! What I loved about the Babyletto Kiwi glider was several things really:
The Babyletto Kiwi glider came in pieces in a humongous box. Not something a pregnant woman can carry inside on her own, that's for sure. It came in basically two pieces that slid together. It wasn't easy figuring out exactly how they slid together though. I will be posting a video that shows you how to slide it on since we got a little stuck. Then you slide the wings onto the sides, which was much easier, plug it in and boom, instant glider.
Hands down best purchase so far! I think I probably feel this way because baby isn't here yet and this baby item I have personally gotten a lot of use from already. It is comfortable to sleep in and I have already taken several naps. The push button glide is nice and quiet as well. It didn't look as bulky as I thought it would considering the size was larger than the chair I used to keep in my living room. I wish it would have fit in baby's room but there just isn't room so the living room it is! I'll update on how it works out with baby once he arrives!
So i've been using the Babyletto Kiwi glider for several months now post baby and I have to say it's still so great! In fact, people who come over and sit in the chair fall in love with it! I even had baby-less friends come and stay and they ended up buying one for their home! So you don't need a baby to love this chair! I would say as a suggestion to have the buttons on the outside. Baby kicks and sometimes touches the buttons or the USB cable.
The second I found out I was pregnant, I downloaded every app imaginable! I have since weeded down a few to the ones I basically use daily.
This app has been awesome as well! Every day it gives you a new fun fact about baby's size. There are lots of great articles that for the most part relate to the stage of pregnancy you are in. I also love the 3D look at baby and mom each week of development. There are also features like a planner for appointments, registry, and a place to upload photos. It could be a very nice online journal of your pregnancy, if you keep up with it! I can't be bothered adding all these details, but if you can remember, go for it!
Cost: This app is free as well!
What To Expect.
I check this periodically. I like the videos they have and the articles. Those are weekly updates. There is also a huge message board and support system out there for anyone who is interested. I started out following the boards, but ended up with more anxiety. If it eases your mind though to get confirmation things are normal from other moms, this may be the place for you! I found it stressful because it's a great place to vent, but hearing other people vent about problems made me overanalyze my life and freak out about things that I was previously not worried about. If you can handle it, more power to ya!
Cost: Another free app!
Those are my tops 5! Do you have others that you use? Leave a comment below with the name and why you love it!
One of the things I was nervous about happening during pregnancy was getting stretch marks that would be with me for the rest of my life. I have been diligently trying a variety of products daily to thwart this time honored tradition. I am happy to say (and I know I am jinxing it) but so far, nada one. I feel like perhaps it's because it's just too early, but I'm rounding on 19 weeks and my belly is quite round and protruding further than it ever has before. I know, I know, it's just the start of it "just wait until the end" you will say.... I can hear it in my head already.
The one thing I really make an effort to apply is my magnesium lotion. I started applying this because I heard it helps with nausea early in pregnancy. It also helps to prevent cramps (like leg cramps especially, ouch!) Magnesium also plays a role in blood sugar regulation, so hopefully trying to prevent gestational diabetes. After reading some research, which determined that more research was necessary before concluding definitively, I figured it couldn't hurt.
The one I use is from a brand called Earthly, which is a small batch, natural brand that makes lots of great products. I use a small dollop nightly and it has lasted me months. It is a little grimy on my fingers afterwards, but not horrible and goes away quickly. [[side note! This also really helped me sleep during pregnancy! ]] Magnesium is an important mineral for everyone to have daily, but pregnant women especially need this! When applied topically, like in this lotion, it is absorbed by your skin and you actually get the most out of it! That is what my doula told me anyway. You can get it from lots of different vegetables and fruits as well. Another way to get magnesium is to take an epsom salt bath. That is a lot more time consuming than rubbing the lotion on though, so I do the lotion thing.
This is my assortment of lotions and potions I am using to try to beat this and stop it in its tracks. I am using only all natural products and applying before bed every night.
Recently, I started to get itchy during the day, which I am taking as a sign that I am stretching, so I am now going to apply morning and night.
Anyone have any tips for this? Anyone successfully avoid stretch marks or are overly concerned about them like I am?
33 weeks and still doing well stretch mark wise!! I have basically just kept it to the magnesium good night lotion and it's working miracles. No ugly red and purple lines! As a side note, I had a bruise on my arm and it wasn't going away until I put some of this magnesium lotion on. I think it really did the trick!
UPDATE 2!: Post pregnancy and can report no stretch marks and sound sleep throughout pregnancy with this lotion!
I literally hunted far and wide for maternity leggings that were Okeo-Tex certified. I knew I would be partly living in them for at least an 8 hour chunk of my day, so they should be amazing. I am so happy that I did eventually find some because my old leggings were cutting off my circulation. I found THE BEST leggings!! A brand that I've never heard of but came across after many failed attempts at finding leggings. The company is called Boob Design (direct, I know). It is a European based company that specializes in maternity wear. I found my leggings and my bathing suit on here and could not be more pleased!! You don't even need to be pregnant to enjoy the comfort of these leggings!
The name is called 'Once On Never Off Leggings,' and they are correct. I have to psych myself up to take them off and sometimes try to reason about why I should just continue wearing them. They are THAT good. What I didn't love was the price ($55) and the added shipping cost to get it to the US from Europe. Amazon Prime has spoiled me and paying for shipping seems like a way to get extra money out of me. Now some may say $50 for leggings? Are you nuts? Old Navy has them for $15 (I actually have no idea if Old Navy has maternity leggings-- or their cost). Others may say, I usually pay $100 so that's a bargain! Whatever your situation, I feel like you need to own at least one pair. They do have sales so if your interested by don't want to pay full price, join their mailing list to be alerted for sales. I bought black and gray and am considering getting a second so when I have to wash it, I can then put another pair on...
.....just kidding.. kinda.
The company is also very eco-friendly and their textiles are non-toxic. They don't just look for the less expensive materials. I love supporting companies that are doing the right thing! Sometimes, in my mind at least, that justifies the cost...like "at least those deceptive, toxin loving companies don't profit" kind of thing.
The point is, check them out! They have other clothes too, but I'm not too impressed with their styles or colors. I'm really in it for the leggings and bathing suit (which was so clutch this summer and will be next summer when I'm nursing). I need to try their bra next.
Link is below if you want to learn more.