At 6 months pregnant, I'm so thankful to say that I'm feeling great and loving this experience. I'm still working, exercising and going through my days feeling pretty darn energetic. I've recently been asked what kinds of things I've been doing to keep myself active without overdoing it (VERY important) and with a lot of friends getting pregnant it's always fun to swap recommendations and tips.
Today I'm going to share a few essentials that have been my go-to's throughout this pregnancy. Of course it's important to note that every body is different, every woman is different and every pregnancy is different. Some people may do 100 wonderfully healthy things in an attempt to keep themselves feeling good but still struggle to make it through the day. With pregnancy, a lot of issues are out of our control. So just know, that these are products that seem to have helped me along the way, but they may not be right for everyone. I would love to hear your recommendations too!
Taking Charge of Your Fertility
If you know me personally you've already been subject to me raving about this book, but still, I cannot recommend it enough. This book is essential reading PRIOR to getting pregnant. It provides insightful, detailed information on how our bodies work and it's amazing how little most of us know about our own bodies. I wholeheartedly believe that I would have had a much harder time conceiving without this book. You can buy it HERE.
New Chapter Organics Perfect PreNatal Multivitamin
These aren't cheap but I love them. They're 100% organic and food based, which means that they're much easier on the stomach. Naseau can be tough during the first trimester so choosing a quality multivitamin is essential. I also love that they have probiotics, a prenatal herbal blend and breast support blend. You can find them HERE.
Nordic Naturals DHA
Again, not the cheapest brand, but the quality is said to be one of the purest forms of fish oil on the market. And the best part? No aftertaste! The have a strawberry flavor and go down easily which is not the case with all fish oil pills. DHA supports brain development, memory and mood. Important for both baby and mama. My mood has been very stable throughout pregnancy and although I can't say for sure it has to do with DHA, I've somehow dodged the "moodiness" that comes with pregnancy and it just may be connected. (Find them HERE)
Organic Coconut Oil
I made a conscious decision to go as natural as possible in my beauty regimen so prior to getting pregnant I weeded out all chemical-laden products from my routine. Coconut oil has become my go-to moisturizer - essential in this dry Colorado air. Remember, your skin is an organ that absorbs products into the body so it may not be a bad idea to consider what you're "feeding" it day after day. I still use lotion, but coconut oil has become a staple, especially for the growing belly and avoiding stretch marks. So far so good! (Find some HERE)
I've been consistent but gentle with my Pilates routine. I do what I can a few times a week and my goal is to maintain my strength and feel GOOD. My goal is not to build muscle per se, or change anything about my body at this time. It's a great way to maintain healthy muscle tone, increase energy, reduce stress, avoid postural pain, improve breathing, maintain healthy posture (no back pain here!) and also prepare for labor & delivery (more prenatal Pilates coming your way soon).
During the second trimester I struggled with achey hips, especially at night. Spending a few minutes massaging out my quads, hamstrings, glutes and IT band before bed seemed to help quite a bit. The foam roller is a great at-home massage tool. And post-pregnancy it's a great tool to help alleviate back pain and shoulder tension associated with nursing. (Purchase HERE)
My theraband has been a great tool for home workouts and modifying Pilates mat exercises to accomodate pregnancy. They're an inexpensive tool to have on hand for quick resistance workouts at home. (Find them HERE)
Hard Boiled Eggs
A go-to snack when I need healthy protein on-the-go. Eggs are a pregancy superfood! They contain 12 essential vitamins & minerals, choline for brain health, and omega 3 fats for brain & vision development. At only 90 calories per egg, they're a good snack option for those busy teaching days. Click here for tips on making great hard-boiled eggs.
String Cheese + Fruit
Another great snack for the road. Pairing fruit with protein helps to keep blood sugar levels stable and my energy up throughout the day. Citrus is fantastic right now so pick up a few oranges next time you're at the store and pair with calcium-rich cheese or a handful of almonds. The Vitamin C will also give your immune system a boost.
Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
Now that I'm in my 3rd trimester I'm sipping red raspberry leaf tea to promote a healthy uterus for labor. While the safety of this tea is often debated between the medical and natural schools of thought my doctor supports the use of it in moderation. It is full of vitamins and minerals that are great for both mom and baby and has been shown to help "tone" the uterus perparing the body for labor and recovery. I enjoy a cup every few days.
*Please note: this post is not intended as medical advice. You should always follow the recommendations of your health care provider before taking the advice of others.*
Okay, your turn. What are your essentials during pregnancy?