The last post in my pregnancy series. Thanks for sticking with me! While I have mentioned a bunch of products that I feel were helpful, I did acquire other resources that I haven’t finished so I won’t comment on them for now. Also, I may get my husband to write a post so that husbands out there (or partners) can get another perspective.
7) Make your wardrobe pregnancy/nursing friendly
I think what expanded fastest on me during pregnancy was my chest size. I went from 30E prepregnancy to a 34I closer to the end of it. So began my hunt for comfortable nursing bras that would provide support and were able to grow with me through pregnancy and postpartum. It was hard to find ones that were wirefree, didn’t compress my chest unflatteringly, and had no show through. Side note, if you are thinking of breastfeeding, restrictive/wire bras can contribute to plugged ducts which if left unattended may lead to mastitis. Having experienced that, I can assure you it is a cruel fate that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.
I tried a few different brands of bras but didn’t like them as much as I did Bella Materna’s and Boob’s. Both bras mentioned above are made of Oeko-Tex fabric which is free of toxins and Boob’s bras are responsibly manufactured (some are eco friendly as well). Both bras also came with hook extenders to accommodate growth. The material for both bras is so soft you can sleep in them without any discomfort. If you’re seeking versatile bras that provide medium support, I highly recommend these. Boob has a new version of the Fast Food bra that has a wider support band and removable pads for a seamless silhouette. Definitely will be buying one to try out! They’ve also released an Organic cotton bra.
Wrap dresses, button down shirts, deep v necks, and flowy fabrics will be your best friends if you’re nursing but don’t necessarily want to get nursing specific clothes which are generally more expensive. Think easy access for baby to your breasts. I do have a few tank tops and shirts that are nursing specific and quite comfortable and functional. Maternity jeans are amazing. I have several pairs, all full panel as I found the shorter ones to be too constrictive on my belly. I also got cheap formal maternity dresses for my civil wedding and friend’s wedding. Nearly all the brands mentioned frequently have sales and offer free shipping and returns. Seraphine charges shipping but returns are free. Also, Seraphine used to have a dedicated sale section but as of now you’ll have to look through their catalog to see any price reductions.
The Flawless Belly item is mentioned if you want try something to reduce or possibly prevent stretch marks. This alone will not prevent stretch marks. The more important factors are genetics, your skin’s elasticity, and your weight gain during pregnancy. That said, I used this wrap in conjunction with the Living Libations oil and the Motherlove salve because I’m prone to stretch marks. (I have pretty bad ones from puberty due to rapid growth) The wrap is made of breathable, stretchy fabric so it was always comfortable to wear. I applied the Best Skin Ever a couple times a day to my stomach and hip area then used the Motherlove salve overnight under the Flawless Belly wrap. This allowed the products to sink into and nourish my skin instead of winding up all over my clothes. I did get a few stretch marks at the end of my pregnancy but nowhere near as bad as I expected. Some were discolored but eventually whitened a couple months past Catherine’s birth.
Though I don’t consider myself Paleo, I try to eat Paleo/whole foods influenced. Think bone broths, fermented foods such as kombucha and natto, full fat dairy, healthy fats, lots of meat including organs, and raw seafood. I remember having hardcore cravings for sushi and oysters while pregnant. That’s not to say I was perfect. I also had regular cravings for fried calamari and Italian subs. I’ll be honest, the smell of vegetables sickened me to the point where I had to ask my husband not to cook them. Unless they were buried in something else, vegetables just had no appeal to me. Looking back, I definitely gained more weight than I would have if I were more diligent about my diet being clean. And of course eating more of those veggies no matter how much they made me gag.
The Primal Moms Look Good Naked book is based on the Paleo diet. Here is the link to the review I wrote. I took a halfhearted approach in implementing it but that doesn’t change the fact that the book is a wonderful resource for anyone contemplating pregnancy or that is pregnant.
It’s hard to eat a nutritionally optimal diet even when not pregnant so prenatal vitamins are a must. This brand’s vitamins are non-gmo, gluten free, contains organic ingredients, and has probiotics and iron. They made me feel a little queasy the first couple of days of taking them, but my stomach quickly adjusted. It’s also important for pregnant women and those planning to get pregnant to take folic acid in order to help prevent birth defects. My current chiropractor, who is holistically minded, explained to me how folate is superior to folic acid and so I’ll be switching to this for my next pregnancy. Basically, folic acid is the synthetic form of folate. If you’re interested in learning more about folic acid versus folate, you can read this article by Wellness Mama.
Lastly, if you are low on Vitamin D like I am and don’t get much sunlight, it’s important to supplement. I found the liquid form to be much more effective than pill form. It’s all the more crucial to take this if you will be breastfeeding for baby’s bone development.