Now that I’m in my third trimester, I’m finding that pregnancy has managed to come up with a whole new set of challenges – you know, just to keep me on my toes, I guess?
Here are some of the hero products that have been getting me through it so far…
So, basically the 3rd trimester hath murdered sleep. Yes, just like Macbeth, only with a lot more bathroom breaks. No matter what I do, it’s almost impossible to get comfortable these days, and pretty much the only thing that’s helped even a little is my trusty v-shaped pregnancy pillow. I’ve been using this since the start of the 2nd trimester, and I LOVE it. So much so, in fact, that I’m planning to keep on using it once the baby’s here: it’s one of those products you don’t even know you need, but then, as soon as you try it, you’re just like, “Aha! I’ve been doing sleep WRONG, all this time!” LIFE-CHANGING, people, LIFE-CHANGING.
Actually, I DID know I’d been doing sleep wrong when I got this: in fact, for months before I even got pregnant, I’d been cycling through one pillow after another, with all of them being either too hard or too soft, too low or too high. This one, however, is the PERFECT firmness AND the perfect height for me, and I also like the way I can kind of snuggle into it at night, so I’m not really sure how I managed to live without it, to be perfectly honest.
As an aside, I also tried a couple of pregnancy body pillows, mostly because I’d heard so many people describe them as straight-up maternity essentials. Honestly, though, the V-shaped one is the only pillow that’s really helped me: I find the full-body ones a bit too bulky to be really comfortable, and they’re also a bit of a pain to get in and out of when you’re having to get up to the bathroom approximately 200x per night, so I’ve been using the V-pillow, plus a random cushion between my knees. It’s not perfect, and some nights I feel like it takes forever to get to sleep, but I’ve been lucky not to suffer from pelvic girdle pain, or any of the other late-pregnancy complaints I know a lot of people have to deal with, so I think this arrangement is probably as good as it’s going to get for me.
I hesitated to write about this, because it’s a little bit embarrassing, but honestly, if you’ve been reading my pregnancy diary, I figure we’re probably past the point of embarrassment, really, aren’t we? With that in mind, let the record show that one of my most irritating – literally – 3rd trimester symptoms so far has been chafing. Yes, chafing. Apparently pregnancy causes increased blood flow, and that, plus the extra weight I’m carrying around every day, has made my skin super-sensitive and prone to chaffing, particularly where my bump meets my torso, or on the thighs (the dreaded Chub Rub). Pregnancy is just oh-so-glamorous, isn’t it?.
This product is a dusting powder (no, it doesn’t contain talcum, and it’s all-natural ingredients), which is designed to help prevent that, and it’s been another “couldn’t live without it” one for me these past few weeks. Oh, and it smells nice, too.
I’ve actually gotten through a few different stretch mark products over the course of this pregnancy, but Bio Oil is the one I’m using at the moment, and it’s probably my favourite so far, if only because it’s the most easily absorbed of all of the products I’ve tried. I’m not going to do a full review of this, because although I’ve yet to develop any stretch marks, I’m very aware that I’m still only 32 weeks, and I know a lot of people don’t get them until the very end of the pregnancy, when they all suddenly appear overnight. So that’s something to look forward to, no?
With that said, I do enjoy using this product, and applying it has become a bit of a daily ritual for me, so I’m including it in the list anyway, even although I know that whether I get stretch marks or not might just be down to a mixture of luck and genetics! I will keep you posted…
Gap Live-In Bra
This isn’t actually a pregnancy-specific product, but, as the name suggests, it IS soft enough to wear all day (and all night, if you like) without you even really being aware its there, and I’m all for that: in fact, I’m wearing it as I write this, actually.
One thing I will say is that, if you’re particularly well endowed, you might not find this bra supportive enough for daytime use. In my case, though, although I have gone up a cup size since getting pregnant, I can still get away with light/medium support, and I was mostly interested in this for the comfort factor, and the fact that you can sleep in it. Oh, and the soft band has also helped with that chafing issue that I wasn’t going to mention again, but apparently can’t stop coming back to – whoops!
Can you tell I’ve been spending a lot of time on the Gap website during this pregnancy? I’ve been really impressed with their maternity wear (And no, they’re not sponsoring this post: I bought these with my own money!), which are good quality basics, which wear and wash really well. This has proven to be important, because I feel like these boatneck tees are never off my back: I have three different colours now, and would happily buy more – in fact, I probably WILL buy more, because, although they’re from the maternity section, they’re something I can see myself continuing to wear once the baby is here.
As I said, these are a really nice quality jersey, and they’re long enough to wear over leggings, which is why they’ve been on constant rotation for the past few months. Speaking of leggings, meanwhile…
I didn’t really wear leggings (other than work-out ones) much before I was pregnant, but I’ve more or less lived in them since the bump made its appearance. My favourites are from ASOS (Which is another brand I’ve relied on heavily for maternity wear: my ASOS premier membership has well and truly paid for itself at this point), and they come in a 2-pack, which is particularly handy given how often I wear them. Despite the low price and heavy use, though, these have held up pretty well, even although they never seem to be out of the wash.
IKEA laptop tray
“HUH? A LAPTOP TRAY?” I hear you ask? Yup: I know it’s probably not the kind of thing you’d necessarily expect to find on a list of maternity essentials, but you try balancing a dinner plate, or, well, a laptop, on your knee with a giant bump in the way, and you’ll probably get where I’m coming from, here.
Because I’m classy, I quite often like to eat dinner in front of the TV, and after one too many bump-induced accidents, in which I ended up spilling food down my front, I pressed this IKEA laptop tray into use, and have never looked back.
It, er, also works for laptops, needless to say.
A travel mug. ANY travel mug.
One of the pregnancy symptoms I’ve had right from the very start has been increased thirst, which is apparently quite common. I always have a cold drink by my side these days, and will take normally take one with me when I leave the house, too. This particular mug is from Kate Spade, but honestly, anything that safely holds liquid will do!