And just like that, I’m in my third trimester with less than 11 weeks to go until baby number four arrives. This pregnancy has flown by for me! I’m grateful in some ways, but in other ways I feel like this has been such a blur! I’ve felt great this pregnancy, with little to no pregnancy related sickness and no major complaints to speak of. I always have tailbone issues with all my pregnancies (not sciatica, my tailbone just starts to tilt out waaay too early), so that is a bummer, but other than that I’ve felt wonderful. Now that we are nearing the end I’m starting to experience some growing pains and feeling rather *ahem* large, but I guess that goes with the territory.
In addition to this pregnancy generally being a healthy and happy one, I’ve discovered some things that have really helped me enjoy the experience more and feel my best. I’m excited to share those essentials with you today!
Every momma needs a good prenatal vitamin, but those can be surprisingly hard to come by. There are so many options and varieties that it can be difficult to know what is the right one for you. I’ve always struggled to find one that settled easily on my stomach. Some vitamins are just too harsh!
For this pregnancy, I did more research than usual. I looked up exactly what vitamins/minerals were crucial in pregnancy AND what form they needed to come in for optimal digestion and absorption. (Did you know that some forms of vitamins aren’t digestible? Your body and baby will never receive those precious nutrients if you don’t find a vitamin that contains the nutrients in the proper form!)
I decided to go with Mega Food’s Baby & Me pre and post natal vitamin and I’ve LOVED them. They help me feel great and I’ve experienced exactly zero negative side effects.
In the beginning of each of my pregnancies I take DHA for the baby’s brain, nervous system, and eye development. This is one vitamin that I only take through my second trimester simply because of cost. This time I used Ocean Moms DHA and was pleasantly surprised that it didn’t give me that awful fishy after taste!
I’m fortunate to not experience heartburn, either in pregnancy or in my normal life, but I did need some help with that extra “full” feeling that you get after meals when you are expecting. Taking a digestive enzyme from Nature’s Wellness before dinner each night helped tremendously. But to be honest, what helps the most is enjoying my largest meal of that day at lunchtime and keeping supper light. But you know, sometimes a momma is just too hungry and can’t say no to an extra helping of chips and guac. 😉
The biggest game changer for me this pregnancy has come with the discovery of Magnesium Glycinate capsules. My chief complaint each pregnancy is Restless Leg Syndrome. Restless legs is AWFUL. It makes you feel like you are crawling out of your skin and brings the good fortune of worsening at night, right around bedtime.
In the past, I’ve tried Natural Calm, a magnesium supplement drink. It helped with mixed results. And, it can cause digestion problems. After a little research this pregnancy, I discovered that Magnesium Citrate, the main ingredient in Natural Calm, is NOT the best form of Magnesium for your body to absorb. Here is a great article that breaks down all the forms of Magnesium and discusses how you can choose the right one for you. (It also discusses how as many as 75% of us are deficient in Magnesium, which can affect everything from hormones to headaches to energy and sleep! Two other great articles to learn more: here and here.)
Although some people say the best way to absorb Magnesium is through the skin, I found that soaks and sprays don’t work the best for my RLS. I’ve been thrilled with the results of taking Magnesium Glycinate, and love that it’s such a simple and affordable fix!
One of my favorite essentials this pregnancy has been a yummy rose scented belly butter that my sweet friend made me. She used the recipe from Wellness Momma, adding in rose essential oil, and I use it every single day. In addition to the body butter, I also use almond oil all over my body to help my skin keep its elasticity and help prevent stretch marks and that horrible itching you can experience when your belly starts to grow.
Shortly after having Beatrice two years ago, I gave away most of my maternity clothes. I wasn’t sure if we were “done” or not, and I figured this form of rush and roulette would help me know my true feelings. It did not, lol. 🙂 It actually worked in my favor to not have many maternity clothes this time around, though, because after three pregnancies I’ve finally discovered that all I really need are two great pair of maternity jeans and some cute non maternity tops (and dresses) I don’t mind stretching out. I just feel more comfortable in my normal clothes and prefer the way they look.
My favorite pregnancy look is pairing my maternity jeans from H&M with one of my go-to basic H&M tees (not maternity). I bought these jeans in two different styles and love them! Below I’m wearing these jeans, but I also have them in this wash! (I find that I have to go up one size in H&M jeans. Even then, when you first pull on a pair of H&M maternity jeans they will feel snug – don’t send them back! They quickly stretch out to a PERFECT fit.)
And last, but certainly not least – my final essential for getting me through pregnancy # 4 is of course, yoga!
This is the first pregnancy that I haven’t continued to run or lift. It’s not that I’m suddenly against those things, it’s just that I felt very strongly about wanting to enjoy this time and be good to myself mentally, emotionally, and physically. In the past, I’ll be honest – working out felt like a way of punishing myself for the natural course of growing and gaining weight throughout the pregnancy. This time, I wanted to stay healthy and strong, but do it in a gentle way that honored the changes in my body. So I opted out of home workouts and instead poured myself into maintaining my personal yoga practice. I do what feels good to me and skip what doesn’t. Some days I spend 15 minutes simply doing sun salutations and easy stretches, while other days I’ll do a full 45 minute practice. I’ve traded my Saturday afternoon hot power vinyassa flow for a Sunday afternoon non heated, non power vinyassa flow.
I’m starting to realize that I don’t so much “practice” yoga – I’m simply enjoying it. Cherishing it. Savoring it. I’ve embraced the natural rhythm of this pregnancy and that’s been reflected in my yoga, and there is a simplicity and beauty and truth to it all that I’ve missed with my other three pregnancies. The truth that this is all a part of it. That change and balance and growth aren’t always linear. This pregnancy has highlighted for me my tendency to force my ideas of how things are “supposed” to look: How my body is supposed to look in pregnancy. How my life is supposed to look. What things are “necessary.” Instead of using workouts to help me achieve my pre-conceived notions of how things (I) should look, I’m simply allowing yoga to be one of the many wonderful parts of this pregnancy. I’m not demanding anything of it or of myself. I’m just embracing the truth that it holds, which is that this is all a gift. A beautiful blessing. And all I have to do, is receive it.
What about you? What are your favorite (were your favorite?) pregnancy essentials? I’d love to hear from you!