So we previously talked about A Pregnant Mama’s Guide to Peace and Preparation, so now this one will be tips and tricks that I learned during prenancy or sometimes sadly, post-pregnancy.
When we found out we were expecting and we’d finally announced it to family and friends, there were so many things that came to mind. People’s advice, the money we were going to spend, and how I was going to have enough time to take all the “baby” classes. But of course, first thing’s first…maternity clothes! I knew I didn’t want to be one of those pregnant women who walked around wearing sackclothes and didn’t enjoy their new bump. I ended up wearing some of my pre-pregnancy tops and dresses during the pregnancy since tunics and other bump-friendly styles were everywhere in the stores. Then, I was fortunate enough to have an awesome sister and mom who took me shopping to enhance my maternity wardrobe. However, we never once walked into a maternity store during that shopping spree but hit up stores like Charlotte Russe, Target, and Forever 21 and went straight for their sale racks! We bought tops that would work even if my belly grew and none of them looked like maternity clothes and now that I’m 7 months post-partum, I still love wearing them because they weren’t meant to be pregnancy clothes anyways. I also picked some tops that would still be good for nursing so those clothes are doing triple duty (maternity, nursing, and “normal” wear)! Leggings were a staple during those months and they were like 2nd skin to me!
Here’s some examples of those triple duty clothes:
Then Honey, took me shoe shopping for some flats to wear because I either had heels or flip-flops and those flip-flops won’t cut it for work. We headed on over to Payless since they had BOGO-who doesn’t love BOGO?! Buy One Get One 1/2 off! I was all set for the rest of my pregnancy with 4 pairs, kinda. Ok, I’m sure some people would be fine with 1 or 2 pairs but I had an extensive pre-pregnancy shoe collection and I’m a lover of variety so 4 was being conservative. I’ve been fortunate that my shoe size didn’t increase during pregnancy so I can still wear my awesome flats even after, though 2 of them are starting to show a lot of wear on them. But at under $15 each pair, 1 year wear time is pretty good!
So I couldn’t buy all my pregnancy clothes from stores like Charlotte and F21 but most was from there with the exception of a few key pieces. Pants I couldn’t get from regular stores and I definitely needed maternity pants. But I got most of them from thrift/consignment stores and only bought 2 pairs from a maternity store. I bought a pair of crop pants from Motherhood on sale and black work pants from Nest Maternity for full price. The Nest Maternity purchase, Honey ’bout had a heart attack from sticker shock-the price tag! They were super nice, and fit really well…for about $80 w/o our expensive SF sales tax. My other thrift stores purchases got me pants for sometimes under $10! I did get this fun maternity shirt from a baby fair and I think it’s just nice to have something fun like that…others may disagree!
|This shirt even came w/a onesie that had a cute cinnamon bun printed on it!|
Some pregnancy beauty tips: People say shea butter really helps with stretch marks during pregnancy and some say it’s your genes that dictates that. I don’t know if it was the shea butter or just genes but I didn’t have any during pregnancy and I used shea butter religiously. Thanks to my friend Amy who gave me some nice lavendar scented shea butter! I put it everywhere that could possible get big and get stretch marks…yes, that means besides the belly! It may not work for some but it did me, so I would suggest shea butter during and even after pregnancy-I still use it but more conservatively now since I’m running really low on supply. Some other things to keep in mind, your baby may come early like mine and I’m glad I went 2 weeks before her EDD to get my nails done and eyebrows and legs waxed! Last thing I wanted to worry about during the delivery was how knarly my toes looked! Then I was really glad I got those things taken care of because after the baby came, I don’t think those eyebrows, nails, and legs got touched for like a month or more! Pamper before, knowing that you might not get to do it again for awhile because time will fly by before you know it! I had gotten my hair cut a couple months before she was born but it had grown out already by the time she arrived. I wish I would have gotten it cut right before she arrived because that hair hasn’t gotten cut for a year now and she’s learning to pull on things…like my shedding hair!
|Customized belly stickers from Purple Possom!|
Some of you may remember in my previous maternity photos, I had a picture with a sticker on my belly?! That, unfortunately, was discovered towards the end of my pregnancy so I didn’t get to use too many of them. I discovered Emily from Purple Possom off of my beloved Etsy site and she sells these awesome monthly onesie stickers for the babies and belly stickers for the pregnant mamas! She was really nice about customizing the stickers for both the belly and onesie stickers to my liking (ya’ll know how indecisive I am about stuff and how much I love variety). They were all pre-cut and I just had to peel off the backing before using. The belly stickers were a little hard to fit around my round belly perfectly so in some bad lighting, you can see little bubbles in the stickers but when I faced another direction for the picture, it looked great. They were printed on transparent paper so it was harder to see the design and numbers on my belly but I still loved them-they were fun to have! I’ve been using the monthly onesie stickers too but I’ll just tack on the review here too. The ones I had also were printed on transparent paper so they work best on white or light colored onesies. I really liked Emily’s designs, they’re cute and helped my track Kiggster’s growth at the same time. I get bummed when I forget to take the picture on her exact birth date each month. Although, then when Kiggster started drooling a lot, she would get it wet and ink would run on the stickers and I started realizing she doesn’t own many plain onesies anymore so I stopped sticking them on her clothes and just put the pre-cut stickers up next to her instead for pictures. Although, I recently purchased some onesie stickers for a friend’s baby shower and it seems they’re printed on a white sticker so it can be put on any colored clothing and the colors won’t run when it gets wet! Awesome, just wish I had the same type of paper for the Kiggster! I guess I will have to wait to buy the 12 month+ stickers to try out the new paper! But I loved the idea of the belly and onesie stickers, it’s just a fun way to capture more memories and to not forget how much the baby is growing, both in and out of us! There’s a lot of different companies selling these stickers but I loved working with Purple Possom, she was great about answering my millions of questions, requests, customizations, and she has super fast turnaround time and some of the cutest and widest variety of designs from what I’ve seen! She also sells iron-on designs and I even bought one for the Kiggster for Xmas and it was a great idea. I’m not savvy with an iron so I think I messed it up a bit and over ironed, making it bleed on the edges but it still turned out looking great. It was such a good idea since Kiggster was too small to fit into anything at the stores but with the customized iron-on, I spruced up her boring white onesie Xmas outfit the economical way!
|Her customized Xmas iron-on!|
|Onesie sticker stuck on her shirt (she was 2 weeks old)!|
|Onesie sticker placed in front for pictures…kinda!|
Something I wish I could have done is Prenatal Yoga or some type of prenatal exercise but with the million other things going on, I couldn’t get to even one class! Work was so crazy and none of the classes were during times that I could actually make it to, so even though I found lots of yoga and exercise classes and had these grand plans to take a bunch…I didn’t even get to do one! Although, I couldn’t have afforded to take a series from the same place since finances were tight (even at $12/class, it all adds up). So I had this plan to take 1 class from every different place because most places offer a 1 class free type thing and I had found a bunch of yoga studios that did that and also places like Baby Boot Camp and Stroller Strides. I even had a 2 week pass but it expired before I could even use it…bummer! So instead, I went on my Wii, pulled up the Netflix streaming and found a yoga video for free to do at home. That was pretty nice too and I got to do that one anytime my schedule permitted! So there you go, 2 ways to save money on prenatal exercise classes: use the free class cards or rent videos from the library/Netflix!
One last tip for today’s Pregnant Mama series: picking a doctor. So I had a doctor that it seems every female in my family used. He’s a great doctor, knows his stuff, and has delivered a million babies at a great hospital. I didn’t think there was any issues…until I presented him my birth plan! I wanted a natural birth, as much as possible and my birth plan boiled down to some pretty simple instructions-don’t give me any drugs/procedures that I didn’t ask for or give permission to do. But when I went through my birth plan with him, he fought me tooth and nail on every bullet point like I was asking for the moon! I asked for things like to be given the option to walk around or be in any birthing position I chose, but his response was, “You’re not going to walk around, most women don’t and most women just lay on their backs, you won’t want anything else because you’re in so much pain.” His response to my natural birth was, “Sure, but just know more than 80% of women get an epidural so you probably will too and if you don’t, you’d be in the minority!” What a vote of confidence! After that appointment, I remember crying to Honey and telling him that I was afraid I chose the wrong doctor but now it was too late because I was due in less than 1 month! We prayed a lot about it and then I got news that he was on vacation that very month the baby was going to be born! I ended up with someone else-a midwife actually. Guess what, I never laid flat on my back during any part of the labor or birthing and even slow danced with Honey through my contractions and ended up birthing the Kiggster naturally! I guess according to my doctor, I’m in the minority now! My advice is to make sure you talk with your doctor about what you expect and want and to come up with a birth plan early (know you can always change it down the road) so that everyone is all on the same page before the birth. If you’re looking for a doctor, make sure to ask how they feel about the things you want because if you want natural and they’re opposed, that’s an issue but same goes if you want an epidural/c-section and their style is for natural, you’ve got a source of stress going into the birth! Choose the doctor that matches your needs and wants because there are lots of great doctors out there that will be the perfect fit for you! Back to my motto: one size doesn’t fit all and that applies to doctors too!