Going through my third pregnancy, I still don’t consider myself an expert, but I definitely feel like I can weed through the “must haves” a lot easier than I did with my first. So I’m sharing some of the new products I used this time around that are my favorite overall brands and items, and also sharing a breakdown for each trimester for any new mamas wondering what to expect!
Skin care-this time around, for stretch marks and overall body, I used Mustela’s maternity line. Every other time, I’ve used an oil or a balm, both of which leave my belly kind of greasy. The smell of this lotion is amazing, and I feel moisturized, rather than oily. I’ve never gotten a ton of stretch marks on my belly, so I can’t say it necessarily prevented anything, but I do love it! For my face, my skin was terrible in the first and most of second trimester! Like so bad. Once I’m not pregnant, I plan to restart my Rodan and Fields reverse because I have so many marks and discolorations. For now, Tula skin products have worked best for my pregnancy breakouts, and I’m hoping my skin doesn’t freak out when I go back to my normal regimen.
Clothing brands-ASOS, H&M, and Boohoo are my faves for regular maternity clothes! I did find that I tend to outgrow their clothes. So what fit me well in my second trimester was not so cute as I moved in to my third. That being said, their clothes are fairly affordable so it may not be a big deal to size up again in the third trimester. I also love SexyMamaMaternity and feel like they fit more true to size than the other maternity brands. Their pants have an adjustable waistband so I feel like they offer a longer lasting fit. They also have an amazing selection of dresses and gowns, and offer free alterations!
Pregnancy trackers-this is a two parter, because I found two new products I love that serve different but important purposes.
- The first is the Ava bracelet. While it is called a “fertility tracker”, it does so much more than that. Not only does the app give you an easy way to follow baby’s growth and development through each week of pregnancy, but the bracelet itself provides some amazing insight in to YOUR body. It tracks sleep quality and quantity, resting pulse rate, and weight gain and allows you to view changes week to week. It definitely gives me some justification when I think “why am I so tired? I slept for 9 hours last night.” Well, no, actually it was only 6 true hours of sleep and 50% of it was a light sleep cycle. Definitely helps me justify the argument that I deserve that Starbucks! I’ve also talked briefly about our infertility experience with Everett. And while I never used the Ava bracelet for that purpose, I can definitely see how the information would be so helpful, as Ava narrows down and shows your five most fertile days, increasing your chances of conceiving. Just being in tune with your body in a tangible way helps to connect how you feel with what is physically going on during your sleep cycles. You can use code ASHLEYM20 for $20 off!
- The second product is the Bloomlife monitor. I wish I had this during my first pregnancy, because I was so afraid of going to the hospital (where I worked), and looking like an idiot by thinking I was having true labor contractions, only to be turned away! This monitor is a rented contraction monitor, and it is the only like it on the market. It helps show you how long contractions last and how often so you can get some insight in to whether your contractions are consistent. From there, you can start to understand what is happening in your body and make a more informed decision of whether it is go time! And if your husband is like mine, and tells you he doesn’t think you’re in labor (eyeroll), you’ll have some real data to say “this is happening one way or another, let’s go!” With this being the third time around, I’ve enjoyed using it to help track contractions as my body gets closer to my due date. It’s kind of like watching my uterus practice, and gives me a nice excuse to sit down and relax every evening. And I’ve got a code for this one too- Ashley10 for 10% off your weekly rental!
Miscellaneous-other must haves that are nice to have throughout is a pregnancy pillow. I sadly don’t have one because with a husband and a toddler in my queen sized bed there’s barely room for me, let alone an extra pillow. But I had one with both boys, and seriously, game changer. Also a birthing/labor/exercise ball is nice. I found them so comfortable and especially useful the further along I got.
Maternity clothes-you’re probably not showing at this point (unless it’s your third baby, then you might start showing before you even get a positive test), so all I recommend are pant extenders and bra extenders. This time around, I found the maeband, and it worked well in to my second trimester, and will be great for postpartum too. You can buy bra extenders on amazon, and I recommend to do that first, rather than try to buy a nursing bra at this point because your boobs will change. Like so much. I found bralets to be the most comfortable at this point and I love the selection at Aerie. But if you find you are in need of bigger cup bras too, I really like Kindred Bravely. Their bras are super comfortable and come with bra extenders so they can last you longer.
Prenatal-Obviously. Just find what works for you. I can’t swallow giant pills, so I like the gummies, and don’t mind taking a supplement for additional DHA and iron.
Nausea-luckily I didn’t deal with this much, but gingerale and crackers were always with me. Also lemon drops, ginger altoids, and peppermint can help as well.
Pillow-so you can lay down and sleep at any time because you will be tired AF.
Maternity clothes-now is the time to start shopping! It is fun and exciting, and I actually love mixing my maternity pieces and non-maternity pieces. As mentioned above, you may have to size up throughout your pregnancy. I found dresses/skirts to be the most comfortable for me. I also preferred the over the belly maternity jeans and I like a biiiiiiig belly band that goes all the way over my belly. Also consider sizing up in regular clothes. Maternity clothes can be expensive and they don’t always work postpartum
This is also a great time to meal prep or create some meal plans that are quick and easy! The further along I got, the less energy I had, so this gives you a good head start for those lazy third trimester days or if you have a deep freezer, you can even make some meals to last you into the newborn days.
I would also recommend thinking about a belly support band! I don’t have recommendations for one personally, but the second trimester is when you’re likely to start feeling more aches and pains. I never needed one with my boys, but I would have loved one this time around. Just listen to your body and know that a lot of what you’re feeling as you grow are symptoms that may intensify, so invest in things that help alleviate those and keep you comfortable!
This is an important stage as you prepare for labor, and if you haven’t already, it is important that you talk to your OB doctor about the facility they deliver in. Some people don’t realize that birthing centers don’t all have the same amenities. If something is make or break for you (i.e. a birthing tub), you need to make sure your OB has access to that, and if not, you may need to change practices.
Now is the time that a lot of the focus is on the baby! Dreaming about what he/she will look like, folding tiny baby clothes, decorating a nursery. This part is so exciting!
Start thinking about the kind of birth you want, who you want in the room with you, the conditions you want in the labor room. If you haven’t already, you’ll want to schedule a tour of the hospital. Start taking recommendations and researching pediatricians. Understand the newborn procedures wherever you’re delivering and do research (from legit websites, or better even, talk to a doctor).
This is when the Bloomlife monitor really comes in handy, and like I said, I love watching my body prepare for labor. Tracking braxton-hicks and identifying patterns can help you feel more prepared and better informed.
Your hormones will be crazy and you will probably be feeling all the things. This is the best, most tiring, most exciting, most nerve-wracking, most frustrating, most sleepless part of pregnancy.
This is where I don’t have any “tips”, but just say to ride the rollercoaster. There are so many things happening and a lot of what is to come is out of your control. But you know what is happening with your body and your baby. Be patient at the end of pregnancy and know that babies can’t stay in forever. Don’t be overwhelmed by the discomforts, take it as a sign from your body to rest when you can.
What else do you guys want to know??! Obviously, I’m no expert, but this is just what I’ve learned through the course of my pregnancies. Every adventure is different, but I hope this gives you some ideas of what might be useful and what to expect!