Being pregnant (as a doula) has thus far been a completely different experience than it was for me six years ago (as a teacher). I'll often be sitting in bed thinking, wondering or complaining to myself and my answers this time around are SO different!
As I find myself a little over half way though this journey, I've realized there are some things I just can't live without. A few of these items were favorites during my pregnancy in 2010 but most come from me taking my own doula advice and experience and applying it to my life now.
Here's the first half of my Top 10 Pregnancy Must Have List:
1. Birth/Yoga ball
If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you might have seen my recent post about my love for the yoga ball. This should come as no surprise to any of my current or past clients. I almost always suggest swapping out a portion of your seated time at home or work for time on the ball. So when my lower back started to feel tight and achy, I made sure our ball was inflated well and asked my husband to drag my kitchen chair right out of the room, replacing with my ball. There's an instant difference in my posture and pelvis as soon as I sit down. Sitting on the ball can also help shorter women (like me) create some extra room for baby and open up space in the chest to decrease that feeling of your lungs being so squished!
I've always been a fan of naps. But this pregnancy has me seriously doubting my ability to function throughout the day without enough rest. So I've been taking it easy and sleeping when my body clearly calls for it. Sometimes that means cancelling plans to care for myself, and I've had to become more ok with that decision. Thankfully my 5 year old has been patient with me for the past 25 weeks and she will play, read books or just snuggle up with me when I need to recharge. I have to remind myself to be patient and that I'm growing a freaking person!
3. Yore Balm
Yore Balm by Yoreganics is a staple in our house all year round. But it has been a lifesaver during this pregnancy. When I started to feel the unmistakable stretch of the skin on my belly expanding I ran to find all the sticks in the house. In my opinion, this is the BEST way to help relieve any dry, itchy feelings that tend to happen naturally as my belly grows. I put some on pretty much daily, when I get dressed, after I shower or just if my skin is feeling dry. It is made of just seven simple organic ingredients and it provides instant relief. We also use this magic stuff for minor scrapes, eczema patches, chapped lips. Seriously, it's a cure all and the sticks last forever.
My midwives are simply phenomenal. My last pregnancy I had a care provider I only felt lukewarm about on a good day and the difference this time around is remarkable. I can not stress enough the importance of choosing a care provider that makes you feel comfortable and safe. Whether you opt for a midwife, an obstetrician or a family care provider be sure that you are giving your business to someone that listens to and respects you. And remember that it's ok to shop around and interview a few until you feel like you've found the right fit. It's also ok to switch providers at any point in your pregnancy if you don't feel like your vision for your birth and what your provider offers match up well.
5. Pregnancy/nursing tanks
I have already starting wearing some of my most comfortable nursing tank tops. I love that they are stretchy and cover my whole belly. I love that they are an extra layer in this wildly unpredictable New England spring weather, so they help me stay toasty or allow for me to shed other sweaters and shirts. And I love that they have built in bras, so it's really one less thing for me to talk myself into putting on when I have to leave the house. Simplicity.
There's the first half of my list. Check back next week for the remaining five!