Things I love: Pregnancy Edition

Hello second trimester! Since I announced my pregnancy back on Halloween, I’ve received so many sweet messages from old friends and new, sharing their story with me. I’ve heard stories of struggle and loss, but also stories of hope and happiness. I’ve even learned of several newly pregnant friends who are excited to venture this journey together. Whatever your story, it’s beautiful and unique, and makes you who you are. I know my personal struggle has shown me what dark days can look like. It’s also shown me how breathtakingly beautiful the sunrise is on the other side.

2nd trimester2
14 week (+1 day) bump pic

If you read my previous post about how I was feeling during my first trimester then you know that I was nauseous… a lot. Due to this, I survived on bagels, pretzels, and fruit, carbs galore. I also made my coco-nut date balls occasionally, as a convenient and delicious snack between meals. I drank a lot of San Pellegrino Sparkling Natural Mineral water (the plain one in the green glass bottle), because the carbonation helped to settle my stomach a bit.

During my first trimester, as I always have, I really enjoyed roasted vegetables, especially if they were smothered with minced garlic. My go-to vegetables to roast were cauliflower and sweet potatoes. I just love the delicate flavor of cauliflower, drizzled with olive oil, minced garlic, and sprinkled with a generous pinch of sea salt, roasted to perfection until a crunchy golden edge appears on each floret. I enjoyed the roasted sweet potatoes more than usual, possibly due to the exorbitant amount of ketchup I used when eating them, a condiment I rarely use at home. I also enjoyed sweet potatoes in a grain bowl like the one below, simple, colorful, nutritious, and delicious.

Roasted tomato and sweet potato with peas over brown rice topped with a scoop of cilantro cashew butter.

The first few months of pregnancy can often put you in survival mode. Just a few more weeks, I would tell myself, because the glorious second trimester is when women often start to feel like themselves again. Even during the days when I was feeling blah (yup, that adequately describes it), I would remind myself to be thankful. I was so thankful for that feeling because it meant things were happening, good things. No matter how crappy I felt, I knew there was a woman out there that would trade anything to be in my position, with a healthy growing baby inside her belly.

There were a few items that I used time and time again over the past few months, and continue to use regularly. Things I highly recommend you have at home while surviving thriving in the mysterious first trimester include:

body pillow

A Body Pillow I’ll be honest, I wanted to buy one of those huge fancy pregnancy pillows but decided that 1. they were expensive and 2. we have no storage for it after I have this baby, thank you apartment life. Instead, I opted for a body pillow and I love it. Before I bought this pillow, I would use a regular pillow and just put it between my legs to help align my hips while I was sleeping, since I’m typically a side-sleeper. A regular pillow is not long enough to support, not only my legs, but also my feet and top arm. Since it’s recommended that pregnant women sleep on their side starting at 20 weeks, I realize that a pillow is crucial for hip, and eventually, belly support throughout the entire second half of pregnancy. It could also be helpful to have behind you if you tend to roll onto your back when sleeping, as it will help prevent this by acting like a wedge between you and the bed. Find a similar pillow herefor all you Amazon junkies.


Crane Cool-Mist Humidifier This humidifier is not only adorable (we have Lily the Ladybug), but its also super high quality, easy to clean, and very effective. Why do you need a humidifier? Humidifiers help to keep the air moist which makes breathing easier, especially if you have congestion, runny nose, cough, cold or flu. We lose moisture through our skin so a humidifier can help to keep skin smooth and reduce dryness. Moist air is also really important for newborns, as they breathe out of their nose when they sleep and eat. While I typically put the humidifier in Laurel’s room at the first sign of a stuffy nose, I had it right next to me in bed during my first trimester. With this and the sinus rinse I mention below, my congestion cleared up in record time.

Neil Med

NeilMed Sinus Rinse When I say that this simple little device has saved my life, I mean it. It’s actually saved me on many occasions, including during my pregnancy with Laurel. I’m not sure if it’s just the time of year that I get pregnant or if it’s the pregnancy itself, but I tend to get very congested in the first trimester. I end up having to breathe out of my mouth at night and then feel sinus pressure during the day. If you suffer from frequent sinus infections and are looking for a natural alternative to treat them, get this rinse and get it now. I’ve avoided antibiotics on multiple occasions being diligent with this product. At the first sign of a sinus infection, I start using it every morning and my symptoms eventually go away. Magic.

A Pea In The Pod Splendid Maternity Leggings My dad actually gave these to me as a gift when I was pregnant with Laurel. He’s the type of guy to walk into a store and ask the salesperson for the most popular outfit so he can buy it and leave as soon as possible. I’m glad he’s that way because these leggings are a dream! I’ve already started wearing them again this pregnancy, so they more than pay for themselves over time. I actually just ordered them in the charcoal color because you can’t have too many pairs of leggings, right?! For exercise during pregnancy, I only wear Lululemon Align crops or pants. While not technically “maternity” pants, they feel like butter on your skin and don’t squeeze at the waist. Come to think of it, I love them pregnant or not!

Earth Mama Organics Belly Butter and Belly Oil Some say that stretch marks are genetic, some say that they’re due to lack of hydration, some say they can be prevented while others say they cannot. I’m not sure what the right answer is, but what I do know is that there are little things you can do that might help prevent them. One of those little things include rubbing Earth Mama Organics Belly Butter and Belly oil all over your growing belly. Not only does this lotion and oil feel so smooth going onto my skin, but they smell delicious, and I know they’re completely natural and safe for me and my babe. As your belly grows bigger and skin starts to stretch, your belly could have the tendency to itch. Enter belly oil. This hydrating and moisturizing oil calms itchy skin. I find myself rubbing these on my chest and arms as well because they’re just so yummy. I love and trust these products and look forward to sharing more from this brand with you.


Things I Love

Welcome to my very first “Things I Love” post! These are where I’ll share various products, foods, etc I’m loving lately. These items might be baby-related, food-related, pregnancy-related, beauty-related, who knows. Although I’ve linked to the item and I do benefit if you click and purchase it, all of these items are truly things that I use, love, and recommend. I plan to do these posts often, so let me know if you use and love something that I should try.

earth mama organics diaper balm cloth diaper friendly

Earth Mama Organic Diaper Balm. Get it. Love it. Not only does this diaper balm smell wonderful with hints of lavender and melaleuca, it’s made with organic ingredients including calendula, and it’s cloth diaper friendly- hooray! I have absolutely no qualms about rubbing this on Laurel’s delicate skin. I love this product and I love this company. They truly care about the health and safety of moms and babies.

whey protein grass fed non gmo powder unflavored

Reserveage Grass-Fed Whey Protein Powder, Unflavored. As a dietitian, I’m often asked what protein powder I use, seeing as it’s one of the most commonly consumed supplements out there. Because there are so many on the market, fear, confusion, and suspicion surround this supplement. I advise people to make sure you find one without a bunch of added “junk,” such as sugar, caffeine, and/or artificial sweeteners. I love this specific protein powder because it’s 1. grass-fed and 2. tasteless (or at least damn close). This is one of the few protein powders I’ve tried that didn’t actually taste like protein powder. The beauty of this unflavored option is that you can add it to anything for a quick protein boost.

prenatal vitamin vegetarian gluten free multivitamin probiotics

Rainbow Light Prenatal Vitamin. This is the prenatal vitamin I took before, during, and after (still currently taking) my pregnancy. This prenatal vitamin stands out from many other “natural” options I looked at for a few reasons. First, I loved that it was only one pill daily. I will admit that the pill is fairly large, but that wasn’t an issue for me. Secondly, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant women get 27 mg of iron daily and this vitamin provides that (while many other natural options are lacking). Finally, this prenatal vitamin is vegetarian, gluten-free, and contains no artificial preservatives, colors, or sweeteners.

self tanner natural organic earth sunless

Beauty by Earth Sunless Self Tanner. My search for a natural sunless tanner started recently when Ryan, Laurel, and I were heading to Florida for vacation. I was still breastfeeding at the time and, since I had sworn off tanning beds a long time ago, I wanted to find a self tanner. My skin is naturally fair and I knew I was going to be in a bathing suit quite a bit (with loads of sunscreen on) so needless to say, I needed a tan beforehand! I found this, made with organic ingredients including shea butter and witch hazel, and I haven’t looked back. I’ve used it a few times now and it continues to impress me. I feel confident using it knowing the ingredients are safer than your average tanning lotion but, the best part is that it actually works!

foogo thermos straw cup bottle insulated stainless steel

Thermos Foogo Insulated Stainless Steel 10-oz Straw Bottle. I offered Laurel her first straw cup with water at 6 months old and she was able to use it within minutes. I tell people to just offer a straw to your child and you might be surprised at how quickly they teach themselves how to use it. Remember that babies under one year should only drink breastmilk, formula, or water. This is now the cup that I keep in my stroller, as it’s leak-proof and insulated, it’s stainless steel since I try to avoid plastic when I can, it’s dishwasher safe, and they offer different spouts so the cup can “grow” with your child. Winner!

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