My Maternity Favorites

I had my 33 week midwife appointment today, and it hit me that it's a very real possibility that in a little more than a month, I could be holding Baby Girl Adams (Jude was born at 37.5 weeks, and apparently it's pretty common to go the same number of weeks --or less!-- with subsequent births). Bah!

That got me thinking about the all the stuff I've been using a lot this pregnancy, so I thought I'd take some time away from my busy napping and Hulu watching schedule to share those with you:

Click on the item above to be taken to its webpage. Read on for my thoughts on why these have become pregnancy essentials for me this go around:

1. Stretch mark prevention oil // Earth Mama Natural Stretch Oil: I got stretch marks on my belly last pregnancy. Luckily they have since faded, thanks in part to Mederma Stretch Marks Therapy lotion, but this time around I am determined to prevent them in the first place. So far, so good. I use this oil after every shower.
2. Belly butter // Urban Skintrition Stretch Mark Cream: See above. Sometimes I prefer a lotion to an oil and on days when I feel my skin is extra tight, I use this with the oil. The smell of this stuff is divine!
3. Stress reliving pulse point oil // Aveda Blue Oil Balancing Concentrate: Dehydration headaches, foul odor induced nausea, general muscle tention... this powerful little vile of oil takes care of it all and fits easily into Jude's diaper bag.
4. Aerosol dry shampoo // Redkin Powder Refresh 01: Because I often choose to nap or sleep in instead of shower, my hair can get pretty slick looking at the roots. A quick spray of this stuff with a brush through, and the oily hair look goes goodbye.
5. Skin brightening face moisturizer // Clinique Turnaround Overnight Radiance Moisturizer: My skin was looking a little dull, but after using this moisturizer every night for a month, my face looks brighter and more refreshed. It says it's for dry skin, but I have oily skin and it works just fine for me.
6. iPhone App // Baby Bump Pro: So worth the $3.99. You can add your photo every week, get baby name meanings, jot down notes, and keep track of your weight. You can even use the community feature to connect with other momma's to be. Plus daily and weekly updates helps you plan and know exactly where baby is in her development.
7. Stretchy leather belt // Fossil Braid Stretch Belt: Belt baggy dresses and tops to give your shape a little more definition or use a stretchy belt to hold up a maxi skirt you've decided to wear as a dress. A leather belt with a stretchy back is a little more comfortable when you go from standing to sitting, plus it grows with you and your own growing midsection.
8. Comfortable, slip-on shoes // Bearpaw Bailee Loafers: There will come a day when you can no longer bend over to tie shoelaces or buckle straps. When that day comes, you'll need some comfortable slip-on shoes. I like these because the lining keeps my feet feeling cozy no matter if I'm outside in the heat or inside with the airconditioning blasting.
9. Red raspberry leaf tea // Bulk Herb Store Cut Organic Raspberry Leaves: This is the number one herb recommended for women in their second and third trimester, and it just so happens to make a delicious iced tea. I drink eight cups per day! Overkill? Probably, but I just can't get past the list of benefits!
10. A killer maxi dress // Liz Lange Braided Maxi Dress: Every pregnant woman needs a maxi dress that makes her feel like a million bucks. I recently found this one at Target, and I love it. It somehow makes me look small everywhere except for my belly (which is a good thing). It's comfortable and its length allows to me to skip a few days of leg shaving. Plus, it transitions easily from day to night, and since it has a tie back, I may be able to don it post-pregnancy, too.
11. Belly band // Be Maternity BeBand: I use my BeBand to smooth out the unbuttoned area of my non-maternity jeans that I'm still trying to squeeze in to. It also works really well under my favorite maternity tank tops, to give the baby bump a "baby bump" shape vs. a big lunch shape. Also, I really hate it when I can see my belly button shape through my clothes, so this works really well to smooth that area out.
12. (For Chris) Bradley birth method book // Husband Coached Childbirth: We did a Bradley Birth course with Bridget Brown last pregnancy, and Chris and I both maintain it was the single most helpful thing we did to prepare for my birth. Did you know that the Bradley method says husbands should massage their pregnant wives every night? Oh, gosh, for that reason and many, many more, it's been wonderful!
13. (For us both) Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way: We did a Bradley refresher course with Bridget this time around, but this book contains nearly everything we learned in class, including birth positions and prenatal exercises.
14. The essential reference book // What to Expect When You're Expecting: My copy has been thumbed through millions of times. It sits right beside my bed because I refer to it almost daily.

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