Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Pregnancy Comfort/Fitness Must Haves

***I originally wrote this blog on January 19, 2019. I had my baby the first week of February 2019 and at the time of posting this blog, just celebrated his first birthday. Looking back through this list of items, it appears I created this list in the order in which I acquired each item in the form of a timeline. ***

I wanted to combine both my comfort and fitness must haves that I have really enjoyed during my active pregnancy.  I've had a few set backs during my final weeks of pregnancy that have forced me to slow down and take it easy - which has been where the comfort items have REALLY come in handy.  So without further ado, here is my list of must have items.

1. Water Bottle
I purchased a 1 gallon water bottle from Amazon early on in my pregnancy so I could keep track of my daily intake.  I ended up drinking 1.5-2 gallons daily.

2. Lemon Drops
These were a first trimester item that I used whenever I felt nauseated. Luckily for me, I didn't really experience any overwhelming nausea. I made sure to constantly be nibbling on something and drinking plenty of fluids throughout this period typically known for increased nausea.

3. Snoogle Pregnancy Pillow
I purchased one of these very early in my pregnancy and anticipated using it all throughout.  Unfortunately a few weeks into my third trimester I had to quit using this pillow and opt for an alternative for a good night's rest.

4. Jacket Extender
As my bump grew during the colder months, so did my need to bundle up.  I didn't want to buy a whole new jacket so instead I opted for an extender that I was able to attach to my favorite winter coat.

5. Backpack
I had to ditch my shoulder tote work bag and opt for a backpack.  This change up really made a huge difference in my coming and going to and from work.  As my body changed throughout my pregnancy, so did my ability to move as well as I did before.  Carrying all necessary items and my giant water bottle in a back pack made it less of a struggle when getting to work on time was of utmost importance.

6. Boppy Wedge
Mid-third trimester I had to upgrade from the Snoogle Pregnancy Pillow to the Boppy Wedge pillow.  This little pillow made a huge difference in alleviating aches and pains I was experiencing throughout the night.  Due to nerve compression in my left hand, sleeping with the Snoogle would cause numbness in my entire arm by morning.  The wedge pillow allows me to have freedom of my arm placement all while supporting my bump and back muscles for a good night of rest.  It also made it easier to get in and out of bed or to change sides as my bump grew larger and made movement much more difficult.

7. Exercise Ball
I use one to sit on while at work, in the shower, and for fitness activities.  I cannot praise the use of an exercise ball enough.  This thing helped me stretch out achy hips and sciatica pain, alleviated restless legs, and provided a place to rest while taking a shower where I do not have an area already for sitting. I also incorporated my exercise ball into my weekly circuit routines.  If there is one fitness item you plan on getting while pregnant, let it be an exercise ball.  You will not regret your decision.

8. Vaseline Intensive Care Cocoa Radiant Lotion
I went through several containers of lotion before I landed on using this one.  I have used the Palmer's Belly Lotion and Lubriderm Fragrance Free Body Lotions to apply to my skin as it stretches and becomes itchy.  My favorite for long lasting softness and anti-itch has been the Vaseline Intensive Care Cocoa Radiant Lotion.  I find that one application after showering in the morning to last all day. The other lotions I have used I had to reapply later in the day as I noticed the skin on my belly looking dry and my legs becoming itchy.

9. Travel Size Foam Roller
I bought one on Amazon that was a travel 2 in 1 combo.  I use the foam roller for rolling out my lower back, side of my hips, front of my hips, and upper back. One thing I have noticed during rolling is that is really gets my abdomen moving so if I am having a lot of gas pain, this has given me a lot of relief.  In addition to alleviating aches and pains I also found some foam roller exercises online that I was able to implement for some extra workout activities.

10. Pilates Ring
While the majority of the items I listed lean towards comfort items, I wanted to include the Pilates ring in this list as it was something I have been using quite frequently during my home circuit workouts with my husband.  My favorite way to use the Pilates ring was to incorporate it into leg squeezes to work my inner/outer thighs and glutes.  I suffer from third trimester sciatica so being able to maintain some level of fitness is really important to me for labor and delivery.

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