Self-Care Tips throughout Pregnancy

Self-Care Tips throughout Pregnancy

Looking after yourself once falling pregnant is super important! Your body goes through some amazing changes but woah is it a rollercoaster…from beautiful, luscious hair to nausea (feeling sick from the smell of your own perfume)…it REALLY is HARD work.

Here, are a few tips that could help your journey to motherhood, be a smoother one.

 

Getting Mentally Ready

Antenatal Classes

Having a baby takes two, so I was adamant that my husband attended the essentials antenatal NCT classes with me. We specially chose a couples class and it was a great way to meet new parents-to-be and 5 years on, we still keep in touch. The course prepared you for labour, the different birthing plans that you could have and it was a great place to ask questions freely without judgement.

https://www.nct.org.uk/courses-workshops/nct-essentials-antenatal-course

Reading

I was fortunate to be given The New Contented Little Baby Book, by Gina Ford, by a friend and so when I was expecting my first, I would do a little bedtime reading. I know Gina Ford stirs up mixed emotions about the way she suggests routines etc, but I simply adjusted routines to fit my babies. Put it this way, both my babies were sleeping 12 hours straight by 7 months old, so a happy mama meant a happy household!

It’s fantastic to have some guidelines and I would regularly refer to the book about anything for reassurance. This book made motherhood an easy and enjoyable experience. She is so right, if baby is well fed, nappy changed, regular sleep time and cuddles/kisses, you end up with one happy baby!!

Wearing the right clothes

I can seriously write a completely separate blog on maternity clothing, but have decided on the things that I could not live without.

Maternity/Nursing Bras

I am all for making the most of your purchases and these maternity/nursing bras are amazing. Not only can you wear them during pregnancy, they double up as breastfeeding bras too. These are soft and come with padding so you have a choice to have it or not. The straps are wider than normal, which I liked and the back is designed for great support let alone being able to nurse in them. The material stretched for when my milk came in- making them super comfortable.

 

Maternity Leggings

These over-the-bump leggings were a must for both my pregnancies. They are super comfy and made of a thick material, so, you no need to worry about them being see-through. They are great for lounging around in but look fab with a pair of heels and a blouse.

 

Dealing with nausea

Sea Bands

Urggghhh! one of THE side effects of being pregnant, I definitely did NOT enjoy! I suffered with nausea and sickness with both my children. Apart from not eating (ha…not an option), you are seriously restricted. My husband is a doctor, and I remember him mention Sea bands to me and how they may help…I had no idea what they were, but was ready to give anything a try.

He bought me these ones and they definitely helped me. I would pop them on as soon as I woke up and removed them before bed. I noticed that the sickly feeling I would normally have in the day had gone, so I was able to go and do my job (teacher) with ease. They are comfortable to wear and easily hide under a long sleeve top. Best of all, it’s a drug-free solution, which no further side effects-yay!

 

Ginger Biscuits

Ginger is a plant and is well known as a spice and flavouring. It is also used in many cultures as a traditional remedy for many ailments, including reducing nausea and vomiting in some pregnant women. I don’t know if eating ginger biscuits helped me, but they definitely made for a handy snack, when I got hungry in the middle of the night.

 

Eating better

This one goes without saying, although not technically true…you are eating for two…means a better balanced diet is important for both you and little bub. But lets face it, there will be days when you just crave chocolate or cake or anything that YOU know you shouldn’t be having. To have some guilt-free pleasure I always made sure I took additional vitamin supplements.

I personally liked these ones, as they were easy to take and didn’t leave me feeling bloaty as did other brands.

 

To further support my immune system, especially as my second was a spring baby, and being pregnant over the winter was no fun, I took folic acid supplements too. Not only does it support your immune system, it’s great for your general wellbeing too.

 

Sleeping better

As you progress through your pregnancy, it gets increasingly difficult to get a good nights sleep. I saw so many pillows that are specific for sleeping but I decided to use a normal pillow to rest my bump on and that worked fine for me. I also bought this maternity pillow whilst pregnant. This worked great a sturdy back rest/to prop my feet up when they swelled up.

 

After my babies were born, I used IT over several stages of their growth.

  • ✅ SUCCESSFUL BREAST FEEDING: It helps the mother during breastfeeding.
  • ✅ RIGHT POSITIONING DURING THE FEED : Supports the newborn in the correct position. So baby can attach properly to your breasts. In this way it reduces tension and pain near the nipples.
  • ✅ RELAX AFTER THE FEED : In the first few months of life, the pillow helps the baby to stay in the correct position even after feeding. This can avoid the risk of regurgitation and facilitate digestion.
  • ✅ LEARN TO CRAWL AND SIT : In the first 6 months, the newborn develops and strengthens the muscles of the back and neck. It will also help to keep the baby’s balance while sitting. 
  • ✅ 100% COTTON REMOVABLE AND WASHABLE PILLOWCASE : The pillowcase is 100% cotton, completely removable and machine washable 30°. 

Managing skin care

Dry Skin

With both my pregnancies, I got random days of itchy, dry skin. I found that this cocoa butter cream was fantastic at soothing it. I loved the fact that it wasn’t oily, so it seeped into your skin, leaving it silky smooth. Oh, and it smells yummy!

 

  • Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula is a rich & luxurious daily body lotion which locks in moisture & provides deep hydration.
  • For normal to dry to extra dry skin. This emollient rich lotion effectively softens and relieves, leaving skin smooth, supple and beautifully nourished.
  • This velvety soft formula absorbs quickly, creating a protective barrier that locks in moisture.
  • Dermatologist recommended

Stretch Marks

Some women are more prone to getting stretch marks than others. Mine were not bad but put it this way, I was not about to put on a bikini any time soon! If you are looking for a natural herbal remedy to get rid of stretch marks, then have a look at my blog post here.

I hope you have found this post useful. I would love to hear your thoughts on it- why not drop me a comment.

DIY Herb-Infused Stretch Mark Cream

DIY Herb-Infused Stretch Mark Cream

Guest Post By Alicia at Live Joyfully Inspired

Stretch Marks happen for a variety of reasons with pregnancy being at the top of the list. The reality is these skin scars can appear at any time. A few examples are during pregnancy, with a great weight gain, and during growth spurts in children.

If you suffer from these physical blemishes, there is something you can do about it. This all-natural DIY cream is easy to make and can help minimize the appearance of the indented stretch mark streaks.

DIY HERB-INFUSED STRETCH MARK CREAM

Stretch mark treatment can vary with the only real cure being surgical removal. For most of us, this isn’t an option either because we can’t afford it or just don’t want to.

Fortunately, there are home remedies that can help fade out the grooves, indentations, or fine lines that show up unexpectedly on our skin. This DIY herb-infused cream is one of them. It’s a topical stretch mark cream made with nourishing ingredients that are easy to find.

Further, this lightweight cream soaks in the skin quickly. Not to mention, this all-natural formula has been created while keeping in mind breastfeeding moms.

What are stretch marks exactly?

Typically, stretch marks appear when the skin has been stretched too quickly such as in the cases of pregnancy, weight gain, or growth spurts affecting boys, girls, men, and women. Essentially, the skin’s collagen (protein in connective tissue) production gets disrupted by overstretching causing scars.

When the skin is stretched beyond its limits, it creates grooves, indents, and ugly marks. These lines come from the excessive “stretching” and rupture of the elastic fibers.

In the case of pregnancy, most moms will tell you they wouldn’t trade the stretch marks for anything in the world because it meant their precious one was growing. That being said, stretch marks can affect your confidence.

Being a mom of two, my stretch marks are small and happen to be white and minor but if there’s a way to naturally get rid of them, you bet I’m going to try. So, I made this cream to try and combat the flawed skin and while it’s only been a few weeks, there has been some definite improvement in the overall appearance.

The Goodness Inside

This formula contains three amazing herbs, each with their own advantageous benefits, as well as Grapeseed oil, Shea butter, cocoa butter, and beeswax.

The first herb you’ll find is Calendula. Calendula is known to aid in the healing of wounds as well as improve the appearance of skin. It’s considered an anti-inflammatory and anti-viral.

Next, we have Lavender. This has to be one of my most favorite herbs to use for every day. Lavender is a natural purifier and has the ability to minimize scars and improve skin condition. It’s been used for acne, fight wrinkles, and it’s an anti-inflammatory.

The third powerful herb in this stretch mark cream is Rosemary. Rosemary is a natural disinfectant, it promotes circulation of the skin, and provides moisture. It’s an excellent herb for rejuvenation and contains high antioxidants.

I chose grapeseed oil as the carrier oil in the recipe for several reasons. This potent oil is absorbed quickly into the skin. It has many vitamin-rich benefits with Vitamin E being one of them. Vitamin E has fantastic anti-aging properties. In addition, Grapeseed oil contains Omega-6 fatty acid as well as helpful antioxidants.

Shea Butter and Cocoa Butter are both incredibly emollient with Shea butter containing Vitamins A, E, and F as well as providing UV protection. Shea butter has essential fatty acids and nutrients necessary for collagen production.

Cocoa butter is one of the amazing ingredients that smells so yummy, you kinda want to eat it. It has been used in stretch mark treatments for years with for good reason. Cocoa Butter is actually an edible vegetable fat extracted from the cocoa bean (If you plan to ingest this product, I recommend buying it from a reputable source).

What makes it an exceptional skin remedy is the high amount of fatty acids, which like Shea butter, help with collagen production. And when we are trying to minimize the appearance of stretch marks, we definitely want that cell turnover!

Moreover, cocoa butter can help smooth wrinkles, scars and other marks.

Last but not least, we have beeswax. Beeswax is a natural anti-bacterial product produced by honey bees. It helps to thicken this cream as well as seal in moisture. It creates a barrier locking in the goodness from our herb-infused oil while still allowing the skin to breathe.

A Few Notes

There are a few things I’d like to mention regarding this stretch mark cream. The ingredients chosen have been researched as being safe and effective for nursing mothers but I am not a doctor nor aromatherapist so please consult your doctor for a professional opinion.

If you prefer a vegan alternative to beeswax, I recommend Candellila wax at about half the amount.

That being said, I formulated this cream to be quickly absorbed and very lightweight. Should you desire a thicker cream, just increase the amount of wax. I would start with 1/2 teaspoon at a time.

If you don’t have Shea butter, Mango butter would make an excellent substitute as it has many incredible benefits too!

Make sure the container you choose is ceramic or plastic and the one you want to keep the cream in as it can be difficult to transfer to another container.

Let’s Make Some Stretch Mark Cream

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup Infused-Grapeseed Oil (Calendula, Lavender, Rosemary)
  • 1/4 cup Cocoa Butter
  • 1/8 cup Beeswax
  • 2 Tbsp Shea Butter

Directions

  1. Infuse herbs into Grapeseed oil. (If you don’t know how to do this, please check out this article from The Herbal Academy.)
  2. Add all ingredients to a double boiler on low heat and allow to melt completely stirring with wooden stick or skewer as necessary.
  3. Carefully pour into your chosen container and allow to harden. Use caution as the liquid does get hot. Apply once or twice daily.

DIY HERB-INFUSED STRETCH MARK CREAM

That’s all there is to it. A simple herbal remedy for those unwanted blemishes that appear without warning on our skin. I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, please let me know if you have any questions.

I’d like to say thanks once again to my gracious host for the opportunity to guest post on her blog. Thank you Justonemommysview.

Have a blessed day