I get tons of questions about pregnancy and infertility, but this has been one I have been meaning to write a post about! I'm sharing what have been my must-have products to have a healthy, happy pregnancy. Clicking on any of the post titles below will take you to their website!
1. Chewable Ginger Tablets by The Ginger People
Let's just say again, I am beyond grateful I was able to get pregnant. That does not ignore the fact, the first trimester was brutal. Like, had to tell my boss I was pregnant when I was barely pregnant brutal. I never really got into it in detail, but I once got sick literally seconds before going on TV when I was out in the field, or being holed up in our green room telling people I was simply 'getting over something'....for six weeks straight. I literally lived off carbs (toast, crackers,), Sprite, and THESE. NOTE not everyone gets sick and has a healthy pregnancy! BUT if you are unlucky and do....The Ginger People chewable ginger tablets. I have no idea why it was comforting, but something about them just helped as I was chugging water and it helped me at least get to work most days. I still take them when I've had off/on nausea into my third trimester. They're cheap and on Amazon prime.
2. Blanqi Leggings
Oh Blanqi. How I love you. A little too much according to my husband, because lived in the maternity everyday leggings and tank, and now wear their postpartum version. There's not much to say about these except if you want a thicker legging that will keep everything held in, offer back support, and can be worn from the office to the gym, don't hesitate. Yes they're closer to LuLu prices, but totally worth it in my opinion. I've heard some people have issues with pilling so be sure to check you have the correct size and wash them according to instructions.
3. The Snoogle
Everyone warns you that 'you'll never sleep again'! once you have a baby. I had no clue sleep was such an issue while pregnancy. I struggled more than just with my body physically (and do recommend Unisom if you can't fall asleep!) but The Snoogle alone is so necessary. I have a friend who just texted me she finally caved and got one at 20 weeks and couldn't believe the difference. It helps give support to your back and hips by keeping your knees cushioned, and for normal back sleepers like me it also feels good to be slightly arched (I'll put another pillow behind me) so I can get as *close* as I can to back sleeping. *note* It's recommended you sleep on your left side (look it up!) so this can help make that easier if you're not used to that either. Yes it's ugly. Yes it takes up the whole bed. You (and your husband) will thank you.
4. The Expectant Father: The Ultimate Guide for Dads-to-Be
I couldn't forget the dads! (or partners not carrying the child!) Expecting moms probably have 15 apps downloaded on their phone, every pregnancy book on the planet, and often times dads have no clue what's going on.
During the first trimester I had two meltdowns with my husband, which now we laugh about. The most notable one was when I was very ill on the day of the Jimmy Buffet / Eagles concert. I paid $350 for my ticket and was debating if I could make it through the concert and had a complete MELTDOWN when John came in the room asking if I could help him move something. I started crying and said YOU DONT UNDERSTAND HOW THIS FEELS. We got this book as a gift shortly after and....we had no issues after LOL.
5. Calvin Klein Women's Perfectly Fit WireFree Lounge Bra
We're all adults here. Women's bodies change in pregnancy (and after). You will not want to wear the undergarments you owned before because your skin may (if you're me) itch like crazy. Plus, you want to take this time to feel as good as you can about yourself and your changing body. These have been my favorite! Buy them in a size up (or two...) than your normal pre-pregnancy size.
6. Compression Socks
These may not be necessary for everyone, but I have found them incredibly helpful. You have a LOT more blood flowing through your body in pregnancy, and if you're like me and in the car (or travel via plane) a lot, it's medically necessary to make sure you're moving more often as you're more prone to blood clots in pregnancy. I am linking the pair (cheap!) I bought on Amazon and I ended up buying two and love them. I pack them in my work bag for whenever I'm going to be in the car longer than an hour.
7. Maternity BellaBand Support Belt
A lot of people use belly bands for support for everyday wear. I didn't do that because I found they aren't as supportive as other products (again, Blanqi tank was my #1). BUT these are great for giving you some support or mostly, allowing you to extend the life of your regular pants or tops. I primarily only used these for my workouts. I was able to wear all my regular yoga pants and tops and just throw on one of these bands under. My belly stayed tucked in, and I could move without issues!
There is no link or explanation necessary. You will need a Costco size bottle. Now that my newborn has as much hair as a toddler, I am buying the theory more hair=more heartburn.
9. Massage Therapist
OK, I can't actually link to this one (I go to Function MN in SLP for both acupuncture and body work). But I cannot stress how much massage saved me. I started having back issues around 20 weeks, and by 24 weeks I couldn't sleep through the night and was getting sick again. Getting a massage by someone who knows what they're doing can do WONDERS. I know, you're trying to save money for a kid. But pregnancy is the most dramatic, challenging thing your body will ever go through and now is not the time to skimp on you and your health. Do your research and see if a friend can recommend someone near you! Go at least once a month at the very least, once a week or every two weeks if you can. Also loved my experience with accupressure massage (go to someone trained!)
10. Bella B Foaming Face Wash
Something else I didn't consider was how I would need to change my skin care routine. You can't use certain ingredients found in most popular face and body washes (namely beta hydroxy acid, salicyclic acid, and retinoids but talk to your doctor). I was so lucky that my skin improved in pregnancy (boy mom?) but I used this product since day one. It's nice for me because I tend to have drier skin, so if you have oily you may want to look for something else. But this is cheap, works well, and organic.
SO there you have it! There were a few common pregnancy things I didn't mention on this list, like pure vitamin E oil (because you can use any brand) or a good pair of maternity jeans (I tried a couple and preferred Rockstar jeans from Old Navy, super affordable). I know, I didn't include belly butter. Why? Because honestly all the research points to it doesn't do anything to prevent stretch marks (I know, boo) so I didn't feel it's a necessity. BUT always good to stay hydrated! FWIW, I used belly butter 1/3 ofthetime when I remembered and have no stretch marks.
What is on your must have list!?
I'm continuing to share stories about Rainbow Babies as we approach National Rainbow Baby Day on August 22. The goal continues to be to inspire the 1 in 4 (miscarriage) or 1 in 8 (infertility) to find hope. Here is Stephanie's story.
After my miscarriage in June 2015, I felt so alone and utterly hopeless, despite being surrounded by an amazingly supportive group of friends and family. Their body hadn’t just failed as mine had. My husband and I had been going through infertility and our pregnancy was such amazing news....until it wasn’t. We got pregnant one year later (almost to the day!) and our rainbow baby was born on January 13, 2017. While I loved being pregnant, it was also very stressful after having a loss. I don’t think I ever stopped worrying that something was going to go wrong. Now we are pregnant with baby number 2! Again, I find myself obsessing over numbers and statistics, requesting extra blood draws and early ultrasounds to prove this baby will be healthy. Being a mom is worth every single worry. I hope you help spread the message to other women out there that they are not alone. It’s okay to hurt and grieve. It may take you a long time to feel like yourself again. Those dark days are awful and ugly. They’re hard. You don’t have to do it alone though. You don’t have to hide your pain.
Wishing all mommas out there trying to conceive all the best!!
In honor of #NationalRainbowBabyDay on the 22nd, I'm going to be sharing a few stories of my followers who have had the heartbreak and then joy of having a rainbow baby. I didn't plan on getting into advocacy for infertility and loss, but over the last year I have learned that sharing hard things helps other people going through hard things so here we are.
I asked on my Instagram what viewers would be curious to know. And since I’m not a beauty blogger I’m choosing this topic over a brow tutorial :)
Here’s the question: I’m interested in your work schedule. How do you do it all? Do you work 40 or weeks? Plus you do events and radio. How do you manage it all?
So, let me preface this by saying everyone's version of busy is their own. I’ve written before about how I took out the word “busy” from my vocabulary four or five years ago. I found it was a crutch to “how are you doing” and it’s such a boring response! And when I think about it, if I’m managing my life well, I’m not too busy at all.
My “real” job takes up Tuesday-Saturday. Although fun yes, I’m never really off the clock and this is the challenge of news today. However I’m physically at work five days a week. I would say I rarely work 40 hour weeks. I am in early to wrap my head around news overnight, and I’m often late doing a live shot. On days that I work, My lunch is eaten in a car, and my dinners are often eaten alone. I get set out of town often, overnight not so often. And those overnight trips ARE exhausting.
So that’s my “normal” job. In addition to my day to day work, I would say I do a couple of events a month. Hosting, singing, speaking---this stuff doesn’t feel like work to me. It’s some of my favorite extra “work” I get to do. Growing up I wanted to be a singer or talk show host/comedian, so these things are probably where I get the closest to that. One month it might be several formal charity events, another speaking at a school about journalism. I spend Monday’s each week going over scripts, shopping for clothes, and prepping for anything else on my calendar for the week.
Radio is another fun extra thing. Dave and Steve are friends so who would turn down talking with your friends for five hours? Plus I am usually only in when Falen is off and girl works hard so it’s not something that takes up my time. When I do go in, my day starts at 430, I’m on the radio at 6, off the air by 10, and at my news meeting at 1030. I literally wear ASICS to jog from my car to my desk downtown to make it! I’m out the door at CCO At 7 pm and home by 730. I still try to listen to the podcast on my drive home from work so I know what's going on in pop culture and on the show, too.
Which brings me to my last point. Oftentimes when I feel the need to say I’m “busy”, I know I’ve gone too far for ME. Choosing to do events, charity, meet with students, radio, that’s all on me because I love doing it. But YES I have times where I realize I took on too much, and you’ll see it in social media when I start backing off events. Or if I have a really crazy month, I’ll decline most plans (including friends, family, even John) so I can have a Monday to just lay low. Each Monday (John and I spend Sunday together) is pretty chill so I can sleep, go to yoga, get a massage, meet a friend, and recharge. For me, it's six days on and one day off that works.
Also worth noting that on Sundays I reserve that time for Church, family and friends! Every Sunday night John and I have dinner together and talk about what my week looks like, who’s doing what, and if we have any commitments with friends. It sounds very structured but I’m so used to it it just works for us. He does most of our cleaning, shopping, errands, laundry...he’s a saint. I don't ask him to do that, he just sort of picks up the slack for me so I have more time outside of home. It's worth noting he has his 'busy' seasons in the financial world, but for the most part his schedule is consistent.
The key takeaway here is that I realize it may seem like I’m really busy, but I DO make time to just sit around and do nothing (or my version of nothing). I just don't post about sleeping! Despite whatever is going on, I'm known for being VERY diligent about sleep to feel my best, even if that means leaving a friend's house early to be in bed to get 7 hours. John and I also have a rule that we generally don't use our phones if we have a date night (once or twice a month) so often you don't see those meals. That is my gift to John to really unplug when we, unplug. Also...it’s worth noting through our infertility journey I was told much of my issues were tied to stress so I was doing too much for a long time.I was always kind of that way. Taking on too much isn't what I aspire to now.
Finally, *we don’t have kids*. BIG DIFFERENCE. I wouldn’t want my life to change but I’ve heard everyone is different. I know I’ll never be someone who can sit still, but I think it’s worth noting it’s easier for someone without kids to juggle more.
Thanks for the question!
One of my favorite discussions around the holidays is why I, or anyone, would be a journalist. The conversation usually comes up in the context of leaving a dinner party early to get up for an early 2 am shift. Or having to plan a family get together three weeks out because I need time to prep/attend for four charity events. Or hey, snow is in the forecast and I might be sent out of town on a day's notice.
Whew! That was a busy week. I'm writing this at 7:30 a.m. on my day off and it feels like I overslept.
This week I hosted The Runway Show for Excelsior's "fashion week". Since it's my hometown, it's been so fun seeing the number of stores that have popped up there and thrived over the years. The event sold out & the proceeds went to the Open Hands Foundation. They work to meet the needs of vulnerable people in the Southwest Metro--currently partnering with Bridge for youth to provide shelter for homeless youth. The funds raised will go to that project.
It was a blast and we raised a lot of money for a great cause!
One of the fun parts of this event was that John was recruited to model for one of the stores., J. Novachis. I'm pretty sure I was more excited about this than him in the beginning but he's all for supporting a good cause so he was a good sport.....after the show I definitely heard him asking to see photos of him walking so hopefully his ego is still in check. No requests for an Evian yet ;)
Hopefully if you live in Minnesota you've taken a trip to Excelsior, but if you haven't truly checked out what the shopping scene has to offer you need to go. It's changed a lot since the days of just nautical knick-knacks (yes, those are there too). There are a lot of local fashions that are adorable for summer or to rock year round. I have another event there on July 4th so I know I'll be looking for something to wear asap!
Want to thank Connie again with Ooh La La & The Glow Lounge. Also thanks to Pique Travel for the beautiful space! Thanks to everyone who came to shop local and support The Open Hands Foundation. I'll definitely come back next year!
Fast-forward to the weekend. It was crazy in the cities with Twin Cities Pride AND The Uptown Food Truck Festival falling on the same weekend!
Core Power Yoga was kind enough to invite me to host a free outdoor yoga class to kick off the food truck festival! Seeing hundreds of yogis getting zen in the middle of a busy event outside was pretty cool. We got to sweat, tan, then eat! If you haven't done the Food Truck Festival before, go next year! Even if you can stand to refrain from overindulging, the people watching is great.
We live in an awesome city.
It's always fun when my music background weaves its way into my everyday work life! I stopped by the IHeartMedia studio to join the Dave Ryan Show team on Thursday. Of course we had to do some karaoke! I'm pretty proud of how many lyrics I remembered...even if I used my "karaoke" voice over my real one...
Thanks to Dave and Steve for having me back while Falen was on vacation! 4/18 podcast features celebrity singing impressions and a story about my husband's crippling fear of flying. 4/19 podcast features our Newlywed game! Thanks for tuning in!