comfort + pregnancy tips

Saturday was slow and relaxing, just what I needed after last week.  I had been fighting through nights of being constantly woken up with horrible charley horses in my legs and feet, and a bit of anxiety from the loss of sleep.  I saw my doctor at the end of last week and had a good long talk with her.  She suggested taking magnesium, specifically Slow-Mag for the leg pain.  I could tell right away that it was helping so much.  But now i'm starting to realize just how tired I am, so I'm trying to be careful and recover.

Comfort is something i'm always on the search for.  We've had so much discomfort over the last bunch of years, that whenever there's a tiny chance to create a little refuge, I try to take advantage of it.  The majority of this pregnancy has provided a rest for my body, but as everyone hears, there are plenty of naturally uncomfortable parts of these nine months.  These are some of the things i've found that have helped so much.

After going through my maternity clothes from my last pregnancy, I decided a lot has changed in a decade - no thank you cargo capris! I made a choice not to go nuts buying a bunch of maternity clothes - only the basics.  It started with a Gap order pretty early on, and some disappointing demi-band jeans.  I placed another Old Navy order and bought a pair of these fantastic straight leg full-panel jeans.  They sold out of the exact ones I ordered that were on sale, and I tried ordering the darker wash, but they weren't the same and ended up getting sent back.  I also ordered a pair of full-panel ankle length pants with ankle zips.  Both pairs have been worn all throughout the pregnancy, but the jeans are definitely a favorite.

Another great discovery was Topshop maternity.  I was skeptical about how comfortable their maternity line would be and how well it'd fit, so I only ordered two items and was ready to send them back if I had to.  I splurged on these chinos since not every day is a hip-hugging, straight leg pants kind of day during pregnancy (in fact, most days are a "can I stay in stretchy pants?" kind of day).  I LOVE them.  I didn't discover until a couple weeks in that they have an adjustable waist, which definitely helps them not to sag.  I only wish they weren't capri length now that the weather is getting colder.  The other item I ordered was a pair of Ponte Leggings that were on sale, and although i'm constantly hiking them up (some belly panels are just much too long, even for my torso), they're nice and thick and i'm glad I ordered them.  For the sizing, I just used their sizing chart and didn't have a problem.

For tops, i've had a bit of a problem finding things I like, or things that don't just annoy me through the day.  I have been able to fit into most of my roomier button down shirts and almost all of my hand-knit sweaters, so that's what i've been sticking to.  I'll often use an Ingrid and Isabel Bellaband that my friend was kind to loan to me when I do wear non-maternity tops.  I'll even wear it with maternity jeans, to add some length and hide those jean panels.  I would love to find some comfortable long-sleeve shirts to either wear under sweaters, or alone.  So far I just steal Doug's Gap Essential Long-Sleeve tees from his side of the closet.  Now that it's cooler, I haven't gotten as much use out of my short sleeve tops, but this non-maternity short-sleeve sweatshirt was a lifesaver while it was still warm out - super comfortable and nice and long.   I have ordered a t-shirt from ASOS maternity line for layering, but am still waiting on delivery.

You can usually find me carrying around a hot water bottle in it's cover to stay warm, or sitting with my back on a heating pad if there's an outlet close!  Include a pot of tea, and it's hard to get up and move!

I have found that any pajamas in Target's Gilligan & O'Malley Sleepwear line are excellent as long as you buy a little big.  This classic, super-soft set have been my favorites all throughout my pregnancy, and I just found another pair at my Target for $12!  I picked up this flannel sleep shirt in large that was also on clearance and was surprised to find that it actually fits!  I always look forward to being able to come home and wear my pajamas, a sweater and Padraig slippers after a long day.

As far as beauty products go, I try to keep things simple for my usually intolerant skin.  Thayer's Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner has been an amazing discovery early on in my pregnancy.  Using it cold in the summer was especially refreshing.  My routine every morning and night has been to use my Clarisonic Mia with a mild cleanser, followed by Thayer's toner and Neutrogena's Clear Face moisturizer on only the really dry days.  I find this routine to be the only thing that keeps my skin happy.  Most days makeup is too much to fuss with, so whenever I wear Clinique's Lash Doubling Mascara, it feels like I really put a lot of effort into getting ready!

I did a bunch of research on belly balm since I had a good one I loved for my last pregnancy that I can no longer find, but eventually just started using plain old body lotion.  It seems to help with the itching, but we'll see how it does in the stretch mark department (although i've heard all the balms aren't going to do much anyway).  I got away with hardly any during my last pregnancy, but was a lot younger then!

If you have any suggestions about comforting things you've found, please pass them on.  They don't have to be pregnancy related, in fact, most of my favorite things over the last couple months have been non-maternity!


  1. I was reluctant to buy an expensive maternity pillow with my first pregnancy and just got away with extra pillows. The second time around, I decided to give it a try. I don't know why I didn't get one the first time! It makes sleeping on your side much better. I like the Babies R Us Maternity Pillow: Babies R Us Maternity Pillow.

    I always have acne whether pregnant or not and I always have to manage it. But, I really don't like the idea of all of those chemicals on my skin while my babies are being built. I just sort of suffered through the first 14 weeks (while baby's organs are formed) with no acne care the with both kids. And this time around, I started using Belli Anti-Blemish Facial Wash after 14 weeks… and this stuff really works well. It smells good, isn't hard on my skin, I have pretty much no acne. 1 bottle lasts a long time - using it 2x a day. Planning on continuing to use it through breastfeeding and if it keeps working, even longer.

  2. My pregnancy ended in preeclampsia, and my feet were so incredibly swollen the last 2 months (end-of-July baby) that I lived in this pair of Croc flip flops my mother-in-law gave me. They were the only shoes I could put on my poor feet that didn't hurt. I really liked Burt's Bee's belly balm, but mainly just because it smelled nice. Didn't do a thing for stretch marks.

    Ultimately, the only thing that really helped was lots of naps and baths.

  3. I don't know where you are and if you have one, but H&M maternity has been my favorite! Got an awesome pair of jeans, and lots of shirts that I love. They are reasonably priced as well. I believe you can order off their website.

  4. Hi Elly —

    Saturday, I spent the day in my pajamas! We all need time to rest!

    My "babies" are now in their early to mid 20's, but I remember my pregnancies well because in the last month before each of their births, just like Rachel, I developed pre-eclampsia . The first time, the doctor put me in the hospital, but luckily the second time I was able to stay home with my daughter, Kristen, who was four at the time.

    My favorite comfort items for resting on the sofa included:
    * cloud-like soft pillow with cotton pillowcase
    * fleece blanket
    * rice sock — fill a stray mid to knee-length sock with rice and tie knot at end.
    heated in microwave a couple minutes results in aromatic neck warmer.
    * relaxing display — a calming/restful view helps a lot. Luckily. I had some spring
    flowers in an Aalto vase with some other special objects on mantle.

    Kindest Regards,

  5. Hey, Elly! I'm obviously not pregnant, but I have really dry skin year round, so I have gone through quite a lot of lotions. My favorite is Boots Botanic Body Butter http://www.drugstore.com/products/prod.asp?pid=219454&catid=190107&aid=338666&aparam=49551423315brandBoots_Botanics&device=c&network=g&matchtype= (sorry for the long link!). I also recently purchased Bag Balm, since the inside of my fingers have become really dry and cracked. It seems to help, although actually doesn't really feel all that different than Vaseline (which I use on my lips on a daily basis!) Also my face tends to get dry in the winter, so I like to use a combination of jojoba oil (just a little bit spread on the dry areas of my face) and then top it off with a creamy face lotion, THEN acne creams if they are needed. Btw, I also take magnesium citrate daily as I've read that most people are magnesium deficient and also that it helps with balancing hormones (which I'm working hard at doing at the moment!). Anyway, good luck! I know it won't be long now! xx