Now for something a little different…Royce and I have always said that a main function of this blog is to serve as a kind of archive for us. It’s a way for us to keep track of (and update, when needed!) favourite recipes. It also acts as a kind of journal for us to record and reminisce about various projects. Until now, it has all been food-related. We have never ventured far beyond the subject of the food that we’re making and eating…but as we now find ourselves in the midst of some pretty significant life milestones, it seemed a natural step to extend our content to include a few other topics as well.
If you hadn’t already guessed from the very subtle title…the topic I am referring to at present is pregnancy – specifically my recent pregnancy! Honestly some days it’s hard to believe that it has come and gone and we are now responsible for a whole little person… in any case the point of this post is to keep notes on the things that I loved / could not have done without, while it’s all still fresh in my mind. This is a list to help me share tips with friends who are/may soon be expecting, for future me if (IF) we should ever do this again, and maybe even some random passers-by. I’ll make updates as things come to mind, but for now it’s safe to assume the items listed below are the best of the best (at least the most memorable!). In no particular order (and with no sponsorship of any kind), my favourite things were…
- Offline Leggings: these are not your run-of-the-mill leggings. These are some magical, travelling pants-level leggings, that somehow manage to fit (and fit well) from my first trimester, through to my third trimester (and now, postpartum)! With a few exceptions, I am strongly against maternity-wear. I do not have the inclination – or the closet space – to buy a whole new wardrobe for just a few months (it’s not like you’ll even be sporting it for the whole 9). For the most part, I got by with loose-fitting/stretchy tops and dresses – but pants are a bit of a different story. Enter: the Offline leggings! I do not know what they are made with or how, but strongly suspect some form of sorcery. These were an amazing find (as raved about by The Birds Papaya) during my pregnancy and I fully expect that I will continue to love and buy them long after. Tip: if you can wait, don’t buy them at full price – I’ve noticed they do go on sale every now and then (at least a few times since I originally purchased them).
- What to expect while you’re expecting: I know, at this point it almost seems a little cliche. But I really liked having this book at my disposal. It’s organized by month, so you can follow along read about topics that might be particularly relevant for you at any point in time. I found out after buying the book that there’s a website/app and accompanying mailing list – these are good too, but I did like having the book with everything laid out for me to flip through. Not-so-pro tip: do not stop reading at the last month/labour section…there is definitely some useful content for the early days after baby is born that I wish I’d read beforehand!
- Prenatal Workouts: second to the dietary restrictions (I knew I’d be sacrificing raw fish, but no cold cuts/cured meat?!) this was one of the biggest lifestyle adjustments that I had to make during my pregnancy. At a certain point some exercises don’t quite work anymore, and it also becomes important to focus on strengthening specific areas (or so I’m told), e.g. to help with carrying that bump, or to prepare for labour. There are some paid programs out there and I’m sure they’re very good…but, cheapskate that I am, I went on the hunt for something free. I had to do a fair bit of digging, but in the end YouTube was a pretty good resource. In particular, I found these two ladies to be a great resource for ad-free workout routines:
- nourish move love: a blog and a YouTube channel. She’s also created some 30-day calendars of workouts which are nice to follow along. I especially liked these as they were more challenging than a lot of the other prenatal workout routines out there.
- FIT by Larie: a YouTube channel with a nice selection of workouts geared specifically toward prenatal workouts (trimester-specific, too).
- (Nursing) Bras: unfortunately, as far as maternity clothes go, these are non-negotiable. At some point during your pregnancy, you will not fit in any of your current bras, so you will need new ones. My thinking: why not at least buy something that can also do double-duty as a nursing bra for later (though I imagine this 2 for 1 approach may not always work, in particular with very structured bras…)? I tried a few and in the end these nursing bras from amazon and h&m were my favourite. The amazon ones are a great economy buy, but H&M was a bit nicer in terms of the cut/material. I did try one of the fancier nursing bra brands (bravado, I think?), and maybe I didn’t get my size right but I was really unimpressed (especially for the price).
- Overalls: one item of maternity-specific clothing that I was gifted, and absolutely loved! It took a while for them to fit properly (early on there was just a weird empty pouch at the front), but once I started to show these were super cute and comfortable – it was so nice not to be adjusting my waistband all the time!
- Pregnancy pillow: I know, I know – generations of women before us have successfully grown babies without these ridiculous looking things…admittedly, it was a little awkward at first, by my third trimester I could not have imagined sleeping without it! While it may not be a necessity, it’s definitely nice to have – better than fussing around with a bunch of pillows all night for sure. I won’t give any specific recommendation here because there are SO many choices – from giant body pillows to compact little wedges – of which I’ve only tried one. Really, in the end I expect that the choice is very personal depending on the kind of sleeper you are (and the real estate available in your bed). An added bonus of the one that we had was that it ended up being useful for lounging/nursing on the couch afterward. And I say “we” because of course I now share custody of the pillow with Royce and our girl Queenie.