funny maternity shirt

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If you are a newly expecting mama, my heart is with you. While I pray you are fortunate enough to feel at peace in all of the essentials for your pregnancy, being your care team and family, I wanted to help a bit more.

I could not do any of this without my rock star family and team of doctors. Truly. There is simply no way. While I cannot tie them up in a bow and gift them to you (though I’m more than happy to share my care team info), I wanted to share with you what products helped keep my head above water while navigating pregnancy. Being high risk, it’s often felt difficult to feel like I have much control in my pregnancy. But these natural mama pregnancy products have been sources of encouragement and comfort to me despite that looming feeling. They’ve given me the reigns back. Give them a peek if you find yourself in a similar boat. And if you need a bit more encouragement? I’m happy to send you videos of Chester the cat being his sassy self. He is sure to give any of those blues the boot. 😋 You’ve GOT THIS, MAMA BEAR!

1.) I think it goes without saying that I am no doctor, however, just to solidify any wonder: I am not a doctor 😉 So please make sure you check with your provider first when implementing a new supplement into your diet–especially when that supplement is a prenatal vitamin. I started using  New Chapter Perfect Prenatal Multivitamin 6 months before we started trying for a baby. Most doctors recommend doing this, as it takes some time for your body to build up its storage of each very needed element for you and baby. Desiring to be as natural of a mama as possible, I was over the moon when I found these. The elements are naturally derived from food sources–not made in a lab. This makes it easier for your body to process and accept, making it far more likely you and your little bud will fully get all those nutrients both of your bodies need. The cherry on top? The common complaint of nausea from prenatals never intruded. I never ever experienced nausea from taking these vitamins. If anything, because of the added ginger in each supplement, I truly think these helped curb a lot of my pregnancy nausea and food aversions.

2.) Oh my. This one gets me a bit weepy.  The Mama Natural Week-By-Week Guide To Pregnancy & Childbirth is a Godsend. Being that I have a high-risk pregnancy, my dreams of a natural home birth were trampled on far before a pregnancy came along. Requiring a c-section, it was very discouraging to feel like I couldn’t control as much as I wanted to in regards to giving the little one a natural delivery. And then, in walked the miraculously lovely Genevieve Howland. Week by week, she walks down through your pregnancy, prepares you for any form of childbirth, provides affirmations and encouragement, delicious and nutritious recipes, and more. From “naturalizing” a c-section as much as possible–Yes, it’s possible. Wait til you read! Your mind will be blown and your heart will happy dance!–to ensuring your nursery is as eco and baby friendly as possible, this book will bring your mama mind such comfort in every way. The realness in which she writes and gives you the facts honestly yet optimistically (and often hilariously) was so very appreciated by both hubby & me.

Natural pregnancy must haves
Clearly even Chester was happy to study up 😉

3.) There are so many options when it comes to apps to track your pregnancy, but my very favorite is the Ovia Pregnancy Guide. The updates on both baby and me were the most detailed, and I really appreciated that they didn’t completely bombard me with spammy emails like much of the other apps do. This was a natural transition as I used their fertility app pre-pregnancy, and this app collected all my data from that app and held it for reference during my pregnancy. This came in handy often during doctors appointments.

A cute little sidenote? The size comparisons are the absolute best. You can view 4 different size comparisons each week–referencing what size baby is via a “Strange but Cute Animal”, a “Parisian Bakery Item” a “Fun & Games Toy” or the standard “Fruit & Veggie.” Every single week, they gave us a more thorough picture of how big baby was, and always made us laugh. The best part? Each week, they’ll show you how big baby’s hands and feet are in comparison to your phone screen. Towards the end of the pregnancy, it helped make sense of why those Tae Kwon Do baby kicks were feeling so suddenly jarring.

4.) Forever a fan of aerie and all they stand for, they now have my heart even more so. Particularly, their line Aerie Real Me Underwear were the perfect maternity underwear. They stretched to fit my growing bump, legs and hips, yet never lost shape and never dug into my skin. They are crazy soft and come in the jolliest colors, making them a happy little thought throughout your day. They come in many different variations, so whatever style you typically prefer, they are likely to have it.

5.) Everyone told me I n-e-e-d-e-d a pregnancy pillow. Stubborn as I am and committed to saving every last penny for my little dude, I tried my hardest to build my own pregnancy pillow forts using throw pillows, 187 standard pillows, towels, blankets, and the like. Much to anyone’s shock, none of my forts worked. I finally caved and ordered the PharMeDoc Pregnancy Pillow. It locks you in place to keep from rolling anywhere you shouldn’t, and creates the perfect spot to hike up your knees and bump. The one side of the pillow is detachable via a zipper. I loved this because that portion of the pillow dipped lower, creating the perfect little spot to nestle my arm under.

One more word of advice on sleep? If you are a back sleeper like me, start training your body to adjust to side sleeping as soon as you can in your pregnancy. Sleeping while largely pregnant is tricky, made even trickier when your body naturally tries to roll onto its back while you’re sleeping. This woke me constantly as it would restrict my breathing, making it unsafe for both baby and me. Don’t be stubborn: order the pregnancy pillow and start side sleep training ASAP.

6.) If you are anything like me, your body will ache in many places while you are growing that new best buddy of yours. While it is never ever recommended to place a heating pad directly on your womb, I placed this little fella Intelex Warmies Microwavable French Lavender Scented Plush on my upper back, neck, and aching calves whenever needed. He is microwavable, so you don’t have to feel restricted in staying plugged in anywhere. There is also real lavender inside each buddy, making your warming time all the more soothing. There are plenty of creatures to choose from. If you happen to get the unicorn or dino pal, we maaay have just become best friends.

7.) A bit of a Stubborn Sally like me when it comes to spending money on maternity clothes? The Ingrid & Isabel BellaBand  has your back. And belly 😉 You can wear this on top of any unbottoned pre-pregnancy pants. It holds them up, helps the unbuttoned fastener lie flat, and keeps you pulled together without any unwelcome guests popping out to join the party. This band in particular provides added security by having the silicone non-slip hem. I never had to buy maternity jeans thanks to this mystical creation.

8.) There will come a time when pants (and clothes as a whole, really) feel far less than necessary. Growing a little one is tough, and the ways in which your body shifts and grows can make just about any pair of pants uncomfortable. But when you are looking to be socially acceptable, BLANQI Maternity Leggings have your back. I have 4 pairs of these and honestly could have used more. I got mine in varying lengths and materials to mix up my prego style look just a tad. But really, any of them from this line work beautifully. I do recommend the pairs that go over the belly, as the ones that sit under the belly tend to be less comfortable in my opinion. Look Ma, you CAN wear pants!

9.) The Natural Ginger TummyDrops were absolute lifesavers on countless occasions. Whenever I felt like my cookies might be tossed, I would pop one of these and instantly be calmed. Even better, if said cookies had already been tossed, the natural ginger is also a great breath freshener. Win win!

10.) Last but certainly not least, my bump’s dearest pal:  Belly Butter – 100% Organic by Glow Organics I tried several brands before landing on this one. The price tag seemed a bit much for a small jar at first, but it was well worth every penny once I finally made the switch. Better still? I only needed 2 jars throughout my entire pregnancy. Between soothing the belly itch mamas get, being completely natural, and combating stretch marks, I am so thankful for this belly butter. When I was making the transition, I had two stretch marks sprouting up in two different places. Massaging this butter into the marks had them dissolved in less than a week, and has since combated any further marks. It’s like pregnancy pixie dust–only a bit stickier and smells like cocoa instead of fairy wings. 🧚🏻‍♂️

Natural mama stretch mark belly butter
Cat hair covering your maternity leggings is also a highly recommended pregnancy pal.

Remember, each pregnancy is different. And with that, each mama and her needs are different. These products worked beautifully for my pregnancy. Don’t get discouraged if someone thinks you are a nut for opting for one version of one thing and the other of another. This is your pregnancy, your body, your sweet little chickadee. Just like you will do what is best for your little nugget once they have arrived, do what is best for them while they are still cooking. According to the entirety of the world, we new mamas need to get used to warding off judgement and feeling confident in our own mama bear instincts. Might as well start while we have a good 9+ months to warm up. ♥️

Sending you the biggest hugs, prayers, and hopes that your encounters of “You are so small! You are so big! Sleep before the baby gets here! Your life is about to be over!” are far and few between.

KP. ✨

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