Natural Beauty & Hygiene Products for Pregnancy

TeaTreeOilConcealerWhen I learned I was pregnant, I immediately stopped using a lot of mainstream products and replacing them with organic or more natural alternatives. In my mind, due to hormone imbalances and some small but present health concerns, I was a pretty good candidate for problems. If simple lifestyle adjustments had even the slightest chance of helping our baby’s wellbeing, I wanted to make them!

I usually only wear mascara, but I cut that completely for the first trimester. I have stayed 100% pain-med or other medication-free for the duration of pregnancy thus far, and replaced all moisturizers with coconut oil or Booda Butter. I thought I’d share three affordable products that I’ve discovered and been pleased with.

Note: be sure to do your own research to decide what ingredients, etc. you are comfortable using during pregnancy. 

NaturOli Shampoo - This shampoo has been wonderful! I don’t use any conditioner with it and I have far less frizz than I’ve ever had in my life, without a straightener or product. It doesn’t have any scent, which I miss, but it does the job and I can go 2-3 days without washing my hair if I want to. I’m about halfway through the bottle after almost six months, so it’s not as expensive as it seems.

Body Shop Tea Tree Concealer - When I finally resigned myself to the fact that acne would be my friend at least until baby arrives, I set out to find a harmless, natural concealer for my poor chin. This stuff is amazing! It goes on really well, especially with a light coconut oil base, and stays all day, and best of all, many of the ingredients are also recommended remedies for acne, so I don’t feel like I’m exacerbating the issue by using this. Multiple shades available!

Organic Island Deodorant - For being organic and harmless, this stuff works really well, and that’s coming from someone with a huge perspiration issue. Because of the coconut oil, I often have to run hot water over this for a few seconds to soften before applying. If I’m going to wear a black or sleeveless top, I try to let it “set” before I put on the shirt, as it does tend to rub off onto my clothes. (Comes out easily with a wet cloth though.) I have to apply it twice a day for it to stay effective, but I had to do that with other deodorants, too, and it is definitely better than nothing and so much safer than all the aluminum and chemical-filled options out there!

{My Pregnancy Journal} 30 Weeks

photo (12)30 weeks! This week I officially started feeling very large. Something like a beached whale when I’m lying down, in fact. Getting out of bed or off the couch is considerably more difficult. My legs and feet ache like crazy a lot of the time and I just don’t move very fast. I am always tired. I guess these things mean I am heading toward the home stretch! =)

Oh, and scratch what I said about the acne getting better. That was a few wonderful and short-lived days. I think acne is just something I have to deal with when I’m expecting, and like I said before, it’s a lot better than other symptoms I could be experiencing!

My favorite thing these days is also my least favorite thing: baby’s hiccups. It’s absolutely the cutest thing in the world, but it is really annoying at the same time because it feels like an uncontrollable muscle twitch and I start to go a bit crazy from it after about five minutes. Andrew has tried a little “boo” to scare the hiccups away, but Yaff keeps right on hiccuping. =)

I just realized that what I have been able to feel on the inside, Andrew has been able to feel from the outside immediately. The first day I felt movement for long enough to “catch” (i.e. more than the one little series of three “thumps” I’d felt the week before), Andrew was able to feel him too. The first day Yaff had the hiccups, Andrew could feel them. This is different from what I had read, and very special! =) Makes me feel like Andrew isn’t missing out on anything I’m getting to enjoy.

I’m now visiting the doctor every two weeks. Everything seems to be right on track and I’m hoping that sooner or later I’ll hear, “He looks like he might be getting ready to come a week or two early.” Wishful thinking…but one can dream. =)

{My Pregnancy Journal} 29 Weeks

How is it possible to be this in love with our little man when we haven’t even met him yet? I love to talk to him and “listen” to his kicks and wiggles. This week was really special, as both my parents, my mother-in-law, and my dear friend Brittney got to feel Yaff10665715_10152757687118109_7275319311239455925_n kicking and/or hiccuping. And yes, the hiccups continue! I feel them almost every day, and sometimes multiple times in a day. Sometimes they are a few seconds apart, other times they are one right after the other. Andrew likes to pat my tummy and say, “Just swallow a little amniotic fluid, buddy.”

For close to a year now, at home Andrew has exclusively called me “Bluebird” or “Blue”. I can’t remember the last time he called me anything else when we were alone. So now we refer to our little one as “the Baby Bluebird”. I don’t know if that will stick, but I really like it during this pregnancy. =)

As of this week I am having days when I feel very pregnant. It’s a lot harder to bring myself up off the couch, walk through small spaces, and just move in general after a meal. It scares me to think about continuing to grow for 2.5 more months! =) I am so grateful to not have experienced any heartburn and hope that continues!

This little guy is a joy to  our hearts! God is so good!

 

{My Pregnancy Journal} 28 Weeks

It’s been a kind of crazy week. When eight apartments in your 26 unit building get set to turn over within a 6-week period, and you’re scrambling to finish brain dumping almost six years of administrative work into your replacement, you can plan on mayhem for a while.

I now feel HICCUPS! I felt them for the first time between 27 and 28 weeks and it was adorable. I also had my gestational diabetes test, which came back fine, praise the Lord! Going without food and water until 1:30 in the afternoon and then driving myself to Beverly Hills to get poked is not something I wanted to do again anytime soon! The things we do for baby.

The photo in this post is from last Saturday, when a friend invited me to join her at her friend’s pool for the afternoon. It was over 100 degrees that day, and floating in a cool body of water all afternoon was possibly the most therapeutic thing I’ve enjoyed this pregnancy.

photo (8)My feet hurt whether I’ve been on them for 10 minutes or all morning. And my legs ache after walking more than across the room! And (obviously) I am just always tired. On Wednesday, after work I crashed on the couch at 6:30 PM and went to bed two hours later and it felt incredible! =)

I’ve never been happier, and I am so thankful for the physical ability to keep chucking, especially in this busy season. I know many women end up on bed rest or are still sick in their last trimester, and I am praising God that I am not one of them! Considering everything my body is trying to accomplish inside me, I feel amazing! God’s design is so impressive.

Baby Lists

I’m starting to get that “baby’s almost here” excited/panicky feeling. I’ll be 28 weeks tomorrow, which means that theoretically, Caleb could arrive without complications in 10 weeks. That sounds a little terrifying considering I have a lot to do before he does! I wrap up my administrative job of almost six years in two weeks, which will free me up a lot more, but in the meantime at least getting some lists down is making me feel more prepared.

Thank goodness for Wunderlist, my absolute favorite way to track to-dos and shopping lists. Yes, shameless plug here for the best free task management app out there. Give it a try! Works great in your browser, on your desktop, or on your phone. 

I have the following Wunderlists started.

  • Daddy’s Hospital Survival Kit
  • Mommy’s Postpartum Basket (stole this lovely idea from my sister-in-law)
  • Labor Playlist Songs (you knew I would…)
  • Stock Up (general household things I don’t want to have to think about replenishing before the New Year)
  • Freezer Meals
  • Pre-Labor Prep (random things like draft our Christmas letter)

PicI’ll work on any leftover baby-specific needs after the shower my friend Julia is throwing for me at the end of September! Right now I’m focusing on things that will help the baby’s parents through labor and after. =)

And on this note, if you have any specific recommendations of items you loved/didn’t love having for labor and postpartum days, I am all ears! My cousin-in-law, sister-in-law, and I (who are all due with a baby within 6 weeks of each other) have been group messaging and it has been so helpful to get Shelby’s tips from her first labor!

{My Pregnancy Journal} 27 Weeks

27 weeksWelcome to the third trimester! It feels so great (and exhausting) to have reached the third and final phase of pregnancy. Wow, am I tiring a lot easier than I was a month ago. I’ve noticed my energy declining over the past few weeks. Along with more sleepiness, my legs and feet ache easily and frequently, especially on busy apartment days when I don’t have much time to sit down. However, I will gladly take achey legs in exchange for the fact that my acne is starting to fade! Woo hoo! It has been really bad for awhile now, and absolutely nothing was helping. I’ve tried so many things, I’m not sure which one is doing the trick, but I am so grateful to have a chin that is starting to clear up and doesn’t hurt anymore! Yahoo! Andrew is a gem and never once said anything about my sorry complexion.

Insomnia from the first trimester also seems to be returning, although it isn’t every night. It seems like I get a really good night of sleep, and then several in a row where it feels as though I am up all night, though in reality I know I am getting more rest than I think. I feel like this is decent preparation for the sleep deprivation I am to face upon baby’s arrival! =)

Caleb just keeps kick, kick, kicking! I am finding it harder to fall asleep at night, as that seems to be his favorite playtime. Sometimes I can feel his hand or foot brush all the way across my stomach from one side to the other. I never get tired of it. I also have to get up a lot more in the night as he puts more pressure on my bladder, and nearly every time, he’s squirming when I wake up. He tends to sleep in the mornings when I am up and working, then gets active again if I drink a glass of water.

For the first time since learning we were expecting, I am truly feeling impatient to meet the little Yaffster. Andrew shares my sentiments. Somehow it feels like it’s just time for him to arrive! But we’ve still got a few months left and lots to do in the meantime. November will be here before we know it!

I’m so excited about my latest baby finds. After getting baby carrier input from other LA moms, I chose the Ergo Original Baby Carrier and Infant Insert. (I also have a sling/wrap style one that was handed down to me, but Andrew wanted one we could share and that would last a long time.) I was delighted that on my first day of Craigslist hunting, I found the Ergo and insert brand new in the box for $75! I saved $60! And it was even the pattern I had hoped for.

I also picked out my diaper bag after extensive research. I know, I know…I overthink small things. But I was looking for something durable, practical, and cute, but not too feminine so that Andrew would feel comfortable carrying it around. (He is SO excited to pack Caleb places by himself!) It was $55 on Amazon, and I found it in like-new condition on consignment for $13! I could hardly believe it, it was one of only five or six diaper bags in the store. God just keeps providing in amazing ways and I am so thankful.

Less than three months ’til the due date and so much to work on before then! Once again, I am in awe that God would bless us with such a healthy, happy pregnancy for six months now. He is so kind to us!

{My Pregnancy Journal} 26 Weeks

photo (6)I am in my last week of my second trimester! Earlier this week I noticed my energy start to decrease a little from what it had been. I tire a lot more easily and although I am still gung-ho for projects, I crash very easily if I push myself too hard. It is exciting to be rounding that corner into the final stretch! With only 12 weeks to go until 38 weeks, it feels like Caleb’s arrival is right around the corner now.

This week I enjoyed introducing pregnancy yoga into my day via YouTube, and hands down the highlight of the week was birth class with Andrew. I learned so much and feel way more informed and ready for birth now! There was a lot I did not know about labor and I feel much better prepared to avoid common pitfalls and problems thanks to an excellent instructor and seven hours of lecture. The birth class was as unbiased as possible, but I am also all the more determined not to get an epidural after learning more about about the stages of labor and the upsides and downsides to medication. It’s going to be hard to turn down in the hospital so I known I may be eating my words halfway through labor!

The next step is to meet with my doula for my first of two pre-birth appointments and work on a birth plan together. I am excited for Andrew to meet her.

Caleb brings so much joy to my days. His kicks and flops never get old and I can’t wait to meet him! God’s care and protection are an incredible gift.