New mums, older mums, mums to be and grandmothers, I salute you. This pregnancy process is hard work. After a turbulent couple of years, I am delighted to say I am pregnant with our little boy due this year.
After the initial shock and disbelief, extreme sickness, and a lot of worrying I am now 32 weeks and growing rapidly. I am classed as an older mother and many people think this must be my second or third child not my first. Maybe the Botox and fillers have worn off far quicker than I expected.
Obviously, all aesthetic treatments have been put on hold for the time being and I am relying on beauty treatments, creams, and potions for the lift I so desperately need.
Whilst a lot of mums are ‘blooming’ in pregnancy I think I have been the forgotten one. Gaining 2 stone has not plumped my wrinkles, my hair is not silky and thick, and my skin is far from radiant, but I have been hunting for some essential products that I can use to boost mood and mind in my third trimester.
I have found a fabulous selection of products and a surprising growing market for pregnant women at all stages. Read about my top pregnancy essentials that don’t break the bank and can be used throughout your journey.
1. Stretch Mark Cream
This is a number one essential for all mums. Stretch marks are a natural part of carrying a baby and your body changing. For me, and like many other women, puberty left me with silver scares on my hips, chest and lower abdomen and I am keen not to add to these with any new angry, red ones.
For the first three months of pregnancy, I used Bio Oil, which I used as a general moisturiser and fast drying skin oil. Until month five to six I had put on very little weight and my bump was barely noticeable. From month 4 I opted for Pharmaceris M - Foliacti™ a specially designed cream for pregnancy that is adapted to the skins needs during each trimester. The cream can be used from 16 weeks and is suitable to use on the breasts, hips and tummy.
The cream really helps with my itchy skin and as I can use it on my chest it great as my boobs grow and are more likely to rub on my bra. I am generous with the cream because I like the feel of it on my bump. My body temperature is running high with the extra load, and I like to keep the cream in a cool, dark cupboard that makes it cold when I apply it. It feels great, is not greasy and sinks into the skin.
At just £12.50 for 150ml it’s a steal and much cheaper than some of the alternatives that are not designed solely for pregnancy use.
Available at Escentual https://www.escentual.com/pharmaceris/pharmaceris082/
2. Relaxation Time
If you have ever attended an antenatal class, you will 100% understand my total shock and sleepless nights after hearing exactly how they expect to get a fully formed human through my pelvis.
After months of avoiding the ‘labour’ chapter of the guide to pregnancy I was faced with the full facts at the first of three antenatal classes. To say I was stressed was an understatement. For this reason, it is essential to keep some quick and easy relaxation aids in the house for all periods of pregnancy.
We recently have had a new bath fitted and I have thoroughly enjoyed using my own range of bathing products designed for pregnancy, so the hubby feels bad for stealing them.
I am a lifelong fan of Epsom salts but find some can smell very minty whereas I prefer a floral smell. This is where Expecting Epsom Salts from Absolute Aromas is different. It contains a special blend of essential oils formulated to be safe in pregnancy (it is surprising what herbal remedies and ingredients should be avoided). The salts are also GMO free and cruelty free.
The salts relax and nervous system and soothe the skin easing strain on the lower back and hips. I love that they are natural, smell amazing and nourish my skin which often feels itchy and tight. There is simply nothing better than a bath to relax.
Antenatal classes have also taught me a bath during contractions is also a great reliever of pain (although I am sceptical about this). I will be sure to use these when the time comes.
Expecting Epsom Salt (£4.60) https://www.absolute-aromas.com/product/expecting-epsom-bath-salts/.
If you really want to spoil yourself then I recommend the Expecting Massage Oil. You can also use this direct on your skin as a stretch mark prevention oil or add a few drops into the bath. I mixed a few drops into a handful of the Epsom salts and applied to my tummy, and it feels great as a home scrub.
Please note it is advised not to use the oil until you reach the 4-month mark.
Expecting Massage Oil (£9.50) https://www.absolute-aromas.com/product/expecting-massage/
3. Nutrition & Supplements
I have been extremely lucky during my pregnancy to have healthy cravings. I have a newfound love of cherry tomatoes and tomato soup. But during the first three months I had terrible nausea, lack of appetite and heartburn and getting a dose of healthy vitamins and minerals from diet alone was really tough.
This is where Relax Shot Wellness Shots from B-Fresh are so helpful. Shropshire based B-Fresh have a range of wellness juices that come in cute little bottles ideal for your handbag.
The shots are the mastermind of nutritionist Matt Jones and they combine the power of various fruits, natural botanical herbs and amino acids. B-Fresh offer two types of juices and I opted for the Relax Wellness shots designed to level out your anxiety and relax you.
They arrived in a cold pack and are a wonderful green colour which can be attributed to the fact they are made of kiwi, avocado and lemon balm.
Kiwi is rich is serotonin which improves mood coupled with the mood boosting vitamin B6 found in avocado and the stress reducing natural herb Ashwagandha.
I have been drinking my shots every morning as they are non-drowsy and I like to take one in my work bag.
Available at https://b-fresh.co.uk/product/relax-wellness-shot/ from £2.80 per 70ml juice shot.
In addition to the juices, I have also been advised to take supplements designed for pregnancy in particular folic acid. Not all supplements are made equally, and folic acid is one widely available but varying in quality and strength. To ensure I have the best source I have been taking Purolabs Puro Folate designed for pre-conception and pregnancy and 7 times more effective than folic acid alone. It is approved for pregnant women, vegans and is totally natural. I take my supplement at night-time about an hour before bed as it is easily absorbed and has no side effects.
Purolabs Puro Folate, RRP £29.99
4. Pocket Size Treat
I am avoiding over loading on carbs or sweets as tempting as it is and instead treating myself by buying nice smellies, beauty products and endless baby clothes. All of which I class as essentials!
One handbag size treat which I currently am in love with is SEAMS Couturiers Hand Cream.
There are tons of reasons I love this cream, firstly it has been designed and created by a seamstress, one far more talented than me but obviously someone who understand how sore and dry working with fabric and sewing can leave your hands.
During my pregnancy I have been sewing small projects mainly little cuddly bears as presents, something that relaxes me and gives me some time out. Its fiddly and delicate work and my hands often see the brunt of the needle. This is the first time I have seen a hand cream designed for people who use their hands in this way and not on sea boats or as mechanics! It is essential you can nourish your hands while not applying grease or stains to fabrics. The SEAMS Mend Moisture hand cream is made in the UK and contains natural ingredients that absorb instantly and provide a barrier for the skin. It is also not tested on animals, paraben free and provided in recyclable tubes. I love this hand cream as it not only does a fantastic job it also smells beautiful. This makes my top mini treat I will continue post pregnancy for sure.
Available at seamsbeauty.co.uk
Before using any products or taking any supplements please check the ingredients and recommended guidance for pregnancy.