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Tag: pregnant

Baby Bump Halloween Costumes

Lullaby Earth Blog | Baby Bump Halloween Costumes

It’s officially spooky season, ladies. It’s time to bust out your favorite scary movies, grab some candy, and pick out the perfect costume. Halloween is even more fun if you get to share it with someone special. No, we’re not talking about a significant other—we’re talking about your baby bump.

Are you dressing for two this year? Because we’ve got 10 spooktacular baby bump costume ideas for you!

Sunny Side Up Egg – You and your little one will look egg-cellent. It’s cute, it’s comical, and it’s easy to make—perfect for expectant moms who want something simple. (You can also make this idea into a family affair)

Bun in the Oven – A great costume idea for parties, the Bun in the Oven is sure to crack a smile on everyone’s face. (And it’s ready for purchase right now, click the link!)

The Gum Ball Machine – If you have a white top, a red skirt, you’re already almost done with the costume! Stick some colorful pom-poms on the t-shirt and it’s complete. It’s adorable and easy to make.

The Basketball Couple – Feeling sporty? You and your partner can dress up as a basketball player and a ball—the baby being the ball, of course. Check out the link to purchase non-toxic paint for your belly.

Bowling Pin and Bowler – Following the couple’s costume theme, check out this cute idea!

Winnie the Pooh – With or without a Christopher Robin, the Pooh idea is perfect.

Prego – This hilarious costume idea is easy to make and doesn’t cost much.

The Mummy – While this one may take a little time to make, it’s punny and fierce!

Mother Nature – This costume is more intricate, but it will be worth the effort.

The Great Pumpkin – Sometimes painting your baby bump is the best way to go, and you can never have too many pumpkins this time of year.

We hope you and your baby bump have a Happy Halloween!

8 Ways To Naturally Reduce Anxiety During Pregnancy

Reduce Anxiety During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is stressful, both physically and mentally. While your body changes to accommodate a new little human, you’ll experience new sensations and stressors in all parts of the body. Plus, the emotional task of preparing for your new responsibilities can be overwhelming, especially for first time parents. Some stress is to be expected, of course, but sometimes parents-to-be might experience prenatal anxiety that’s worth checking out with your doctor.

If you are experiencing worry, stress, and anxiety, consult your care provider (OB/GYN, midwife, therapist, general practitioner, etc.) to discuss methods for you to help reduce your anxiety and stress. This blog post will explore 8 ways to reduce your stress and anxiety during pregnancy - we hope that a few of our tips will be just what you are looking for!

1. Snack Smart: It’s tough when you’re fighting morning sickness, but long stretches without eating anything will tank your blood sugar and lead to bodily stress and anxious behavior due to the lack of available fuel for your brain. Try to graze throughout the day, especially on snacks rich in quality proteins and fats along with whole-food based carbohydrates (think nuts and seeds with dried fruit or veggies with hummus). Sugary treats in moderation are perfectly okay, but relying on them could affect your blood sugar and leave you feeling even hungrier.

Sarah G. says: “Macadamia nuts are quick anxiety fixes - great to carry in your purse.”

2. Reduce Caffeine: You probably already know this one, but pregnancy and caffeine don’t always mix well. Caffeinated drinks like soda, tea, and coffee can also increase anxiety symptoms and leave you feeling breathless and stressed out. With your doctor’s okay, figure out how much caffeine is right for you (ranging from almost none to 1-2 cups per day) and work on tapering down to your ideal level.

For some parents, finding the sweet spot of just the right amount was key to managing their stress when it came to a morning cup of java.

Katie C. says: “Having my one cup of hot coffee in the morning was my relaxing escape during pregnancy.”

Andrea H. says: “Waking up early to enjoy a hot cup of coffee can be the most relaxing moment of the day when you have other kids.”

3. Stretch It Out: Yoga can help reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress. Try a prenatal yoga routine to help stretch and soothe your body and mind. There may be a yoga studio in your area or you can check with your doctor or practitioner about poses and stretches that are safe for your pregnancy.

Kat B. says: “I did yoga in my first trimester to help reduce stress and practice mindfulness.”

4. Practice Mindful Breathing: Breathing technique isn’t all about labor and birth - practicing deep breathing techniques can also help you get a handle on your stress levels when you feel yourself start to panic. You can try a meditation app like Calm or Headspace, or just practice breathing in for a count of eight, holding for a moment, and exhaling for a count of eight. Start each morning with deep breath and a positive intention for the day.

Addie A. says: “Daily meditation, especially in the evenings for me, helped to alleviate the excess stressors. It allowed me to clear my mind so that I could focus on what was actually happening.”

5. Delegate and Say No: Many of us tend to try and have it all, do it all, and control it all. Involve your partner or a friend in handling some household chores or nesting activities that are overwhelming you. If you’re worried that nobody can perform a task the way you do it, ask yourself: is it better to get it done, or is it better to get it done “perfectly”? See what you can let go and allow someone else to take care of for you. The people in your life are here to help, if you’ll let them!

Briary R. says: “Knowing limits and saying NO is a huge one for anxiety and self awareness in pregnancy. You’re already taxed because of growing another human. Saying NO that you don’t want to do something or physically cannot is liberating for both stress and anxiety.”

6. Stick With Your Self Care Routine: Pre-pregnancy you may have had certain routines and rituals like a daily bath or an evening walk. Try to keep your routine as much as you can, with accommodations as your pregnancy advances. Taking a warm bath or shower can help you relax, especially if you include aromatherapy essential oils or candles. If you ever don’t have time for your full soak, take a sniff of your favorite scent - it’s associated with relaxation in your mind and will help you take a mental break.

Rachel C. says: “Keep up with your known and enjoyed hobbies as long as you can, and make sure to take time out for yourself.

7. Talk It Out: Join some parenting groups in person or on social media so you can establish a trusted place to talk out your concerns. You can also talk to a family member or friend, or even go to a therapist for a totally guilt-free third party to vent and talk to. Of course, you can also talk out any worries you have with your care provider.

Rachel C. says: “Join groups or find other moms-to-be to talk through your concerns with. You can find them online, in your community, and even some hospitals have parenting classes where you can meet people going through the same thing. Talk to others, especially your doctor or midwife.”

8. Set a Timer: Know that you will have stressful and anxious moments throughout pregnancy and as a parent. Everyone gets worried and stressed, and so will you. The important thing to remember is how to not let the stress overwhelm you. Establish a set amount of time you’ll let yourself go over all the what-ifs and worries. Jot any recurring stressors down to discuss with your doctor or therapist later.

Sara M. says: “Give yourself a fixed time period to go ahead and freak out. I had a high risk pregnancy and some of my anxiety was based on very real possibilities. When I couldn’t talk myself out of worrying about them, I set a time and let myself worry for fifteen minutes. After that, I took a hot shower until I felt better.”

Remember that stress and worry can be normal, but that doesn’t mean you have to handle it alone. No concern is too small, and no two pregnancies are the same. What worked for your best friend might not work for you, and what you experienced with your first baby may be completely different from later pregnancies. Anything that seems off is an acceptable reason to check in with your provider!

Are there any tips on this list that you want to try out, or do you have a favorite stress management tip to share with other pregnant parents?

10 Non-Toxic Baby Registry Picks

Non-Toxic Baby Registry

Deciding what you need for a new baby is so overwhelming with all of the options in stores and so much research to do on the safest and healthiest gear for your new little one. We’ve put together a list of ten non-toxic baby items for your registry to make things easier! 


1. Aden + Anais Organic Muslin Swaddles

Aden + Anais is the go-to brand for premium muslin swaddles, available in organic cotton and conventional options. We love the softness and easy-to-use of their muslin swaddles and think you will too! Check out their collections for a variety of adorable prints to coordinate with any nursery theme.

2. Bannor Toys Wooden Teether

You probably already know that babies put everything in their mouths, so make sure they have a safer option when it comes to teething relief! These wooden teethers made by Bannor Toys use sustainably harvested maple wood with a smooth sanded finish and no oils or finishes.

3. Boon Pulp Silicone Feeder

Mesh feeders are a great way to introduce food to your little one when they are ready for solids (check with your doctor - this is usually around six months or older), and Boon’s feeder is an ideal option made without plastic, using durable silicone instead.

4. Applecheeks Cloth Diapers

Cloth diapers are more affordable in the long run and much more eco-friendly than their disposable counterparts, but there’s a learning curve and a lot of apprehension for first time users. Luckily Applecheeks has a starter kit that will set you up for success if cloth diapering is something you want to try!

5. Bambo Nature Diapers

While cloth is great, sometimes you really just need the convenience of a disposable diaper for laundry day or an emergency backup in your bag. Bambo Nature diapers are made with renewable and eco-friendly materials for a healthier baby and healthier planet. They also make training pants, wipes, and more!

6. Charlie Banana Organic Cotton Wipes

Charlie Banana’s two-sided wipes are a top pick for the cloth diaper enthusiast (and they’re handy even if you never use them for a diaper change at all). Made with comfy cozy organic cotton, they’re machine washable for convenience and easy cleanup.

7. EZPZ Mats

Available in a full-size and mini-size, these silicone mats from EZPZ are perfect for finger foods and big kid meals. They combine a sectioned plate with a placemat that suctions to the table, significantly reducing overturned bowls and other messes.

8. Kiddy Star Bandana Bibs

Babies spit up and drool - luckily, they’re so cute that we keep them around even when they’re messy. These absorbent bandana bibs are perfect for keeping baby’s face clean all day long. Made with super soft organic cotton, they’re machine washable for easy laundering -- but definitely buy the eight-pack, you’re going to need them all.

9. OrganicKidz Stainless Steel Baby Bottle

Whether you’re nursing or formula feeding, you may be in need of a non-toxic baby bottle! OrganicKidz stainless steel bottles convert from baby bottle to sippy cup to water bottle without needing to purchase new cups each time your little one needs the next step up. Their Baby Grows Up Bottle Kit has all the accessories you need to go from baby to big kid.

10. Lullaby Earth Breeze Breathable Crib Mattress

Baby sleeps up to 18 hours a day, which is all the more reason to invest in a quality crib mattress made without harmful chemicals. The Breeze combines a trusted waterproof crib mattress with a washable breathable pad, for maximum airflow without any hygienic worries. It’s easy to keep clean and provides a comfortable, healthier night’s sleep for your little one.

Happy Registering!

Keep these products in mind when you create your non-toxic registry in-store or online. And let us know about your favorite non-toxic nursery products!

Non-Toxic Baby Bump Care

Non-Toxic Baby Bump Care

The baby bump. It’s adorable, it’s a weird new center of gravity, and it’s something that makes strangers forget all about personal boundaries. During pregnancy, your body will shift and grow and change in all sorts of new ways. So how do you take care of your growing baby bump? Our tips and recommendations will help you keep a happier bump with healthier products.

1. Moisturize: As your bump grows, your skin is stretching and probably feels super itchy. Whether or not you’re prone to stretch marks, you need to keep your skin moisturized to reduce itchiness and promote healthier skin. We love Zoe Organics Belly Oil, Earth Mama Body Butter from Earth Mama Angel Baby and this Coconut Nourishing Body Cream from 100% Pure. Look for natural moisturizers like aloe vera, coconut oil, shea butter, and cocoa butter, as well as Vitamin E.

2. Get Some Rest: Sometimes the best action you can take is no action at all. Sleeping through the night gets tricky as your bump grows and makes it hard to find a comfortable position. Get some rest whenever you can, with naps or breaks during the day, and put your feet up to reduce the pressure in your legs, ankles, and feet. Growing a baby is hard work! Find something on Netflix and take a break, mama. If you need a little help relaxing, try a pillow spray made with lavender or another calming scent, like this one from Goddess of Spring.

3. Keep it Clean: Lots of commercial body washes and soaps can be drying, which means you’ll be reaching for even more lotions to moisturize! Cut down on the quantity when you improve the quality of your body wash. Earth Mama has a Happy Mama Body Wash to go along with the Body Butter we already recommended above, with a pleasant ginger citrus scent and non-irritating formula for a happier bump. We also love Real Purity, with options like Hydrating Body Soap and a moisturizing Fragrance-Free Body Wash.

4. Practice Good Posture: Your growing bump is sure to make your center of gravity and your posture out of whack. Talk to your doctor about pregnancy-safe core exercises and pay attention to your posture, making sure your pelvis isn’t tilted to overcompensate for the weight of your belly.

5. Don’t Forget About Postpartum Care: Your belly may not have a baby inside anymore, but postpartum care should continue to include your healthier skincare routine - especially if you’ve had a C-Section. Earth Mama’s C-Mama Healing Salve is a great option to take care of a healing incision and reduce scarring. You’ve got enough on your plate with a new bundle of joy, so a high-quality skincare product is one less thing you have to worry about.

Best wishes for a healthy pregnancy and a happy baby bump!

A Guide To Nesting During Pregnancy

Nesting During Pregnancy

Have you noticed the first blooms of spring popping up in your garden, or perhaps the singing of birds building nests in the trees? Spring is here and it’s time for a renewal of the world around us! If you’re pregnant, you know that nesting isn’t just for the birds anymore. This blog will give you a guide to nesting this spring as you get ready for your new bundle of joy to arrive. Plus, it features real stories from moms who have been through it all.

You’ll know the nesting bug has struck when you have an urge to get your home “baby-ready.” It is more common in the later weeks of pregnancy, closer to delivery. Similarly, we get an urge to clean and organize the house once nicer weather is upon us, so if you’re due in the spring or summer months your nesting urges are more intense as you have twice the urge to get your home in shape.

Advice for Nesting Safely

Safety first! You might have a strong urge to get everything super clean from the baseboards to the ceiling, but enlist the help of your partner or a friend to do any heavy lifting or climbing to clean high areas. You should also open a window to improve ventilation, and avoid using harsh chemical cleaners. Chemical cleaners can release fumes that are harmful for you to breathe, especially during pregnancy. Look for a list of safer non-toxic cleaning supplies in our earlier blog post about spring cleaning your nursery. If you have any concerns about how much to lift or what cleaning supplies to use, check with your doctor.

If you’re building or setting up nursery furniture, try to do it as early as possible to allow for any off-gassing. Some items might be light enough for you to put together on your own but if anything is big, heavy, or awkward to move and arrange by yourself, ask for help. Of course, a lightweight crib mattress will be convenient and easy to move around to set up your nursery, even if you rearrange it all twelve times.

Nesting in The Nursery

The urge to clean and organize is different for each woman, and even each pregnancy. Or you might not get the nesting urge at all. It’s common during nesting to spend a lot of time on the nursery, including washing and folding the baby’s clothes and blankets. You can also open the windows to air out the room, and wash the curtains to make sure nothing is dusty. If you are painting the nursery, get zero-VOC paint and/or have someone else paint for you so you aren’t exposed to the paint fumes.

Lauren says: “I started nesting around 34 weeks. I folded and organized baby clothes about 4 billion times. I also scrubbed the baseboards with a toothbrush. I made my partner rearrange the nursery 3 times and went back to the original way we had it set up.”


Nursery recap:

  • Laundry (baby clothes, bedding, cloth diapers, curtains)
  • Dust furniture
  • Clean ceiling fan
  • Scrub baseboards 
  • Sweep and mop (and/or vacuum) floor and rugs 
  • Make sure you have all the baby necessities on your list

Nesting in the Kitchen

Another common area pregnant women focus on is the kitchen. Some pregnant mamas use the nesting urge to finally banish all of the non-matching containers and lids that accumulate in cabinets and drawers. It’s a great time to clean out the coffee pot, blender, and electric kettle with a vinegar solution. If the mood strikes you, clean out the fridge, toss anything expired (resist the urge to open it and see how far gone it is - you’re pregnant, come on!), and scrub the shelves. You can also scrub the sink and put some cleaning pods down the garbage disposal. While you’re at it, rearrange the items in your pantry. Be honest about what you’re actually going to eat, and donate the rest of your non-perishables to a shelter. Wash all your kitchen towels, washcloths, and curtains. Replace sponges, clean out the microwave, and clean the oven. You can rearrange and organize cabinets and countertops too, if the mood strikes you.

Another aspect of nesting is preparing for life after baby, so you can also take some time and direct your energy toward making freezer meals to eat when you’re home with your new little one!

Katie says: “With my first I didn't own a mop and would scrub the entire kitchen on my hands and knees with a sponge.”

Kitchen recap:

  • Laundry (towels, washcloths, curtains)
  • Clean surfaces (stovetop, countertops)
  • Clean appliances (microwave, toaster oven, oven, refrigerator, dishwasher)
  • Clean the sink and garbage disposal 
  • Throw out expired food
  • Clean pantry and donate food you’re not planning to eat 
  • Prepare freezer meals for after delivery 
  • Buy a mop (trust us & Katie)

Nesting in the Living Areas

Your living room, den, or family room probably needs some attention. Spruce up the space with a quick tidy and clean the floors, baseboards, and any dust or cobwebs in the corners. You can clean lampshades with a lint roller and launder your curtains and any furniture slipcovers or throw blankets. You might even get the urge to rearrange furniture, which is pretty normal. Remember to ask for help if you’re trying to move something heavy!

Lexie says: “Our old couches needed to GO and my husband said he would take care of it. Well, he kept putting it off. So one day I got fed up and just started pushing the loveseat out the door. My husband said “Just wait. I told you I would take care of it,” to which I responded, "Yes, and you haven't." I was halfway to the elevator before he helped me drag it in and out to the dumpster. Then he called a buddy of ours to help him with the couch since clearly I was 100% done waiting.”

Living room recap:

  1. Laundry (curtains, throw blankets, slipcovers)
  2. Sweep and mop (or vacuum) floors and rugs 
  3. Wipe baseboards and crown molding 
  4. Organize bookshelves, DVDs, tv stand, etc.
  5. Clear surfaces of clutter 
  6. Dust surfaces and appliances 
  7. Get a friend to help with heavy lifting or moving furniture

Nesting in the Bathrooms

Bathrooms can get pretty germy and might have funky smells, so feel free to delegate this one! Take down the shower curtains and wash them with your towels, and scrub the toilet, tub, and sink. Bonus points for cleaning out the linen closet and mopping the floor. Keep in mind that you can use vinegar and baking soda to clean without chemical fumes. If you can stand the smell of the vinegar, it’s an excellent cleaner! You can also use hydrogen peroxide as a disinfectant and cleaner without much of an odor.

Bathroom recap:

  • Laundry (towels, washcloths, curtains, shower curtain)
  • Clean tub and sink
  • Clean toilet 
  • Sweep and mop the floor (or steam clean)
  • Wipe baseboards 
  • Clean out and organize linen closet and medicine cabinet 
  • Throw out expired bath and beauty products 

Nesting in the Bedroom

Clean your room! Seriously. Especially if you’ll keep your baby in a crib or co-sleeper in your room, it’s important to feel secure and happy in your space. Gather up all the dirty laundry lurking in closets and hampers, clean the floors, and change your sheets. You’ll feel refreshed and calmer with these small changes and you can undertake bigger projects like organizing bookshelves, etc. if you feel up to it.

Bedroom recap:

  • Laundry (clothes, sheets, curtains)
  • Sweep and mop (or vacuum) floors and rugs 
  • Wipe baseboards
  • Organize bookshelves
  • Organize closet
  • Organize jewelry

Nesting in the Office

If you have a home office, use some of your nesting energy to organize and prepare things you’ll need easy access to like hospital records, information from your midwife, your birth plan, etc. You can also organize bookshelves and office supplies and clean your desk. Not all nesting has to happen in the physical environment, either; you can organize files on your computer and phone too!

Office recap:

  • Laundry (curtains)
  • Sweep and mop (or vacuum) floors and rugs
  • Wipe baseboards
  • Organize bookshelves, file cabinets, and storage containers 
  • Declutter office supplies 
  • Organize computer files 
  • Make space on your phone for hundreds of baby photos

General Pregnancy Nesting Tips

The nesting urge may strike you or it may not, it depends on the person and the pregnancy! Most mamas-to-be find that having their hospital bag packed by 35 weeks or so is a good idea, and you may find yourself re-packing it a few times, even if you’re not nesting much. Nesting might present itself differently in the much later weeks of pregnancy when you could go into labor at any time.

Meg says:”Currently, I'm hitting the psychological nesting of "OH NO, IT COULD HAPPEN ANY SECOND!" My brain is making me panic non-stop to the point I keep my hair braided for the hospital, dishes washed, all errands ran... just in case. It is mentally exhausting.” (Editor’s note: Just a few days after providing this comment, Meg has had her baby. Congrats, Meg!)

Caroline says: “I didn't pack a bag properly until I had called a taxi to take me to hospital. I thought I'd be able to do it when my contractions started… wrong.”

Nesting Tips for Partners

Partners, we know this nesting stuff might seem a little weird, but it’s a natural part of pregnancy. Your partner might ask you for help, so do your best to be available to help with some tasks like moving furniture or cleaning things that are high up. Feel free to offer your ideas on how to organize, or offer to go pick up some nontoxic cleaning supplies. Do what you can to make nesting an easier process. And remember, pregnant women shouldn’t be cleaning litter boxes due to the risk of toxoplasmosis, so get used to the scooper.

Caroline says: “Advice for the partners: No matter how crazy you think it is, no matter your clean you think the place is, don't tell your pregnant partner this. If they ask you to help, then help!”

Your Nesting Stories

Has the nesting bug hit you? Did you get double trouble with a spring cleaning urge on top of nesting? Tell us your funniest nesting stories!

Crib Mattress Breathability Done Right

At Lullaby Earth, baby safety is what we’re all about. That’s why we continue to bring you the most updated baby products, like the Lullaby Earth Breeze Crib Mattress. The Breeze system combines the safety of a firm, flat waterproof crib mattress with our breathable mattress pad. The pad is machine washable for easy bedding changes and cleanup!

Safety plus breathability. Now that’s breathability done right!

Get the facts on how to do breathability right:

Crib Mattress Breathability Done Right

Pregnancy Checklist: Fourth Trimester

The fourth trimester? Yes, it’s really a thing! The postpartum period is commonly referred to as the fourth trimester. It is a time to be gentle with yourself and your new baby as you adjust to life after birth. Celebrate it, enjoy it, and for goodness’ sake, don’t stress about your pre-baby pants right now.

Read entire article.

Pregnancy Checklist: Third Trimester

Third Trimester Pregnancy Checklist

You’re coming down the home stretch now, in the third and final trimester of your pregnancy. Soon you will have a squishy baby to snuggle! Keep your mind’s eye focused on the prize at the end, because you probably feel about 150% ready to give birth right now. Ready for this trimester’s checklist? Read on!

Third Trimester Pregnancy Checklist: 

 
  1. Fight the Pain: If something doesn’t feel right, ask your doctor. Genevieve from Massachusetts says, “Round ligament pain in the third trimester is not just something you have to suffer with. There are things to help the pain: Use a stretchy waist binder on your lower hips while you are being active, don’t push yourself, sit on a yoga ball, get help from someone when you sit up from a laying position, and look into physical therapy.”
  2.  
  3. Say No: If you don’t feel up to spending time with friends or other plans, it is okay to say no and reschedule. This goes for any trimester but is especially important for your last weeks, when you might be feeling very tired. Also, don’t feel bad about defending your belly from people who want to touch it.
  4.  
  5. Rest More: Take naps when you want them, go to bed early, and get as much rest as you can. Pippa from the U.K. says, “It seems at the time like you’re wasting time you could be prepping for the baby but it is so vital to rest, especially if you end up in a labor marathon for hours!”
  6.  
  7. Pamper Yourself: Terra from TX says, “Enjoy the glow! In your last trimester, buy some makeup and go get pampered. Your feet are swelling. You’re aching. Go get a mani/pedi and have your hair washed at a salon.”
  8.  
  9. Finalize Your Birth Plan: Work with your OB/GYN, midwife, or doula to finalize your birth plan details. What are your decisions about epidurals, membrane sweeps, induction, and other interventions? Be open to a plan B or things not going exactly how you expect.
  10.  
  11. Remember What EDD Means: Back in the first trimester, your provider calculated an estimated due date. Remember that this is an estimate. The EDD gives you a rough idea of when to expect your baby, not an expiration date. Keep in touch with your provider if you are concerned. (Read more on due dates and term definitions here).
 

You might think the journey’s over once the baby is here, but next up is a checklist for the fourth trimester. It’s a time of adjustment as you and your new addition get to know each other. Stay tuned for our next post.

What advice can you add? What words of wisdom would have made your third trimester easier?

Stay tuned for our next post about postpartum care and the fourth trimester. You can also catch up on the first trimester and second trimester checklists we’ve already shared.

Pregnancy Checklist: Second Trimester

Pregnancy Checklist: Second Trimester

Hooray! You’re through the first trimester of pregnancy. Things are moving along now and you’re starting to get that cute baby bump. Here’s our next checklist, full of second trimester tips.

Second Trimester Pregnancy Checklist:

Stay in Touch with Your Provider: Your OB/GYN or midwife can indicate if you need any additional tests during pregnancy or if you have any risk factors to keep an eye on. Be fully informed on every test and procedure.

 
  1. Moisturize: Keep your growing belly moisturized with a high quality product like Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Stretch Oil. Keeping your skin hydrated helps you reduce the itchy feeling of your growing belly. Worried about stretch marks? Some women don’t get stretch marks at all and those that do are prone to them genetically. Lotions can help, but the only thing that can really minimize them is not gaining too much weight too fast.
  2.  
  3. Decide on a Gender Reveal: Are you going to find out the sex of your baby? This trimester is the time you can find out! If you do NOT want to find out, be sure to tell your provider and the ultrasound tech to keep the secret so they don’t let it slip or give clues during your appointment.
  4.  
  5. Research Maternity Leave: Dig out your employee handbook and find out what your maternity leave policy is like. When you are ready, announce your pregnancy to your employer and begin planning for your maternity leave.
  6.  
  7. Be an Adult: When the baby comes, your life is going to change. Take advantage of pre-baby time by scheduling a “babymoon” getaway with your partner, going out for a late movie, or enjoying other things that you won’t be able to do with a newborn.
  8.  
  9. Be Gentle with Yourself: Heather from TX says, “Don’t beat yourself up if you’re functioning differently: less endurance, lower libido, difficulty doing certain tasks. This applies during ALL trimesters.”
  10.  
  11. Keep Eating and Drinking Water: You need extra calories in pregnancy, and morning sickness usually subsides by the second trimester so you can start eating normally again. And remember to stay hydrated! Keep in touch with your care provider to monitor your hydration and nutrition.
  12.  
  13. Develop Your Birth Plan: Working with your OB/GYN, midwife, or doula, develop your birth plan. Are you planning to birth in a hospital, in a birth center, or at home? Do you have a backup plan? Have you toured hospitals and birth centers to choose the right one for you? 
 

What advice can you add?
What’s your number one piece of advice for mamas-to-be in their second trimester?

Stay tuned for our checklist on the third trimester, coming soon! And review the first trimester checklist if you missed it.

Pregnancy Checklist: First Trimester

Pregnancy Checklist: First Trimester

Congrats, you’re pregnant! Now what? We asked moms for their best advice and we’ve made a checklist of tips and tricks for your first trimester.

First Trimester Pregnancy Checklist: 

 
  1. Choose a Provider: If you don’t have an OB/GYN or midwife lined up, research care providers in your area or ask your family doctor for a referral. You might also consider hiring a doula. Julia from Georgia says, “Make sure you’re fully informed about all your medical decisions.... You have to get a care provider who listens to you.”
  2.  
  3. Get a Checkup: Visit your care provider for recommendations on quality prenatal care, discuss any medication changes you might need during pregnancy, and discuss family history of any pregnancy or birth complications. Using the date of your last menstrual period, your doctor or midwife will be able to calculate an estimated due date. 
  4.  
  5. Drink Plenty of Water: You need to stay hydrated throughout pregnancy. Ample water intake helps keep the kidneys in good shape to filter waste from your body, reduces the risk of UTIs, and can also help with swelling and fatigue. Ask your doctor for the ideal level of water you should be drinking.
  6.  
  7. Prepare for Morning Sickness: Not every woman will experience morning sickness, but if you do it’s possible to identify foods or smells that trigger more nausea and sickness. Keep a journal of your symptoms and if they happened after you encountered a food or on an empty stomach. Sarah from New Jersey advises to discuss “your prenatal [vitamin] with your doctor if you are having lots of morning sickness. I switched mine to a whole food prenatal and my morning sickness went away.”
  8.  
  9. Eat Healthfully: Morning sickness might make eating anything seem impossible, but do your best to eat a healthful diet with fresh produce and whole foods. Keep healthy snacks on hand to reduce morning sickness from having an empty stomach. Pippa from Cardigan, U.K. says, “Listen to your cravings. If you want it, you probably need it.” Cravings for non-food items should be discussed ASAP with your doctor, as they may indicate a mineral deficiency.
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  11. Keep Moving: It is generally safe to continue a level of fitness and exercise that you had before pregnancy. If you don’t already have an exercise regimen, prenatal yoga or gentle prenatal exercise programs can help boost your mood and energy during pregnancy. Always check with your practitioner to confirm an exercise plan that is safe for you.
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  13. Rest: Genevieve from Massachusetts says, “For all trimesters, REST. Especially the first trimester. You’ll be exhausted, and so tired, and it’s because your body is making a human. So even if you feel like you didn’t do anything strenuous, and you feel like you need a nap, take a nap. Your body is working hard right now even if you don’t feel it.” 
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  15. Prep for Swelling: Unfortunately, you will experience swelling during pregnancy. Keep an eye on any rings you wear and do yourself a favor now and buy a bottle of this spray to help reduce swelling on, ahem, tender areas throughout pregnancy and postpartum. 
 

What advice can you add?

We can’t pack every piece of good advice into this list, so share your insights with our readers. What did you wish you knew about the first trimester?

If you missed our Before Pregnancy Checklist, check it out now! And stay tuned for our next post about the second trimester.