This pregnancy has been completely different than my first. With my first all I needed was a bottle of Maalox in my purse and an chiropractic adjustment once a week to resolve my sciatica. This is my second pregnancy and it is a whole new situation. On the bright side I have learned a lot and have been able to research more about products, companies, and which is best for me and my pregnant friends!
I have had horrible acne, itchy skin all over, and very painful belly skin. I was using some pretty powerful scrubs and lotions on my face and some anti-stretch mark cream on my belly, none of which helped with my symptoms. I also hated using these products because of how TOXIC they are, not only to me but the baby as well. Any toxic product you use on your belly and skin goes straight to the baby. Pretty scary stuff considering all stretch mark creams on the market today, except a very select few, are highly toxic.
Ava Anderson Non-Toxic Products have been a life saver. Obviously, they are non-toxic and rated a ‘0’ on the cosmetic data base, they are priced reasonably, and they have local consultants so I can just call my friend. Their toner had at least stopped the progression of my acne. Amazing, considering there was something new once a week! Their deep moisturizing eye cream was the only product to stop my belly itching. It is meant for reducing eye wrinkles and small facial issues but when used in small amounts I no longer have the stretching skin pain!
Of course, knowing that I am no longer putting toxic chemicals on my body is a huge relief that I have switched over completed to all of their products.
2. Yogi tea
Along the lines of toxicity and nutrition, I have tried to avoid over the counter antacids. I have severe acid reflux and haven’t been able to lay flat on my side or back since I was about 20 weeks, otherwise my stomach would empty itself back up. Yuck. After dinner or lunch Yogi Tea’s “Stomach Ease” would help take the edge off. I used to add ginger to my juice but those made me sick and just boiling ginger and drinking the water wasn’t enough.
Their pregnancy tea has also been very calming and soothing. Most of my acid reflux has been due to stress, and the more stressed out I am the more sick I am. This includes muscle aches, pains, back pain, everything! Their pregnancy tea has been great for balancing my hormones and I have not been riding the hormone rollercoaster as I would be without it!
Lastly, their Nursing Mom’s tea was also one of the only products that helped boost my supply when it started dwindling. I’m stocking up now!
3. Digest-Zen Essential Oil
Along the lines of digestive issues and since making tea isn’t always an available option, I carry my doTERRA essential oil blend “Digest-Zen” and Peppermint with me. I don’t usually recommend taking essential oils internally while pregnant, but these have been extremely helpful and I wouldn’t go without. Some suggest putting one or two drops under your tongue but that was a little too intense for me. So I add 2-3 drops in a big bottle of water and drink that throughout the day. I also keep a little sample vial of each with me in case I’m at a restaurant or friend’s house and I can just add it to the water. Since the bottles are 15ml and contain about 250 drops, these oils will last your whole pregnancy and beyond!
Kinesiotape is a type of athletic tape that is very specific in its formulation. It has a very specific elasticity that lifts the skin while supporting the muscles to relieve pain, prevent injury, and promote healing.
Kinesiotape has been the best solution for my diastasis (ab muscle separation). I’ve tried belts, bands, and ace bandages but nothing has been able to relieve my pain like the tape. I use my kinesiotape about once a week and I only really need the tape about 2-3 days. See my post about ab separation for more information and help. You can buy kinesiotape online or at your local running store. Ask your chiropractor or physical therapist if they have any as well. You don’t need a lot, unless you have severe diastasis. I only tape the areas that are hurting and I cut the tape in half so it isn’t the full width.
I also use the kinesiotape on my patient’s for back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, neck and shoulder pain. It is great for reducing swelling and pain in all joints.
I used Hypnobabies as my childbirth education home study course with my first pregnancy. I loved the course and truly benefited from all that they offered. However, I was never sure I was ‘doing it right’ or was able to enter deep hypnosis. With this pregnancy I have noticed a significant difference in how I use the tracks (mp3’s). I have found support through their Yahoo group and have reached out to more women who have used the program. We all have moments of doubt and while planning for my second home birth I have had many moments and days where I completely doubt myself. Using the tracks have really helped give me the confidence I need and has completely changed my outlook on birth.
Listening to the tracks has also significantly decreased my stress, or at least my body’s reaction to stress. My acid reflux goes away when I’m listening and I’m actually able to get to sleep. On the other hand, sometimes listening makes my skin very itchy and my legs start to cramp up (Check out this page if you have the same problem, plus a free e-book and MP3) and the group suggested I listen while taking a bath which has really helped as well!
Overall, the benefits for decreasing my stress and acid reflux alone have been wonderful. I am truly looking forward to my second birth and expecting only wonderful things!