I have to say I am loving this pregnancy. And that is a completely new experience for me. I was extremely anxious throughout my pregnancy with Archie  and just wanted to speed through it; but because of the long, tough road to get here the second time around, (and the fact that it will probably be my last), I am making a conscious effort to soak it all in and enjoy every minute of growing this miracle.

Don't get me wrong- it's definitely no walk in the park.  There are stretch marks, bleeding noses, itchy skin, swollen feet, skin tags, heartburn, 3579 toilet trips every night and don't even get me started on the production it is to tie my shoes... But my mindset has changed so much since I was pregnant with Archie. The pregnancies in themselves haven't been much different, but my perspective on them is worlds apart- and this is why I am thankful for the tougher path to this second baby- it has given me so much more gratitude, and the more gratitude, the less anxiety- it's as simple as that.

So as I hit the 8 month mark, I thought I would share my pregnancy essentials. The things that have fed my mind, supported my body & nourished my soul (and some that just make me look & feel my best!)

  1. Pilates | I've always enjoyed regular exercise. Pre-pregnancy I mixed up cardio, spin, barre and yoga classes, exercising 3-4 times a week. I was fit but had some ongoing shoulder and back issues which limited my intensity. In my first trimester I took it easy, just walking 3 times a week, so by the time I was in my second trimester I wanted something to improve my strength and pelvic floor. I started a one-on-one pilates program with Kirsten from Fluid Form Pilates. OMG what a game changer. Just one session a week has made the world of difference to my posture, strength and body. I'd been dipping in and out of gym pilates classes for years, but the difference of having a professional (who specialises in pregnancy and post pregnancy ) makes such a difference to the results. I actually feel stronger than I ever have!
  2. Facials/Massage | Juggling a hectic work schedule with a hectic five year old means there is less "me time" this time around so I make sure I dedicate time for self care. I haven't had as many massages as I would like ( I'm going to change that these last two months), but every four weeks I have taken an hour out of my day to enjoy an organic facial at Endota Spa. So important to make time for myself- otherwise I turn into a burnt out, cranky b*%ch- and no-one wants to see that ;)
  3. Stretch mark cream | I started  alternating between Mama Mio stretch mark oil & Endota Spa Rosehio & Inca Incha Oil, but as I have entered the massive growth stage I've pulled out the big guns....  Stratamark- its not organic, but 100% safe for pregnancy as the molecules too big to be absorbed. And wow! What a difference it has made already on my existing stretch marks across my hips. I will be doing a video blog on all of the skincare that I have been using next week as this is one of my most asked questions, so stay tuned!
  4.  Coconut Oil- What can't you use this oil for?! I cook with it, make chocolate with it, use it as mouthwash (great for supporting sensitive pregnancy gums) and have been using it as my body moisturiser the entire pregnancy. I swear by it and of course it's 100% safe to use. .
  5. Pregnancy Leggings | Probably the question I get asked most is what are the best pregnancy leggings- and it's a bloody important question because the wrong leggings can ride up, slide  down. sag at the bum, ball when you wash them and just look, well ugly.  I am a huge believer that leggings CAN BE PANTS! There are some amazing leggings out there that will make any outfit look fab. You can dress them up and down- just one rule- make sure your butt is covered ;) My faves for up to about 25-30 weeks are Decjuba leggings- not pregnancy specific, but fit like a comfortable glove and look great. When the bump is getting bigger my pregnancy- specific leggings of choice are Balanqi & Preggo Leggings.
  6. Stretch basics & comfy undies | I give more detail on this in my previous post HERE, but in a nutshell as well as a couple of great pairs of leggings, a maternity tube skirt and body-con dress will become your best friend. Some of my favourite maternity labels to date are Bae The Label, Legoe Heritage & 1965 The LabelKookai is another great option for non-maternity specific stretch dresses that you can still wear right through. Now to the important point of underwear! The last thing you want is tight, uncomfortable underwear that digs in or rides up.  I can't go past the three pack Target maternity undies for everyday comfort and they are really quite flattering too!
  7. Platform Sneakers | I'm really glad these are in fashion at the moment- they are perfect for pregnancy as a super comfy sneaker, but also gives you a bit of height which makes you look leaner and legs longer. Superega  or Seed are my favourites.
  8. Anti- Radiation Belly Blanket  | With all the time we spend on computers and on our phones, the long-term effects of radiation on our unborn bubs (and ourselves!) is a real concern.  After reading a lot of information on this topic, I prefer to err on the side of caution and use a Belly Armour radiation shield blanket every day when I'm working on the computer or when I'm pulled into the instagram vortex. I also use the belly band if I'm on the treadmill at the gym watching the TV. I have also purchased the nursing blanket which blocks wifi radiation to the baby if I am on the phone while feeding. For the peace of mind alone, this is one of the best investments I've made this pregnancy. You can read more about the benefits and purchase here.
  9. Beach Swims | Being pregnant during one of the longest, hottest Sydney summers has not been so comfortable to say the least! Thank F for the AC!  Even though we no longer live at the beach, I've made the effort to head to the ocean at least once a week for a swim. It's the best feeling ever and re-charges the soul. It also means that the kimono beach cover-up has become my best friend. All of mine (including the one pictured below) are from Spell Designs.
  10. Meditation/Hypnotherapy | I have been meditating since my first miscarriage 2 years ago and it has been nothing short of life changing. I firmly believe it gave me the strength throughout my fertility struggles. The Broad Place is where I learnt and I maintain a daily practice (for the most part.) I have also suffered from White Coat Syndrome for over 10 years- mainly because of the medical trauma I witnessed as a child loosing my sister in a tragic accident. This made my pregnancy with Archie so difficult as I would have a panic attack just thinking about routine Doctor visits and simple things like getting my blood pressure taken. A soon as I found out I was pregnant I did two hypnotherapy sessions (which included a specific daily meditation) with Dr Tracie O'Keefe and my fear of Doctors and hospitals has all but gone. I also love the pregnancy/affirmation cards from Teepeelearning.com  and refer to them often as they bring positivity and confidence to the pregnancy journey.
  11. A sense of humour! | Laughter really is the best medicine! I've been watching loads of comedies and very rarely watch the news to keep me happy and positive. For a good laugh at your pregnant self, you can't go past these #BUMPLIFE cards from Cheerily.co  -such  a great gift to give a newly pregnant friend- they've kept me smiling through the wonderful and not so wonderful stages of pregnancy.


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