January 7, 2013

Clutch Pregnancy Consumption (Material version)

When people ask me about my experience with pregnancy symptoms I almost immediately tell them about what I did to combat them. Although it is not necessary to "throw money at the problem," I have to admit that it became my strategy. Thankfully I didn't have to throw a lot of money at most of these product favorites. Through savvy consumption I was able to minimize my discomforts and came to enjoy pregnancy more so for it. Although some of these items were specific to different parts of pregnancy, that doesn't diminish how helpful I thought they were. I will also be sharing the sartorial version of my clutch pregnancy consumption in a separate post.

Although I didn't have a great deal of nausea during my first trimester I did have trouble with dizziness. In addition to cutting out coffee and upping my protein intake (especially in the mornings... eggs and Greek yogurt were my best breakfast friends) there were a few items that helped to alleviate this problem (or at least function as placebos to enable me to feel in control).

Although it was bad in the first trimester, my skin stabilized and looked relatively good in my second and third trimesters. I had to stop using a few items that were a part of my pre-pregnancy regimen so I found myself seeking advice from the dermatologist. She prescribed some topical things (Finacea and Clindamycin) that were safer for pregnancy than my previous topical treatments (Retin-A and Benzoyl Peroxide). She also suggested I consider buying a Clarisonic. The price of the MIA seemed a bit steep at first but in using it I have enjoyed cleaner, clearer skin during and following pregnancy.

In addition to strengthening my pelvic floor through a variety of stretches and exercises, I learned during my birth class how comfortable it feels to sit in a supported squat on an exercise (or "birth") ball. This became my favorite living room spot to relax, correct my posture, and alleviate lower back pain.

I also bought flaxseed-filled neck and shoulder pillows on etsy (for Chris) that I found myself heating for lower back relief. I assembled many maternity and bed pillows to make sleeping as comfortable as possible in the final weeks.

I joked with Chris that there wasn't enough (generic) Zantac in the world to help lessen the feelings of indigestion that plagued my first and third trimesters. Thankfully, my midwife practice approved as much as 300mg/day (in two 150mg doses or in four 75mg doses, spread out). The other thing that helped was fizzy water. Club soda with lime became my pregnancy "cocktail" of choice. We also went through Sodastream carbonation canisters faster than ever before!

Other hits: my maternity pillow which now functions as an excellent and amply sized nursing pillow for nighttime feedings in bed and a probiotic (I cleared acidophilus with my midwife) for digestive support amid the numerous hormonal shifts that could disrupt you.

And lastly, for my birthday (which fell around 5 weeks into things) Chris bought me a journal so that I could keep written records of my thoughts, symptoms, and progress. I kept up with writing more so in the beginning and middle, before I was knee deep in the fall term. But I am sure I will always treasure having the information for sentimental and practical reasons. I hope Emilia will read it someday, too.

Not everything I bought during pregnancy was a hit. There were also quite a few misses. I thought that buying a prenatal cradle would help alleviate what I suspected was pelvic girdle pain. It only made me feel worse. Through trial and error I discovered that a few of the prenatal vitamin brands have far more iron than I personally need. And in excess the iron made me feel nauseous and dizzy. Apparently I have a mild, stomach-specific allergy to the cocoa butter lotions designed to prevent stretch marks. I got hives while slathering myself with Palmer's Tummy Butter but have been fine for years using cocoa butter lotion on my legs and arms. Instead to prevent stretch marks I rotated Jojoba Oil, shea butter, liquid Vitamin E, Cerave, and Cetaphil Cream.

Everyone is different of course. What worked for me might not work for others. But I know I learned from other women about the stuff to at least try and was much happier during pregnancy thanks to their wise wisdom.

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