Last week, I was in bed reading a pregnancy book and as I opened this week’s page I read: “Your Third Trimester”.
- The Day By Day Pregnancy Book by Dr Maggie Blott.One of my friends kindly lent me “What To Expect When You Are Expecting” which, despite being one the best sellers when it comes to pregnancy books, to me looked extremely boring. I mean, lots and lots of medical words written in two column pages, with only very few black and white pictures? I wanted to know as much as possible about what my body was going to be up to during what is one of the most exciting times of my life, but I needed a bit of colour and fun to it, too.
So, while browsing in our local book store, Gavin and I came across “The Day By Day Pregnancy Book”. We had a quick look through the pages and Gavin decided to buy it for me. The book is a bit pricey (£25.00) but it is very well written and follows you throughout your journey day by day, with daily pictures of what the baby looks like in the womb and daily countdown to your due date. It divides in First, Second and Third Trimester, there is an entire chapter that talks about labour and the first days at home with your newborn, it gives you insights about your antenatal appointments, healthy eating, safe work-outs and other general information. I love this book. I have read it everyday for the past 7 months. I will miss it once I reach the end of it. This is an A+ buy, I definitely recommend this book to anyone who is curious about the experience they, their bodies, and their partner are living.
- A budget spreadsheet (or notebook):
Like many mums-to-be, I want to take advantage of my maternity leave and be home with my baby for as long as possible despite the very little compensation you get with Statuatory Maternity Pay. Once I begin my maternity leave, I will be earning a third of my regular monthly income, which won’t be enough to pay for my share of rent. I don’t feel like it is fair to get my partner to pay for our major expenses and therefore, when my pregnancy test was positive, I decided to start my own saving plan by making an Excel spreadsheet. I knew that in order to be off work for the whole 9 months, I had to save at least the £4000 that would cover my share of rent during maternity leave. For the past few months,putting money in my saving account, paying rent and buying food has been incredibly tough and left me with very little (sometimes none) spending money for myself. However, I am fully aware that this will give me the chance of being home with my baby without having to worry about how I will pay my bills and it will allow me to be more relaxed with my Statuatory Maternity income. It will be all worth it in the end. This is a picture of the spreadsheet I have used to budget my finances, you can find it in your Excel templates if you tipe “Expenses” in your search bar.
I have used Excel because it saves me the time of making the calculations myself, and, should I be in need to know where I am moneywise, I can check it quickly from my phone. But if you don’t have Excel, or don’t know how to use it, you can always use a notebook, do all the calculations youselves and carry it in your handbag. At the moment, I could not live without this spreadsheet. It has also helped the budgeting for our baby shopping.
- Mum&Me Stretch Mark Cream: I have used this cream since the very beginning, even before my bump started to grow. I like this cream because it has a smooth texture and a very gentle smell. I have been so content with the brand that I have also bought other Mum&Me products such as bath and shower gels and body lotions both for myself and the baby. On the box it says to apply it twice a day, but because I have used it from very early on, once a day is enough for me.
- La Roche-Posay Make Up Remover and Soap Bar and Bio Oil:I mentioned earlier how my skin is not exactly benefitting from that pregnancy glow that other women (but me) seem to have. Unfortunately, all these hormones have made my face spotty and my cheeks are often red with irritation and an acne texture. Needless to say that I have come to hate this as I feel like I can no longer go out without wearing make-up. In desperate search of a solution, I went to Boots determined to find a product that would help my condition. I met a very friendly sales assistant who explained me how most commercial cheap brands are full of chemicals that are harmful, rather then helpful, for the skin. I was led to what I call “the expensive department of skin care” – that I would normally keep myself away from, and I was introduced to La Roche-Posay products. She recommended them with the promise that these products are used by dermatologist and are free of harmful chemicals. In that moment, I decided that helping my skin condition was more important than money, hence I bought a soap bar (which on offer was £5.50) and a make up remover (£12.50).
So, removing the scaffolding of make up that I go out with everyday and washing my face were now sorted; however I was still looking for something to apply on my face that would keep it moisturised after I’d washed it. That is when Gavin’s mum suggested me to try Bio Oil. A small bottle of Bio Oil cost £8.00, but you do only need to apply a couple of drops of it; thus, I am trusting that I will go a long way with my little bottle. Bio Oil can also be used to improve the look of stretch marks, as it is designed to treat skin conditions like scars, uneven skin tone, ageing skin and dehydrated skin. You can also find it in the pregnancy skin care department of your local Boots.
I know that the items I have just mentioned are a bit pricey, but they are doing miracles to my skin, which hadn’t been so soft and smooth for a long time. My hormonal skin condition has very much improved and I would recommend these three items to anyone who is looking for good quality skin care products, pregnant and non. They are worth every single penny!
- A pregnancy support belt:Now, you don’t need to buy the £70 one that Mothercare sells, I bought mine for £20 on Amazon, and it does the job perfectly. As early as 14 weeks, I started to experience a very bad pelvic grindle pain. It keeps me awake at night, comes sharply as I am walking down aisles while doing food shopping, makes stading up from the sofa a nightmare. With a pregnancy belt, I did NOT get rid of the problem; unfortunately the physiotherapist said that I will have this problem until I give birth. But, after having worn this support belt nearly everyday for over a month, I feel comfortable enough to say that pelvic grindle pain has improved. I only get it on days when I stand up for a long time or do too many house chores. Another benefit that comes from the support belt is an improvement of posture when sitting down, which helps, too.
This is the one I bought:
A tip: if you buy this belt, always wear it above clothes as the velcro will otherwise irritate your skin. I wear it above maternity leggings or vest tops underneath my clothes.
I hope you have found this post helpful and that all of your pregnancies are going just as well. If you have any tip or feedback, please feel free to leave a comment below. =) xx