The clock is ticking down until the jolly old man in the red suit makes his grand entrance! Have you gotten all your shopping done? Or maybe the better question is, did your hubby get all of his done yet? If not, point him my way. Without further ado, here are a few ideas to put a smile on that glowing mama-to-be’s face:
1) Bella Band by Ingrid and Isabel, or the most affordable version sold at Target called the BE band: this product is my GO-TO. I love it. Essentially it makes any pair of regular pants into maternity pants. It’s perfect for the first and second trimester, when perhaps you aren’t big enough for maternity jeans yet, but you can’t button your normal pants anymore!! I personally don’t love wearing maternity pants because they ride so high in the waist, and yet are so baggy in the thigh that they fall down…. so this has been my everyday solution!
2) The Snoogle Body Pillow, the Boppy Pregnancy Wedge, and other prego pillows: I just started using the snoogle and it has CHANGED MY LIFE. I’m not joking. Here’s why: first of all, the added weight of a growing belly pulls on your back and hips, which means that often I wake up with back aches. Secondly, after week 20, you aren’t allowed to sleep on your back anymore, which is tough if you automatically roll that way while sleeping. And third, if you are a stomach sleeper, forget it after week 17 or so! With the Snoogle, you can support your belly, support your hips, and prevent yourself from rolling fully supine all with one product. AND, if you are a stomach sleeper, you can flip it to sleep facing the pillow and give yourself something to wedge between you and your bed, making you feel like you are on your belly.
3) Belly Creams: Some of my faves are Burts Bees Mama Bee products, and the Earth Mama Angel Baby Stretch Mark Oil and Body Butter. Also consider Bio-oil, which is sold at Target, and pure coconot oil, sold at any health food store. The thing is, we all want to prevent stretch marks. But also (who knew) your belly starts to ITCH like no other as it stretches!
4) Pre-natal Fitness DVDs: 2 of my ABSOLUTE FAVES are Sara Haley’s Expecting More, and Jennifer Wolfe’s Prenatal Yoga. The thing I like about these two DVDs is that they are geared toward the woman who already is fit and active, and pre-natal workouts like this have been hard to find: they still feel like a workout!
5) Gift certificates for pre-natal fitness classes, and other classes that are PERFECT for pregos. Check out local yoga and pilates studios, as well as smaller boutique fitness studios. Consider private lessons – traditional classes will be difficult after a certain point in time, but a private lesson will give her the motivation she needs to keep going through the third trimester.
6) Foam Roller, Balance Disc, and Stability Ball – these are fitness products that are great for pre-natal mamas, but also DOUBLE as stress relief!! The foam roller can be used safely for core work, but also for self-massage of rolling out the hamstrings, low back and SI joint, which all get notoriously tight in pregos. The Balance disc is great for core work early in pregnancy, and some seated work, but it’s also been my GODSEND for sitting at a desk during the day – my tailbone was sore almost immediately after getting pregnant and this helps a lot! The stability ball is great for balance exercises (balance is something that gets more difficult in pregnancy), as well as for stretching and rolling out tight hips.
7) Clothing items you’d never think about:
- A maternity winter coat (Asos is a great place to find these, as well as Gap and Old Navy) or a cape/ruana
- Leggings are way more comfy than even maternity jeans (H&M or Destination Maternity)
- Compression stockings help prevent vericose veins (which is a common problem in pregnancy)
- SLIP-ON shoes with no laces, and a comfy rubber sole – it gets hard to tie your shoes after about 20-25 weeks, and the added weight of carrying around baby makes for sore feet. I love Cole Haan Air shoes – still super cute and stylish but comfy! (on the same note – slip on sneakers for working out later in pregnancy!)
- A stand-in wedding band! Fingers swell and get too big for your rings… and you don’t want to find yourself in the ER to get it removed before it cuts of circulation. I’d suggest finding a super cute, inexpensive blinging cubic zirconia ring, 2 sizes bigger!
- Finally, belly support girdles for for later in pregnancy
8) Pampering!!!! Gift certificates for PRE-NATAL massage, mani/pedis, hair treatments, safe spa treatments (be sure to ask when booking if it’s prego-safe), and even a maternity photo session with a local photographer.
9) Last but not least, products to support delivery!
- CUTE birthing gowns (yes, a lot of photos get taken in that hospital room!) Check http://shop.birthingown.com/gowns_s/1817.htm
- GOOD and COMFY nursing pajamas…. you will LIVE in them after birth for the first week or so, so they better be comfy and cute! I like this pair by Olian: http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/olian-maternity-anne-4-piece-sleepwear-set/3379897?origin=keywordsearch&contextualcategoryid=0&fashionColor=&resultback=2202 but also, HOT MILK has some cute stuff – and lingerie to boot!
- Finally, Doula services or the Hypnobabies home study course, which helps for an easier and pain-free labor: http://www.amazon.com/Hypnobabies-Study-Course-Expectant-Mothers/dp/B001I8E5TK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1354917559&sr=8-1&keywords=hypnobabies