Motherhood Survival Tips
I am excited to write and share this post with you all as I hope you find it useful whether you are pregnant or not (I always Pinned posts like this before we got pregnant so I knew how to find them when the time was right). I have had so many questions related to all things baby, pregnancy, transitioning into motherhood, etc. I wanted to compile all my answers in one place for you guys! As for the what’s in your hospital bag and what did you register for…I feel like I need to dedicate full posts to those so they will be coming soon!
This post is lengthy, but hopefully you can find some helpful answers to any questions you may of had. If i missed anything just leave it in the comments below and I will get back to you!
Best pregnancy/motherhood books? – So to be completely transparent I have never been a huge reader (I know, I know…working on it!). I have to say though, I have LOVED reading a few books while pregnant that are light hearted and informative, but not overwhelming. My favorite so far has been Bringing Up Bebe (and it seems like a lot of you agree)! It is about an American mother that discovers the wisdom of French parenting. It just puts so much into perspective and I have connected so well with a lot of the French tactics. Overall just an enjoyable read.
I also have How Not to Hate Your Husband After Kids, I know the title sounds super depressing, but this one came highly recommended and is such a funny read. I think it’s important to be aware of all the changes having kids can bring and to make sure you are still working on your marriage and relationship with your partner throughout!
The last book I recently ordered is Moms On Call, I haven’t yet started it yet, but it is a shorter read and filled with more informative information (what essentials you really need and breaking down simple things about bringing a baby home after being born….bath time, schedules, etc.).
For everything else day to day throughout my pregnancy I have LOVED the Ovia Pregnancy app. It gives daily updates on what your baby is likely doing, changes being made, how you might feel and the coolest features of all, what size your baby is and how big their hands and feet are. It has been so easy to use and I have enjoyed this app a lot.
Which prenatal vitamins do you take? – New Chapter Organic Prenatal Vitamins. I have a sensitive stomach and these have been great. The only con is that you take 3 a day. I bought one of those Monday – Sunday pill containers and fill it up with my prenatal vitamins and my probiotic, making it easy to track and make sure I have taken everything each day.
What stroller did you go with? – UPPAbaby VISTA! With living in NYC I was seeing this stroller EVERYWHERE, which first peeked my interest. I knew it must be a great stroller and have extra benefits for city living. It can grow as your family grows (works for up to 3 kids), have a large compartment underneath for transporting groceries, Hadley (ha! – holds up to 30 pounds) or whatever else you need, shock-absorbing which is great for city life and pretty lightweight! Full blog post review to come once the baby arrives so stay tuned…
How did you eat/force yourself to eat early on? I’m always nauseous – So don’t hate me, but I was so lucky and didn’t have any morning sickness (my mom didn’t either with my brother or me) so I tried to stick to my regular diet as much as possible. There were days though that I only wanted certain bland things. Listen to your body and just eat what you can handle, even if that means extra carbs. With time it should pass and you will be a bit back to normal!
Do you spray tan or use tanning lotion while pregnant? If so, which is safe? – I have only used a self tanner twice since pregnant (after the first trimester), but more so because I am lazy and only did it before our vacations! When I did use it, I use St. Tropez, which I have read is pregnancy safe, but always double check with your doctor!
How did your first trimester go? – I mentioned this quickly above, but I feel so fortunate with how my first trimester went, and overall pregnancy in general so far. I didn’t have any morning sickness, just sheer, utter exhaustion. I am not one who naps and I remember calling Matt by 11:00 am and saying I don’t know what is wrong with me, my eyes are burning and I HAVE to lie down. For someone who loves to always be on the go this was hard, but I always tried to listen to my body and give it the rest it needed.
I also had NO idea how bloated I would be and feel from about weeks 9 – 11. By the end of the day, I swear I looked 6 months pregnant and didn’t even know how I would fit into any clothes or “hide” it until we were ready to share. No one warned me about this, so just FYI for all you mama’s out there early on in your pregnancy, it is a real thing, but then one day it just goes away and you feel like an entirely new person.
As far as any cravings, I haven’t had any as well, except I have just been loving fruit more than ever. I had one MAJOR aversion up until recently and it was to fish, salmon in particular. Just the word would make me gag. I went from eating fish usually twice a week to having to completely cut it out of my diet, and that was tough.
What will the baby sleep in when you bring him/her home? Do you know the gender? – After hearing so many rave reviews we got the SNOO, so that is what we plan to use when the little babe is home from the hospital! I will do a post on much more details about this and how it goes once he or she is here and we have been using it for a bit!
More nursery photos please! – They are coming!! I plan to do one big post for our nursery reveal and then a second with organization details, etc! Hoping to have this go live early March 🙂
Dock a Tot or Snuggle Me Organic? – Same as a few of my answers above, I kept hearing over and over again about how we NEED a DOCKATOT so we went with that! I love how easy it is to move from place to place and is a decent size for small space living! Will keep you posted on more details as well once the babe is here and we use it.
Do you still drink coffee? – I was so paranoid and in my head the first trimester and even before going into our IUI that I gave up coffee about two weeks before our IUI and all throughout my first trimester. My doctor gave me the go-ahead for one cup a day all along, but I didn’t add this back into my morning routine until the second trimester. I now have one cup a day each morning and enjoy every single sip of that cup of coffee haha.
Where have you been shopping for gender neutral clothing? – So I mentioned this on my stories, but I have found that the best way to shop for and look for gender neutral clothing has been going to the “boy” section. All the girl stuff is SUPER girly and just doesn’t work. My favorite places have been H&M baby….legit obsessed with everything they have, Carter’s, TJ Maxx/Marshalls and of course, Target (Cloud Island brand is great)!
What are you most nervous about in regards to becoming a mom? – To be completely honest, besides just the initial “holy crap we are fully responsible for this tiny human where do we start and what do we do?!” I am not as much nervous about the early on stages as I am for raising pre-teens and teenagers this day and age. Between social media, online bullying, kids Juul-ing like it is a lollipop, etc. freaking terrifies me. I literally pray every day that things will change for the better by the time our kids hit this stage, but it has been one of my biggest fears on how to handle everything and teach them to be their own person and not fall into the comparison game with their peers. It is something I am trying hard not to worry about now, but if we are being honest this is one of the things I am most nervous about.
What helped you maintain a healthy baby weight? – I think some of this attributes to what I have already mentioned a few times about not having any morning sickness. I have been fortunate enough to eat what I typically eat in a day and truly haven’t had any cravings out of the ordinary…not sure why. Needless to say, when I want something sweet, I eat it, when I am hungry I make a snack or have a meal. I have been good about listening to my body, but just try to fuel it with nutritious things. In the back of my mind I have always thought about whatever I am consuming, this baby is consuming so I try and make as healthy choices as possible. I have also continued with Pure Barre (except for the 2 months I wasn’t able to workout) and walking daily…something I do a lot living in the city!
What do you use to prevent stretch marks? – I wrote an entire post on my pregnancy safe beauty and skincare picks, including this Belly Oil! It has been my absolute favorite and I later it on morning and night!
Are you using a doula? – We aren’t
Are you taking a long maternity leave? Or are you going to do baby and blog now on? – I plan on taking a little time once he or she arrives, but also plan to have posts pre-written and scheduled so it wont be radio silent over here and on Instagram! That is the hardest thing right now about what I do, I share so much of my everyday life with you all which I love, but definitely will need some time to adjust to this amazing new human in our lives and figure it out one day at a time. Once back into a groove, I plan on keeping things mainly fashion focused and also keeping up with home decor, entertaining, travel and motherhood here and there!
Do you use a pregnancy pillow? – I don’t! After talking to so many people, I honestly hardly found one person that loved and/or used theirs. I have just been sleeping with extra regular pillows and have been fine. The key has been placing one in between my knees…total game changer!
Does it hurt to workout pregnant? The thought makes me nervous idk why – It doesn’t hurt, BUT definitely know the modifications needed while pregnant (ask instructors, trainers, etc.) and most importantly listen to your body! As I am into week 32, even with the Pure Barre modifications, if something doesn’t feel right I don’t push it! Also, now isn’t the time to try something new, just stick with what you already do in your workout routine.
How far along were you when you started buying baby stuff? – So I have talked about this openly before, but I was so in my head during the first few months and scared to death about every little thing and something going wrong. Because of this I honestly didn’t start buying anything baby until about 22ish weeks. There is no right or wrong answer to this, just what I personally went though and felt!
Do you have any recommendations for trouble sleeping while preggo? – Try placing a pillow in between your knees, that helps tremendously. Also, I find when I diffuse my lavender essential oils at night I tend to sleep better, who knows if this is legit or not, but something I have experienced. Unfortunately there is no such thing as an enjoyable full nights sleep while pregnant haha. Between getting up to pee, shifting around to get comfortable, Charlie horses and the random nights of insomnia it is all just getting us ready for the little babe’s arrival!
Where did you get your drawer organizers for nursery? – I have been using a mix of drawer organizers! I have these from IKEA (I use in the top drawers)…actually can’t find online but they are the STUK brand, these from Amazon and then recently purchased these as well. Walmart also carries a great option for $15 (5-piece set).
Why did ya’ll choose not to find out the sex? It’s awesome just would be way too antsy – My parents didn’t find out for their first (my brother) and I always loved that growing up and said I wanted to do the same. Surprisingly Matt was totally on board! Also, a few friends I talked to said it was the one thing that got them through the last few weeks of pregnancy and labor itself, which I liked the idea of.
Do you still get your hair highlighted throughout pregnancy? – I do! My doctor said it is totally fine (because the highlights don’t go on your roots), but I was a bit crazy with everything the first trimester (once again, super in my head) and waited until I was into my second trimester. I also try and schedule the appointment at an off time so there are no fumes around the salon form other treatments.
How did you guys initially decide when the right time was to try for a baby? No worries if too personal – This is such a good question. So if you were to ask me 10 years ago when I thought I would be ready to start a family, I legit would of had 4 kids by now. I always thought I wanted to get married asap and start a family right away. Thank goodness for Matt coming into my life and while we talked about all this stuff, he was in law school early on and we were just getting adjusted to living in NYC and figuring out both our careers. After we got married we knew we didn’t want to wait too long, but wanted to travel a bit more before truly settling down and looking back that was the best decision we ever made. We both have no regrets and feel like we have accomplished so much in our 31 and 32 years of life. Granted, we started trying about about a year after we got married when we were “ready”, but life had some other plans for us so it took us awhile longer which you all know that story. (Pregnancy Announcement + Our IUI Experience)
Favorite maternity clothes/brands (I know you recently posted about jeans) – So to be honest, I haven’t really bought many maternity pieces besides denim. I have been making pieces in my closet work or sizing up one in brands that I already love. For denim, DL1961 has a pair that is actually pretty enjoyable to wear (I have HATED maternity jeans) and the other pairs I have bought are Madewell and this boyfriend style which I love. I just feel like the bands don’t provide great support and end up falling down like tights and those without a band dig into my belly when I sit down (except for the DL1961 pair I recently discovered and wish I knew about sooner!).