Favourites: Pregnancy Edition

Saturday 26 July 2014

Apologies in advance for those of you who could care less about pregnancy related posts - feel free to skip over this one.

Pre-pregnancy, I didn't fully grasp the immense amount of change that the body and mind go through while growing a human.  Perhaps I didn't care or perhaps the entire process just felt so far away that I didn't actually consider what pregnancy actually consisted of.  In any case, it was a bit of a shock and I desperately scoured for information and tips to help ease into this period of growth.

While I like to think of myself as relatively relaxed about the whole thing, there are times when everything feels different and anything that provides a little comfort is welcome.  And thus, here are those things - in no particular order.

As I began my second trimester, I started attending an English prenatal yoga class.  The yoga itself wasn't that fulfilling but the community was nice so I continued to go but I also wanted to develop a better practice.  I was skeptical about online classes - they aren't usually my thing - but I quickly became hooked to YogaGlo.  My favourite teacher is Jo Tastula and the Active Second Trimester Flow is to die for.  I aim for 3 classes a week - sometimes I do more and sometimes I do less but it has made all the difference in my day.

Gaia Pure Pregnancy Belly Butter
I started off using Mama Bee Belly Butter which was perfectly fine but while I was in Canada, I came across the Gaia and I LOVE it!  The scent reminds me of a spa and it makes my skin soft and relieves any itchiness.  And, knock on wood, no stretch marks yet.

My Chiropractor
I had never visited a chiropractor before but I've long suffered from pain in my upper and lower back.  I suppose it was fear holding me back but when I came across a clinic in Stavanger that specializes in women and children, I took a leap of faith and made an appointment.  Best. Decision. Ever.  I don't know why I wasn't doing this much earlier.  In terms of pregnancy, chiropractors can help to relieve a lot of pain in your back and pelvis.  There's studies that with a better aligned body, your labour will be quicker and post-pregnancy, it's also supposed to help get things back to where they once were.  I also see many-a newborn babies going into the clinic - apparently it can help with colic.  We'll see.

Magnesium Citrate Powder
Half way into my second trimester I was jolted awake nearly every night with terrible leg cramps.  There's nothing like writhing in pain to ruin a good sleep.  Carly suggested magnesium powder.  Ever since, I've been mixing myself a cup at night and I haven't had a problem.

When it comes to food…
I'm so thankful to have the variety of summer fruits and vegetables.  Bowls of banana, raspberry and Norwegian strawberries have been a great snack as have fruit smoothies (I usually add frozen berries, a banana and some apple juice.)  It's also been a challenge to find drinks aside from water and orange juice.  Cocktails aren't common in Norway so ordering a virgin of something isn't really a possibility but at home, I have had virgin bloody marys and lately, a cranberry, sparkling water with a twist of lime has been nice.  This Aranciata Rossa from San Pelligrino is quickly becoming a new favourite.  I wish I had some magical fixes to share for the torture that was my first trimester but I don't really - everything tasted terrible.

And for the clothes…
I would have never guessed that it would be near impossible to find maternity clothes that I felt comfortable in here in Norway given that there are pregnant women everywhere.  But, alas, H&M seemed to be the only option and I didn't like it.  I'd much rather spend money on a few quality pieces than a bunch of cheap stuff that doesn't feel nice.  I got away with the hair elastic on my jeans trick for awhile but I was desperate to buy clothes when I arrived in Canada this June.

I ordered 2 tank tops and a pair of leggings from Storq which might just be the softest cotton I've ever felt.  I will live in those leggings right up until the arrival of this baby and probably afterwards as well.  (I didn't buy the skirt or dress as I figured I wouldn't get use out of them in Norway.  During this heat wave, I wished I had them.)

I bought one pair of maternity jeans while in Norway but the full panel that's meant to go up over your belly, right under your chest felt so uncomfortable for me.  Paige Denim have jeans with small sections of elastic above the pockets so they look and feel like regular pants.  I have these ones and these ones.

I'm still wearing quite a bit of non-maternity clothes including a couple of long maxi dresses (here and here,) pretty much all of my Lululemon stuff and my cardigans from All Saints.  I bought a few things from Gap Maternity and Loft Maternity but many of my favourite tops came from an independent store in Calgary (Posh Mommy for those of you who find yourselves there.  They have a few things available online too.)

And there you have it - the things that have made my pregnancy a little easier thus far.  Do you have anything to add?


  1. If you want some healthy snack during the heat wave:

    Buy a smoothie maker and this:

    Now I'm mixing bananas, berries, ananas and even flax seed and making ice pops which I can eat as many as I like of!

  2. You can definitely never go wrong with Lulu! I hope the heatwave calms down for you to make you feel more comfortable!
    With regards to chiros...in the spirit of full disclosure, I'll admit us physios are not friends with them, not even acquaintances usually. That sucks though that you're having pain, it really does. Unfortunately the most common reason for pregnancy related back pain is that hormonal release that's making the joints looser for birth. It is a postural thing that is completely normal, some feel it worse than others. As a result of those loose joints, the muscles, especially those around the low back and pelvis, tighten up in an effort to keep control but this often results in things being pulled too far or rotated. Chiro, and yes even physio, is only a temporary fix during pregnancy (if that is indeed the cause of pain) rather than "curing" things or realigning them; they're both merely changing the stress put through the muscles in that time. I respect your decision for yourself to go to a chiro (though I respectfully disagree) but I beg you not to consider taking a vulnerable growing baby to one. There is no scientific evidence that supports the use of spinal manipulation on babies, especially for colic. Doctors don't even know what causes colic and it usually goes away on it's own anyways. I don't want to preach at you so I hope you don't see it as that but I just want to give another health viewpoint.
    I'm enjoying seeing your pregnancy journey though, especially the adorable bump pictures! I hope things continue to go well for you and that you stay relatively pain free.

    1. You can most definitely respectfully disagree but I'll just do it right back ;-) One of the things I admire most about Norway's healthcare system is the ability for less traditional forms of medicine to work together. Many of my pregnancy professionals recommend chiropractic care along with yoga, massage, water therapy, acupuncture, etc. In fact, most chiropractic clinics are a collection of professionals working together. My clinic has physios, chiropractors, masseuses and acupuncturists that recommend treatments amongst each other.

      As far as my personal care/pain - the pain was there well before pregnancy although with the massive changes my body is going through, chiropractic care has certainly helped to relieve new issues that have come up. Many women have such terrible problems as their pelvis changes they can hardly walk near the end of their pregnancy and find immeasurable relief through alignments. I've also had a few friends that have taken their babies to the chiropractor and again, the results speak for themselves. As for if I'll do it, I suppose it'll depend on if I feel like he'd benefit from it.

      Definitely interesting to hear your point of view but I can assure you that physios and chiros are very friendly here ;)

  3. I agree yoga, massage, water therapy and acupuncture are great during pregnancy (and in general!). As for the rest, agree to disagree ;)

  4. Good luck with your pregnancy. My mother was pregnant with my sister when we lived in Stavanger but she decided (for many reasons) to have the baby at home in the Netherlands. I am expecting our third - spent first and second trimester in Kazakhstan, we moved to Malaysia at the end of the second trimester and we will have this baby here in Borneo. UK maternity shops Isabella Oliver, Tiffany Rose and Seraphine deliver worldwide and definitely to Norway.

    It was interesting co-ordinating an international move at 28 weeks but we have found a great surgeon here with a good reputation so that is one weight off. All our our old baby stuff is in the UK so we have to get it shipped or buy new here.

    Fingers crossed your little one does not have colic - both mine older children had it very badly and our son had painful reflux on top of it. The only thing that helped the colic was an additive to the bottle - you get different ones in different countries and the best we found was in Germany - I can't remember the name but I bought the pharmacy out when we found out about it during a holiday! I am hoping this one does not suffer.

    1. Best wishes for the remainder of your pregnancy and hopefully all goes well for you in Borneo! (And fingers crossed neither of us will be dealing with colic in the coming months!)

      Many, many shops deliver to Norway but the 25% VAT in addition to the separate import fee you have to pay on clothing make it far too expensive to be worthwhile. Sometimes the fees are more than the item you order and it's often cheaper to buy a plane ticket! Thankfully, I should have what I need to get me through the last few months :)

  5. I'm going to skip over this one, mostly because I'm in denial that my body might change at all, but bookmarking for when it's our time ;)


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