Tag Archives | Pregnancy

MCLV Pregnancy | What’s In My Hospital Bag

I love watching What’s In My Hospital Bag videos on YouTube and reading the lists on blog posts and Pinterest. I’m a big planner and I love to feel prepared, so maybe that’s part of it. The other part is probably that so much of the birth chapter is unknown and can’t be prepared for, that I enjoy focusing on what I can do. Which is pack a hospital bag!

So let’s get into this! 馃檪

Since we’re living the age of COVID-19 there are a few things that we needed to take into account. Not only could my mother not join us in the delivery room {a devastating hit, I genuinely considered having her there and letting my husband sit out the birth of our first child} but once we’re in the maternity ward we can’t leave. Not for food or for changes of clothes. So we both needed basic clothes and toiletries for our stay.

Bag – I was going to use my Longchamp le Pliage duffle but the bigger I’ve gotten the less I’ve wanted to carry a bag on my shoulder, so I swapped it for a rolling suitcase. My inlaws got us the Away Expandable Carry-On for Christmas so I decided that was the bag to bring. Lots of pockets and separate areas which is great when packing for an undetermined amount of time.

Clothes – I generally pride myself on packing fairly minimally so I was curious how I was going to end up approaching this. I’d say that I didn’t go too overboard, but I definitely tweaked my general packing equation.

PJs, robe and nighty to keep me comfortable before and after birth, though odds are that I’ll end up wearing the hospital gown most of the time. And two going home options, leggings and a top or a dress, depending on how my body feels.

Toiletries – We both packed the basics with some skin care and make-up thrown in for me. If you want to learn more about my skin care and make-up routines during pregnancy check them out.

Postpartum Essentials – The hospital will provide most of this, but I wanted to bring a few things to make me more comfortable post-baby.

For baby – I found that what to pack for the baby and for the mom post-partum was where I saw the most variation in people’s lists. Some people brought everything – Muliple outfits, breast pump, diapers… I figured the baby would be mostly taken care of by the hospital, hanging out in a diaper and that if breast feeding didn’t happen, we’d be bottle feeding. So I left all of that at home. But here’s what I did bring:

Miscellaneous – This was a place that it was easy to get carried away and I tried to reign it in. Some women basically bring their entire bedrooms and I knew that I wanted to avoid that. No pillows or bedding or hospital gowns for this mama to be.

  • Phone
  • Extra long charger + battery pack
  • Headphones + charger
  • Wireless bluetooth speaker
  • Gift cards for the nurses {I had planned to bake cookies but with COVID-19 I didn’t know whether they’d accept them}
  • Snacks {We brought a little cooler with coconut water and water bottles, plus trail mix, chocolate covered raisins, and protein bars}
  • Essential oils – Lavendar & sandalwood
Continue ReadingComments { 0 }

MCLV Pregnancy | Second Trimester Exercise & Workout Gear

You can check out my first trimester exercise and workout post here to see where I started, but I have to say that things have changed quite a bit since then.

There’s a trade off as you finish the first trimester and head into your second – You have more energy and your nausea has {hopefully} started to dissipate, but you’re also starting to grow and feel changes in your body that can impact your ability to move and workout.

It seems like all of a sudden your clothes start to feel uncomfortable and your sports bras may not fit. And I don’t know about you, but when I feel uncomfortable, it’s hard to feel motivated.

The first thing on my shopping list was sports bras, I had to size up pretty early on. I loved the Aerie Twist Back Sports Bra, Aerie Offline Goals Sports Bra and the GAP Nursing Sports Bra. That sustained me until my belly “popped” at which point I needed to invest in some new leggings and a top or two. I didn’t want to overshop and started slowly, but ended up buying the following workout gear over the course of my 2nd trimester:

I found that all the way through my second trimester, I was able to fit into my zip up workout jackets. And I lucked out because once I grew out of them, it started to heat up and I didn’t need them anymore. I also wore my usual workout tanks and t-shirts through the pregnancy and I was surprised how well they held up to my growing belly. A little bit oversized and a little bit stretchy was the perfect combo and kept me from having to order too many new pieces.

Another thing that changed during my second trimester? The entire world! COVID-19 hit and shelter-in-place started. That meant no office gym or health club facilities for this mama-to-be. I was so grateful that I had most of the basics at home, but I did place a few panicked Amazon orders in the early days of quarantine to make sure that I had all the gear that I needed to get through my daily home workouts.

Here’s my hit list:

Around this time was also when, all of sudden, I had NO interest in app workouts. I’d been happily doing Tone It Up for months, but it wasn’t appealing to me all of a sudden so I started exploring other options. Check out my Home Workouts & Apps post for some of the workout-from-home options on the market. That post was great research for me and I enjoyed trying out new program and instructors. And you want to know where I ended up?

On YouTube.

I never would have guessed that that’s where I’d go, but it allowed me to change my workouts every day, try new things, explore different types of workouts, and get introduced to new instructors. I also fell head over heels with Dance Cardio workouts, you can check out my favorites here.

Continue ReadingComments { 0 }

MCLV Pregnancy | What I Eat In A Day [2nd Trimester]

Welcome to my 2nd trimester What I Eat in a Day. If you missed it, here’s my 1st Trimester What I Eat in a Day.

I would like to preface this post by saying that I was devastated to learn that “eating for two” is NOT actually a thing and that doctor’s closely monitor your weight when you’re pregnant. I mean, I get it, but it was still disappointing…

Anyway, you’re not here for the chit chat, you’re here for the food! So here’s an example of a good day of eating during my 2nd trimester. Note: Not all days were this healthy. Not all days were this structured. I did the best that I could and I’d say I pretty much nailed the 80/20 approach. 80% healthy, whole food based meals, 20% treats {though I was in quarantine so most of my treats were homemade, for better or worse}.

First Breakfast: This remained an important part of my morning since I woke up STARVING. Since my husband and I were working from home from the second trimester onward, I started the day by splitting a piece of fruit with him. An apple, pear, orange, or banana, usually with nut butter and hemp seeds or a handful of raw nuts.

Second Breakfast: Being home with full access to my kitchen for breakfast was amazing. I loved the freedom to really make what I was craving. Breakfast varied from protein oats or waffles to scrambles or yogurt with granola. The last one was a big favorite during this period and usually entailed:

Lunch: We got into a very civilized habit of eating a huge salad for lunch every day. I would usually add a side of veggies & rice, a veggie burger, soup, or a smoothie when it got warmer. Salad ingredients varied but usually included romaine hearts, spinach, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, cabbage, carrots, cucumber, and celery with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette.

Afternoon Snack: Crudite and hummus or a handful of Skinny Pop and some raw trail mix. I also started making banana applesauce muffins {banana nut or blueberry usually} and those made a good pre-walk snack during T2.

Dinner: I had a MASSIVE craving for pasta for most of the second trimester and I made it at least one a week. Sometimes twice. Other than worrying about boring my husband with my recipes, I had no problem eating pasta multiple times a week. My favorite gluten-free high protein pasta is Banza. They even have a boxed mac n cheese that’s vegan and gluten free. I usually made a veggie filled sauce {zero guilt!} like this recipe, though I did experiment with a cashew alfredo sauce as well.

Dessert: I’ve always craved salty, savory foods over sweets. Boy did that change in the 2nd trimester! I couldn’t get enough of baked goods. Or gummies. And being home 24/7 meant that I baked A LOT. One week I baked 2 batches of cookies, a pumpkin pie {in April, weird I know}, lemon bars, and a birthday cake for my husband. Needless to say, once dinner was over, there were always numerous sweet treats to choose from. I tried not to worry too much about my sweet intake and didn’t beat myself up for skipping the dried fruit, though I did try to stay away from my husband’s stash of Oreos, Australian licorice, and Sour Patch Kids.

Continue ReadingComments { 0 }

MCLV Pregnancy | First Trimester Exercise & Workouts

I recently referred to the first trimester as the best three month nap of your life and that really is an excellent description. I can say, without a doubt, that fatigue was the biggest symptom of my first trimester. More so even than nausea or headaches or nasal congestion.

As someone who has had trouble sleeping on and off for years, the first trimester was a glorious return to easy, no effort sleep. But as someone used to working out and cooking dinner every night after work, I was shocked by how little I felt capable of for the first three months of my pregnancy. I routinely fell asleep in the car on the way home from work at 4:30pm, could barely manage to reheat leftovers for dinner, and passed out cold well before 7pm for a sold 8 weeks.

So what did that mean for my workout routine? It meant that I had to be gentle with myself, listen to my body, and take a step back my workouts. I went from two workouts a day 5-6 days a week to one workout a day, 7 days a week.

I have done a midday workout for years, since I’m lucky enough to have an office gym, and have had a calendar reminder set up in my Outlook for years to ensure that I don’t schedule things during that window. It’s a habit that really paid off, because that workout window became my only time to workout during the first trimester. I was awake, still had energy, and was usually excited to move my body. Sometimes I was tired or busy or just plain not in the mood, but I went anyway. If I wasn’t up for much, I’d just walk on the treadmill.

But, for the most part, knowing that time was my only chance to stretch, move, and break a sweat, meant that I looked forward to it.

When I found out I was pregnant I immediately started Googling workout modifications and prenatal workouts and started a long list of questions for my doctor. Her response? Do what feels good and when it becomes uncomfortable, stop. Simple right?

Note: Be sure to talk to your doctor about your individual needs and chat about changes you’d like to make in advance. What worked for me may not work for you, so it’s always best to discuss with your doctor prior to making any shifts in your lifestyle and activity levels, especially during pregnancy.

So, since I was physically feeling okay and didn’t have much nausea at 9:30am, I turned to the Tone It Up app. I started an 8 week weightlifting and strength program almost as soon as I found out that I was pregnant, and loved it. I felt strong and empowered. And on days that I felt bored, I supplemented with whatever other types of workouts sounded appealing.

I also ran and took Mighty Pilates classes on weekends for most of the first trimester.

With the fatigue and nausea of the first trimester, staying active was a great way to show my body some love and I’m glad that I kept myself motivated.

Continue ReadingComments { 1 }

MCLV Pregnancy | Pregnancy Safe Skin Care

When you get pregnant there’s a lot to worry about. There’s a lot to learn. There’s a lot to do. There’s a lot not to do. It can be overwhelming.

Luckily, I have been interested in skin care for years and had already started to transition over to clean brands and products that are better for both myself and the environment.

A few of the no no’s that I read about that pregnant women shouldn’t use are: Benzoyl Peroxide, Fragrances, BPA, Hydroquinone, Formaldehyde, Parabens, Phthalates, Retinoids, Salicylic Acid, Thioglycolic Acid, Chemical Sunscreens, and Botulinum Toxin.

Some of those I expected – Botox & Retinol – Others were more of a surprise, like Benzoyl Perioxide. Others I don’t think should be in any products and you should throw away bottles if you see them on a label (Formaldehyde, BPA).

Luckily, my core skin care routine, minus the retinol, was in the clear. Below are the pregnancy safe skin care products that I used, and loved, throughout my pregnancy:

Eyes:

Serums:

Moisturizers:

Sunscreen:

Cleansers:

Masks:

I was pretty happy with what I found and I’m sure that I’ll keep using these brands and products for years to come!

What’s on YOUR beauty shelf?

Continue ReadingComments { 0 }