I’ve discovered I am really enjoying watching vlogs, reading blogs, and writing about pregnancy. I think it has a slightly cathartic effect. It’s nice to know there’s a community of moms out there to lean on, and to use for research and empathy and support. In honor of that, I’d like to do a simply Baby Bump Haul today to cover 5 products I’m loving lately as a mom-to-be. These are practical products for mommies — not really for babies, and I hope that they can be as useful to the rest of you out there as they have been for me! So here goes…
Redwin Sorbolene Moisturizer and Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula
Two of the most common complaints during pregnancy are stretch marks and skin problems (rashes, itchiness, dryness, and more). I had been warned multiple times and was told one way to maybe prevent stretch marks, and definitely relieve dryness, sensitivity, and itching, was to have the right lotion.
The first moisturizer I purchased was the Redwin Sorbolene Moisturizer. In Indonesia, it cost anywhere between US$10-13 at the local drugstores for 150ml (expensive), but I had read multiple blogs and reviews online swearing by its gentleness, and easy absorption so as not to feel sticky or greasy all day long. Immediately, I found these were all true — at least for me. Other perks include: its lack of parabens, and the fact that you only need the tiniest dollop to spread it everywhere (thus it lasted throughout my entire first trimester, and into half of the 2nd as well). The only con I can think of is that it doesn’t smell very nice, it has that petroleum jelly-like scent that is neither pleasant nor unpleasant, and so is just kind of blah. Suffice to say, I still give it a 4.5/5.
After running out of Redwin, however, I did want to try something else — I suppose just for the heck of it, and to maybe see if there were any slightly cheaper alternatives. Enter: a random Jennifer Love Hewitt prenatal video on YouTube, and a plug for Palmer’s. A week later, I was in a drugstore in Manila this time and stumbled upon Palmer’s Coca Butter Formula Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks (with Vitamin E, Collagen, Elastin, and Shea Butter). Flashback to JLove and her testimonial, and the reasonable $10 price tag for 250ml (significantly more than my Redwin), and I figured, what the hey! Now, I’m hooked. I. Love. Palmer’s. Not only does it come on smooth, absorb easy, and not feel greasy; it also smells delicious. I literally walk around smelling like a cup of hot dark chocolate all day. It isn’t a sweet smell, so I don’t get sick of it, it’s just that delicious scent of cocoa powder. Yum. So far all the same pluses as Redwin, you get a little something extra, and save a little something extra too. 5/5 for Palmer’s, with Redwin as a close 2nd choice — if Palmer’s was out of stock, Redwin would be an easy yes for me.
I’d also like to note that, I can’t say for certain if the lotion has had a big hand in this or if this is all owed to genetics (I’m not a scientist), but I literally have one small stretch mark. And, trust me, ours is not a small baby. He has consistently been in the 60-80th percentile, a.k.a. above the global average size (imagine that on my 5’2″ frame). So I’m certain this belly is stretching plenty. End of day, whether it’s genetics or not, I think it’s worth picking a good moisturizer and sticking with it.
#2: Citronella Patches!
There are no specific brands that I prefer over others, but we do buy the ones with animals on them, or the ones with superheroes on them. Because they are cute. Obviously. That said, these things work! Mosquitoes love me, and always have. There could be one mosquito, and fifty people in a room, and it is likely I will still leave with at least 1 bite. There have been times when I have counted upwards of 15 mosquito bites on my legs alone. Thus, finding a solution that works for me without needing to rub a bunch of chemicals onto my skin was relieving. You just stick these patches onto the bottom of your shirt (on the inside) or (even better) the inside hem of one of your pant legs, and you’re good to go. It’s a great way to protect yourself against mosquito bites and the itchiness/inconvenience/disease they carry too!
#3: Ecco Walking Sneaks
While we were on our Epic Babymoon Eurotrip, we walked at least 10km a day — often uphill. After the first 9 days, my feet were killing me. That’s why it was such a relief to find an affordable Ecco store around the corner from our hotel in Berlin. I purchased these light grey babies and wore them nearly every single day of the trip after that, and have since worn them at least every other day to date. They match almost anything, are breathable, and comfortable, and have ample support.
One of the things that lots of women experience when pregnant is increased issues in mobility (loosening joints, aching backs, tired legs, and more), so the right pair of shoes can be a real godsend. I would suggest these exact ones, or a pair from a similar brand (like Hush Puppies or GEOX) that can provide the same amount of comfort and support while still maintaining some visual appeal. (I mean, I find these very cute, personally, haha. I know fashion sense may vary from person to person and I am not even close to what I’d consider “stylish”, but I stand by my suggestion. Get yourself something comfy, you won’t regret it!)
A bonus shot of the shoes and East Side Gallery, my handsome husby, and the bump and I at 15 weeks.
#4: Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman
I purchased this book right before our Epic Euro BabyMoon, and it was a great companion through the trip. I found it fun and witty in parts, generally honest, and filled with interesting insight on raising independent, confident, well-behaved children without completely losing yourself in the process.
As with all parenting books, it should be taken with a grain of salt and I hardly consider it an exhaustive, authoritative take on the parenting process. It should be noted that the writer is not a professional child psychologist, or pediatrician. Rather, she is a journalist, and a hands-on mother, who puts some well-researched ideas together with her own observations, and is able to provide an easy-to-read, accessible piece of literature that can serve as both encouragement and inspiration to parents of young children and parents-to-be.
My husband and I both believe God’s Word is our best parenting resource, and we aim to stay grounded in our faith, and keep an open heart and mind to facing every parenting triumph and tribulation the best ways we possibly can. That said, we still both enjoyed this little book, and look forward to employing some of its ideas as we move forward in our own journey.
#5: The DexBaby Wedge Pillow
This. Has. Been. A. LIFESAVER. Since entering my 3rd trimester, my belly has just gotten heavier, and larger by the day. It’s amazing being able to see our son move around in there as he gets bigger and stronger, however, a side effect of this growth is that it’s become harder for me to sleep comfortably. As the pregnancy term progresses, women should refrain from sleeping on their backs (it cuts off circulation, and can also cause sudden dips in blood pressure). We are encouraged to sleep on our sides instead — particularly the left, which puts the least pressure on blood vessels and promotes optimal circulation. I have found, though, that sleeping on my side comes with its own aches and pains: particularly in my upper back and around my ribs. The extra weight from my belly pulls down and causes strain.
Enter: THE WEDGE PILLOW: the perfect thing to put between yourself and your bed. I stick it between the left side of my belly and the mattress when I sleep and it helps to prop my bump up so it doesn’t pull down/cause additional pressure on my back/ribs/etc. Another bonus feature of the wedge is that I can also use it as a back pillow when sitting in less ergonomic chairs/on my bed while leaning against the wall. Overall, it provides ample comfort and support, and keeps me from developing further, unnecessary aches and pains. Also, it cost less than $10. Yay!
And there you have it! My 5 Things. 🙂 Coming up soon in the mama-hood category:
1) Mama Musings Inspired by Proverbs 31 Ministries
2) 10 Songs We’re Loving this Pregnancy
3) Baby Boy Haul: After the Shower [Take 1]
4) Prenatal Yoga in Manila: A Review
5) “Bridesmaiding” With a Bump!
*Product Placement Photo Credits to:
DexBaby, Ecco, Palmer’s, and Redwin