Cravings, exercise, beauty rituals and more! My everyday routine turned upside down once pregnant – between the nausea, growing belly and perhaps most importantly the knowledge I was now responsible for another being some things had to shift. It’s been a roller coaster figuring out what works for me, but now that I am 6 months along I feel like I have found my groove (ha until it all changes again in 3 months!) Here are my new daily rituals, hopefully it gives some other moms-to-be out there a head start.
THE MORNING COFFEE CHALLENGE
Morning person? Actually, yes! Once upon a time I cherished waking up before my husband and starting the day with a big cup of coffee, pondering my next move, with the morning news shows in the background. Needless to say, things changed dramatically. During my first trimester I would wake up sick as a dog, the nausea quickly depleting any pleasure of the early morning wake. Coffee was out of the question, the strong smell would put me over the edge. This lasted for the first 3 months and once the constant nausea passed I went back to having a cup of coffee in the morning.
With this pregnancy, I began scrutinizing everything I was consuming, especially when it was an everyday ritual. I swapped the Starbucks for organic coffee, free of farm chemicals such as pesticides, insecticides, synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, and fungicides which were determined by various studies to cause cancer and damages to the reproductive and nervous systems. During the work week and when on the go, I love Pret A Manger's organic coffee. At home, the Jungle Costa Rican Coffee Beans is the low acidity, organic blend of choice.
It was so interesting to hear all the varying opinions on the subject of pregnancy and coffee from other moms. The commentary ran the gamut from ‘OMG you can’t have coffee!!! Skip it for the baby!’ to ‘Heck yeah! I have three healthy kids & chugged coffee throughout all my pregnancies’. Ultimately, I listened to my doctor who’s of the mindset that it’s fine to have a cup of coffee a day.
THE BEAUTY REGIMENT
When it comes to what I put on my skin, all-natural everything. I swapped out my cheap cleansers and lotions for clean and gentle products. I’ve been washing my face at night with Cerave Hydrating Facial Cleanser, a super gentle cleanser that never dries or irritates my skin. In the morning I typically just splash cold water, welcoming any oils on my face from the nights’ sleep. As a 33 year old, oily skin which used to plague me in my 20s is now increasingly drier, highlighting the new (yay…) fine lines. When I get a little lazy (or so sleepy I can barely make it to the bed), I use Simple Kind To Skin Facial Wipes. They remove makeup without irritation or residue from dyes, artificial perfumes, or harsh chemicals. Plus, the cleansing wipes are perfect for when you’re on-the-go. They’re typical the first thing I pack whenever I travel.
I’m absolutely obsessed with Chandanni's Face Grace Rose moisturizer! It’s made with organic oils including rose which is especially effective in healing and protecting the skin from environmental damage and irritation. This moisturizer soothes, heals and feeds the skin like no other. It’s the only face moisturizer I use, in the morning and at night, leaving my skin glowing, smooth and even. It even doubles as my eye makeup remover!
THE STRETCH MARK PREVENTION RITUAL
I’ll be honest -I was what you would call a massive baby, over 10 lbs, and my dear mother has the stretch marks to prove it! The fear of payback is very real my friends, therefore, I’ve become somewhat of a stretch mark oil connoisseur. I did my research but what ultimately won me over is an oil my J. Crew coworker mamas raved about, S. M. Novella Olio Dermoprotettivo - a Paraben free oil made in Italy that softens and improves elasticity. I’ve been literally pouring it on my belly after every shower or bath and absolutely loving it. Disclaimer; it’s scented and it’s not subtle. I wouldn’t have been able to use it during my first trimester since I was so painfully sensitive to all scents. I do have a great back-up recommendation that’s light on the perfume and even lighter on the wallet! It’s called Mother's Special Blend and can be found at Whole Foods as well as your local drug store. There are no chemicals, perfumes, emulsifiers, dyes, or preservatives. It is safe for all over body use before, during and after pregnancy.
Staying thoroughly hydrated during pregnancy is key for stretch mark prevention. I’ve been drinking lots of water and herbal teas as well as eating Berries, kiwis, citrus fruit and bell peppers which are all high in vitamin C, helping in collagen formation and increasing skin elasticity.
THE MAMA CRAVINGS
My current eating habit? Constantly grazing. I’ve always been a carb and sweets lover, so it was a big surprise when it all turned topsy turvy and the foods I loved where giving me terrible heartburn and indigestion. This started during my first trimester and has continued up to this point of my pregnancy. Instead of the usual suspects like chocolate and baked good, Siggi's Yogurt and frozen blackberries became my new staples.
Bone Broth has helped immensely with relaxing any sort of stomach issues derived from eating foods that don’t agree with my pregnancy. My absolute favorite is the classic beef broth (organic and grass-fed beef) from Springone Kitchen, located conveniently close to my office. However, many broth producers will deliver frozen containers right to your door like Brodo and Barneys Bone Broth. Bone broth is rich with collagen and gelatin. As the most abundant protein in mammals, collagen makes up all human connective tissue. Maximum collagen means glowing skin, hydrated joints, stronger nails & a happy gut. It’s loaded with anti-inflammatory amino acids and glycine which are essential building blocks to a strong immune system and muscle repair. Oh, and glycine has been shown to significantly improve sleep and cognitive function. But don’t take my word for it, Google it!
The “don’t eat” list? I had sushi a couple times early on and a bagel with smoked salmon (one sleepy/hungry morning I forgot it was on the “no list” and I’m glad it happened because it was soooo delish). I tried explaining to my mom and aunt over the holidays the “no deli meat/ no soft cheese”‘ rule as they attempted to feed me both. They were flabbergasted by these rules as none of this existed for them. For the most part, if I have a bite of something that’s off limits I don’t panic, and I’ve kept an ongoing convo with my doc as questions come up. That said, I seriously miss drinking komboucha!
THE MOM-TO-BE EXERCISE DILEMMA
I’ve always been pretty inconsistent when it comes to working out and during my first trimester I was literally a human blob. My only saving grace has been living in NYC and being able to walk everywhere—which has kept me feeling good. Recently I’ve started doing yoga at home in the morning as my body was needing a stretch. The real game changer was a gift from my dear friend Rosalia Francoforte. She had loved doing the Tracy Anderson: Pregnancy Project DVD box set during her own pregnancy and I’m so glad she introduced me to this little exercise gem.
The 9 DVDs included are specialized for each of the nine months, however, the workouts are safe for any month depending on how active you already are. Tracy is pregnant herself during the filming and encourages you to take breaks (which I certainly do) because it’s not a walk in the park! I try to get in at about three workouts a week which has kept me feeling strong and energetic.
Ultimately, I want my experience to be my own which began for me when I decided to stick to my cup of coffee a day. I happily welcome and ask for any pointers from family, dear friends and coworkers who have gone through the pregnancy ride and come ahead with beautiful little angels. I hope my own ride will resonate with some of you but I also realize the modern women are often inundated with pregnancy and parenting advice from all angles, therefore, let’s make the goal to be confident, ignore the noise and enjoy the ride at our own pace!
MAIA MODA Co-Founder