It is hard to describe how much my life has changed since Tristan was born. Maybe because so much has changed that I can hardly remember our lives before he arrived. I mean, of course, I know what happened–I got pregnant, then after nine months Tristan was born–but then what nobody tells you (I might not have been listening) is that as soon as he is born everything will change. And you can never go back to who you were before the baby (of course, because you’re a momma now).
No doubt, it has been an incredible journey, with many highs and lows happening on a daily basis. These past several months have been wonderfully difficult, but filled with so much love and meaning. From finding out I was pregnant to actually going through its ups and downs–morning sickness, fatigue, crazy emotions, acid reflux, swelling, constant weeing, heartburn, and the list goes on. Pregnancy was an amazing experience in itself, as my body changed weekly and prepared itself for a little person’s arrival. And no matter how much I read and talked to other moms, nothing could really prepare you for it.
Looking back, the first trimester was probably the most difficult for me, as I constantly had morning sickness (a combo of nausea, vertigo and fatigue). Most days I couldn’t move, and I was struggling to just survive the day. My second trimester was super easy, which is why it flew by quickly. My energy came back, and I felt like my old self again. I went back to work during these months, and I was happy I was able to get a lot of things done. The third was a little challenging, only because of my growing belly. Tristan was getting heavy, and everything seemed to puff up (especially my feet). Sleeping was a challenge, too, because I could not find a comfortable position (thank God for pregnancy pillows).
And the fourth trimester (which doesn’t really exist), was the hardest because you are not allowed to sleep! You are allowed 30 minutes to an hour of sleep every three hours, which isn’t really considered sleep! Tristan really gave it to us as he wanted to feed every hour for the entire 24 hours! We were basically walking zombies, and I still can’t believe we survived those few months. I’m glad my good friend Cat Juan-Ledesma warned me about this ‘fourth trimester’ because otherwise we probably would’ve been worse off.
So before I ramble on and on about pregnancy and babies, I want to share with you the products I loved during my pregnancy. No doubt, you need all the help you can get, and these definitely made my life easier and better. Of course, you don’t need to purchase an arsenal of products during your pregnancy, because you will need to save your money for all the baby stuff (I suggest you just borrow as much as you can, and make your family and friends throw you baby showers). But if there are ways to make life better, do it. Because pregnancy can be difficult and challenging.
1. Sea-Band. As I was going through major bouts of morning sickness in the first few weeks of my pregnancy, I searched online for relief and found this. Sea-Band is a knitted elasticated wrist band, which operates by applying pressure on the Nei Kuan acupressure point on each wrist by means of a plastic stud. Because the bands do not use drugs, they do not cause any of the side effects associated with anti-nausea drugs and can be worn on each wrist whenever you feel nauseous. They are suitable for adults, children and yes, pregnant women. I have to say, this really works. I had to keep working while I was pregnant as I was still shooting Season 2 of my show, Trending Now. And this proved to be super useful as I traveled around the Philippines to shoot the show, especially since it included plenty of car, boat and plane rides. I bought this online (via Target) and had a friend send it back to the Philippines for me.
2. Mustela 9 Months. I recommend the entire line because each product is made to target a specific body part. Like any new mom, I was afraid of stretch marks, so I made sure to religiously apply these every morning before leaving the house, and at night before going to bed. This range includes Specific Support Bust, Stretch Marks Intensive Action, Instant Comfort Legs and Ultimate Hydration. My favorite was the one for the legs because it had a cooling effect on the skin and was a lifesaver during summer months. Pregnancy can make you feel hot 24/7 so this was super helpful!
3. Belly Belt. Thanks to products like this, I never really had to buy pregnancy clothes which really saved me a lot of money. Of course, it is fun to shop and all, but I knew I had to save up for all the baby essentials in the coming months. So I discovered Belly Belt, which is really a maternity clothes solution. This allows you to extend the waistline of your pants and jeans allowing room for your belly to grow. I love this, because I didn’t really gain so much weight all around (just my belly grew) so my clothes all still fit me, except the waistband. All I had to do was change the elastic belt to accommodate my growing belly. This is available via http://www.mommymundo.com.
4. Ingrid & Isabel Maternity Bellaband. Another pregnancy must-have that allowed me to extend the wear of my non-preggy clothes! This band was super useful as it held up unbuttoned pants (yes, it got to a point where my Belly Belts could not fit me anymore) and hid my tummy as all my shirts began getting shorter and started to expose my belly. This maternity band looked like a layered shirt underneath and was hardly noticeable when I wore my usual t-shirt and jeans. It has a stay-put silicone strip that held it in place the whole day. It also kept my belly warm when I travelled to Japan in March of last year. I got this thru http://www.urbanessentials.com.ph.
5. Palmers Cocoa Butter Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks. I didn’t get stretch marks, and I think it was because I kept my skin hydrated the entire pregnancy. This is so important, because when your skin is dry and it stretches, it breaks. And that’s when stretch marks happen. One thing about this is it smells like chocolate, which made me hungry all the time haha. But I was happy to eat during my pregnancy so that was okay.
6. Mini Cradle Maternity Belt. This was given to me by Cat, because she had one and she was done using it. I can’t tell you how much relief this gave me as my belly grew huge. Carrying a baby 24/7 is hard work, and walking/traveling made me tired. This belt took off pressure from my back and belly, and was thin enough to wear discreetly underneath my clothes. I wore my belt everyday for the entire third trimester. The Mini Cradle maternity support reduces pains during pregnancy and can be worn throughout all trimesters of pregnancy.
7. Dream Genii. I never thought I needed this, until I hit the third trimester and I couldn’t find a comfortable sleeping position. I tried it all (I was even upside down with my legs raised against the wall at one point) and nothing worked. Until I was gifted this Dream Genii pillow by Mothercare. OMG. It allowed me to sleep! I was so happy with it, I brought it with me everywhere I went. And when Tristan was born I was able to use it as a breastfeeding support pillow and now as part of a pillow wall when he sleeps. For all you mom-to-be’s, YOU NEED THIS! This is available at Mothercare.
8. Natalac. So I didn’t think about breastfeeding until I was on my eighth month and my OB prescribed this to me. She recommended that I take one capsule of Natalac 3x a day after every meal. I followed her, of course, without realizing how much good it was doing for me in terms of creating milk supply. When Tristan was born I had absolutely no problem with my supply, and I owe it to Natalac. I am so happy with it I still take about 2 capsules a day until this day, and Tristan is seven months old already. This malunggay capsule is a wonder product, and is super healthy and good for you.
9. Earth Mama Angel Baby Organic Heartburn Tea. I was on my seventh or eight month when I started feeling like my stomach was up on my chest. It felt uncomfortable, and with this feeling was constant heartburn. I got it when I was hungry and full, so that was pretty much all the time. This tea was introduced to me by http://www.cudsly.com when they gave it as a gift at my baby shower. It works so well! I always had a cup in the morning and one at night. The best part, this is caffeine free so it is okay for baby.
10. Medela Purelan 100. I got a tube of this when I visited The Parenting Emporium on my eighth month of pregnancy to get fitted for my Medela breast pump. Maricel and Beng (the ladies behind TPE) recommended that I apply this on my nipples everyday until I gave birth. I followed their advice, and it helped. Of course, I still got chafing and wounds that came with breastfeeding, but this soothed my poor, sore nipples. This is made of pure lanolin without any preservatives so it is ok to apply and continue breastfeeding. It is also hypoallergenic and it doesn’t have a taste so Tristan didn’t notice when I applied it and nursed. I always carried a tube in my bag during my last month of pregnancy and the first few months after Tristan was born.
And I’ve recently discovered that this is excellent for treating diaper rash! We’ve been struggling with Tristan’s diaper rash for a week and a half now (its because he is teething) and nothing worked, until I finally tried this and now it is drying up. This is really a wonder product! Lanolin is the best!