From speaking with other mamas, it seems that pregnancy is a polarizing, love it or hate it experience. For me, it was love all the way.
Being pregnant made me feel like a comic book heroine; the Incredible Life-Growing Super Woman! Sure, there were bizarro food cravings (wonton soup was my first trimester must-have and by third trimester I couldn’t go a day without chocolate almond milk), acne that surpassed anything I experienced in adolescence, and nights I spent more time peeing than sleeping, but I savored every moment of it.
I was fascinated with the changes in my body (women are seriously incredible creatures) and I cherished the intimate time I had to get to know my baby in utero, when I was the only one privy to his nonstop kicks and idiosyncrasies, such as his tendency to get the hiccups every time I drank something hot. Pregnancy was a magical calm before the blissfully chaotic storm of new parenthood.
Admittedly, my love of pregnancy is due in no small part to the fact that I was fortunate to have a relatively easy time of it. I responded to the question of how I was feeling with “can’t complain,” so many times that it became my unofficial mantra. Outside of some first trimester exhaustion and typical late-pregnancy aches and pains, I felt good and stayed active until the very end; in fact, I walked three miles the day before I went into labor (see picture below) just running around San Francisco to get my hair cut, visit the doctor, and meet my hubby at the movies. In case you’re wondering, we saw Pitch Perfect 2 – and it was the last movie we’ve seen and likely will see in theaters for some time.
There are a million things you can try to make pregnancy easier – and I tried most of them – but here are the things that I can say actually made my pregnancy oh so much more enjoyable. Hopefully they’ll be helpful to you!
Check out my 5 pregnancy wellness essentials below…
17 hours before I went into labor
1. Camellia Oil
I was underwhelmed with the pregnancy standby of cocoa butter. It just sat on the surface of the my skin; camellia oil, however, absorbed into my skin, giving it added hydration, elasticity, and promoting collagen production – key in helping stave off stretch marks. I slathered Elemis Japanese Camellia Oil Blend all over my torso every morning and night while pregnant, and I continued to use it regularly the fist month postpartum. Plus, I read that Posh Spice swore by it during her pregnancies, and if it’s good enough for Mrs. Beckham, it’s certainly good enough for me.
2. Prenatal Yoga
Nothing alleviated my back pain and contributed to my overall wellness like prenatal yoga. The stretches are great for pregnancy aches and pains, the movements is good exercise, and if you find a birth-focused class, you’ll gain invaluable tools for labor. Britt Forman’s prenatal yoga class at The Mindful Body in San Francisco doubled as a birth prep class for me, and I drew on all the birthing techniques she taught us in class during my 26-hour natural labor. While prenatal yoga is great any time during pregnancy, I found it was most potent from mid-late second trimester on, when my belly was big enough for me to appreciate the pregnancy modifications and labor tips.
I was very fit going into pregnancy, and it was important to me for both my mental and physical wellbeing that I stay active throughout. I attended a more challenging fitness class, like spinning, ballet barre, or Burn SF (which is exceptionally good with providing pregnancy-friendly modifications) on the weekend, but I didn’t have the energy to head back out to the gym after getting home from the office on weekdays. When I didn’t workout during the week at all, however, I found that I was actually more tired and achy than if I pushed myself to get a little movement in – so, I began experimenting with home workout DVDs. I tried half a dozen prenatal workout DVDs and Suzanne Bowen’s Slim & Toned Prenatal Barre Workoutwas the only one that actually made me sweat. It’s challenging in all the right ways while being mindful of pregnancy no-no movements and providing modifications for when you want to step up or down the intensity. Best of all, each segment is only 20 minutes long, so I was able to easily squeeze in a quick and energizing workout session before heading to work in the morning.
4. Healthy Nut Snack Bars
Full of protein and brain-boosting omega 3s baby need and only 200 healthy and delicious calories, I turned to KIND bars and Clif Organic Trail Mix Bars to satisfy hunger cravings. In the first trimester, the high protein content was great for staving off nausea (and I never left home without one in my purse just in case pregnancy “hanger” or nausea hit unexpectedly) and later in pregnancy they were a nutritious snack I could chow down on to get the extra calories baby needed. Chris and I even brought a couple to the hospital with us to keep our energy up during labor.
5. Prenatal Massage, Acupuncture, & Chiropractic Work
Normally, spending money on multiple wellness treatments feels indulgent, but during pregnancy I splurged. I began regular acupuncture sessions before I conceived, and I continued with occasional visits throughout my pregnancy. Acupuncture not only tapped into important bodily functions, it also provide a restorative meditation period. Prenatal chiropractic work was a back-saver from the second-trimester on, and weekly prenatal massage kept me loose and relaxed. If you have a generous friend or family member who wants to know what they can gift you, suggest they buy or contribute to a multi-visit package, which are usually much cheaper than buying individually and will allow you to get the multiple wellness treatments needed for great results. My mom treated me to a gift certificate for 10 prenatal massages at the Mindful Body, and having the expense already taken care of took the hassle out of getting a massage.
Have something to add? Please share your pregnancy wellness tips in the comments!
Oh, hey there! It’s been quite a few months since my last post. Why the radio silence, you ask? Well, I’ve had a couple of tremendous life changes…
First, I landed a dream position as an editor of POPSUGAR’s Home vertical. Second, I embarked on my biggest project yet: motherhood. I actually received the job offer and confirmed my pregnancy in a 24 hours period – it was a very exciting day to say the least!
With all my mental energy going to my new gig and physical energy going into creating a person, I decided to put the blog on hold. A gal has got to know her limits, and I had hit mine.
There’s another reason that I didn’t write about my pregnancy in real-time on The Editorialite; I strive to fill my blog with helpful tips, useful knowledge, and must-have products that I can personally vouch for, and as a first-time mama-to-be, I didn’t feel that I had the experience or perspective to speak knowledgeably about pregnancy, motherhood, and all the ensuing needs.
Now that my sweet baby boy Dashiell (pronounced “Dash – ul”) is almost two months old, I’ve had space to reflect on my pregnancy, birth, and the earliest stages of motherhood and extract useful tidbits from the experience. I’m excited to share my insights with you in the days and weeks ahead!
The Keith Haring exhibit opening at the de Young museum on Wednesday night to much celebration and fanfare. In the spirit of the artists, guests were encouraged to don eighties attire. Unsure of just how much the theme would be embraced, I deicded to tip a cautious day-glo yellow toe into the eighties water.
The multi-media Keith Haring exhibit was vibrant, bold and political, tackling everything from John Lennon’s assassination and AIDS to nuclear disarmament and racial inequality with captivating energy.
I wholeheartedly recommend checking out the exhibit. In the meantime, enjoy the pics below!
Elevate your travel experience before leaving the ground
Between having both Chris and my family planted firmly on the East Coast and long-distance weddings up the wazoo, travel is an unavoidable part of my life. And, no matter how frequent a flyer I am, the process of waiting in line, checking in, waiting in line, checking my bag, waiting in line going through security, waiting in line, buying overpriced food and drinks, waiting in line and finally boarding the plane is stressful. And all this happens before you even depart for your destination.
So, when American Express invited me to check out their new Centurion Lounge in Terminal 3 of San Francisco International Airport, one of four super luxe lounges at airports around the country, I was quick to jump onboard. The 8,200 square foot space felt somewhere between a posh club and a five star restaurant. I found the decor sleek and refined, the food and wine selections local and sumptuous, and the service first rate.
Stepping out of the whirring chaos of the airport terminal and into the protected cocoon of the Amex Centurion Lounge provided a soothing, VIP experience that was in sharp contrast to the stressful, icky game of air travel survivor I’ve come to expect.
Access to the lounge is complimentary for American Express Platinum Card holders and $50/day for all other Amex members.
What does access to paradise include?
Enjoy complimentary, unlimited…
Wine & Dine: Napa Valley-inspired, seasonal cuisine curated by Christopher Kostow, chef at The Restaurant at Meadowood, signature cocktails by renowned mixologist Jim Meehan and wine tastings featuring a selection of Napa Valley favorits chosen by wine director Anthony Giglio.
Work & Play: Work spaces with high speed Wi-Fi and nearby power outlets. A soundproof playroom for kids and families.
Relax & Recharge: Thoughtfully appointed relaxation areas and luxurious shower suites. Professional travel assistance and card inquiry help.
I can personally vouch for the food and wine selections! Here I am below chowing down. Check out other pictures and be sure to explore the lounge yourself next time you’re flying SFO!
Decorist is to interior design what Rent the Runway was to high fashion
Decorist, a new online service, makes celeb-level design available to everyone. It’s the democratization of your living room! Okay, maybe that last line was a bit much, but it is making home design “personal, affordable and easy.” In short, it’s going to change your life, one room at a time.
I discovered the service a couple weeks ago when I had the chance to walk through the Decorist showcase house right here in San Francisco. It. Was. Spectacular. Walmart couches blended seamlessly with vintage object d’art. Next to high end designer seating, One Kings Lane upholstered beds looked far pricier than their three digit tags, and independent artist’s photography endowed the walls with character.
All this was enough to get me to log onto the Decorist site. After completing a personal style assessment quiz, in which I essentially designed a living room by selecting my favorite options from a list of sofas, coffee tables, area rugs, etc., the site summed up my taste with eerie accuracy (it began: “You like eclectic styles at heart with an eye towards integrating more modern looks”) and offered me home product recommendations tailored to my specific taste. Sourced from stores like Target and Overstock to Dwell Studio and ritzy designers, the furniture and decor was consistently chic and unique but spanned a wide price range. Within 30 minutes of messing around on the site, I discovered and became obsessed with half a dozen new stores that I hadn’t even known existed. I signed up to receive the e-newsletter full of customized product picks, so I can be inspired on a regular basis.
Personalized Decorist Room Makeovers
The site also offers personalized pro help you with the perfect room makeover. You enter your budget, style info and any non-negotiable parameters, such as keeping the walls white in your rental, incorporating great grandma’s love seat or finding a way to use those pricey Jonathan Adler pillows you splurged on. One of Decorist’s talented designers then creates a design for the room, complete with a list of shopable products and a detailed room rendering, like the one in the image below. You then purchase products and style the room according the rendering. The results are almost as magical as the price: $199 per room with a standard Decorist designer and $299 for a celebrity designer.
This Friday, November 7 I’ll be co-hosting an event at Sweat Republic in the Marina, voted one of “America’s coolest Alternative Exercise Studios,” on a topic that all busy, active women can relate to: how to go from sweating it out to a night out.
As much as I would like to say I always shower immediately after working out, the truth is that there isn’t always time. It’s hard enough to find time to balance a job and a social life before throwing fitness into the mix, but I need that workout to keep my mind sane and body strong. If it come down to a question of skipping a workout all together or having to go to happy hour directly from the gym, I’ll always pick the latter.
This, however, is far from an excuse to greet your friends a hot, sticky, smelly mess. At Friday’s event I will share my go-to methods for going from sweaty to stylish in sixty seconds.
More than just sharing these insider tips, I will help you create a complimentary goodie bag full of all the essential products and tools you need to do them yourself.
If that’s not enticing enough, the event will also feature wine (it is taking place during Friday happy hour, after all), Sweat Republic fitness demos and an exclusive Kamila Dmowska trunk show featuring the just-released new collection–these gorgeous frocks are a must-have for every lady’s wardrobe.
Check out my favorite Kamila two-piece ensemble in the pics below and RSVP to the event on Facebook here.