If I’m honest, I think the self-care movement is a bit of bullshit. IMO, it’s a label that justifies behavior and gives permission to write-off an act of instant gratification. It’s hailed as this heroic thing you can do for yourself, yet won’t solve a real-time problem. Like, sorry girls, your face mask may hide your dark circles, but it won’t erase the poor decision you made last night.
In this instance, I’m using the term “self-care” to mean shit that made me feel good during my pregnancy that I bought without hesitation or regret. BAI MONEY! Did they help me prepare for bébé? No. Did they help us save thousands of dollars of daycare costs? No. Did they put my worries and anxiety to ease? Of course not. But they did make me feel better in the moment, and when you’re pregnant, ladies, you’ve got to pamper yourself.
Looking back, these were my most treasured items throughout those crazy nine months.
I’ll also add that none of this shit breaks the bank. And good thing, because there’s like, college education, and stuff to think about now.
Snoogle Pregnancy Pillow: Kiss your husbands goodbye, ladies. This pillow is the only thing you need in your bed, your arms, and your life once you hit the second trimester. As your belly grows, sleep becomes super hard. Your back tightens up, your hips are sore from sleeping on your side, and your joints ache. This pillow takes the pressure off – literally. My husband bought me this for our second anniversary (cotton) and at first, I was like, “Serious, bro? Jewelry is cool…” but around 28 weeks I was singing a different tune and was like, “FAHK YES. Best gift ever.”
Books: That’s right, literature. I plow through books when I travel, but when I’m at home not so much. When you’re sober and in bed by 8 PM, you’ve got a lot more time on your hands! Not to mention your mind is sharp as a tact! Some of my favorite page-turners were Sweetbitter, Crazy Rich Asians, and China Rich Girlfriend, The Couple Next Store, and Bringing Up Bébé (duh!).
Reading is like yoga. Before you get going you’re like, “Meh” but by the end, you’re like, “Why don’t I do this more often?!” In conclusion, turning a page is a lot more satisfying than scrolling. That is for sure.
Metcon4 Training Shoe: I eliminated running around week 30-ish of my pregnancy. The high impact movement was too hard on my joints (hips, specifically), and it would take me days to recover. Also, I was worried about my pelvic floor health, but that’s a discussion for another day. My focus was solely (no pun intended) on lifting. The Metcons have always been one of my favorite training shoes, and these are the latest and greatest model. They provide a robust and stable base to help you maintain control for your heaviest of lifts.
Lux Candle: With a bump the size of the state of Michigan, I took an indulgence wherever I could get one. An Oribe candle turned my shower into a spa, and I wasn’t mad about it one bit.
Fun Accessories: One of the WORST pieces of advice I received, and that I followed, was not to spend money on maternity clothes. I bought a few sweaters and a couple of pairs of pants. That was it. The lack of variety, and towards the end, lack of options (because I was fuckin’ huge) started to play on my self-esteem. I was wearing the same “outfit” over and over and felt unattractive all the time. If I could do it over, I would have spent time putting together maternity capsule that wouldn’t set me back financially, but kept me feeling great. I couldn’t justify spending money on clothes in the last trimester, so I focused on jewelry to spruce up the two outfits I had left on rotation. This necklace is old; however, Bauble Bar is my go-to for costume jewelry.
Brightening Face Mask: I’m convinced that the pregnant glow doesn’t happen on its own. I love the Acure brand (not sponsored, honest opinion) because it’s an organic and clean beauty product, smells great, and WORKS. I used this mask twice a week, and each time I did felt like I had a beautiful halo of light around me. Guess I don’t need that LuMee after all!
Organic Body Lotion: Early on in my pregnancy, my skin started to itch like CRAZY. It was by far the worst part of being with child – it was just so uncomfortable. Certain fabrics made it even worse, wool and denim, I’m talkin’ to you. Because of that, I moisturized like a fiend. Again, my love for the Acure brand and their products is unsponsored…but I’d like to remind everyone, I CAN BE BOUGHT FOR THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF COIN. Just kidding. Or am I? Their body lotion is so good. On exceptionally cold or dry days I would lather up with this organic shea butter.
Lemon Charcol Scrub: I feel like I never stop talking about Scratch Goods in Chicago. This scrub is by far my favorite product they sell! I keep it in the shower and use it every Sunday to slough off the dead skin and give myself a treat.
Mama Mio Tummy Rub Oil: Listen up, because I’m only going to say this once. YOU CANNOT PREVENT STRETCH MARKS. If they happen, they happen. You can minimize your risk, and their appearance if you have them by staying hydrated, eating hydrating foods, and moisturizing. Stretch marks are an internal or genetic issue so lotions and potions will not help you – kudos to brand marketers tho. I was gifted this product by a friend and loved it because it made my tummy feel like butter (ew?). Also, I’m a sucker for good marketing. WINK.
Facial Jade Roller: If you don’t have one of these, you need one. A staple on my gift guides, this is something quick you can add to your morning routine to decrease the appearance of dark circles and puffy undereye bags. Plus it feels amazing. Even if you’re not pregnant, buy it, it’s the best hangover helper. Truth.
Lipstick: As mentioned above, I didn’t invest in a maternity wardrobe. To keep my looks fresh I added statement necklaces and fun lipsticks. Rebel was my shade of choice.
SOMA Filter and Water Bottle: I was gifted a SOMA filter and vessel by the brand and loved them both. I’m TRYING (keyword: trying) to consume less out of plastic, so the glass bottle was not only fitting but looked super sleek. My only critique is that the filter is it’s small, so I needed to refill it like 1,000 times a day. Eh.
Okay, bumpies, get your shop on, take care of yourself, and most importantly, treat yourself.