Here are my 9 pregnancy must-haves. Hope it helps!
1. PRE-NATAL PILATES
Prior to getting pregnant, I’ve been taking pilates for over four years already. Am so lucky to not have had a maselan pregnancy, and so my OB allowed and even encouraged me to keep working out! She says that prior to pregnancy, since I was used to working and working out, that I should just continue because it is what my body is used to. (Makes sense to me!)
I cannot imagine having had gone through this pregnancy without working out. Much like when not pregnant, working out gives you a rush of energy—something really needed when preggo because you feel extra tired a lot of times. It helps strengthen all the parts of your body that you need to keep strong, to carry your growing belly (bibigat talaga siya!) and to eventually push your baby out. And one of the most masarap parts of the session, it stretches all the cramped up parts of your body and relieves you of pain or discomfort.
Some are allowed to work out the whole pregnancy, but in a lot of cases, regular workouts are recommended after the first trimester is over. I am even more strict with myself going now, compared to when I wasn’t pregnant! I have been going twice a week for one-on-one one hour sessions at Options Studio in Podium and Timog, with my wonderful trainers Reea and Kit.
2. BABY PLUS
It’s basically a belt pack that plays beats. In a nutshell, the explanation behind it is that while the baby is in the tummy, yes, he or she hears all kinds of sounds like our voices or music, but the simplest recognizable pattern at that stage is the mother’s heartbeat. So the Baby Plus plays beats much like an adult’s heartbeat at level 1, and goes faster and faster until level 16, and “teaches” the baby inside the tummy about recognizing patterns. Pretty convincing for me! Parents and experts note benefits like early milestones, longer attention spans, and strong motor skills.
I didn’t play any music like classical or jazz or nature sounds to our baby this whole pregnancy. I decided to stick with just the Baby Plus. I learned about the product from my sister-in-law Tracy who used it on both her kids, Roco and Sabine.
You start using this at around 5 months of pregnancy.
This is an anti-radiation blanket that I use all the time to cover my belly, since I am always on my phone and my laptop for work.
I got this pillow as a gift from Mothercare when I was around 4 months pregnant. At that time, my tummy was just like a puson, so it was only when I hit around 7.5 months when my tummy really got bigger that I felt the tremendous benefits of this pillow. As your tummy gets heavier, wow, it gets harder and harder to find a position to sleep. This pillow perfectly cushions the side of your tummy, and your lower back, for a good night’s sleep. I literally always sigh a loud “Aaah,” at night when I lie down on this.
I didn’t buy a single maternity clothing piece these past months. I didn’t want to spend on those stretch waist shorts or jeans because I won’t be able to use it anymore post pregnancy! I decided to buy only things that I would be able to use even when I go back to my regular body.
I love wearing tummy hugging clothes—especially when my tummy really started to get bigger—because I’m really proud/kilig/happy to show my big belly! Whatever shape or size a pregnant woman is, for me, there is something so beautiful and sexy about embracing the growing belly. Mas masarap nga magsuot ng fitted pag buntis kasi hindi kailangan maging conscious sa “stomach in” buong gabi! Haha! And since dresses like these are made of stretch cotton or jersey, I can definitely use them even when I’m not pregnant anymore. Same goes for shapeless dresses! Thank God uso sila this year! They are so comfy, and will still be useable post pregnancy.
I’ve always been very low maintenance, but I was always very particular about always washing my face and moisturizing. But I became more strict with myself about religiously doing my skin care regimen when I got pregnant. When I hit around 2. 5 months of my pregnancy, my skin super broke out, both on my face and my back. They say it’s a normal symptom due to our changing hormone levels, but I wanted to do something about it. It is sooo easy to be tamad when you're pregnant because ang dami mo na ngang ibang inaalala at pinagdadaanan—but I realized its time like these we should put in extra effort, also so we feel better about ourselves!
My regimen is quite simple and short. In the morning, I would cleanse, tone, and moisturize using Olay Total Effects, around the whole face and until the neck. (Kasi paniniwala dito, lalong umiitim ang leeg kapag buntis.) Before sleeping, at night, I would cleanse, tone, moisturize, and apply eye cream using SKII, also a P&G product. Sure enough, I never did break out again the rest of my pregnancy, and people seemed to compliment my skin even more than when I wasn’t pregnant. (Pwera bola!) To those asking, yes, as confirmed by the P&G R&D in Singapore, these products are safe for pregnant women.
I also did around two visits for a facial at Facial Care Center. Yes, also very safe for pregnant women because they don’t use any chemicals or medicine on the face. Just steaming and cleaning those clogged pores.
7. STRETCH MARK CREAM
I plan to keep using it even after giving birth, because a lot of moms shared that sometimes, its when you “shrink” after that they appear.
8. BIRTHING CLASS WITH CHIQUI HAHN
My husband JC and I took this around our 8th month. It is usually a once a week, six session class, but since it was close to impossible to make our schedules meet, thankfully, Chiqui also does a one day crash course from 8AM to 6PM.
This is something I really wanted to do, because I wanted to understand what really will be going on in my body when I’m in labor. More than just the breathing techniques, I loved that she explained the order of how things will go when we reach the hospital, how to tell false alarms from the real thing, different realistic scenarios, the details on how exactly a baby is delivered, so that when the day comes, I understand what is happening to my body, instead of just being clueless and in pain. It was also so important to my husband to be there, so that he understands what is going on, beyond the possible moans and tears when the big day comes. In fact, he wants to be the one to cut the umbilical cord when our daughter comes out!
The class was so worth it. Just Google the name Chiqui Hahn to find out about her classes.
A side note on pregnancy books:
I only used the “What To Expect When You’re Expecting” phone app to help me keep track of the number of weeks and the fruit that corresponds to the size of the baby at each stage (super cute!), but I don’t really recommend the book and articles itself because a lot of it can make a pregnant woman praning, at a time that she should just be super chill and super happily carrying a baby. I would rather recommend “Expecting Better” by Emily Oster, a very realistic, practical, chill book recommended to me by another mom, Stephanie Zubiri.
9. BREASTFEEDING CLASS WITH THE PARENTING EMPORIUM
I took this session when I hit my 37th week of pregnancy. I am committed to doing all that I can to breastfeed our baby for as long as I can. I have been warned that breastfeeding is much, much harder than people think it is. A lot say mas mahirap pa ang breastfeeding kaysa sa panganganak! I am already psyching myself for the tough road ahead. The benefits of breastfeeding are definitely worth it. It really is “best for babies.”
This class with Beng Feliciano, a mom of 3, and Joy Martinez, an internationally certified lactation expert was so helpful! I learned about how we come to produce milk, how little the baby really only needs especially when new born, the possible complications, the ways to address complications, how to keep it going, and so much more. Since I plan to do my best to balance being hands on and a working mom, I also purchased a Medela Breast Pump from The Parenting Emporium, and it is only on the 37th week or onwards that you can be “fitted” for the breast shield for the pump.
Good luck to us first time moms!!!!