With week thirty three of my second pregnancy kicking off with swollen feet and gestational diabetes, carrying this tiny human seems to be taking up a lot of room not only in my uterus but my mind as well. Looking back at how seemingly easier my first pregnancy was in comparison to this one, I also am looking back at how differently I’m handling this one in terms of buckling under the commercial pressure of what I thought I needed the first time around. In this post we’re going to tackle some practical work arounds to the maternity “things” we’re made to believe we need, as well as how minimalism has impacted this pregnancy as a whole.
1. Maternity Clothes
I like to lump this category into all the stuff that I bought or borrowed while I was pregnant with my first that I have managed not to need with the second. The number one thing on this list is definitely maternity clothes! I did invest in a maternity bathing suit top simply because I’ve been living in the water this summer, but other than that and two long sleeve maternity shirts I found at the Salvation Army, I didn’t bother with maternity clothes this time around. I had posted while pregnant with my first about crafty ways to keep the maternity clothes budget low, and even included a tutorial on making your own belly band, these posts were super handy to reflect on this time around because they kept my centered and focused before heading to Amazon for clothes I didn’t need.
Obviously everyone carries differently and everyone has a different pregnancy experience, but if you’re looking for ways to keep the accumulation of stuff to a minimum during your pregnancy, ditch the maternity clothes and opts for leggings and stuff with some flow to it, trust me when I say unless you’re a professional baby carrier, you won’t wear it all that much.
2. The Body Pillow
Let me again start with a disclaimer that everyone is different and this is just my opinion! I invested in a pregnancy specific body pillow with my first pregnancy and the thing was not only super large and kind of weirdly shaped, but I stopped using it almost immediately after giving birth. It was a life saver for the few months of discomfort I had while pregnant, but then once I could sleep on my stomach again it just ended up on the floor of our room constantly from getting thrown out of the bed at night. I’m pretty confident the pregnancy pillow ended up being a casualty of one of the moves we’ve made since Ez was born, but truly it is not missed this time around.
This time around I’ve managed to dodge the body pillow bullet but using a rolled up comforter or fleece blanket when I need some extra tummy support at night, and if I get super uncomfortable I’ve found sleeping in a recliner actually takes a huge stress off my back and hips. Sleeping has been a challenge this entire pregnancy, but not due to lack of a pillow.
3. Stretch Mark Serum
Newsflash children destroy your body and unless you’re a super model I promise no one actually cares if you have stretch marks after popping out a kid. I remember with my first born religiously rubbing my belly every night with this special concoction marketed specifically to pregnant women to help “prevent” stretch marks. I was constantly checking my skin to make sure it was still in pristine condition, well sorry to say I’m literally covered in stretch marks from the first child and number two is doing a hell of a job making sure he adds to the collection as well.
You’re skin is going to stretch, it’s gonna get itchy, it’s gonna hurt, but let’s face it you’re literally growing a tiny human inside of you and that takes a lot of stretching on your skins part. Don’t waste your money (or time) worrying about keeping your skin looking like it was before you got pregnant because you’ll just stress yourself out and hit a wall of emotions you don’t need to. I’m covered in tattoos that I’ve willfully put on my skin to tell a story, if my little womb nuggets want to add to the collection of story telling pieces by throwing in some stretch marks, I’d be more than happy to oblige.
Why Minimalism is Great During Pregnancy
So as previously mentioned, we’ve adapted to a pretty solid minimalist lifestyle and this pregnancy is no exception. This time around I’m focused more on the experience of bringing a new baby into our world than making sure I have all the “stuff” that we’re made to believe we need. What’s been awesome about being a minimalist this pregnancy is that I’m still purging to make room for the new addition, but I’m not feeling overwhelmed in acquiring more things to make up for what we’re getting rid of. Having a simple wardrobe and being able to borrow what I can from family and friends (thanks Mom!) means I can eventually give back whatever I’ve accumulated to make things even simpler once the baby arrives.
I remember stressing out in the aisles of target making a baby registry for my first born and being so paranoid that I didn’t have everything we “needed” for when little dude made his arrival. Fast forward two years in and we had an abundance of things we hardly used, and clothes we’re passed on after only a handful of wears since he had so many to begin with. We we’re so lucky and blessed by our friends and family but it was overwhelming to handle finding a home for all the odds and ends while trying to adjust to life with a newborn. This pregnancy has been a huge experience in reflection and we’ve narrowed down our list of things to a bare minimum that is small, yet covers all the bases for baby care.
The Wrap Up
Babies are simple, people are simple, life is simple. there’s no need to clutter it up with a bunch of stuff you’ll end up getting rid of by the time the baby actually comes. Do what makes you feel comfortable because pregnancy can be a doozy, but also know you don’t need to go nuts to have a comfortable pregnancy as well! This pregnancy has been so much harder physically than my first, but there isn’t a single product out there (other than the frozen margarita I’m holding out for once this kids born) that would make it any easier or enjoyable.