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Caitlin Melvin | Caitlinalisonmelvin@gmail.com | Toronto, Ontario

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WHAT I'VE PURCHASED FOR AND AFTER PREGNANCY SO FAR | baby

December 6, 2018

 I'm in the last month of my second trimester and I'm really excited to share it was and give my readers a 'bumpdate' to talk about my experience. It was SO much different than the first trimester. But I still have the rest of December to go! In the mean time, I did want to share some of the items myself and Bryon and I have purchased for various reason - for help (lol), a hack, or to prepare etc. I know there is so much information and advice out there - at the end of the day, you have to do what's best for YOU...but these are the things that are working for me.

 

I wanted to share clothing tips, books I've been reading and some of the things I've purchased for after the birth. I hope one of you finds this helpful whether you're pregnant or planning on getting pregnant one day.

 

 

CLOTHES

 

I'm pretty small to begin with, so I had a feeling maternity clothing was going to be difficult for me - especially in the legs. I'm also on a budget (thanks Toronto), and I didn't want to splurge on crazy-expensive maternity clothes that I was only going to wear for about 4 months. Really, you don't need to start wearing maternity clothing until the end of your first trimester, and even then you might find some of the clothes a bit loose - especially pants. I'm also not allowed to wear jeans at work, so I decided not to add a pair to my rotation.

 

What I did do was buy 2 pairs of black leggings and 2 pairs of black pants in maternity. When buying pants in maternity wear, just order your regular size. I'm a HUGE fan of H&M. They are not only affordable, they fit my chicken legs so it doesn't look like I'm swimming in my own clothes.

 

Then, I bought dresses. Shift dresses were key for the first trimester and the first two months of my second trimester because you sort of have that awkward "are you pregnant or have you been fluffing up for winter" look. They help hide your confusing bump. I was trying to hide it from people at work (not my coworkers or boss - but others) so I wanted to conceal the awkward stage rather than embrace it. But I've since grown out of some of those dresses since November. However, shift dresses are still a big part of my wardrobe. I will be adding more body con dresses now because you can layer them easily and make cute outfits! So lots of stretchy dresses are great to have.

 

Since I'm pregnant during the winter months (yay!!) I only have to buy clothes for ONE SEASON!!! Whoop whoop! Sweater styles this season are a loser fit. Size up and you can pretty much get whatever sweater you like. Avoid cropped styles though! As that belly grows...it can look a little strange as you start showing skin lol.

 

Also, buy maternity tights. Even if you're not pregnant. Seriously, they are the most comfortable things you will ever put on. I'm never getting regular tights ever again lol.

 

 

Zipper Extender:

One day I was getting ready to leave for work and it was a colder day out. So I grabbed my Moose Knuckles parka and when I squeezed to get the zipper up I felt like sausage in a sausage casing and I could barely expand my lungs to get air. I wondered what  the hell I was going to do for the rest of the winter. It gets SUPER cold here and this parka is super warm and I didn't want to fork out $200 for a new one I was going to wear for a few months that was less warm than the one I currently own. The girls at work told me about a zipper extender. This one is made in Canada. The black insert matches my parka perfectly, but it does come in other colours. I did end up needing to get an adapter and it came to about $100 in total. I'll be using it next year as well when I use the carrier, because it extends enough to fit baby snuggly inside your jacket, so I'll get great use out of it. It makes my parka  A LOT bigger and more spacious lol. At first it felt/looked a bit funny, but I'm really starting to grow into it and I'm so glad I got it. If you live in a cold climate, I would get one of these rather than buying a new not-so-warm maternity winter coat.

 

 

SHOP MY PURCHASES:

 

 

 

BOOKS AND APPS

 

There are a thousand books out there and everyone has a recommendation. I actually did some research on the best book to get before I went online to Chapters and bought a whole bunch. Everyone and their cousin knows the book What To Expect When Expecting. After throughly reading through some mommy blogs I learned that this was not a great book to get because it's anxiety provoking. If you've been following me for a while, you may have read or heard me talk about my anxiety on Instagram or here on my blog. The last thing I want to deal with while I'm pregnant is anxiety. I know there's a lot that can go wrong with pregnancy, but I didn't want to read something that would keep me up at night. Instead, I went for the following books:



Mayo Clinic Guide To A Healthy Pregnancy

This one is Dr. McKay approved. He refers to research from the Mayo Clinic often. I read this book almost every day and I've found it EXTREMELY helpful. Everything you could possibly have a question about is referenced in here. Sometimes I'll even find myself referencing things in this book without reading it from where I left off. It's a really great resource to have. This is the 2nd edition, which is the most updated version.

 

 

 

The Only Pregnancy Book You'll Ever Need:

The title of this book is misleading because it's not the only book you'll need lol. This book is okay. I think if you're going to get any book get the Mayo Clinic book, but this one has a few good tips in there. Some of them I found to be odd and promote sedentary activity during pregnancy or just things that made me laugh out loud. But it's nice to have a little back up you can switch to for a different piece of advice. 

 



The Whole 9 Months:

Before I got pregnant I was fit and eating well. But then I got really sick and really tired and my healthy habits declined. I needed to be full all the time to beat my nausea, and that meant eating a ton of carbs (no regrets). Since getting through my first trimester I've gotten back into working out more and eating better. I bought this book when I found out I was pregnant because I wanted to have a healthy pregnancy. Eating healthy, working out and drinking lots of water prevents gestational diabetes and even stretch marks. This book goes beyond great recipes, it teaches you about eating properly during pregnancy and kicking the mindset of "Eating for two" or "I'm pregnant, so I deserve to eat this". Over-indulging contributes to a tougher pregnancy and gestational diabetes which = a bigger baby, health issues and a difficult birth.  Yes, if you're pregnant you should be taking it easy, but also listening to your body. If you come home from work and you're too tired for the gym, take a rest and when you have something to eat and some water try going to the gym. After your main pregnancy book, I would recommend getting this! (Hell, it's great even if you're not!)

 

 

 

OVIA APP:

This is my favourite app right now! Yes, it tells you what food your baby is. But it also gives you really cool like growth updates to look forward to each day. I find this so exciting. I love knowing that my baby's eyes have finished developing, or when he grew finger nails. It makes the process exciting. I also love the helpful tips and articles they offer. It has really helped me keep up with what's going in my pregnancy and reminds me to take my prenatal vitamin. It also has a fertility (for those trying to get pregnant) and a parenting one too!

 

 

 

CLASSPASS APP:

I had zero intention of becoming a couch potato during my pregnancy. Don't get me wrong: a lot of the times I come home from work and want to have a nap or take a 12 hour bath, but I try really hard to get to the gym at least three times a week. I've toned down how much I go to classes, and usually I go to one that focuses on legs, or a TRX class, sometimes boxing (no contact), or barre so that it's safe for me but I alway notify my instructor that I'm pregnant. For the first trimester, you shouldn't have to change much of your workouts. I did basically everything I did before I got pregnant, but things have changed and I've had to scale back. I have round ligament issues, so I have to be careful with that and just overall I don't have the stamina I did before or I just can't do the same things as everyone else. But instructors have been really helpful and modify things for me. Check with your OBGYN before you work out though. If you are clear to continue, be mindful of your heart rate and make sure you can hold a conversation with a partner during your workout. There are also prenatal classes you can attend as well - I haven't done any though.

 

 

 

THINGS FOR BABY

 

oh this is the exciting part!!! So Black Friday has come and gone, but man, B and I did good. I didn't expect to receive large items like strollers, carseats or a crib from family members or friends, so I knew Bryon and I would buying these ourselves. I researched the ones I wanted, and started setting money aside for them, and when Black Friday rolled around, I went to town. 

 

 

STROLLER AND CAR SEAT

 

 

 

Everyone goes crazy over Uppababy strollers - not a fan. Probably because EVERYONE has one. When it came to a stroller, there were a few things that were important to me: easy to travel with, stylish, safe and looks comfy. This is where I decided on the Quinny Moodd Stroller (Rachel Zoe Collection). I loved everything about it. It maneuvered great, it looked amazing, it was safe and it looks incredibly comfortable. I heard great reviews about the Maxi-Cosi car seats, so we got the matching one. I love this system! We waited super long to get these because we were hoping for a sale- which the Rachel Zoe collection rarely is part of, but West Coast Kids did over their Black Friday sale, so we grabbed them. We won't need them for a while, and if it wasn't for the sale, I probably would have waited longer, but I would rather save money and buy them before I need to than get them at full price later. (American links: Stroller, Car seat (I'm finding it difficult to locate the exact colour combination (even in Canada) I purchased, so I'm wondering if it's being discontinued) 

 

 

 

CRIB AND MATTRESS

 

 

This is an item I would research thoroughly and read reviews in as many places as possible. B and I went with a convertible crib so we don't have to buy another bed later (it converts into a toddler bed...heeeeey!). After researching I decided on the Babyletto Lolly 3-in-1 crib, which we purchased from West Coast Kids (Canadian link for crib) for their black Friday sale. West Coast Kids usually has the lowest price for cribs + it was on sale. So we bought it at the same time as the car seat and stroller. I don't remember which mattress we ended up purchasing, but we didn't choose a completely foam one because it's really hot for the baby. It was either THIS ONE or THIS ONE. I'll know when it arrives and I can update this post. I would recommend ordering your crib toward the end of your second trimester because some cribs (like ours) are a special order and take 8-10 weeks to arrive. Your baby will be sleeping in a bassinet for a while, so you don't NEED it right away, but if you want the baby's room set up and ready to go, get it a bit earlier than other items. 

 

 

 

DIAPER BAG

 

 

 

Okay, the diaper bag was an issue for me. I consider myself a stylish lady and the thought of toting around a bag for the next few years of my life that was anything but stylish seemed not so cool to me. There are a LOT OF UGLY diaper bags out there. I found Fawn Design on Instagram and LOVED the style, colours and functionality of the bags. They can be backpacks (my fave way to wear mine) or sling bags. And they're large enough to fit what you need. I've actually been using mine for work lately because I often bring my lap top home and it's been great! I bought mine in Brown.  It matches my stroller :)
 

 

 

 

BABY CARRIER

 

 

I'm gonna be a working mamma in 2019. I'm not taking a 12 month or 18 month mat leave like most Canadians. First of all, I love my job and I love working. I'll be taking 3 months off and then I'll be continuing my role from home along with freelancing as I'm doing right now. Needless to say, I'm going to be busy and working at random hours. I love the idea of hands free baby wraps for little babies. I went with Beluga Baby Wraps based on great reviews and feedback from other mamma's. They are expensive and there are cheaper ones out there, but I think once you read the reviews you'll understand why it's a good choice. Bryon and I got the charcoal grey heather wrap (I wanted black but it's always sold out). There are lots of colours and patterns to choose from and it's a Canadian brand! 

 

 

 

STRETCH MARK CREAM

 

 

 

 

This is another item where everyone has a cream that "is the best cream everrrrrr!!". The one I'm using is Palmer's Tummy Butter. I'm pretty small, so I'm expecting stretch marks. But I've been eating well, exercising, drinking lots of water and using this cream. At the end of the day, stretch marks are genetic and a cream isn't going to stop you from getting them, but it can soften them and prevent how dark they are. The consistency of this cream sucks and I'm not crazy about the smell. The first layer is REALLY hard and you have to warm it up in your hands to soften it and work out the clumps...but it lasts a long time. Even after a shower. I use it everyday before I go to bed and then in the mornings after my shower I use a regular lotion. I found this at Rexal's but you can get it at Wal-Mart as well. It has really great reviews :) I recommend getting into the habit of using lotion on your tummy from the very beginning to keep your skin loose and moisturized

 

 

 

 

That's it for now!! I hope this post is helpful for someone :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Caitlin Melvin lives in Toronto with her boyfriend Bryon and two cats Finnigan and Lucca. A marketing manager by day, blogger on the side, freelance social media specialist and a lover of travel and new experiences