I found out that I was pregnant at 11 weeks which is pretty late these days, and I remember thinking that I needed as many pregnancy tips as possible to help me take the best care of myself and my growing bump. I had no idea which products to use, or what maternity clothes I would need… the only thing I was sure of was that I wanted to take the best possible care of myself and my baby.
Tips to help you embrace this time
There’s no doubt that pregnancy is a rapidly changing time in your life – where your skin, hormones and body go through many ups and downs and changes to accommodate your growing baby. Now that Bella is almost three, I can look back on my pregnancy and reflect on the tips and products that helped me the most. Hopefully, these tips will help you too!
Maintain a good skin regime
I experienced many skin changes during pregnancy, including dryness, itchiness and a few rashes here and there. I’m also prone to stretch marks and wanted to try to avoid them throughout my pregnancy, so I went on the hunt for a safe anti-stretch mark product I could apply daily.
I discovered the Yummy Maternity Bodycare range and never looked back! I didn’t get one stretch mark, and I love that the products are 100% organic and leave no oily residue on the skin. I also discovered that the key to reducing redness and itchiness is to use a good-quality skincare oil that absorbs fast. This also helps to keep the skin healthy and supple, which reduces the risk of other skin-related issues.
A new range of body care products
Once I had my daughter Bella, I started chatting to other new moms (and moms-to-be) and realised that not enough people knew about the benefits of using good-quality skincare products during and after pregnancy.
I met with the owner of Yummy Maternity, Katie Borland in her Parkhurst store and we hit it off immediately. We share the same passion for supporting moms and offering solutions to their problems. Plus, we both think it’s important for moms to be healthy and happy first so that they can thrive and take care of their families. We share the same dream to create products that are good for moms, their babies and the planet.
It just felt natural and necessary for us to work together and create the bespoke lifestyle brand, Lisa Raleigh X Yummy Maternity – which celebrates and supports women throughout their pregnancy and post-pregnancy journey. We created these amazing products, which I’m so proud of – because they’re 100% safe and soothe and nourish the skin like nothing else!
Drink lots of water and eat well
Your little one needs the necessary nutrients for the overall development and so do you. Don’t worry if you’re too nauseous to eat well in the first trimester, chances are you’ll gain your appetite back in your second trimester. Focus on variety so that your baby gets a wide spectrum of vitamins and minerals.
It’s also a good idea to speak to your doctor about the right supplements to take during pregnancy. If you’re vegan or vegetarian, you might need an additional iron supplement, as well as omega-3s.
Here’s an example of how I ate throughout my pregnancy:
A raw, fresh veggie juice daily
I had this every day and I still do now. I blend a variety of different veggies, including beetroot and a little carrot and apple for sweetness).
I tried to steer clear of processed foods and stick to healthier options like vegetable cruditès and hummus; apple slices with peanut butter; grilled halloumi cheese and fruit; rice cakes and homemade Caprese egg muffins – my favourite!
For main meals
I ate smaller meals more frequently – I just didn’t have enough space in my tummy to eat more! I stuck to loads of fresh salads and veggie dishes, along with whole grains such as quinoa, wholewheat rice and oats. I wanted to stay regular – as constipation is quite common (and painful) amongst pregnant women. As much as I love a good vegetarian curry, I did suffer from heartburn, so I made sure not to eat foods too rich or spicy.
Move your body safely
Pregnancy is not the time to focus on any massive fitness gains or weight loss goals. The aim of exercise should be to reduce stress, increase blood flow and maintain some fitness and strength.
There are many pregnancy classes conducted by private institutions where they teach pregnancy-related exercises and specific yoga poses and stretches that help to keep your nerves as well as prepare you for labour. It’s a wonderful experience to meet other expecting mothers and share your insights.
Make sure you get enough rest and sleep to overcome the stress of increasing weight and hormonal changes.
Stick to a healthy weight
I’ll admit, I gained almost 20kg in my pregnancy and it wasn’t comfortable.
My weight just ballooned – partly due to water retention but also because I was always starving and ate a lot. I also had pronounced pregnancy cravings which I simply had to give in to! When I went to see my bra fitting specialist, she couldn’t believe that my breasts had quadrupled in size! I guess this would explain the upper and lower back pain I was experiencing. My posture was also affected as my small frame just didn’t deal well with an extra 20kg.
To help with the water retention, I went for weekly massages, which made a huge difference. My masseuse boosted my circulation, increased lymph drainage and helped to release tension in my muscles and joints- especially my feet.
Although I ate a lot, I did focus on eating healthy foods. This meant that the weight came off relatively quickly after I gave birth.
Dress to support your growing bump
As your tummy grows and expands outwards (and sideways), you might experience increasing pressure in your back, legs and pelvic region. And if like me, your breasts grow at a rapid rate, you’ll also feel the weight in your shoulders, neck and back.
This is why it’s so important to invest in the right maternity wear to support your body during and straight after pregnancy. Katie and I worked together to develop the most comfortable, supportive range of seamless maternity wear which I just love.
Here are some must-have items from our range:
Lisa Raleigh X Yummy Maternity Tummy Belly Band. This seamless support band not only gives you additional support where you need it most (underneath and around your belly), it also helps to extend the life of your clothes – as it covers your belly when you wear jeans etc.
Lisa Raleigh X Yummy Maternity Feeding Bra. Seamless, supportive and comfortable, you can wear this bra day and night. It also has a simple release clip so you can feed on-the-go with ease.
Lisa Raleigh X Yummy Maternity Ultimate Comfort Maternity Bra. This seamless bra is ideal to wear post pregnancy and is suitable for moderate exercise too.