Posts Tagged ‘belly armor’

Pregnancy Must Haves and Photo Recap (2nd Trimester Issue)

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in HEALTH, Health and Fitness, My Pregnancy, Other, PREGNANCY, REVIEWS

As I continue musing on my 2nd trimester, I find it amazing how many more discoveries I’ve had since I got pregnant. Having been very prepared for pregnancy, there were still things I was finding out and figuring out in the first trimester, and just when I thought there was nothing new to find or learn, I’d stumble upon something else that is better or something I haven’t thought about, things that I wish I had known about in the 1st trimester.

So I thought it’d be fun to write a little bit about the 4 new items that I found very useful or helpful or better than anything else on the market during the 2nd trimester. And, our generous sponsors will actually give you an opportunity to win 3 out of 4 items I’ll be talking about, so don’t forget to enter when you’re done reading, if it’s something you like.

Mama Mio Skin Care

If you’ve been reading for a while, you might remember that I thoroughly researched pregnancy safe skin products and was going into pregnancy using only what I considered safe and having eliminated anything harmful. At that moment I was using Belli Skin Care line, which is a good and effective line of pregnancy products that is 100% teratogenically tested (teratogen= substance that causes birth defects) . Some time in my 1st trimester as I continued reading and researching chemicals in food and beauty products, I started realizing that what I was using previously, while teratogen free, is not exactly 100% safe and natural. The fact that something doesn’t cause birth defects doesn’t mean it won’t make other less obvious changes in your baby. Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS) for example, isn’t considered a teratogen, however it mimics a hormone, called oestrogen, and may be responsible for health problems, such as menopause, PMS, breast cancers, low male fertility, aside from the fact that it can be contaminated with dioxane, a known carcinogen. And nothing that mimics hormones is a good idea to use during pregnancy since the whole pregnancy is lead and governed by the correct expression of hormones. Well, SLS is literally everywhere. If it’s some sort of cleaning or foaming product, like a face wash, you’ll see Sodium Laurel Sulfate as one of the top ingredients.

I don’t know how about you, but while pregnant, I really didn’t want to risk it. So I’d spend hours trying to find products that didn’t have these lesser known or not so obviously harmful chemicals.I did find a good product in each necessary category and you can see the line up here. However, the issue was while they were 100% safe and good for you, I wasn’t crazy about how well they worked or smelled. But I figured I’d survive with limp hair and stinky oily stomach until my baby is born! ( I couldn’t help but post this picture on the left. We took it for ourselves because we thought it was funny, but I think it really shows how big my belly has gotten, much more than you can see in a static picture. It amazes me sometimes: I have a big firm belly with our daughter inside!)

So that was until I bumped into Mama Mio products. By now  you can tell, I am very serious about safety when it comes to pregnancy- any new product I buy, I dissect all the ingredients to make sure they’re acceptable to me. Their products clearly state that they are ALL paraben free, petroleum free, phthalates free, sodium laureth and sodium lauryl sulphate free, colourant free, synthetic fragrance free and xenoestrogen free. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? However, I was still concerned about the fragrance. See, the word “fragrance” is where most skin care companies can hide all the nasty stuff, since fragrances are protected by copyright law ( or whatever it’s called when it comes to beauty products). You’re not required to disclose the content of the fragrance(perfum). So whenever you see that on your bottle of cream, you could be slathering yourself with parabens, petroleum, carcinogens, etc, unless the package says otherwise. So after looking more into what Mama Mio’s fragrance was all about, I found the best answer I could expect. Gravida is Mama Mio’s “amazing essential oil fragrance; a blend of 10 pregnancy-safe, pregnancy-specific natural oils which smells gorgeous to even the most sensitive of noses”. Sounds great! I also didn’t stop there. Once I got the products, I went over the ingredient list to makes sure there was nothing else I didn’t like the sound of and everything was perfect.

So I’ve been using them for almost 2 months now and I gotta tell you, there’s No Natural Skin Care Line I’ve used that compares to their products! I am a customer for life!

I’ve been using the BBB Kit (Boobs, Bellies, Bottoms), that includes Tummy Rub Oil, Boob Tube and O-Mega Wonder-Full Balm.

Tummy Oil is by far my favorite! First of all the smell is HEAVENLY! Throw away your Mother’s Blend Oil, because it doesn’t stand a chance. I remember hating the smell of Mother’s Blend in the first trimester and putting up with it in the 2nd. With Tummy Rub Oil, I look forward to my nightly routine. Even my husband keeps commenting on how good I smell after I apply it and he’s not really a smell guy. I still don’t have a single stretchmark and my belly has been growing much faster this past month, going from almost nothing to a big baby belly. I’m almost out of the oil, but I know I’ll be ordering another bottle very soon. Sometimes, when I lie down to relax after a tiring day, I put a little bit of the oil on my wrists and pillow just to have the smell around me, it’s so calming!

Boob Tube smells just as good ( a slightly different fragrance) and I am not sure if I’m hallucinating but I could swear my boobs are firmer and have more tone. Even if it’s all my imagination, I know the skin around them has never looked better. I should probably start applying it around my upper chest and neck too, since it’s a Bust and Neck firmer (something I just realized lol)

Omega Wonder-Full Balm is a one stop rescue balm. I use it on my lips, my elbows, my knees, dry spots on my tummy, my belly button when it feels stretchy. It smells amazing (again), hydrates and heals the skin instantly. And the bottle lasts FOREVER.

Some other items worth trying are cooling Lucky Legs for tired legs relief ( don’t have problems with legs since I’m home most of the time, so I haven’t tried that yet), existing stretchmarks and scars remedies (will definitely buy those if it ever becomes an issue), cellulite cream ( A must for me after pregnancy, along with Toning Serum). You know how when you find the right company and the right products that work for you, you no longer care about the price, it just makes sense to continue using them- Mama Mio is that line for me. Luckily, their prices are reasonable.

I’ve been kind of neglecting the rest of my body, leaving it dry and unexfoliated, because I couldn’t find anything safe enough, but with my next order, I’ll be buying the Body Oil or Cream and the Exfoliator to take care my horribly dry skin in all places other than boobs and tummy. Will report later on how these worked out for me.

If you’d like to try some of these products, Mama Mio is giving away a full sized set of Mighty Moisture Day & Night Moisturizer, Goodbye Stretch Marks and a Boob Tube to 1 lucky reader ( enter at the end of this post)

MyBrestFriend Body Pillow

A few months ago as I was starting to have to sleep on my side and was feeling very uncomfortable, I started looking for a body pillow. I asked people on the blog, I read a few review on Amazon, I balked at the $100 price tag of some of the body pillows. So I slept with 5 different pillows for as long as I could until I got an actual pregnancy body pillow. One thing I was looking forward to in a body pillow is the little ledge for your belly. I felt like it was sagging down and pulling on my back, like it needed support. It made a HUGE difference to have the little wedge between the bed and my belly. It felt more supported and comfortable and the light dull backache disappeared almost overnight. Aside from that, I didn’t really know what to expect in a body pillow. It took me a few days to get used to it and find the perfect position for my body.

See, I like things between my legs (hahaha- that’s what got me into this pickle). No, seriously, when I sleep on my side I almost always need something between my knees and ankles. It started when I was modeling and was so thin, it was simply uncomfortable to have no padding (read: fat) between my bones when they lay atop of each other. At this point, I am not sure if I’m just used to hugging things with my legs or bones are still an issue, but I know I’ve always needed a pillow between my legs. I find that this pillow doesn’t give me enough surface area for my long legs when sleeping in a bent position, so I still have to have an additional standard pillow between my knees. However, if you’re the kind of sleeper who doesn’t like bulky things around you, this pillow will be utter perfection. What I do like is how it’s long enough to reach my ankles and support them and thin and light enough not to make me sweaty at night. It took me a few days to find a good position for my head and now I LOVE it. The little rounded pillow at the end is supposed to support your head and I find it so cuddly and comfortable.

So my current set up is as follows: big shapeless body pillow behind me to prevent me from turning over to sleep on my back at night. MyBrestFriend pillow up front with the rounded corner under my head, belly wedge under my tummy and the bottom end of the pillow supporting my ankles, plus an additional pillow between my knees. This is THE best set up I have found and the best sleep I’ve had. I rarely wake up with back pain and if I do, it’s mostly because I turned to the other side in my sleep and somehow didn’t bring the body pillow with me.

You can win a body pillow from MyBrestFriend by entering the giveaway below.

Belly Armor

I really really wish I knew about this particular item BEFORE I got pregnant, so that I had it with me from day 1.

You know how most of our lives are spent at our computers? You’re obviously sitting at one reading this. Or you might be reading the post on your cell phone. I’m sure more than half of you work at a computer. Either way, we’re constantly exposed to low levels of radiation from all the daily items we use. The information is now coming out that cell phones used without a headset cause tumors. I haven’t heard much about laptops and desktops but I know it’s not good to have one on your lap. This has bothered me for quite a while since all of my work and most of my hobbies involve a computer. Like I said before, I am ok with taking a small risk when it comes to my own health out of laziness or whatnot, but the second we knew we were pregnant, it changed completely, because everything that I am exposed to, even in low doses could harm that little human being inside me during sensitive periods of development.

Oh how I wish I knew about the company called Belly Armor in my first trimester. They make products that protect your belly from all the radiation that we’re exposed to daily. According to their website “the past 25 years of research has evidenced several potential health hazards during pregnancy from radiation, including birth defects and genetic disruptions, miscarriages, autism, childhood leukemia, and cancer. Because scientists have shown that cell growth and DNA replication are disrupted by radiation, pregnancy and early childhood represent the highest risk for exposure.” The funding for studies like this is limited, because the effects take years to show up, so it’s almost impossible to measure, just like most research in prenatal programming and exposure, but to me as a pregnant woman, bent on protecting my child while it’s in the womb, it is a definitely step to take. Belly Armor has three products: the Belly Blanket, the Belly Tee and the Belly Band. They are made out of cotton and a RadiaShield lining that protects you against 99.9% of radiation. I even tested that. I wrapped my cell phone in the blanket and it instantly lost signal. I have both the blanket and the band.

I find the blanket perfect to have around the house. Whenever I sit down with my laptop (which I always have on a special lap pillow), I put the blanket over my belly. EVERY TIME! It just feels so good to know that Alexis is protected from radiation, something that has always been in the back of my mind up until now. The blanket comes in cute colors and has a convenient pocket for a cell phone. Before I had the blanket, I also found myself “accidentally” putting my iphone on the top of my belly (using it as a shelf) when I needed my hands free for something and then instantly realizing that and putting it aside. Now with the blanket, I can actually rest it there for a couple of seconds while I’m reaching for a glass of water or clicking a link without freaking myself out. So almost every evening, after a long day, you can see me in this position, with my laptop and my Belly Blanket

The band on the other hand is ideal if you work at a computer and can’t or don’t want to bring your blanket with you. It’s much more comfortable to have a band on when you’re sitting at the desk. It also does the double duty of supporting your belly. Sometimes, when I know I’ll be on the go all day, I just put the band on and I don’t have to worry about bringing my blanket with me. The band fits perfectly under any maternity clothes and is very inconspicuous. So I figured, if you’re gonna buy a belly band, you might as well get one with protection. I got it in a slightly bigger size knowing that in the last two months my belly will have to catch up and grow quite a bit.

I am really happy I get to use these, even though I only have a few weeks left, but I know that with the next pregnancy, I will be using both from day one. My friend whose sister is pregnant instantly ordered one as soon as she saw mine. It’d make a great gift for a pregnant woman.

To win a BellyBand or Belly Blanket, enter the giveaway below.

Organized Pregnancy

The final item that I found very useful is this book: One Year to an Organized Life with a Baby. Again, in this case I wish I had found it sooner, but better late than never. It’s a book that takes you through a whole year week by week, starting from 9 weeks pregnant to postpartum, helping you prepare everything for the arrival of the baby and the changes that will take place.

The author goes over things that need to be bought, things that could wait, places, rooms and closets that need to be organized, space that needs to be made, preparations for maternity leave and returning back to work, financial preparations- basically everything that would ideally need to be taken care of before a baby comes, without cramming it all into the last few weeks of pregnancy like we all tend to do. Each week she gives a “project”, along with valuable tips and tricks of organization. I read through to 32 weeks and have been following her advice on many levels. The book is also an AMAZING motivational tool that will get your nesting butt off the couch and itching to properly prepare for a baby! Definitely a must read, especially if you lack organization or love organizing ( both apply to me :))

BELOW ARE THE GIVEAWAY RULES
and Mandatory Entries: {read carefully}


There are two mandatory entries, after which you will have additional entries available,
and 1 daily entry for which you can come back to enter daily.
The winning entries will be verified and the winner disqualified if the action is not found or if the mandatory items are not fullfilled.
Make sure to notate how you’re following the blog in the extra info field (entry #1). The entry won’t count if that information is missing.
Please make sure to visit Mama Mio and/or MyBrestFriend and/or Belly Armor (or all three)and comment on what items you’d like to win is to be eligible to win (entry #2). The comment is to be posted to this blog post.
The giveaway is open to US residents only. See the rafflecopter widget for additional terms and conditions.
All comments will be moderated and will appear once approved.

If you have a blog, there’re 2 entries each worth 10 points ( post our button on your blog’s sidebar and blog about the giveaway)

{If you’re not sure how to use to enter, feel free to watch this video tutorial or email me at contact {at} prebabyblog {dot} com
Otherwise, make sure to read everything carefully. Click the DO IT link first, then I’VE DONE IT once the action is completed}


Disclosure: Some of the items above were sent to me for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: Pregnancy Must Haves and Photo Recap (2nd Trimester Issue)

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