According to the calendar, we’ve hit the 75% mark with Baby Z. Although, every time I visit someone who hasn’t seen me in awhile can’t help but exclaim “There’s no way you’re going to make it until August!” For me it’s been a fairly gradual getting big process so I probably don’t notice it as much, but it doesn’t seem like I’m overly massive for 30 weeks along. Then again, I also can’t conceptualize another 10 weeks of growth 🙂

In honor of being massive and the fact that my child already recognizes weekends (she lets me sleep in on Saturdays and Sundays, only to kick full force again as soon as I’m back at the office), I wanted to share some of the pregnancy items that have been helpful for me so far:

Beachbody on Demand. As I’ve mentioned 50ish times, running got harder, and then I finally had to call it quits (well, the doctor did it for me). Fortunately I still had access to hundreds of workouts with Beachbody on Demand, which I can stream anytime, anywhere. My favorite programs are Hammer & Chisel, Insanity Max 30, 21 DF & 21 DFX, and lately the Active Maternity series (which I’m hoping they will expand on someday). You can go HERE for full details and to sign up for ALL the programs!

**Full disclosure- I am also a Coach for Beachbody, a decision I made about a year and a half after using Shakeology and a few of their workout programs. It’s something that has worked well for me and I would definitely recommend. If you have any questions or want to learn more about what Beachbody has to offer, feel free to contact me and I’ll definitely get in touch! (If we are friends IRL feel free to use Facebook 🙂 )

Belli. I have acne prone skin- not the type you can just wash and treat topically, but the cystic, hormonal kind. It’s fluctuated a bit more in pregnancy, and I was nervous about using prescription medicine or OTC stuff to counter it. Somewhere online Belli was recommended. It’s acne control for pregnant women, and it’s worked wonders for me.

A word of caution if you have a sensitive stomach or morning sickness: it does smell a bit like sulfur. Unless I’m having an especially heinous breakout, I only used it before bedtime. It’s not an overpowering smell necessarily, but it does add a noticeable funk in the air for a bit, and it’s not something I want to be smelling all morning at the office.

Standdesk. At the office where I work, we have stand to sit desks that allow you to work however you feel comfortable. Back when I was in heavy marathon training, this was helpful because my muscles wouldn’t get all stiff after going from morning run to sitting down for 8 hours. Now, I’m loving the ability to switch between sitting and standing throughout the day to reduce swelling in my legs, keep blood flowing, and ease pressure on my back. I know a lot of pregnant women have complained about the discomfort of going to work during the third trimester- and while I still have moments of discomfort, the Standdesk has made life much easier for me.

Ovia App. If you’re looking for a way to track your pregnancy without the typical fruit and veggie comparisons, the Ovia App is my recommendation (which I’ve talked about before). It’s fun and quirky, making entries super easy rather than the painful “Ugh I have to log my sleep again.” From someone who couldn’t keep a food journal for more than a 3 day streak, the fact that I’ve been able to use this app for almost 5 months now is fairly impressive.

I send my family the “Weird Animal” size update every week and the responses are usually hilarious.

Dad: This kid is going through some weird phases.

Honest Co. Belly Balm. I know there’s mixed reviews about belly balms and stretch-mark prevention during pregnancy. I can tell you that a slow, gradual weight gain and being diligent about using lotion has probably helped me stay stretch mark free so far. I’ve been using Belly Balm from Honest Co. since month 3 because of the ingredient list: Jojoba oil, aloe vera, vitamin E, Shea Butter, Beeswax, and more natural oils. Pro tip: don’t put clothes on immediately after applying, or just use a conservative amount, because it does get on your clothes a bit (and oily stuff = hard to wash out).

Bellaband. Back when I was just bloated I started wearing this Bellaband that I found on Amazon that basically keeps my pants up without me having to button them up. At that time it seemed like a great thing to wear around generally if you don’t like buttoning your pants- you get the benefits of stretchy pants without having to resort to sweatpants (hello, Thanksgiving). I have put on some extra pounds in my hips though, so my pre-maternity pants are a little tighter in areas that the belly band cannot help. The good news is I have a few skirts that are nice and flowy that I can still wear thanks to this invention.

Zulily. While shopping for first time maternity clothes online can be a gamble, Zulily is one of my favorite places to peruse. They add new collections daily, and have everything from clothes and shoes (for men, women, kids and babies) to house stuff and gear for pretty much everything. It’s usually offered at a cheaper rate than where you’d find it originally, for instance the occasional Michael Kors discount.

My one warning is don’t order anything that you need ASAP, otherwise you’ll be left in the lurch. It takes about 3-4 weeks for an order to arrive (and in my most recent delivery keeps having the date pushed back). It’s not a dealbreaker for me though- I just order things that don’t have a time constraint on them and chill until they get delivered. I’ve never had an issue with quality either, so it’s been worth the wait.

Old Navy. Old Navy is always running a deal of some sort, so they’re one of my go-to places when I have a wardrobe need. I’ve tried on enough of their clothing to know what size I am, so ordering online isn’t much of a gamble for me anymore. I definitely recommend trying things on before buying, as someone who has been burned by online shopping before.

Instagram. I love scrolling through Instagram when I’m lying on the couch. My new favorite pregnancy/parenting related accounts are Pregnant Chicken and How to Be a Dad:

I kinda like the name 'Tomorrow'

A post shared by Pregnant Chicken (@pregnantchicken) on

I love this one, especially because it’s something I can 100% see in my family’s group text thread. Mainly, my dad and my brother (Mom chimes in with humor but it doesn’t get mixed into sentimental moments like childbirth). Also…Baby Z legitimately doesn’t have a name yet. We have been narrowing down the list but I’m almost solidly in the “We’ll know when we meet her” camp 🙂

So inspirational. By @jessicavalenti

A post shared by HowToBeADad.com (@howtobeadad) on

Ah, kids. I know I’m in the “easy” phase of parenting but…I’m kind of excited about it all, including the messy carrot puke parts.

Other things that have been life-savers during the past 7+ months include the local pool, supportive family, friends & partner (including parents who started buying things for their future grandchild immediately and a boyfriend who knows when I need M&Ms), my boyfriend’s t-shirts, gummy prenatal vitamins, and Google 🙂

What were some things that helped you during your pregnancy?

Any recommendations for shopping online?

Some of My Pregnancy Lifesavers
Tagged on: