My Pregnant Belly Care + 41-Week Update
In today's post, I'm sharing exactly what I did to care for my growing belly during pregnancy in addition to a quick 41-week pregnancy update!
I was actually planning to share this pregnant belly care post *after* Cricket (nickname of our expectant baby girl) joined us, but this bonus time has me wanting to share this + an update sooner!
Baby girl is still one HAPPY, happy camper in my belly! Today marks 41 weeks pregnant and, I'm almost hesitant to say this again (because it feels like a humble brag, but I just want to be honest), I'm feeling really great. I actually felt the BEST I've felt in the last month yesterday (go figure)! Swelling is surprisingly down in my ankles, energy still nice and high, and I was able to stay on my feet for a good amount of the day with no lower back pain (happens after too much time on my feet). We did go in for a quick routine scan to check on baby girl's status and I'm thrilled to report that all is not just well, but excellent. She has an ideal amount of fluid, is extremely active, and all other markers are in a most-excellent range. As for her size, she's going to be LONG! I can't wait to watch her stretch out for the first time. I bet it's going to feel so darn satisfying to stretch those sweet little legs after only knowing her cozy little home for the last 9+ months.
My health is also still in excellent shape! I'm so grateful for this healthy pregnancy and was telling my sister-in-law the other day that I may, if we're able to have more babies in the future, look back on this pregnancy as the easiest of them all. Either way, I'm savoring every moment.
Our game plan from here? If she hasn't made her arrival yet, we'll go back in to see our doctor again on Monday (41+2) for a quick check and to talk about all possible scenarios going forward. Austin (my hubby) and I have a lot of faith in the the process (the old-as-time, divinely-navigated baby-having process), my body, and the medical team we've chosen. We know we're in excellent hands.
Am I anxious? Not at all. Am I eager? YOU BET! There's an ocean of difference between those two sentiments. The first implies worry while the other implies security. Interestingly (and surprisingly), I've had to defend my stance on that distinction a few times. I want to throw this out there in case you find yourself in this scenario: just because your baby is hanging out and you're *not* feeling anxious, does not mean you don't care or are not excited. Rest your heart and don't feel like you have to outwardly show anxiety for people to understand that you're eager for your baby's arrival. Finding comfort and an easy, restful heart in faith + the process is possible WHILE ALSO being eager and excited.
…just had to throw that out there.
I am planning to share more specific details in baby's birth story, which is yet to be written. So stay tuned!
My Pregnant Belly Care
In today's post, I want to share about what I did during this pregnancy to care for my growing, stretching belly.
Like I said in my 3rd trimester post, I was SHOCKED that I didn't get stretch marks. I was shocked because I've always been told that it's genetic – if you're prone to stretch marks, expect stretch marks. Well I know that I'm prone to them, so I fully expected them on my belly! I have stretch marks on my hips and a few other places from when I gained weight in college. Though I have a theory as to why I didn't get them with this pregnancy, it's way too early (and currently under-researched) to explain just yet. Instead, I'll share what I DID that *may* have had an impact.
I'm also sharing what I did that helped to alleviate dry, itchy, stretching skin and how my routine has evolved once we entered the window of her possible arrival.
NOTE: I am not a medical professional and this is not meant to be blanket advice. I'm simply sharing what I did. Consult your physician or team of baby professionals about what is/is not best for your body.
This is the most obvious step, but WHAT I chose to moisturize with is a little less-than obvious. Instead of typical lotion or “belly oil,” I chose to keep my belly well-moisturized with a grass-fed tallow-based cream. I've been a long-time fan of the Primally Pure Body Butter (it's so smooth and luscious), and really believe that the vitamins + minerals present in this fabulous butter helped my skin adjust through the months. I applied it before bed every night (across my whole belly and hips) and after I got out of the shower/bath. Note that my personal favorite scent is the Almond + Vanilla (smells like frosting), but I've tried them all and they're all lovely.
Again, this is less-than-obvious (and you must consult your health care provider for approval), but I was very diligent about putting 1-2 scoops of unflavored collagen in my one cup of coffee (or nightly ginger tea) each day. Why collagen? It's a vital building block for healthy skin, hair, nails, and all other connective tissues – connective tissues that I especially wanted to support during this time. THIS is the kind of collagen I keep on hand (from a grass-fed source). To read more about collagen, check out my geeky nutrition science article HERE.
There were a couple days (maybe a full week) that the skin on my belly got REALLY itchy. This is partly because I experimented with a new lotion and partly because the weather was especially dry/cold. To help the itch, I applied a thin spray of the Primally Pure Lavender Mist over my belly before adding on the moisturizer. It helped a lot.
Now that baby could be here any day (any hour?), I've changed my skincare routine just a bit. I don't want her to come out and be confronted with a bunch of smells via the butters + oils on my skin, so I'm opting for more of an unscented skincare routine right now. Instead of the body butter and Primally Pure Body Oil (which I apply to my legs + arms), I'm using the Beautycounter Baby Oil to moisturize instead. It has no scent but still moisturizes.
The next time I have a close friend or family member expecting, I'm totally going to make a gift basket of at least the Primally Pure Body Butter + a tub of Collagen Peptides as a “belly care kit.” I really think those two were the heaviest hitters in helping my belly transform around this sweet baby so well.
Want to get caught up on all my other pregnancy posts? Here they are!