… Which means this isn’t a strictly beauty post, so a lot of you scoundrels can probably skip it and get back to more important things, like snake-charming and jellybean tasting.
BUT, for those who are interested, I wanted to list some of the things, that as a now quite heavily pregnant dame, I have found useful and great during this somewhat awkward stage of life.
Bras become a real pain in the tit in pregnancy. Forget all those sweet lacy triangle numbers and even your old reliable t-shirt bras: there are two orbs on your chest that seem to grow more every week, like mutating bacteria, and they are heavy, and they are annoying, and occasionally they are sweaty, and despite your husband’s delight and interest in them, they feel about as sexy as a the business section of the paper. Early on in the piece, when underwire was still feasible and didn’t make me want to throw shit, I loved the Bonds Microfibre Smooth It bra, and now, later on, I love their Maternity Contour Bra, which is a soft cup, but gives impressive enough lift and shape that you can wear it and not feel like the dogs are running all over the yard, all uncontrolled and loose. I also give the odd crop top a nod, but the shape they give is terrible, so it’s just for home wear.
NEW BALANCE SNEAKS. WITH ORTHOTICS. AHEM.
Already a fan of NB, and the owner of several fun pairs of 574s, it was a bloody gift when I was told they were probably the best shoe for me to wear daily. My beloved Nike Balanzas and Frees were too unsupportive and bendy, and my Zara trainers and rad Maison Martin Margiela hi-tops (eg, my “dress sneakers”) stopped fitting a while back (due to swelling – cute!), so NB were the unwitting winners anyway. Due to the extra 15 kilos or so I have amassed on my front, my feet were killing me, and I also nabbed plantar fasciitis on my left heel (don’t be jealous) so I saw a podiatrist who put little heel lifts in (I always wanted to be Millhouse) then orthotics to help with the flat foot pain us preggos get. Don’t walk in pain, pregbots. Get your feet sorted and wear the right shoes. Also, wear the right SIZE of shoe: my feet have easily gone up 1.5 sizes, which is real fun and sexy in case you were wondering, so be honest about this, and don’t do what my primary school teacher, Mrs Clegg, did, which is jam your poor feet like stuffin’ in a dang turkey. I also just bought some slip-ons from Seed, in a size that seems enormous for me and yet somehow fits perfectly, because I needed something a bit dressier than bloody trainers, didn’t I? Speaking of Seed…
Maternity wear, for those who are yet to stumble down its confusing, bulbous path, is a terrifying world, full of cheap stretchy fabrics and unflattering boob-high waistbands and a complete lack of style in general. I am at a complete loss why some clever bird has not stepped up and created a range that Real Life women will actually wear and like, cos my GOD there is a market. As such, I avoid traditional maternity wear like it has a cold sore and is trying to kiss me. Instead, I go to places like Seed, who do great, normal clothing in very long lengths which means you can easily flip them into maternity gear. This sparkle knit below has been getting a real caning, for example. Country Road is also pretty good. Even Cotton On does a good longy.
I know I just dissed designated maternity wear, but ASOS is the exception. I started buying a few t-shirts and dresses off ASOS back in about my fifth month, when the bump was starting to pop, and have kept on with this trend roughly monthly, when my size changes so much, I need some more dedicated t-shirts and as I bought last round, leggings. YES, LEGGINGS. I know you’re not meant to wear leggings as pants, we all know that, but pregnancy affords special fashion consideration so put those judgy eyes away and show some empathy for ol’ fatty tum here. I also think their dresses are pretty great, for when you need to look glamorous but wish not to spend one million dollars at Zimmerman, which I did do about a month back, because it was fun and I needed a new dress for my baby shower, but you can’t be doing that every week.
J BRAND MATERNITY JEANS
Oh, what a saviour. As someone who spends far too much money on J Brand jeans in real life, I was thrilled to be able to carry this trend through into preggo life. I have two pairs of Mama J jeans, one black and casual, and one skinny and blue (for “dressing up” with booties or heels) and they are all I have needed. I found that – amazingly – I had to go down a size from my regular size, so when you’re trying on, keep this in mind. The elastic around the lower tummy will allow the bump to grow nicely, you don’t need to up-size for that. Just pay attention to how they fit on your thighs and arse and work off that. And sure, Beyonce wore Mama Js when she was up duff, whatever, no big deal, it’s not as though I want to be her and do everything she does always!!! And so what if I do.
KOOKAI MERINO WOOL FITTED DRESSES
I discovered these probably a month or two late, but oh, it’s such a dingin’ blessing to have discovered them at all. And look, in full transparency, I probably haven’t set foot in Kookai for about 10 years. But! Very glad I did. Because like those red and white circles at the beach, they certainly are their own brand of life-saver. I am slightly ashamed to admit I have now bought four, (they are $120 each, which I think is actually quite decent considering cost per wear/the fact they are pure wool) BUT I justify that with a book tour and lots of press for the launch of my skin care range Go-To (ZOMG IT LAUNCHES NEXT WEEK!) and needing to look cute and dressed up when really all you feel like is wearing leggings and trainers and a big old t-shirt. They come in a pile of colours and different cuts, long sleeved, capped sleeves, low V-neck with a high back (I reverse these and get two looks in one dress) and so on, and look, getting to the point, if you are pregnant, I think you should just bloody go buy one. There. I said it. They don’t call me Straighttalkin’ Sally for no reason! Or ever in fact!
PIGMENT-CONTROL SERUMS AND GENTLE ACIDS.
Many many pregbots will be gifted with a lovely face of hyper-pigmentation during their 9-10 months of baby-carrying and you can either let it take over, and shrug and watch it slowly buzz off when you have your baby, or you can keep a lid on it, and control it, and save a lot more work at the other end. I use either Aspect Extreme-C, Aspect Pigment Punch or SkinCeuticals Pigment Regulator of a morning, under my face cream and/or physical sunscreen, then again at night. (I layer another serum on for hydration, as I mentioned in this serum layering post.) Also, I exfoluate with AHAs 2-3 times a week, using Go-To Exfoliating Swipeys, of course. And once a month, I go have a full-strength salon peel with either lactic or glycolic acid. This has been working. The pigmentation is still there but it is scattered, rather than clustered and deep, and my facialist totally gave me a scratch and sniff strawberry sticker last week for good work so I’m doing alright I reckon.
** Remember – the most crucial thing when you’re doing all this preventative pigment work and using acids is SUNSCREEN. And please make it a physical one. Many thanks.
I’m not going to pretend a few creams will save your arse (literally) from stretch-marks, because a lot of it is genetic, BUT, you should definitely do your best to keep that skin supple and elastic so that it can grow without pulling and tearing. It just makes sense. I have talked about what I’ve used previously and am still keeping up with that, although I can now reveal the body balm-oil I am using is my very own Go-To Exceptionoil, which, when warmed up between the hands and slathered on to the boobs, thighs or mega tum is delightfully nourishing and silky.
Terrific for sore joints, pelvis, back aches, calves etc… I skull a glass each day, and believe it has definitely made things better. I’m not sure if it helps with my swollen, sore, unbendy fingers and my enticing fat feet, or if anything can, but I remain hopeful.
SOLIDEA MATERNITY COMPRESSION SHORTS
These are kiiiiind of like Spanx, only they really are not, because there is nothing tight around the belly, just a lovely big pocket. No, these shorts are all about support of the pelvis, back and thighs, and circulation. They are not shapewear. I got mine at the physio and have worn them to DEATH. Especially when doing a lot of walking around or if I need to wear heels, because I like the tightness and the support. As a bonus, they are lovely and smoothing, and so are excellent under tight clothes, like my Kookai dresses. That they are called ‘Panty Maman’ is just a bonus, really.
A CLEAN DIET
Pretty obvious when you are trying to grow a human. Although my clean diet is not entirely out of choice, I’m afraid. I have gestational diabetes, so have to be very careful about what and when I eat. (And take my blood glucose levels after every meal, which isn’t at all annoying.) As you all know, gelato is pretty much one of my food groups so this has all been a bit of a blow to ol’ Messina Mary. BUT! On the positive side, I am now a total health cat, and little Schrumpet won’t be overweight and a potential diabetic later in life, so it’s a huge win, really. Plus, there are, like, sugar free Snickers recipes out there now, so all is not lost.
PREGNANCY PILATES AND SPIN CLASS
My body has a leeeettle bit carked it in the last few months, a pelvis issue means I can’t do my beloved walking, so in order not to become a complete lounge lizard, I found a great place (Fitwise Physiotherapy in East Melbourne) that does clinical pilates (with lots of attention paid to the all-important pelvic floor muscles) and a pregnancy spin class, which is zero resistance and possible for even the heavily pregnant and ‘pelvic impaired’ like me. Swimming, you say? Yes. Everyone is like, “swim, do swimming, what about swimming” but I hate swimming, I’m shit at it, it’s too much effort with all the hair washing and styling required afterwards, and the pelvic issue means I can’t do half the leg actions anyway, I can only walk in the water. Which yes, is fine and I probably should do, but haven’t found time as yet. GET OFF MY BACK WILL YOU, I WILL DO IT. Gosh. And not one bloody word about yoga either, thank you very much. I’m aware of it. I know it exists. I know I should do it. Shhhh.
MASSAGE AND REFLEXOLOGY
Since I’m not really blowing a tonne of cash on cute shoes and cocktails, I spend my treat cash on massages and reflexology where possible. Designated preggo massages are fine, (the one at QT hotel in Sydney is outSTANDING) but they can be a bit hit and miss. I use a qualified sports physio massage therapist who is trained in preggo massage instead, cos she goes very hard and deep and doesn’t pussyfoot around the glutes and pelvis and calves and feet which are really, really fucking sore, actually, and deserve every second of the pummelling they get.
My darling husband saw/felt/couldn’t sleep either because I was having a shitty time sleeping and bought me one of those enormous, U-shaped pregnancy pillows to try and help, but sadly I found it claustrophobic and too hot and it now sits sadly at the end of the bed, looking at me hopefully each time I go to bed. What I DO love, though, is the Bellybean, which is low and soft, and sits perfectly either vertically, between your knees and under your tummy, or horizontally, supporting your back and your belly. Big fan. Lovely pillow. Five golden beans.
Okay that’s absolutely enough. I’m bored so I can only imagine how bored YOU are.
If I think of anything else I will update.
If you have any great suggestions or recommendations, list them below or forever hold your oversized stomach.