(This was written when I was pregnant with Aidan, back in 2012. While they are still essentials for me, I’ll share my must-haves for this pregnancy in another post soon. Watch this space!)

I have loved every moment of being pregnant. Even as my body is being stretched to its limits and causing me some grief, I have enjoyed this journey of ours.

That said, it IS amazing how incubating a little person can change your body profoundly. At 36 weeks, I am finally feeling the impact of how uncomfortable pregnancy can get. And sometimes, pregnancy can make you feel downright unglamorous and unpretty. The following list contains a few things that have made me feel better about looking like a beached whale.

1. Clarins Huile “Tonic” Body Treatment Oil
I know, stretch marks are mostly genetic and no amount of oiling will prevent that if you have the genes. And I DO have the unfortunate genes. I mean, my poor ass is full of white lines from adolescence. I started using this once I was past my first trimester and my tummy is free from marks. It was a gift from my Cousin Wan and since it’s so pricey, I alternate it with the cheaper Boots Expert Stretch Mark Oil that I had bought in Thailand.

2. Burt’s Bees Rich and Repairing Cocoa Butter & Macadamia Nut Oil Body Butter
The hormones really threw my body out of whack and turned it into the human equivalent of the Sahara Desert. The body butter has helped to protect my arms and legs from the blasting dry air of the air-conditioner at night without that oily, sticky feeling. Plus, it’s made from plant-based ingredients!

3. Motherlove Birth & Body Oil
Every night, husband rubs a little of this onto my calves before kneading the tightness away. It’s organic and smells very faintly of lavender, which I adore. Once the little man is out, this can be used on him as a massage oil and is said to be excellent for treating cradle cap. I got mine from iherb, together with the organic bath products for the nugget, and if you order using this discount code OTI683, you’ll get 5 percent off your first purchase.

4. Muji Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser + essential oils
We bought this during our Tokyo trip back in 2009 and it’s been a godsend so far! The integrated LED light is dim and perfect for winding down the day, and I like to drift off to sleep pretending that I am in a luxurious spa. Some of the essential oils that are in rotation include Royal Doulton’s Sleep Easy blend, lavender, bergamot, The Body Shop’s Divine Calm blend and the Sensual Aromatic Blend from Thann. It’s now available in Singapore.

5. Birkenstocks Madrid sandals
Now that I am waddling into my last month of pregnancy, I find that nothing but Birkenstocks will do for my lower body. It’s so tiring carrying this little tenant of mine everywhere! My legs ache, my hips ache and my back ache. I practically live in my Birkenstocks these days and I should have bought them much, much earlier. I got these in patent purple – my favourite colour!

I hope this list will help some of you during your last stage of pregnancy in some way. And if you have any pregnancy lifesavers, please share! I’d love to know what they are (and maybe they can help me ignore that pain in my hips).

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