Second time around, this body of mine is definitely feeling the strain of pregnancy a lot earlier. I suppose there are many reasons for this: the fact that I had a Caesarean birth (it’s a surgery, after all); I have to haul an 11kg toddler, who likes to say “Mama carry”, around; I’m OLDER and horribly sleep-deprived; I’m not half as fit as I was during my first pregnancy.

Gah. No wonder the older folks always say that it’s better to have kids when you are young. IT IS TRUE. GO FORTH AND PROCREATE NAO.

Anyway, to keep this machine of mine functioning, I have had to rely heavily on a few new things.

Pregnancy-must-haves

1. Body Mate Pillow
Forget about buying those crazy expensive “pregnancy” pillows, this one does the trick at a fraction of the price. I had been seeing a physiotherapist for my old running injuries and she recommended this pillow to me when I saw her at the beginning stages of my pregnancy. Using a bolster is bad for the pregnant pelvis because the radius of the bolster is too wide. The Body Mate Pillow is perfect because it isn’t too wide, long enough to hold up your head and neck, AND helps to support your side-lying body.

And the best part? I bought the pillow and a cover for under $40 at BHG (very aunty but HEY IT WORKS).

2. Hot water bottle
Another recommendation from my physiotherapist, the hot water bottle has been a godsend for my aching butt (lingering effect from my injuries) and lower back. The heat helps to improve blood circulation in the area, which helps to ease the aches and pains.

I couldn’t bear to use the fugly ones that are sold in our local pharmacies so I scored a fairly cute one on qoo10. It comes with a flannel cover that retains heat for a long, long time – I woke up one night to find that I was sleeping on a still-warm bottle!

3. Salt Water Sandals
This has become my default shoes for the weekends. I love that the sandals are strappy and offer me adequate support, even though we do quite a fair bit of walking. And the white goes with practically everything, even if they do get dirty quite easily.

And no, the fact that my little man has matching sandals has no bearing on my decision to wear them all the time at all.

4. La Roche-Posay Toleriane Fluid
Oddly enough, both my pregnancies have turned my skin into the Sahara desert. It’s vaguely annoying, because when I am not pregnant, it goes into the oil slick mode. It’s like my skin is turning schizophrenic on me.

This moisturizer was prescribed to me by my dermatologist and it is a miracle worker. It quenches the deep thirst of my skin without making it shiny and oily. And it is absorbent to boot. You can get this from Watson’s and Guardian Pharmacies.

5. Apollo Chocolate Wafer
I KNOW RIGHT. These are major old school and probably full of sugar. But I have been mad about chocolate for this pregnancy and I CAN’T. GET. ENOUGH. I pop these with a mug of green tea latte at work and I have to stop myself from having more than one. Or two. Okay, I try not to have more than three at a go. (Maybe four.) NO JUDGING. Although I really, really, really love my Apollo biscuits.

(I also have a pack of Cadbury fruit and nut bar sitting next to the wafers and it may or may not be diminishing at a really fast rate.)

So there you go. If you have any pregnancy must-haves, do share the love!

See my list from back in 2012.

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