My Late-Pregnancy Survival Kit

I'm now almost 37 weeks pregnant and joint issues have made standing/walking/leisurelystrollingabouttowning a fond and distant memory. So before I retreat to the couch into a Pinterest remodeling hole so deep that only the onset of labor can pull me out, I thought I'd share the tools I've been using to get me through the home stretch (literally, if you ask my hips).

1. Giant Exercise Ball

I chose this guy by Max Fitness since it was the only color that would work with my home decor. It has become the greatest piece of furniture I own. 

2. Nine Naturals Belly Butter, Weleda Stretch Mark Massage Oil, Mother's Special Blend Skin Toning Oil

This trifecta has kept me (so far) stretch mark free and reduced the itchies from month one of my pregnancy. My friend Julia swore by the Nine Naturals and my friend Shaari sent me the Mother's Special Blend. I layer the belly butter over one of the oils after every shower. I couldn't handle the smell of the Mother's Special Blend during my first and second tris, but now I love it.

3. Yoga Download's Baptiste Power Yoga for Pregnancy with Dave Farmar/Revocycle/Barre 3

The most frustrating thing for me in these last couple of months is the multitude of aches, pains, and joint issues downgrading me from a Walk Score of 97 (walker's paradise!) to a 12 (most errands require car :-/). The following are ways I've kept my body moving safely and securely, saving my sanity and hopefully keeping me in shape for that labor day marathon.

Power Yoga for Pregnancy with Dave Farmar is essential. Most prenatal yoga options I found were slow and meditative, which just doesn't work for monkey minds needing a flow strenuous enough to take the brain off the day's checklist or counting dust mites on the floor. Dave Farmar's pregnancy flow is not recommended for the total beginner (I'd say as long as you have an understanding of the Sun A & B series you'll do fine), but it will keep you moving and make your arms reassuringly sore the next day. 

Revocycle in Portland is my version of group class heaven. This place prioritizes integrity of movement and smart cycling, which is just what the doctor ordered (literally). The bikes here are free wheel, so they give the entire leg a workout instead of just frying the quads like a fly wheel. I call it nerd cycle because they emphasize exercise science, heart rate zones, and the (indie/classic rock/80s-90s oldies) music is played at reasonable levels. 

Barre 3 rounds out the regime by providing the best pregnancy modifications (or "mods" in B3 lingo) and variety to leave no muscle left behind. It's been especially great to keep my back in shape and able to carry 25 (and counting) new pounds of weight. Barre 3 has also got an amazing app with 10 minute workouts that you can do anywhere - including a trailer while waiting to be called to set.  

4. Herbal Concepts Lumbar Comfort Wrap

I use this thing at least once a day. Microwave for two minutes, tie around lower back, plop on couch, turn on Veep. Bliss.

5. La Croix flavored sparking water

When each passing mocktail suggestion makes you more depressed that you don't have an actual gin martini in your hand, reach for a can of La Croix. There's nothing in any of these cans that the internet can object to, pregnancy-wise, and this stuff gives me just the right amount of texture and flavor to cure my filtered water malaise. My favorites are coconut and orange.

6. Splendid Longline Bralette

My bra size has changed at least four times in the past nine months, and this cotton wonder seems to be the only thing growing with the times. It is incredibly soft and incredibly cute, which is the last word I'd use to describe most of the maternity bra options in the world. Get one.