There’s a scene
in Knocked Up where Katherine Heigl sits atop
Seth Rogen with tousled hair and heaving breasts (basically
looking gorgeous) and declares, “I can’t
And that, in a nutshell, is what it’s like to
be a pregnant woman.
You’re uncomfortable and insecure and the only
thing you know for sure is that you surely cannot do
But while the next nine months will test your relationship
with your significant other, your willpower and your
nerves, not only will you be able to master this new-mom
thing, you’ll do it with patience and panache.
I would know. I’m currently 30 weeks pregnant
with my second son. And I’m here to help you get
through the next nine months feeling great and looking
You can do this — day by day, week by week, trimester
The First Trimester: Your Little Secret
official. You’re pregnant. The question is, do
you share the joy or keep it secret? I’ve always
been a fan of spilling the beans because a) others are
much more likely to forgive your sudden bitchiness if
they know you’re expecting b) day-long nausea,
fatigue and being repulsed by every odor, good, bad
or indifferent, is hard to hide and c) everybody loves
a baby. Someone once said, “It takes a village
to raise a child.” Once that village catches wind
of your little secret, the best thing you can do is
sit back and enjoy the ride.
For many expectant moms, the first trimester is more
about survival than ecstasy. (It’s only fitting
since pleasure got you into this position in the first
place.) Constant nausea, or worse, finally has you fitting
into your skinny jeans. And in one of life’s little
ironies, constant nausea, or worse, has you feeling
about as sexy as an ogre.
Stock up on sleep and force yourself to eat small,
even miniscule meals, as frequently as possible. An
empty stomach exacerbates that nauseous feeling, so
eating, even when it’s the last thing you want
to do, is crucial. Avoiding consuming liquids with foods
can also minimize nausea. Do consume liquids between
meals, though, since lots of water can help keep nausea
at bay. During this time, I depended on Preggie Pops,
naturally flavored lollipops that ease morning sickness
and come in a variety of tolerable flavors from ginger
to sour raspberry ($10.95 at www.pregnancystore.com).
A few of my favorite things…
Unique baby products that are super practical,
such a Bib Clips that turn even restaurant
napkins into bibs.
Completely impractical, fabulous and pricey
baby clothes and accessories.
Chic and comfy maternity clothes.
Ultra-chic diaper bags, think leather and
grommets, worn by celebrities and rocker moms.
The ultimate online guide to all things eco-friendly
for baby and home.
Bands that turn too small pre-pregnancy jeans
and pants into custom maternity favorites.
Chic baby slings crafted of fine linens and
Maternity lingerie, think thongs, bras and
You’ll also need to take a new look at your grooming
routine. Hot baths are a no-no. Take a shower or opt
for a warm plunge in water no warmer than 100 degrees.
That’s because anything that raises the core temperature
of a pregnant woman can be dangerous to the health of
You may even have to change your skin care regimen,
especially if you’re blemish prone or concerned
with fine lines. Both salicylic acids, commonly used
to treat breakouts, and retinoids, most often found
in anti-aging products, are not recommended for expectant
moms. Because pregnant skin may be sensitive, I prefer
to opt for gentle organic products that won’t
irritate my skin and that don’t contain unhealthy
ingredients. Jurlique’s biodynamic skin care collection
is a personal pregnancy favorite thanks to biodynamically
and organically grown herbs and flowers that smell divine
and leave even the driest and itchiest of pregnant skin
soft and supple. Jurlique’s Purifying Cleansing
Lotion ($40) is especially ideal for moms-to-be experiencing
oiliness and breakouts while the Replenishing Cleansing
Lotion ($40) banishes dryness.
Those who color their hair regularly may want to opt
for color that is culled from vegetable dyes instead
of chemical agents while pregnant. At this time, there’s
no definitive evidence that hair color is dangerous
to your baby, but there is also no expert consensus
that it’s safe. Err on the side of caution and
steer clear of permanent hair color during the first
trimester. Or, opt for chemical free color and head
to a local Aveda salon for a safer alternative to traditional
color; Aveda’s dyes are 97 percent plant-derived.
The first three months of building a life can be exhausting
and unsettling and while it may seem that no one understands
what you are going through, much less empathizes, there’s
a whole group of women who do. Welcome to “The
Mommy Club.” Prepare for one hell of a ride.
The Second Trimester: Showing and Glowing
No matter what your beliefs are at the onset of this
bun baking experiment, the second trimester comes along,
nausea and fatigue are lifted, and you are clear on
one point; there is a God! Spending three months hunched
over a toilet serves as a poignant reminder of what
a blessing it is to be healthy. Welcome to the second
trimester, weeks 13 through 26, often called the honeymoon
period of pregnancy.
You’re beginning to show and that’s bittersweet.
Thankful for passing through the riskier first trimester,
the second trimester presents a new set of problems,
mostly to a woman’s self esteem. As your stomach
begins to bulge, you wonder if people are mistaking
the new life inside you for a beer belly. You don’t
really look pregnant, yet your jeans won’t zip
up and you’re not ready for maternity clothes,
leaving you feeling at a loss about looking great.
Don’t buy clothes for a specific trimester. Instead,
opt for staples that are comfortable and flattering
with enough room to grow as you do. Dresses are perfectly
suited to pregnancy, and thanks to Florida’s consistent
climate, they’re season-less. Target’s Liz
Lange Maternity Collection is cheap and chic and the
sale racks at your local department store are stocked
with empire-waisted dresses, ideal for pregnant women
and currently in abundance. For many women, pregnancy
brings the blessing of fabulous cleavage. I say, flaunt
it. Not only will necklines that spotlight your blossoming
bosom flatter your figure, there’s no reason not
to enjoy having the breasts you’ve always wanted.
One thing that probably hasn’t changed is your
shoe size, which is why I love to take advantage of
this time to expand my shoe wardrobe. Couple a simple
dress with a fabulous pair of shoes and you’ll
feel like a million bucks, plus you’re investing
in an accessory that you can actually use post-partum.
You may have heard that pregnant women shouldn’t
wear heels but I navigated the entire 9 months of my
first pregnancy and now 7+ months of a 2nd pregnancy
in sky-high heels. Yes, I care about the health of my
baby and myself but I refuse to wear horrid floral maternity
clothes, I refuse to tote diaper bags with ducks or
bunny rabbits and I refuse to wear flats.
to that doctor’s advice you’re finally not
ignoring (eating healthy, getting lots of rest and taking
daily vitamins), looking beautiful while expecting can
be a breeze. Even when you’re not feeling up to
it, dab color on your cheeks, stroke on some mascara
and swipe on a warmly colored gloss or lipstick. What
you see in the mirror affects how you feel, so to keep
your self-esteem in tact; you’ve got to look the
part of the glowing momma you now are! During my pregnancies
the ingredients of everything I put on my body, from
head to toe, became of paramount concern. I swear by
mineral makeup crafted of minerals and inorganic pigments,
which don't require preservatives that could harm your
skin or your baby. jane iredale, the skin care makeup,
is a personal favorite. I love their In Touch Cream
Blush, a creamy stick of color that I use to highlight
cheeks, lids, and even lips ($26 at janeiredale.com).
The key to navigating the second trimester with panache
is to revel in your new curves, flaunt that burgeoning
belly and continue to expose yourself and your baby
to things that make you look and feel like the amazingly
haute mama you’ve become.
The Third Trimester: Big and Beautiful
you’ve made it to the third trimester, weeks 27
through the end of your pregnancy. You’re in the
home stretch and you have the stretch marks to prove
Studies suggest that as many as 90% of expectant moms
get stretch marks in the latter part of pregnancy. Its
been oft reported that no cream can stop the onset of
stretch marks but I refuse to take this most dreaded
side effect lying down. Besides, even the experts agree
that there are things a woman can do to lessen, if not
prevent, the onslaught of said marks. To possibly stave
off stretch marks, maintain a healthy weight gain and
proper nutrition while consuming plenty of water since
well-hydrated and healthy skin stretches better. I’m
a big believer in Bella B’s Tummy Honey Collection
for expectant moms. Tummy Honey Butter prevents stretch
marks by maintaining skin elasticity and moisture. The
all-natural, paraben-free formula includes anti-itch
ingredients to soothe the incessant itchiness that women
in their final trimester often experience ($19.95 at
You’re probably feeling uncomfortable with your
larger body, especially since the majority of the weight
you’ve gained is in your midsection making you
feel decidedly off balance. One of my favorite pregnancy
websites, BabyCenter.com, recently posted an article
entitled, “Why pregnant women don't tip over.”
Doesn’t that just say it all? Apparently the female
spine has evolved to accommodate the tremendous demands
of pregnancy. I can’t help but wonder if that
evolution accounted for the invention of 4-inch heels?
Regardless, your growing belly can make you feel at
moments beautiful and blessed and at other times ugly
and undesirable. Don’t let bouts of feeling down
lead to overeating. You’re not fat, you’re
pregnant but eating an entire bag of potato chips could
reverse that trend rather quickly. It’s important
in the final weeks of pregnancy to continue to eat healthily
while not overeating. Your baby needs sound nutrition—think
fruits, veggies, low fat protein—not a box of
Little Debbies. Plus, your pregnant body’s propensity
towards heartburn makes eating sensibly and in small
installments essential. A pregnant woman of normal weight
needs to increase her daily intake by 300 calories per
day in the 2nd and 3rd trimester. To put that in perspective,
that’s about the amount of calories in a bowl
of cereal. My secret for keeping indigestion and weight
gain in check is to eat small meals, 200 to 300 calories,
every two hours. This keeps indigestion at bay and satisfies
the constant hunger of a woman in her last trimester.
ago, pregnant women practically went into hiding during
this time but today’s magazines are littered with
images of very pregnant celebrities wearing their bumps
beautifully. Think Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Alba, Halle
Berry and the eternally pregnant Angelina Jolie. Take
a page from their books and vow not to spend these last
weeks sporting flip-flops and a tent. In fact, enjoy
all the attention that being so visibly pregnant brings.
Women will stop and ask about the baby’s due date,
men will open doors and carry just about anything for
you (who said chivalry was dead?) and even small children
are wowed by the oh-so-evident life growing inside you.
The running joke in my house is that while this may
be my last pregnancy, I want the pregnant treatment
to continue. Only, I ‘m not kidding.
Enjoy these 9 months. Indulge yourself, respect yourself
and know that Mother Nature intended you to be as completely
obsessed with this pregnancy as you are. Why else would
she let this baby kick you every 60 seconds? Sooner
than you realize, the spotlight in your life will be
permanently placed on your little bambino. And that
is a whole other story…
Carolyn Brundage is the founder of PrettyCity.
Her due date is May 15. Have beauty questions? E-mail
Carolyn at firstname.lastname@example.org.