Sexy, Savvy, Natural Mama

a blog space for pregnant ladies, new moms, feminists, and interested souls

Best Paint for Pregnant Ladies July 16, 2010

Hey everyone! I was just looking at my blog stats and saw that one of the more common searches that led people to my page was “best paint for pregnant ladies,” so hey, I give the people what they want.

The best paint for pregnant ladies is, of course, the lowest of the low-VOC, the paints that are qualified as no-VOC.

The paints that I have used are:

1. Benjamin Moore Natura — I got this guy mixed to match Glidden’s Fresh Guacamole for the nursery. The big advantage here is that you can get Natura mixed to match just about ANYTHING. Another advantage is that it has very little smell at all. Any paint sample you find anywhere? You can get it in Natura. The disadvantages are that you have to go to a Benjamin Moore store to get it, and it’s hella expensive at about 60 bucks a gallon.

2. C2 Lovo (available at Benjamin Moore Stores) — I used this for the master bedroom (in Potato Leek) and the nursery closet (in Chelsea). The advantages are that it comes in lovely colors and that it has very little smell. Again, you have to get it at Benjamin Moore stores, and it runs 55 bucks a gallon. And it’s low-VOC, not no-VOC. But it’s worked well for us in a couple of places.

3. Freshaire — Now, this is the best paint of the lot, I do believe. Major advantages include: you can get it at your local Home Depot, it has a small but very nice selection of colors, and it’s way cheaper at 30 bucks a gallon. It’s not going to be your cheapest option (you have to buy higher VOC paint options for that), but it’s probably down there with the cheapest of the cheap no-VOC options. Oh yeah, and for a cheaper paint, it’s super high quality, thick, and goes on smooth. And with absolutely no odor that we can detect! The only disadvantage I can see is that the color options are limited and somewhat muted. As in, you probably won’t be able to find a bright, charming nursery color — but if your tendency is toward the more subdued, you may be in luck.

A paint I’ve heard about a lot but have not used is Mythic Paint, found at Lowe’s. Check it out! I think it may have more color options than Freshaire, so it’s worth a look.

Of course, many of you pregnant ladies won’t have occasion to paint, or may be totally freaked out by the idea altogether. I will say that the no-VOC is just that. It has no volatile organic compounds, which is the nasty stuff that can give you headaches (and if you drink it, it probably won’t be good for your baby). But there’s no reason to shy away from using the no-VOC paint. It’s an excuse to exercise your nesting instinct in your baby’s room, and perhaps in other areas of your home. It’s water based, green, and non-toxic. As for painting, go for it! Get someone else to get up on the step stool, and take care of your back since you’re up and down a lot during the painting process. And enjoy!


Slow FE July 10, 2010

Filed under: pregnancy,Product Reviews,Products,Reviews — hokoonchi @ 3:00 am
Tags: , , , ,

A plug for this amazing iron supplement …

Over fifty percent of pregnant ladies have anemia at some point in their pregnancy. I am one of those ladies. For weeks, and weeks, I have been feeling like total crap. Worn down, drug out, and totally fatigued. I found out I had low hemoglobin on Monday and started taking the iron pills my doctor recommended last night. Today, I’ve felt better than I have in a long time. (Just like my doc said I would.) Anyway, of course ask your doc what to do when you’re preggers and anemic, but I’m loving this supplement. It’s supposed to be a little less harsh on the stomach than most iron supplements, and it releases slowly throughout the day.

Of course, it’s cheaper on Amazon. Find it here.


The Pregnant Lady’s Medicine Cabinet June 15, 2010

The pregnant lady must have a medicine cabinet different than that of the non-pregnant lady. It’s a necessity. My pre-pregnant medicine cabinet involved a lot of Advil, the occasional Sudafed, and Alka-Seltzer when indigestive. I quickly learned that this won’t fly when pregnant. I even remember the day when my former coworker told me that you don’t get to take Advil while in a family way. I was stunned, shocked, and indignant. How would I survive? I’ve always had scoliosis and a resulting plethora of back ailments — all of which are aided by yoga, stretching and massage, but often need to be supplemented with Advil. (I actually had the thought today that I would be excited to be able to take Advil again. How sad is that?) Anyway, I’ve needed to adjust. I’ll share my current medicine cabinet with you. For the newly pregnant, I hope this helps!

On a side note, as much as we all wish we didn’t have to take meds while pregnant, you may have to. The list below has been approved by both doctors I’ve seen, my pregnancy iphone app, and several reference books.

1. Tylenol for headaches (doesn’t work as well for body aches) — Keep stocked up on regular strength Tylenol. According to my current doctor, you can really take as many as you want, and it won’t harm the baby. I try to limit myself to two in any given day, and I try not to take it more than two or three times a week. I figure Tylenol is fine for my baby — there’s tons of stuff out there that says it’s absolutely and totally harmless — but I don’t want to overdo it, particularly not for MY liver. When I’ve gotten sick (three times — a bad cold in February, a stomach virus in April, and bronchitis just now), I’ve been a bit more liberal with dosage. Doc says totally safe — don’t worry about this harming your little one. Lots of pregnant ladies get raging headaches at different points in their pregnancy, so get a bottle, and use it when need be.

2. Tums for heartburn and upset stomach — I’d much rather have an Alka-Seltzer right now for this crazy heartburn, but I can’t. Tums and Rolaids taste gross, but they work fast on heartburn and stomach upset, and will be a boon to you throughout your pregnancy. These are again fully approved by the docs, and if you look at the ingredients, they’re just calcium citrate (a highly digestible form of calcium). They’re actually recommended for women with a calcium deficiency, since they readily absorb so easily. They’re pretty much like a vitamin that soothes heartburn. Go to Costco and get a big old pack. (Tagamet, Zantac and the like are labeled OK by the docs as well.)

3. Doxylamine or Dipenhydramine for insomnia and morning sickness — These guys are found in your OTC sleep aids like Unisom or Tylenol PM. Again, labeled totes safe by many different sources. They are both antihistamines that help a lot of people sleep. I know that I have had some terrible nights without sleep, and recently I bought a bottle of dipenhydramine to get me through the bronchitis (since Nyquil is out). I just take a half of one and it soothes me to sleep. Before, I would have used the natural supplement Melatonin (which docs do NOT recommend during pregnancy). Now, this works okay. I don’t take more than one or so a week, and as I said, I split them in half. They make some people a little groggy, so start off with a quarter of a pill if you start having some severe preggo related insomnia. Crazy enough, these guys also work for morning sickness. Doctors recommend taking a half of a pill at night, and many women can attest that this helped their stomachs remain calm in the next day. Pretty cool, huh?

4. Prenatal vitamins for vitamin goodness — You gotta have prenatals! It used to be that doctors prescribed them to their patient, but my doc says the OTC kind are cheaper, and just as good these days. Most insurance won’t cover the prescription kind anymore, so going with the Vitamin Store kind is probably just fine. I checked out a bunch of different varieties, most of which you have to take three or four times a day. Ugh. I can tell you right now I’d never remember to do that. So I picked the Prenatal One Rainbow Light brand. They are all organic, include herbal supplements that calm the stomach and promote milk coming in, and you only have to take one a day! They contain all the same things that the other vites have, and they are exceptionally easy on the stomach. Get ’em on Amazon for a great price here! Take them through pregnancy and breastfeeding, and you’ll be all vitamined up. DON’T substitute a regular vitamin even if they are less expensive — they have too much vitamin A and can harm your baby!

5. Prenatal DHA supplement for fetal brain development and prevention of postpartum depression — I got a few samples of DHA supplements from my first doctor, along with some prenatal vitamin samples. I was all like, hey, I didn’t know I needed these. I then did some research and asking questions about DHA during pregnancy. DHA promotes brain and nervous system development in babies, and helps the mom’s brain and nervous system (as well as her circulatory system and cholesterol!). Nordic Naturals is definitely the best brand for fish oil — before, during, or after pregnancy. This particular DHA supplement by Nordic Naturals is formulated for pregnant women in that it has the highest level of DHA, no heavy metals, and extra vitamin D. (The fish they use is krill, which will have no mercury in ’em since fish with mercury are predatory fish, and krill are just … dinner for whales.) If you are a vegetarian or vegan, check out the Enfamil Expecta DHA supplement. These also have the added benefit of not giving any fish burps (the Nordic Naturals have only given me a few here and there — much better than the regular Costco brand of fish oil.)

6. Pregnancy tea for uterine toning and healthy pregnancy support — I totally recommend Traditional Medicinals Pregnancy Tea. It’s really yummy, calms and soothes the upset stomach, and claims to tone the uterus and prepare it for childbirth. Mostly, it’s soothing. It might not do all that it claims, but it certainly tastes good, and it can’t hurt. A great substitute for coffee drinkers!

7. Morning sickness tea for nausea, heartburn and general ick — Peppermint tea will work, and lemon ginger tea works too. But Morning Wellness Tea is the best stuff I tried. Instantly soothing to the sick stomach. It got me through many days at work, and many nights of nausea after dinner. Can’t be beat.

Start building that medicine cabinet when you first realize you’re knocked up! It will help you so much to have meds, vitamins, supplements and teas to support you through this delicate time …

On a side note, if you are trying to get pregnant, it’s great to start taking your prenatals and your DHA so that you can start nourishing your baby before you know you are pregnant.


Product Review: Leacho Back ‘N Belly Contoured Body Pillow April 19, 2010

Filed under: Product Reviews — hokoonchi @ 11:49 pm
Little Leela

My puggle tries out the pregnancy pillow.

Overall: C+ … worth a try if you have a king size bed. Or a small dog.

For those of you who have been through the second (and the first, and as I’ve heard, especially the third) trimester of pregnancy, you may have experienced some rather uncomfortable nights. I know that I have, as early as about eight weeks. At first, I had many anxiety dreams that would wake me early in the morning and not allow me to get back to sleep. There’s nothing to be done about that, unfortunately. More recently, my belly has been expanding to the point that I am uncomfortable in my customary face-down, stomach-flat-to-the-sheets, knocked-out position.

Frankly, this pretty much sucks. I battled insomnia all through my high school and college years, but in the past few years, I’ve settled into a comfortable routine of getting in bed around 10 PM, reading for thirty minutes or so, and falling into a blissful, deep sleep for eight hours (and ten on the weekends, if allowed the time). I know, I know, all of this is about to change, and so on and so forth. But right now, I’m suffering. I teach, advise, attend meetings, grade papers, answer emails, serve on committees, and generally have to be “on” all day. Combined with growing an organ and a human, my inherited gene for tiredness has overwhelmed me since the uncomfortable nights of insomnia have returned. Toss here, turn there, get up to pee, accidentally wake the twenty pound dog that sleeps under the covers, kick my husband, listen to the dog pace and circle to find the perfect spot, turn back over — all at three in the morning. I usually don’t get back to sleep until six, and then the horrible birds start to sing their morning songs, and it’s just about time to wake up.

Cue the pregnancy pillow! On my many searches and browses for pregnancy-related products on Amazon, I kept seeing the Leacho Back ‘N Belly Body Pillow pop up. The reviews are many (394) and for the most part, positive (four stars). On the positive side, the pillow does indeed provide support to the back, and I can see how it would provide support to the belly as it grows. My belly is as yet too small to rest upon the curves of the pillow, but I assume it will get there in time. It’s a good pillow to hug, and to put between your knees, which definitely helps the dull back pain that comes with expanding ligaments and kicks to the hip. It also feels pleasantly like a hiding place, or a cocoon of blankets. (This is comforting to me, since I used to cocoon my head and neck in blankets when I was a kid in order to protect myself from the vampires my father told me about. This has scarred me permanently.)

The complaint that comes up a bunch of times on Amazon, which I feel is totally legit, is that it’s a giant frickin pillow. It’s about the size of two big body pillows hooked together at the top (it looks smaller in the picture on line). As you can see, it swallows my diminutive puggle. It also swallows me, and it certainly would not be acceptable for anything but a king size bed. My husband says it snakes its way over to him at night and infringes upon his bed space. In a queen size bed, there would be no way to escape it. I wouldn’t even try it in anything smaller.

As for my experience, I slept on it for about a week. I really worked with it. I slept with it as my main pillow, with my regular pillow on top of it, right side up, upside down, with both sides between my legs, and with one side between my legs. I definitely saw some positives, as mentioned above, but on Saturday night, I got totally fed up with it and kicked it out of bed during one of my runs to the bathroom at two in the morning. I think I may go back to it as I progress in size, since I will need something to support my ever-expanding womb. For now, I’m sticking with my regular old latex pillow, and I’ve been having a good run of sleep at night for the past few days. I’m just crossing my fingers and hoping that it stays that way.

I know I’ll use this sucker for something. I like to be swaddled, propped, and padded. This might just be the perfect recovery-from-pregnancy pillow. I know it makes one hell of a reading support while in bed, and I haven’t tried it, but it might be just the thing to make me comfortable on the sofa while I watch television. I spent sixty bucks on it, so I’m going to try everything I can think of, perhaps even re-engineering it with my handy-dandy sewing machine. For all of you out there, I would recommend you not spend your money on it. Buy a cheap body pillow from Costco, or try one of the other Leacho products.

And try to get some sleep.