Tips for the First Half of Pregnancy from a Second-time Mom



I’m currently 21 weeks into my second pregnancy and just past the half way point! However, my first born is seven years old now, so the first time I did this was a long time ago. When I got pregnant this time, I felt like I’d forgotten “how” to be pregnant. What had changed since my first time around? Whether it’s your first pregnancy or you’re just a little out of practice like I was, here are some tips for making the first half of pregnancy a little easier.

Skincare: I knew I needed to take a closer look at what products I was putting on my face, since I use them up to twice a day. Basically, doctors recommend you put your retinols and salicylic acids away during pregnancy. (I know, I’m 35 AND still have acne, so I’m still mourning the loss of my two best friends.) Luckily, Neutrogena now has a Naturals line of products that can be picked up at any drug or grocery store. Look for the green packaging – these have no harsh chemical sulfates, parabens, petrochemicals, dyes or phthalates. I think they smell like sweet-tarts and green apples! neutrogena-naturals

To treat acne while pregnant, you can’t use the most common creams or gels. To spot-treat, I ordered the Mambino Organics Overnight Blemish S.O.S on Amazon. The Mambino line is made for pregnant women, which made me feel safe.  It will leave a white mark, so you can only use it at night. But it WORKS, the $15 bottle should last the whole 9 months and I think it smells great too, like you went to the spa before bed.


Maternity clothes: The best thing that’s changed in the world of maternity clothes is Zulily! I know; I was basically the only woman left in the world not using this site. Even my daughter’s Nana uses this site to order her a ton of clothes. You can sign up to get an email every day with their newest selection of maternity clothes that are cheap and trendy. (Beware: your order may not ship for up to three weeks, since ordering in bulk after the sale ends is how they get their costs down.)

Also try:

Ok, so now that you’ve had a little fun shopping, let’s move on to the not-so-fun parts of pregnancy you might be experiencing…

Headaches: Being pregnant again really freaked me out because I knew if it was like the first time around, I was going to get a lot of headaches. Tylenol is the only accepted OTC treatment to use during pregnancy, and let’s be honest, it does NOTHING, at least for me. (I fantasize about Excedrin while I’m pregnant. Wine? Nope, that would just give me a headache anyway. It’s Excedrin that I miss the most!) The first time I was pregnant, I wasted a lot of time and money visiting a neurologist to see what magic he could work for me. The answer was none, absolutely none. Here are my top headache-fighting tips during pregnancy:

  • Drink a Coke. Or drink a Coke while taking two extra-strength Tylenol, which slightly mimics the effect of taking an Excedrin.
  • Try eliminating food triggers from your diet. There are many lists online of common triggers, but for me, eliminating bananas, Splenda, onions, lemonade and nuts has drastically reduced the number of headaches I get.
  • Talk to your ob/gyn about adding a Magnesium supplement to your diet.
  • Join the essential oils craze. Peppermint and lavender oils can help tremendously.
  • Go buy the TheraPlus Hot or Cold Gel-bead pack from Walmart for less than $6. Keep it in the freezer, and when a headache strikes, lay down with the ice pack on the part of your head that hurts.

Congestion: If you have allergies, you might use an OTC nasal spray such as Flonase when you’re not pregnant. I do daily, to prevent chronic sinus infections. However, my ob/gyn doesn’t approve of using decongestants while pregnant, so bye-bye Flonase. On top of this, the pregnancy hormones cause most pregnant women to get congestion during pregnancy. I’ve started using Breathe Right strips at night to help me sleep better. I keep them by my bed and stick one on right before I go to sleep. Also, saline nasal sprays are OK to use, so I use these as many times during the day as I need to to help me breathe a little better.

I’m now in my “honeymoon phase” otherwise knows as the second trimester. Life is pretty good, other than occasional insomnia and the craving for a strong cocktail after a rough day. What tips and tricks do you have for surviving the third trimester? Enjoy your pregnancy, and feel free to share your tips for making it a little easier!

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Vanessa is a proud Hoosier, currently residing in and raising her family on the north side of Indy in Westfield. She earned an undergraduate degree in Real Estate and a Master's degree in Accounting from Indiana University. She built the majority of her career at an S&P 100 company in Indianapolis, and now works as a Fund Accounting Manager for Operating Real Estate Funds. Vanessa met her husband Ian in 2008, as well as his two beautiful daughters Audrey and Olivia. The two quickly welcomed their daughter Lauren to the family in 2009. In July 2016 they added their much anticipated first little boy Alex to the family. When she’s not working full-time, her interests include jogging on the Monon trail, reading, organizing, anything red velvet, spoiling her two cats Gilbert and Grady and traveling as often as possible.