Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka-Pregnancy Guide

TV moms before the 90’s weren’t exactly known for being cool. And then Becky Donaldson-Katsopolis hit Full House like an adorable tornado.

She was a journalist, she rode horses, and she never hesitated to hand out the advice and the sass. We wanted Lori Loughlin to be our older sister in the 90’s, and now on Fuller House we want her to be our wise mama-pal. Looks like Aunt Becky is our forever mom crush.

Pregnancy is obviously different for everyone, but there’s definitely a few things every pregnant woman can relate to. 

Line Severinsen is a Norwegian illustrator and animator, and started a hilarious, truthful, and awesome series of cartoons when she was pregnant with her daughter in 2012. Line’s drawings depict exactly what it’s like to be pregnant; the anxiety, the indigestion, the idiots that ask you if you’re expecting twins when you’re not – how fun! Check out her awesome photos.

All photos via.

How does one survive pregnancy?

Patience. Lots and lots of patience.

When you are pregnant, you find yourself counting weeks, not months. Your life revolves on the age of your growing fetus. Most pregnant women probably know how many weeks pregnant they are better than the day it is. For example, I know that I’m 20 weeks 2 days pregnant, and have another 19 weeks to go. If asked the date, I’d have to look it up. Sad, but true story.

Anyhow, I’ve been through this pregnancy thing seven times (if you do the math, yes…I lost a few. And yeah, it sucks.). I’d almost consider myself a pro at pregnancy, but I figure my Grandma Davis (God bless her soul) has that over me. She went full-term seven times. I’m not sure how she managed.

Since I have experience with this incubating-a-baby thing, I’ve ascertained a few must-have items that help to survive all 40 weeks of pregnancy. If you’ve recently found out you are pregnant, you may want to take notes.

10 Things This Pregnant Woman Needs

1. Prenatal Vitamins

I started taking these darn things a few months before I got married in 2009. Yep, I’ve been on prenatals now for six years! And, here’s a secret, I HATE taking pills. But I do it. It helps my body prepare for the baby and keep the baby strong, even once it is born and I start nursing. While they aren’t always fun to take (they are horse pills after all), you need to take them!

2. Caffeine

I know this may seem like a strange one, but I don’t think I could survive without caffeine. I tried to go without with my first, but I failed. I deal with awful pregnancy headaches in the first trimester plus pregnancy fatigue. When I tried to give up caffeine, the fatigue and headaches only got worse. I gave up trying. Instead, I make sure to add up the caffeine I ingest. I’m not a coffee drinker; I drink soda. I make sure I limit my intake to one caffeinated soda a day. Just enough to help me survive and not throttle my husband or children.

(Oh, and for those concerned, most doctors and the March of Dimes don’t require that you go off caffeine altogether. The recommendation is that you drink less than 200 mg of caffeine a day.)

3. Zofran/Morning Sickness Medication

I always deal with awful morning sickness. My oldest made me sick until I was 34 weeks along! She tortured me. (I will hold it over her head when she’s a teen…”You made me sick for 34 weeks, the least you can do is….”) I wasn’t nearly as sick with my two-year-old, with my morning sickness stopping at 24 weeks.

I’m guessing that I’m dealing with my worst morning sickness ever with this pregnancy. It’s hard to know because I take a wonderful little pill, Zofran, that helps me manage. I need to take it every night at least 30 minutes before dinner, otherwise, I lose dinner. Fun times! The other day, I decided to see if I could go without the pill. Big mistake. Yep, I definitely need my Zofran.

If you can’t keep anything down, don’t be afraid to contact your doctor and ask for medication. There are a few options that might help.

4. Snacks

Along with getting sick, my appetite suddenly disappeared. Not only do meals sometimes taste unappetizing, but I eat much smaller portions than normal. (I hope to keep that up once the baby is born so I can lose weight…but I doubt that will happen. Darn it.) One thing I’ve found that helps me is having lots of snacks available for when I do get hungry. There are days that I need to eat lots of small meals during the day. My stash of snacks includes Wheat Thins, apples, carrots, pretzels, and veggie dip.

5. Colace

Here’s a secret for you first-timers. You will never look at going to the bathroom the same way. Colace may become your best friend. I know it’s mine. I hate having to take it, but if I don’t, I’m miserable with constipation. Yep, I said it. Oh, and not to mention the resulting hemorrhoids (so get some Preparation H, too). Oy!

6. Body Pillow

I love my body pillow! I just pulled it from my closet last week. My belly has gotten large enough that I need a little extra support to get some sleep. The further along you get, the more uncomfortable it is to sleep. A body pillow helps you survive it. My husband and I sleep in a queen so I know he gets sick of it, but if it makes me happy, he doesn’t complain.

7. Poise Pads

Now, maybe I need these more because it isn’t my first pregnancy, but….I would highly suggest getting Poise pads (or a brand of your choosing). When you sneeze or cough, you will discover that any control you used to have is gone. It’s not pretty, but it’s reality. Get used to it.

8. Asthma Medicine

Most women don’t need asthma medication when they are pregnant. I’m one of the few who do. In fact, 33% of women don’t see an increase (or decrease) in their asthma symptoms. 33% experience a decrease in asthma issues. I fit into the last group of 33%, though, whose asthma worsens while pregnant. Each time I’ve been pregnant, my asthma gets worse and worse. I need to take special medication twice a day to keep my asthma contained so I can breathe. So, if you have asthma and have more issues, speak up and take care of it. It not only helps you, but helps the baby.

9. Comfy Bras

When you are expecting, your boobs will hurt! My daughters seem to know this because they love elbowing me in the boobs for no clear reason. I swear that children are little magnets attracted to hurting parts of your body that are already in pain.

A good, comfortable bra may help you survive pregnancy. I’m normally an underwire girl because my boobs are huge. But, I found underwires very uncomfortable as my breasts grew. I went shopping and found some decent supportive bras without the underwire. It made a huge difference in my comfort. The trick is finding what works best for you. Oh, and be ready to buy bigger sizes as your pregnancy progresses.

10. Maternity pants

Forget the dang Bella Band. Yeah, I bought it with my first child and was impressed with how it worked. But then, I discovered maternity pants! Oh my! Why hadn’t anyone told me that they were so comfortable? They are the best. I recommend full-coverage, too. Bella Bands and using rubber bands to help your old pants last take lots of work and don’t give your sensitive belly much comfort. Come to the dark side….go straight to maternity pants. I did with my next pregnancies. I’ll never regret it! (Oh, and they are perfect to pull out when you aren’t pregnant on Thanksgiving. Trust me!)

This post was originally featured on Denise’s blog, Jayhawk Mommy

Aside from the exciting news that you’re expecting, in those first few weeks of pregnancy, there’s one other big benefit to being knocked up—or should I say two big benefits: Your boobs look great. Damn great. 

Victoria’s Secret would be lucky to have you, and your husband keeps checking you out like a teenager in heat. Even you can’t help but getting all Joey Tribbiani on yourself and thinking, “How you doin’?” every time you catch a glimpse of the girls.

Sadly, none of this will last long. Now that I’m in the home stretch of my pregnancy, I am lamenting the fact that I didn’t enjoy this stage more. So, my advice to you? Flaunt those Kate Upton curves while you’ve got ’em, because before you know it…

1. They hurt so damn much.

You can’t get felt up properly, and a strong gust of wind can actually bring tears to your eyes. Remember, the mantra here is: Look, don’t touch. 

2. Your belly exceeds your newly expanded bra size.

Yes, your boobs are still huge, but they seem significantly less huge when your belly is also massive. Sadly, everything in life is relative, including this.

3. You have to buy new bras.

Anything with decent support isn’t cheap, especially if you’re a weird size to begin with, and you have no idea what your post-baby size will be. (Hint: It will be different than this and different than your pre-pregnancy one. More new bras to come! Awesome.)

4. The underwire becomes your nemesis.

You think an underwire has been uncomfortable before? Hahahahaha. Yeah, no. Mine hurts so much that the spot where it hits the breastbone literally becomes numb. It is seriously like some medieval torture device. Ye olde underwyre! Trust me when I say that taking your bra off at night will never feel as good as it does while you’re pregnant.

5. They start resting on your belly and cause extreme underboob sweat.

This gets worse when your bra is off, or maybe it’s just more noticeable. Either way, you’re definitely sweating profusely (not glistening) through your shirt, and it’s gross.

6. They start leaking…before baby is born.

Well, this is a delightful surprise! At some point, you might start lactating while your baby is still in utero. It might not be a lot—or it might—but either way, now you’re wet and it’s kind of freaky. I’m not there yet, thankfully, but I have the feeling that I might be jinxing myself by writing that.

7. They’re itchy, so you’re scratchy.

Cracked, dry nipples need cocoa butter just as much as your ever-expanding belly. It may be for a different reason, but wow, are they also ridiculously itchy. I’ve found myself wanting to stick my hand down my bra to get a little relief…while walking down the street. I’ve (mostly) restrained myself.

This post was originally featured on Dawn’s blog, Momsanity. Photo via HuffPost.

I am a plus-size pregnant momma-to-be having a plus-size pregnancy.  I’m not necessarily proud of that fact.  I wish I had started off thinner and had never gained the weight I did in the first place; however, it is a fact of my life, for now at least.

There are some challenges to being a plus- size pregnant woman, namely clothing.  In my small community, there is only one store with one rack of plus-size maternity wear, Sears.  I’ve never been a fan of Sears’ clothing (despite their ads, etc….it always seems to be mainly polyester) and their maternity selection, on that one rack, for a plus-size woman is the worst.  Finding a store that actually carries plus-size maternity wear inside their store and not just on the website is REALLY difficult.  It is quite ridiculous actually.  And many stores that may carry plus-size clothing in general, do not offer plus size maternity wear.

I take one of two messages from this.  Either, (1) Plus-size women aren’t attractive enough to hope for sex much less hope to get pregnant, or (2) plus-size women don’t need maternity clothes since what they have is big enough already.  It really irritates the crap out of me!  Honest to goodness.  I wish I had some gumption (and business talent/designing abilities) because I think I could make a good money designing and selling plus-size maternity wear.  There are many plus-size women out there, like me, who would like fashionable clothes in the first place and to have some fashionable maternity wear.  But, unfortunately, it is hard to find.

I got some of my maternity wear (at the store even) at a Motherhood Maternity in a different town (and later online).  I bought some basics (like long-sleeve Ts and turtlenecks that were less expensive than Motherhood) from JcPenney online.  I have seen all sorts of cute clothes, but none came in my size so I’ve had to make do with the selection I have — which is very limited.

A new issue I have run into is finding a nursing bra to fit me now.  This struggle goes beyond being plus-size. I know women who aren’t plus-size who have issues with this as well.  While I’ve been pregnant, I’ve been able to get regular bras at Lane Bryant since they do carry my size (and larger).  However, a maternity bra was out of the question because even Motherhood didn’t carry my size.

Now, I need a couple of nursing bras to get me started once the baby comes in 6 weeks.  I’ll be quite honest about my size….I believe I will need a 40H or possibly 40I (I’m currently in 40DDD).  I’ve tried online looking at JcPenney.  Not even they carry my size.  They stop at DDD (E).  I’ve even tried Motherhood, and nada. I recently went to a breastfeeding class held at the hospital and the instructor told those of us who were large-busted to come up and talk to her at a break. She gave us the name of  two stores that we could use.  Of course, the closest store was1 1/2 hours away and the other was an hour and 45 minutes away.  Apparently, finding anything above a cup size DD is hard to find.  I felt especially bad for a woman who said she started the pregnancy as a 38H.  I can only imagine how hard it is for her now, knowing how hard it is for me.

I wonder what stores are thinking when they don’t sell clothing for plus-size pregnant women, much less having a variety of larger maternity bra cups available to women.  Do they really think that the only women to get pregnant are skinny minnies?  Really?  Or that a plus-size pregnant woman is satisfied with staying in regular plus-size clothing?  I wasn’t.  It was cheaper for me clothing-wise to get maternity pants and shirts that have allowed my body to grow without having to buy bigger sizes the whole way through.  As for bras, do they really believe that women never get larger than a DD or DDD when pregnant?  Do the designers really operate this way too?  It really annoys me to no end.

Anyhow, my lovely husband will drive with me an hour and a half away in a couple of days so we can see if I can find a bra.  Hopefully, it won’t cost too much, but I doubt it.  Apparently finding something my size is rare so it will likely cost a lot.  Lovely.

This post was originally featured on Denise’s blog, Jayhawk Mommy. Photo via

Can we stop hating on our bodies yet? If you created AN ACTUAL ENTIRE HUMAN BEING inside of you and then birthed it out of your hoo ha and you’re worrying about stretch marks and some fat, you’re crazy. YOU CREATED A HUMAN LIFE. That’s insanely badass.

 

“What if we shared the common experience of physical change instead of dealing with it in embarrassed isolation?”

Let’s change the way we look at pregnancy!

SEE MORE: I Have Never Felt Beautiful
I was tagged a few days ago to participate in the “I feel beautiful” challenge that is going around on Facebook.  If you haven’t seen this particular Facebook meme it works like this, a friend uploads 5 pictures of herself that make her feel beautiful, and she tags 5 friends to do the same thing. The only problem is, I don’t feel beautiful. I have never felt beautiful.

SEE MORE: What I Wish I Had Known About Body Image
Nothing hits a girl’s self-esteem harder than middle school and high school. Suddenly, you go from the happy-go-lucky girl playing outside, getting bruises, and generally not worrying about how you look to a girl who obsesses about her appearance and compares herself to other girls. The switch happens lightning-fast…at least it did for me.