The announcement of my impending motherhood was met with much excitement and joy from friends and family, it was also met with varying degrees of pregnancy advice, most (from my various super-mum best girls) was extremely helpful, however as I’m sure you’ve experienced, sometimes folks just want to tell you all about worst case scenarios, frightening labour stories and anything and everything that will make you anxious, nervous and very very confused.

I’m sure they mean well and all. But as with any life-changing adventure, there’s enough to consider without a constant flurry of tales that could make you envisage your mind and body transforming into some kind of scary mary alien and never returning to their former glory.

My experience has been no where near as difficult to deal with as I had prepared for. Of course I appreciate everyone is different, and at just shy of 37 weeks my calves resemble giant hams by 3pm and I have difficulty remembering my own name due to the continuous discomfort of carrying around a seemingly huge bump, the associated lack of sleep and the long working hours that inevitably come from running your own business. None of which I can do anything about.

There are however plenty of other pregnancy related irritations that I have found some respite from, I’m by no means offering a miracle cure, I’m just sharing and reviewing what products have worked for me and have made these last 9 months a whole lot easier to deal with. I would love it (as I’m sure would everyone else) if you could add your thoughts, views and survival (!) tips in the comments section below.

Expecting Better by Emily Oster

So far this is the only book I’ve really bothered to make the time to read, it’s written by award-winning economist Emily Oster and essentially takes you through the many aspects of pregnancy and gives you the actual research behind “standard” recommendations so you can make an informed choice. Basically it cuts through the bullish*t and the often over simplified information that you find is thrown at you left, right and centre.

If you don’t fancy reading the 280 odd pages at the end of each section there is a handy “bottom line” summary.

Expecting Better is available via Amazon

Bobbi Brown Corrector

Pregnancy increases blood flow which often makes your veins more apparent, for me this means the tiny blueish veins around my eyes which make my dark circles look ten times bloody worse. I’ve decided that concealing this area is a whole feature in itself so I’ll just say that adding Bobbi Brown corrector to my beauty routine has helped significantly.

I use the shade light peach. You can purchase your very own pot from John Lewis.

Trilogy Rosehip Oil

At the moment I don’t have stretch marks (there’s still time people, still time.) I’ve applied lots of my usual body lotion after a shower and most evenings before bed (well the ones I remember) I also rub in some Trilogy rosehip oil. There are lots of specific stretch-mark prevention claiming potions on the market and this isn’t one of them. Rosehip oil is however renowned for it’s healing and moisturising properties and I find this one isn’t too sticky.

A little goes a long way and I also like to use it on my cuticles which are generally dry and scraggy – more so these past few months. This oil makes them softer and easier to manage.

Trilogy Rosehip oil is available at John Lewis.

Bump Band

Most ladies I know have used these, they allow you to wear your standard tops without flashing your ever-petruding midriff. For me personally they seem to help with back pain…A LOT. I only wished I had discovered the benefits earlier than at 24 weeks. I now wear one all day every day and hand on heart my ribs no longer feel like they are being pulled apart.

On the occasions I have forgotten to put one on I have suffered the consequences.

I wear mine as tight as I can manage and have found Topshop are as good as any other brand – for the princely sum of 7 quid.

Bright Lipstick

I’ve mentioned this tube of (almost) magic before in my previous post about suits-all make-up. Some girls report a pregnancy glow, others suffer from a grey-cast caused by morning sickness and tired-ness, I on the other hand have just got… yellower. Honestly – I look positively sallow. And the only thing I find that works to make me look more human is a pop of pink blush and a bright lip.

This formula is muchos moisturising but lasts a lot longer than most other “balm” consistency type items.

I use shade 355 and you can find it at Space NK.

Tracy Anderson The Pregnancy Project

It is a running joke at Rock My HQ just how much I love this woman. I swear to God this set of 9 DVDS (one for every month) has saved my sanity as well as for the most part, my body. I like exercise, I like to look and feel fit and healthy and I’m not going to apologise for it.

Each workout is about 40 minutes long, I found this was manageable for 4-5 days a week until month 9 where I’m starting to find most day-to-day activities difficult – let alone swinging my legs in the air. I just do as much as I can when I can.

Tracy is at a similar stage to “you” throughout the 9 month period which I think is genius, I would say the workouts are a mixture of basic dance, adult barre and pilates (I’m no expert – I just see similarities from my own personal tried-everything experience) and I enjoy the variety.

For those of you that don’t know, Tracy Anderson is the creator of “The Method” and sculptor and transformation maker of many a celebrity physique, including Gwyneth Paltrow.

I am going to continue with Tracy’s post-pregnancy workout as soon as I am released by my doctor to exercise following my daughter’s imminent arrival.

I could talk a lot more about this DVD but for fear of a) writing an essay and b) boring you all to tears I’ll stop here. Please feel free to ask any questions in the comments section though.

You can purchase Tracy Anderson “The Pregnancy Project” via Amazon

Embroylisse Lait Creme Concentrate

I’ve mentioned how dry my skin is right? Well now it’s drier than ever. To the point where cleansing my face with even the most gentle make-up remover can leave my epidermis red and sore. This concentrated cream by Embroylisse has been around for ages and is used so often backstage at fancy fashion shows to maintain a model’s radiant complexion that is has apparently achieved cult status. (Not entirely sure what this means exactly but it works so I’m going with it.)

On severe flaky days I use this as a cleanser and a moisturiser and put an extra layer on for good luck. I don’t use it around the eye area but I do slather it on my elbows which actually peel as though I have sunburn. I know – how pleasant.

Embroylisse used to only be available at those incredibly sophisticated French pharmacies but we mere UK mortals can now purchase it from Cult Beauty…..result.

Anything amazing you would care to share?