Pregnancy is tough on a woman’s body. Even if you are in great health and have super easy pregnancies, all the stretching and expanding is tough on your body. That belly puts a lot of strain on your back and hips and as you enter your third trimester you are well in need of some pampering. In my opinion, third trimester pampering should be a requirement and while it may be nice to have a professional massage all your aches and pains away, that’s not realistic for a lot of pregnant women. I know for us that’s just not something we can budget for so here are 10 DIY third trimester pampering ideas (and scroll to the end for an awesome giveaway!)
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Epsom salt bath
There isn’t much better than a relaxing hot epsom salt bath. I made a few batches of this lavender oatmeal epsom salt for Christmas presents this year and they were a hit. I’ve found even though I love super almost-too-hot hot baths, I can still enjoy a warm but not hot bath while pregnant and get some relaxation from it, plus the epsom salts were recommended by my chiropractor to help with some aches and pains I’ve been having and pregnant mamas are almost always in need of a magnesium boost. If you don’t like baths (I struggle with them the last month or so of pregnancy since my tub is so small) you could also do a relaxing foot soak the same way or with this method. Or if you don’t like epsom salt, you could just light a few candles and turn off the light to spend a few minutes alone relaxing and bonding with your new little child.
Relaxing massage by hubby
I’m extremely ticklish but after 10 years together, Husband knows where I hold my tension and where he isn’t allowed to touch. Plus there’s something romantic and intimate about spending a few minutes together pampering and it’s a great way to reconnect with your husband during the craziness of the third trimester (and it’s a great way to have Husband bond with baby as well!). There are so many easy diy massage oils you could make (just be sure all your essential oils are pregnancy-safe) or in a pinch I will grab some sweet almond oil. No need to over-complicate your pampering.
I know lots of women love having a mani-pedi. I’ve never been a huge fan but I could definitely see how this could be pampering and relaxing leading up to birth. Maybe invite your girlfriends over or do it with your older daughters if this isn’t your first child and have a fun time, or do it by yourself and relax. The soak mentioned under #1 would work great to start your mani-pedi off right. Pick out a color you’ll love to wear during labor or that you associate with your child. I’m a fan of Scotch Naturals and Butter LONDON nail polish but have been known to indulge in V’s Piggy Paint 🙂
Girls’ movie and chat night
There are so many different levels of a girls’ night you could do. Pick your favorite movie and have a friend host it complete with your favorite pregnancy snacks. Or if your budget has a little more wiggle room, pick your favorite theater and checkout a new flick. I know one of my go-to ways to relax is to throw on a movie we’ve already seen before so we don’t feel bad when we end up talking and laughing through the entire thing.
Recruit hubby to make your favorite meal
One way we love to relax is with delicious food. Because of budget though, going out is not an option. If your husband is a reasonably good cook, have someone watch your LOs for a few hours and let him cook you your favorite meal (bonus points if you take an epsom salt bath while he cooks!). Then you can bond, argue over baby names and relax while you enjoy your delicious, made-with-love meal.
Relax with some wine and chocolate
When I’m especially stressed and having a hard time letting things go, some super dark chocolate always helps. You can get some 60-88% cacao fair trade organic chocolate bars for $2-5 at the grocery store so it’s a super budget-friendly way to pamper yourself. Though it is a bit controversial, if it’s something you are comfortable with you could also buy a nice bottle of red wine and have half a glass or so (or half of what your normal amount would be if you don’t usually drink half a glass). I’m not a medical professional but most research shows no risk to an occasional (once or twice per week) small drink during the third trimester. I have an irritable uterus and when it flares up, I’ve had several birth professional friends suggest I try a small glass (I would probably do 1/4 max of what you would get a restaurant because I’m a lightweight) to help relax my uterus. I have friends who drank a glass during long labors to help get a little rest before transition. Definitely read the research and decide for yourself and buy the highest quality wine you can (I love a good Merlot but I’m John Snow when it comes to wine…).
Have friends throw a Mother Blessing
Have you ever heard of a blessing way? I hadn’t until I was pregnant with V and started reading birth stories which often included tales of their blessingways. It’s a Navajo tradition that has been adopted and morphed for several other cultures around the world, celebrating a woman’s transition to motherhood, whether it be her first or 10th baby. Birth Without Fear has a great guide to throwing one but basically it focuses around celebrating the innate and powerful femininity of a pregnant and birthing woman and pampering the mama-to-be. I especially like #4. What a great way to have your mothering community reminded to pray for you as you approach labor. I’ve heard of some lovely church women’s groups coming together to throw special Mother Blessings for expectant members including prayer, learning about saints with ties to pregnancy and childbirth, etc. So many options and they could be as simple as a couple of people chatting over potato salad or as elaborate as a brunch or themed baby shower focused on the mom instead of the baby.
Read a book, garden, watch some TV, go grocery shopping, do anything… alone
This is especially for those moms who aren’t on baby #1. When you have other littles at home and/or you work outside the home, it can be nearly impossible to do anything alone, let alone anything relaxing. I work hard to carve out a little free reading time for myself a few nights a week after V goes to bed but that’s about the only time I spend alone once I get home. Especially if you are on a tight budget, doing something as simple as reading a book or watching an episode of TV by yourself (am I the only one that finds watching TV while folding laundry extremely relaxing?) Check out apps like Hoopla and Overdrive if you have a library card, you may be able to get ebooks and audiobooks for free! I use both and love them (especially during the early nursing stage where it’s impossible to hold an actual book)! Maybe one night each week during your third trimester you can get out of the house to go for a walk by yourself. Spend that time reconnecting with yourself and your baby and focus on all the joy and try to forget the dirty dishes and bills and chaos that is about to descend on your house. Maybe once a week a neighbor kid can play with your littles outside while you relax. Find some way to spend precious time alone before the ever-present mom-only demands of nursing a newborn hit.
Treat yoself to a special beauty product
When you are on a budget, things like makeup, beauty products and other “splurges” are out of the question. But I believe that third trimester is so full of anticipation and discomfort that it’s a time to do your version of splurge. Maybe you love the smell of a certain face wash but you can’t afford it regularly. Maybe you’ve been out of your favorite concealer for ages but haven’t felt you have the money for it. Maybe you can forego some snack or boxed cereals for a month to pay for it. Maybe you can sell something. Try to find the $10-20 it will cost to get your favorite beauty product and luxuriate in it!
Pro budget tip – I love to get makeup from ULTA because I can never match my skin tone and I like that I can have them try it on before I buy (and you can take it back even after you’ve tried it if it doesn’t match). I went there when I was pregnant with V and was able to get a sample kit from an expensive brand on special for $35. It had foundation, concealer, primer and something else I can’t remember and lasted me almost two years. Plus it felt so fancy to have someone do my makeup for me, especially since the third trimester I feel like nothing hides the sweat and bloating and discomfort so I may as well not even try.
At home facial or spa party
There are so many amazing recipes for facial scrubs, scented lotions and oils, etc. on Pinterest. All you have to do is pick a few that stick with simple ingredients you probably already have: think oatmeal, epsom or sea salt, coconut or other carrier oils (I like sweet almond!), basic pregnancy-safe essential oils like sweet orange and lavender, witch hazel, cucumbers, etc. Or you can even throw (or have a friend throw) an at-home facial party for you!
My friend Cheyanne over at The Purified Palate generously offered me some samples of a few Beautycounter products. I’ve heard amazing things about the brand, especially about its ingredients and business philosophy, so I was super excited to give it a try after trying it for a few weeks I decided it would be the perfect company for an at-home third trimester pampering party!
What makes Beautycounter different?
Beautycounter’s focus is on rooting out unethical practices in the cosmetic industry. They lobby in Washington for stricter regulations and transparency. Their products are formulated using guidelines similar to those in the EU, without over 1,500 harmful chemicals. They’re also an EWG-verified and B-certified company which is such a relief for busy moms who don’t have time to research every little ingredient in your body products. You can just trust, if it’s Beautycounter, it’s safe for you and your littles.
But do their products work?
My skin is suuuuper sensitive and I usually just wash with water or a homemade product with only a couple ingredients. Pregnancy hormones are not kind to my skin and while I never dealt with acne really growing up, I have horrible cystic acne all over my cheeks and lots of redness that only appeared when I was about 18wks pregnant with V. After talking with Cheyanne about this, she recommended I try their charcoal cleansing bar, balancing charcoal face mask, balancing oil, rejuvenating eye cream and body butter. For reference, I used these products per Cheyanne’s instructions for a little over two weeks.
My favorites were by far the cleansing bar and the body butter. The sample bar I got was around a 1-inch square and after using it every day for over two weeks I can easily do another two before it’s used up. I’m sure an entire bar would last at least a year. While I didn’t notice a change in my cystic acne, my skin felt so soft and I noticed a definite improvement in the redness of my face. The lighting in our bathroom is horrible and I couldn’t get a good picture or I would show you, but it definitely helped. They have a limited-time duo set of the cleansing bar and charcoal purifying mask right now that would be a great way to get started! I loved the slow absorption of the body butter that left my belly feeling so soft even 24 hours later without feeling greasy or like I couldn’t wear a top. The citrus mimosa scent is so delicious and perfect for being pregnant all summer long.
The balancing oil smells lightly herby and goes on smooth. I literally only needed one drop on each of two fingers to do my entire face and neck so it will definitely last you a long time. There was one day I used the charcoal bar and was sick so I neglected to follow up with the balancing oil and that was the only day I noticed my skin having issues with the new products. Even though I hadn’t used a face oil, my face looked and felt oilier than normal and I’m pretty sure it was from cleansing away the bad oils without adding good oils back to my face.
I used the charcoal mask once every 3-4 days or so. I’ve made my own charcoal mask in the past with activated charcoal and bentonite clay with relatively good results but the mix of ingredients in the Beautycounter mask definitely did more. I really liked the hint of peppermint. To help it last longer, I used it only in my problem spots, on my cheeks and chin. My skin always feels super smooth and healthy afterward. The mask is actually part of their Beautycounter+ collection which was created by Xavier Ormancey from Chanel Europe. He created the line of amazing products that work and are safe because he has so much experience doing it in Europe where the EU standards have eliminated over 1,500 harmful chemicals.
The eye cream I kept stored in the fridge on Cheyanne’s recommendation and I felt so fancy using it in the morning (as I applied it with the reflection from my oven). It’s a great pick-me-up and there were a few days when I couldn’t get a nap that I used it as my coffee. You only need a teeny tiny dab so it’s another product that will last you forever.
We also sampled their Baby Calm Diaper Rash Cream. V loved putting it on herself and I loved not having to worry about the ingredients. We had to buy a different brand of wipes one day while we were traveling and V had a horrible reaction to them, verging on a chemical burn, but this cream cleared it up almost entirely after one application and by the next day and a couple more diaper changes with it, it was completely cleared up. I also love that you could use it on whatever you want, beyond just diaper rashes. Because of the ingredients and special kind of zinc used, it washes out easily and is safe for cloth diapers! Cheyanne also recommends it as a barrier protector if you get itching from your breasts/bra during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Genius and who doesn’t love multi-purpose products?!
Beautycounter has a generous 60-day return policy on all their products so there’s no risk of spending your splurge money on a product you end up hating. They also have a rewards program for those who fall in love with their products (which is super easy to do) which gives you all kinds of rewards, special offers and free gifts. If you are interested in learning more about Beautycounter and want to stay up-to-date on deals and promotions, you can create a login here and subscribe to their email newsletters or follow them on social media.
Beautycounter spa party? Yes please!
While thinking about all the awesome things you could do for DIY third trimester pampering, I realized that getting together with your best girl friends for a Beautycounter party would definitely fit the bill! You can do a long-distance social where someone hosts all your best gals and then Cheyanne can Skype in or Facebook live to introduce the company, talk about their mission, highlight some products, answer questions and give tips. The focus on Beautycounter’s end for these socials (which can also be done as online parties instead of in-person) is 75% educational so they aren’t super salesy and you can focus on enjoying yourself. Depending on orders, the host can also earn free and discounted products. In addition to the products I mentioned above, Beautycounter has a full baby product line and even a diaper bag made out of less harmful materials than standard bags.
And now for the exciting part you’ve been waiting for: A GIVEAWAY!
As a huge thank you to my readers, Cheyanne has offered to host a giveaway and one of you lucky ladies will win the amazing Beautycounter Body Butter in Citrus Mimosa. Don’t forget to enter before time runs out! I seriously love this body butter – the smell, the ingredient list and the velvety, non-greasy feel of it! It is perfect for DIY third trimester pampering!