Crystal is currently going through her first pregnancy, which early on has been a huge eye-opener for her. She is now ready to share some gritty truth and secrets about the whole pregnancy thang. Odd things to expect when expecting….

Like me Crystal, who is a hard-working scientist, never really saw herself as the mum type. But after a bit of convincing from her partner, who had always wanted a small family, she finally came around to the idea of having some ankle-biters. And with the biological clock ticking and many of their friends having kids, they decided to give it a go too. She is now 34 weeks pregnant and has a beautiful healthy big belly. So far she has had a great pregnancy with only a little morning sickness. BUT, nevertheless, she has been stunned by some of the physiological changes that happen to the body – changes that people don’t tend to talk about…

During the first trimester Crystal was very surprised about her uber sensitive sense of smell – suddenly she found many different smells could trigger nausea as soon as they hit her nostrils. One of the worst and most intense smells she experienced was coming from her little cute dog – every time it passed wind, it sent Crystal straight for the toilet bowl. Additionally, sadly for her partner, Crystal had to stop him from drinking any of his beloved whiskey, as the sweet smell would make her gag reflexes go bonkers too. And if he couldn’t withhold the temptation of whiskey, he was kicked out into the kennel, where he could hang with the smelly dog. Side note: Apparently, this kind of heightened sense of smell is common during the first trimester (> 40% of pregnant women have reportedly increased sensitivity to various smells) and it can often be accompanied by morning sickness. Thankfully, this sensitivity will normally slowly disappear later on in pregnancy.

Being a scientist, Crystal couldn’t resist reading EVERYTHING about the various physiological changes that can occur while being pregnant. It’s no secret that the body contorts in all different kinds of ways to accommodate the baby. What really freaked her out was the fact that her internal organs will be put under significant amount of pressure and have to shift position during the growth of the little one. As the pregnancy progresses, the uterus will get bigger and slowly rise up and out of the pelvic cavity, displacing the stomach, intestines and other organs to the back and sides of the abdomen! At the same time the growing uterus can stretch the muscles in the abdomen, which can cause the two large parallel bands of muscles that meet in the middle of the abdomen to separate – a condition called diastasis recti, affecting the majority of pregnant women, including Crystal. Nevertheless, she is pretty good at putting a positive spin on everything. As an example she is now very stoked about her newly-invented party trick that she is able to do with her belly and slightly separated abdominal muscles. The trick is called “the volcano crater”, which can be achieved by tightening up the stomach muscles while laying down – and “tada” a bulging and alien-like volcano crater is created (if you have been pregnant, you probably know what we are talking about). I must confess I also enjoyed showing off this trick, while being pregnant with my twins, as I had the biggest belly ever. However, even though it looks cool, it’s not recommended, as it apparently can separate the muscles even more. SO PLEASE DON’T DO IT AT HOME and remember to use the log roll manoeuvre (roll onto your side and push yourself up with your arms) every time you get out of bed instead of using the abdominal muscles.

All these internal changes all sound pretty amazing and crazy at the same time! Have a look at this cool animation of how the organs shift during pregnancy.

Besides the horrifying facts about the compressed organs, Crystal also worried about the external changes of the body – such as the stretching of the skin, often accompanied by very itchy skin. She is especially concerned about stretch marks, as she has a petite frame and not much skin to spare. In order to prepare and soothe the stretching skin on her growing belly, Crystal began to use the My Lilli Pilli SOOTHING Belly Oil, when she was around 20 weeks into her pregnancy. As soon as she used the oil, she felt an instant relief – the dry itchy skin disappeared. Prior to becoming pregnant, Crystal rarely used any skincare, so when she suddenly started her Belly Oil routine, she actually enjoyed doing a nice thing for herself and felt very special – a bit of a luxurious treatment. And as an extra bonus, her partner loved the subtle aroma of the Belly Oil that she had massaged into her skin before bed time.

Later into her pregnancy (around 30 weeks) Crystal started using the thick nourishing CALMING Belly Lotion on her growing belly and breasts every morning after shower. When asked how she feels after applying the cream, she said “my skin is feeling silky, nicely hydrated and shiny – the belly is so soft and supple. And sometimes my partner thinks that my belly is too perfect for being this far in my pregnancy”.

And she still doesn’t have a single stretchmark!

Odd things to expect when expecting

Picture: Crystal and her cute, but smelly dogs.


Keep calm until next time!

xx Charlie