Congratulations! You’re expecting your own bundle of joy and well, there’s just nothing more amazing than that! Your body is about to do some truly awesome, hilarious and sometimes pretty darn gross things. By this point you may or may not be feeling very different but either way if you’re reading this, chances are that you have already realized that you’re going to need some essentials for pregnancy.
I know that for me, my pregnancies were easily the most incredible experiences of my life but each pregnancy was dramatically different from the other. With my first, I can remember having “morning sickness”, except that it was morning, noon, and night! By 16 weeks along I had actually lost 20 pounds (don’t worry I gained it back.) from sheer illness. By the time that improved I had terrible sciatica, hot flashes, swelling – you name it. My second pregnancy was smooth sailing, so easy! Well, mostly easy. It was for sure way easier than baby number one and even labor and delivery was a ton easier. Either way, both experiences were so totally incredible and I am so glad that I learned so much along the way.
So, here’s the Top 10 Pregnancy Essentials that I recommend to every expectant mama:
1.Preggie Pops (or drops)
These are a must for the first 12 or so weeks when nausea is the worst! In my first trimester, a friend showed me these and I fell in love with them! They helped me get through a work day. Remember, I’m an esthetician so at one point I was in a treatment room with clients conducting hour long facial treatments. That’s not exactly a great opportunity to excuse yourself to yak!
Don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely no miracle cure for morning sickness but these provide a moderate amount of relief and when you’re that sick, a moderate amount of relief is something to get really excited about! Better yet, they taste just as yummy as a “regular” lolli-pop and are packaged discreetly if you aren’t ready to share your big news with the world yet. Oh and now apparently they’re available in drops – even better!
2.Leachco Snoogle Total Body Pillow
So if you’re like me then you already have about a million decorative pillows taking over your bed and you’re afraid of the serious side eye that you’re going to get from the hubs when you tell him that you’re adding yet another. But seriously if there is only one piece of advice you take from this list – make it this item!
Do yourself a huge favor and make sure you get one of these. I owe any and all of the sleep I got during pregnancy to this pillow which lasted me not one but two pregnancies and could easily be used again!
This pillow hugs your body in such a way that it is just heavenly. It can be used in several sleeping positions but my favorite was to have it positioned under my head, pushed against my back and wedged between my knees. *sigh* so much relief. It helped so much with my lower back and sciatic nerve pain.
Even after pregnancy, it was tough to take off my bed, I just loved it so much. Bonus: it doubles as a great nursing pillow and it is so versatile it suits several nursing positions as well. If you can’t tell – I love this pillow! Don’t forget to get a cover for it. My favorite is the jersey knit heather grey – so soft!
This is pretty self-explanatory but here it goes – Tums ,you are the real MVP! Ladies- Keep at least a few everywhere. Yes, I mean everywhere. No other explanation needed.
4. A Personal Fan
A handheld fan might sound over the top but I swear if nothing else – in those last few weeks you will need it.
You know that one person at the office that’s always freezing? That was ME. It was always me. And then I got pregnant. The hot flashes started right away and always at the least opportune time. I would be talking to a client and suddenly feel like I was going to catch fire! I had such bad hot flashes that my husband didn’t know who I was anymore. I would come home from work and take an ice cold shower, leave my hair wet, and lay in front of a fan in underwear and a tank top. Well now that I think of it – he probably got a huge kick out of that part.
Anyway, get yourself a personal fan, if you have hot flashes. It’s more common than you think.
5.Comfortable Maternity Wear
Let me start by letting you in on a secret to save you all a great deal of disappointment- Maternity jeans are a LIE. A dirty, dirty lie. It is totally beyond me why anyone would take a woman who is possibly at the heaviest and most physically uncomfortable state that she may ever be in and put her legs in prison and top if off with a huge elastic waistband. I never found maternity jeans I loved but if you do, then more power to ya!
In all seriousness ,I have met plenty of women who have told me they told me that they found decent maternity jeans but I can tell you that I have searched high and low with no such luck. If you have suggestions for a brand of feel good maternity jeans please drop me a line!
If you ask me, I really recommend that you go with items that can grow with you a little bit. Some of my most favorite “maternity” items were just maxi dresses that I sized up. In the first trimester they were loose and by the end they fit against my baby bump but were still comfortable, always looked cute, and were easy to accessorize to dress up or down.
Similarly, I liked maxi skirts with maternity tanks. On cooler days I liked maternity leggings paired with a sweater that I just sized up. You would honestly be surprised how many items can just be sized up so long as they are long enough to accommodate your growing bump.
When it comes to spending, I seriously recommend that you invest in a few versatile “maternity” items that you really love, buy a few items sized up, and don’t invest any further. You might feel like you’re going to be pregnant for forever but you won’t be. And when it’s all said and done, you won’t want to be left with a closet full of maternity items.
Having said that, when you give birth you will likely still want to wear a couple of those items for a few weeks. It’s usually recommended that your “going home” outfit be one that fit you at approximately 6 months along (sorry to tell ya!). So, again a few items that you really love are important to have.
6. Mederma Stretch Marks Therapy
As a Licensed Esthetician and having worked in beauty and skin care almost my entire life, I don’t take lightly the recommendation of a skin care product but this one made me a believer.
If you don’t own a Skin Care and Cosmetic Ingredients Dictionary (yes, those exist!), I suggest that every woman owns one. As a skin care therapist, I always searched high and low for products with a rock solid ingredient list and this one surely makes the cut.
In my first pregnancy I was so much more consistent in applying the cream- and it was so worth it! I used this twice a day on the entire belly and sides and managed to evade stretch marks all together until the last few weeks before delivery and even then they were minimal and faded fast. In my second pregnancy, I had a baby to chase around and I was not as consistent with my application and the results certainly told on me. So, now I am using it again to fade what I accumulated with baby number two. Consistency is key mamas!
7. Angels on Bare Skin by LUSH
I really love and respect LUSH products. They were among only a handful of products that I was willingly to apply to my pregnant skin.
This product in particular is truly a one size fits all cleanser. All of the ingredients are baby approved for mom to use. What I love best? They’re ingredient list is always right on their packaging and is never more than a handful of easy to understand ingredients. No preservatives, nothing artificial, no parabens. Just pure goodness.
In case you didn’t already know, there are many ingredients in many mainstream skin care lines which are either not pregnancy approved or have not received clinical trials in regards to pregnancy.
I was extremely conservative with skin care ingredients during pregnancy for myself and for all of my skin care clients. Anything LUSH is probably pregnancy approved and in my case they had one of the only lines whose products didn’t have a smell that made me instantly nauseated. I love you, LUSH!
8. What to Expect Pregnancy Tracker App
Even though I actually like reading, I actually didn’t read any one book cover- to-cover. Instead, I read sections from books here and there that had been gifted to me and I did the bulk of my “research” online. I had a few apps on my phone that I loved but my favorite was this one!
It has a lot of reader friendly material, week by week guides, FAQ, short videos, and you can even connect on forums with other moms at the same stage in pregnancy.
Some other things to try:
9.Take a Class
I don’t mean to toot my own horn here but when I had my first baby, I was already pretty comfortable with the basics of baby care and I wasn’t someone you would have thought was in a newborn care class. I think I was looking more for tips on labor and delivery since I hadn’t done that before.
My husband had never even held a baby before ours so I think I also was thinking the class would be more for him. I think he surely did benefit but honestly the greatest benefit was for me!
Being in a birthing class allowed me to connect with other expectant moms in person and see and hear for myself all that we had in common. Don’t under estimate how helpful this can be! To know that what you’re experiencing is normal and to have an outlet to ask questions or make general conversation together was a great experience.
Another thing to consider is that if you take a birthing or infant care class in the hospital where you plan to deliver – there is often a tour of labor and delivery included. This is super helpful as well. Trust me when I say that you don’t want the first time you look for L&D to be the day you show up in hard labor! Save yourself the stress and tour the hospital, for sure.
Some hospitals also allow you to pre-fill out some of the admitting paperwork as well. Which I also highly recommend. Once you’re in labor you’ll want to have as little to think about as possible.
10. A Babymoon
Take a trip! My suggestion is to make this trip sometime after the first 14 weeks that you may be feeling sick ; but before your third trimester when you could be a lot bigger and a lot less comfortable.
Of course you have to consider that there are some things that pregnant women aren’t allowed to do (Did you know they don’t let Pregnant women on whale watching tours!? Hmph!) but try to have fun and appreciate the simplicity. This is one of the last times that your baby will be with you but virtually no trouble at all, yet you can rest assured that they are safe and sound.
Even if a full baby moon isn’t in the budget, take a day trip, plan a spa day, have a special dinner out with your honey, or even just schedule a mani-pedi with a girlfriend. After all, things are about to change in a major way and this will give you the official time to reflect on that. Trust me when I say that things will never, ever be the same – in the best way you can ever imagine!
Well, I think that sums it up guys. Congratulations to all the expectant mommas. Never forget how truly amazing you are!
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