Pregnancy: The Essentials
The moment has come, two pink lines. NOW WHAT?!
I've put together some of the most essential items for getting through pregnancy as smoothly and comfortably as possible, every step of the way. But first, congrats Mama!! The most exciting adventure of your life starts now.
Promptly Journal- This documenting journal is everything good. I hunted for the perfect baby book for so long that I had already birthed my child when I came across this via recommendation from a friend. The book is not only completely beautiful and simplistic, but it also helps you draw memories and information out with open ended questions. It spans the 1st trimester of your pregnancy all the way until 18 years of age. Then you can either keep or gift the book to your child. So sweet! I have THIS one.
Ritual Prenatal Vitamins- If you plan to take prenatal vitamins, invest in a really great brand without synthetic ingredients. My personal favorite brand is Ritual, who just launched their prenatal line! They are packed with responsibly sourced ingredients, including FOLATE instead of that pesky folic acid. It also has DHA/Omega-3, a methylated version of B12, and the best sourced D3. You only have to take 2 per day and they aren’t giant horse pills. The capsules are easy to swallow, and have a citrus essence to them, virtually eliminating the nausea that can present itself with vitamins during pregnancy! Such a win in the prenatal world. You can check out more, or purchase HERE.
Pregnancy Tea - One day you’re sipping a tall glass of red watching Dexter, and the next day it’s a hard no. Time to get cozy with a new “favorite” beverage. Pregnancy teas are packed with herbs that will help ease the woes that come with growing a baby AND do magical things like tone your uterus (i’m looking at you red raspberry leaf). THIS is my favorite pregnancy tea right now.
Nausea warriors- I've been quite fortunate to have never thrown up from morning sickness with either pregnancy, but that certainly doesn't exclude me from weeks of nausea at one time or another. So if this resonates with you, here are some natural tricks and tips to help get you through the day!
Peppermint EO- give a sniff when you start feeling the nausea coming on. Also great for an EO bracelet. I love THIS one.
Candied ginger chews- you can find these just about anywhere these days, but If you can stomach them at all, keep a pack in your bag for when the moment strikes. I usually pick up whatever is at Whole Foods or Trader Joes, but Amazon has THESE that look great too!
Saltine Crackers- if there was anything that was truly a nausea lifesaver for me in both pregnancies, it would be saltine crackers. I would go through a pack a week. They went with me everywhere. Nausea didn't stand a chance against multiple sleeves of Saltines. You can even buy the organic kind from Whole Foods. Who knew! Tip: Nausea is often related to having an empty stomach, so try to eat bland carbs when you start feeling sick. More times than not, they'll really help keep the nausea at bay. THESE are also some good organic ones Amazon
Lemon water- lots of water actually. Drink as much as you can, it will definitely help.
Maternity Clothes- Ok so this varies person to person because everyone shows differently and at different times. With my first I didn't show AT ALL until 26 weeks. With my second, I looked like a 7 month pregnant whale by 16 weeks. I tend to prefer the latter in this situation.
I typically wear a lot of leggings throughout pregnancy, but when I wear any other maternity bottoms, I always opt for the side panel style. I find they are more flattering and comfortable, but that’s just what works for ME. The over the bump bands tend to fall off my butt ha! I encourage you to try a few different styles to see what feels best for you. I also suggest finding a good pair of looser fitting “boyfriend” maternity jeans. Some days, you just really don’t feel like wearing anything tight.
Maternity clothes are generally pretty pricey, but i’ve done my very best to track down affordable options over the last few years. Here are my favorite places to shop for the bump.
Asos- This is my go-to for nice dresses and tops. They have so many unique and beautiful choices that really make a pregnant woman feel snazzy. This is where I would go if i needed a dress for a baby shower, wedding, or holiday. THIS dress is one of my current favs for the fall/winter season. I also LOVE THIS ONE for the holidays!
Shein- This is where I get the majority of my affordable maternity dresses and tops from. They don’t sell “maternity” officially, but a lot of their styles are billowy and totally work for growing bellies. Their styles are fashion forward and very inexpensive, which is perfect for a temporary wardrobe. THIS dress is super casual, affordable, and early-mid bump friendly— fall/winter. THIS dress would be perfect for spring, and THIS dress amazing for summer! Ok you get the idea.
Walmart- Hear me out on this one… I have found so many awesome basics on walmart.com that are not only super cheap, but really useful. Solid maternity tees, leggings, tanks. I bought THIS pack of two maternity tees, one black & one white, for $13. Such a steal! And THIS pack of long sleeved tees for $19.
Target- This is my #1 spot for jeans. They are flattering, comfortable and really reasonable. THIS is my favorite pair. They are so comfy and cute that I tried to wear these for months after I no longer needed them ha!
Storq- Splurgeworthy basics for pregnant and nursing mamas. The obsession is so real. THIS is my favorite black robe. It’s thin but heavy weight and tha fabric is almost like silky cotton (modal). The quality is unmatched and the whole experience of shopping with them is dreamy. If you want to treat yourself, Storq should be your go-to. Also obsessed with THIS bra.
2. Comfy Shoes- You’re going to be carrying around a load of extra weight for 9 months. The last thing you want is aching feet. Invest now in some cute fashion sneakers and you will be thanking your lucky stars up until the day you deliver. I’m loving THIS pair to wear jeans or a dress and THIS pair if going for more of an athletic vibe. See photo above for an example of pairing sneaks with everyday maternity style.
3. Raw Cocoa Butter- Stretch marks have been deemed genetic in recent years, but taking preventative measures isn’t the worst idea. I start using 100% cocoa butter the moment my belly starts growing. I slather it on after every shower. My hubby says I smell like a bakery, but there are definitely worse things to smell like. Order THESE cocoa butter blocks, warm them up in your hands, and rub the block all around your tummy. No stretch marks yet, so I SWEAR by this stuff! Genetics aside ;)
Soft Bras- Your boobs are going to shock you towards the end of pregnancy. I bought a couple of soft stretchy bras from walmart that were really inexpensive to get me through the last few months before baby. Trust me when I say that you a) don’t want to be trying to squeeze into a tight uncomfortable bra when you already feel like a sausage and b) don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on bras that will likely only fit correctly for a few months. If you plan to nurse your baby, your boobs will get even BIGGER and you’ll be living in nursing bras. So spend the $12 and get some cheap, big, comfy bras to finish up the 9 month marathon. THESE are both! Inexpensive nursing bras. Do the damn thang.
Baths- The aches and pains are real. The insomnia and exhaustion is real. Baths are your friend and you need to go a step further for the ultimate pregnancy treatment. I do all 3 of these things to achieve a divine pregnancy bath.
Epsom Salts- incredible for aches, muscle fatigue, sore feet. You can find these anywhere (walgreens, target, Whole Foods etc, and a big bag is super cheap)
Coconut Oil- a MUST when the belly gets big. Why? Hot water is known to dry skin out and often times stretch marks appear after a hot bath. When you put coconut oil in your water, you’ll find that your skin is extremely moisturized when you step out of the tub, another great stretch mark prevention
Essential Oils- I usually put a few drops of lavender into the coconut oil before running it under the bath water and it gives me all the relaxing feels. I can’t recommend all 3 of these things enough!
Note: Use EXTREME CAUTION when getting out of the tub if you put oils in the water. It is dangerously slippery and the last thing a preggo needs is to slip and fall. So be super careful! Also, hot water is said to contribute to stretch marks, so keep it warm, not hot.
Pregnancy Pillow- Yall. This has to be the most underrated pregnancy must have item. I literally do not understand how anyone gets sleep during the third trimester without one of these. I slept like a baby all the way til the very end with my first pregnancy and I 100% attribute that to my pillow, that we call Alfie. It’s so comfy my husband fights me for the thing. We LOVE when it’s finally time to welcome Alfie back out of the closet. Trust me when I tell you, a good night’s rest when your belly weighs a million pounds and you can’t get comfy, is worth the $40 something bucks. I have THIS one and lovvvvve it.
Robe- I’m willing to bet “comfy robe” is on your hospital bag checklist, as it should be! Go ahead and treat yourself to this sooner than later because you’ll eventually want the least amount of clothes on your body as possible. You can trade in tight waist bands for a yummy robe and waddle around the house comfortably instead.
Now because you’ll want to wear this postpartum (I LIVED in my robes the first 10 days after baby), I highly suggest getting something at least knee length, dark in color, or patterned. You want to hide EVERYTHING with this sucker. Those first couple weeks can be rough, the LAST thing you want to be worried about is what you feel comfortable in and if your mesh panties/diaper is covered up. I am obsessed with THIS black robe from Storq, and THESE floral robes off etsy. My babies were born when the temps outside were HOT, so my floral robes are very thin. Both of these robes are incredibly forgiving. They hide everything and look great in photos.
So there you have it! I included only the things I COULD. NOT. LIVE. WITHOUT. Feeling good during pregnancy is a MUST. When we feel good about ourselves, we feel happier, and what’s better than a happy preggo? NOTHING! Your body will benefit, your baby, your hubby, the lady in the store who reminded you how giant you are…. If you feel good about yourself, nothing can get in your way (except your belly). So give yourself a little grace and a little spoilage. Pamper! You 1000% deserve it. You’re growing and carrying a baby and THAT IS A JOB y’all. It’s super temporary in the grand scheme of life, so enjoy it. When you’re 48 years old and no longer physically able to feel human life growing inside of you, I promise you’ll think back on your pregnancies with nostalgia, no matter how bad they seemed at the time. You can do this!
Feel free to leave a comment with other must haves that worked for you! I would love for other mamas to read what worked for other people. We all have different needs, so let’s shine some light on that! Xo