I think I am far enough along in my pregnancy to dish out some advice. These are all the things I found (and am still finding) essential to surviving the 9 months of carrying a baby around! I hope these things help other pregnant women out and also help me remember what to bother buying when I go through this all again (in a few years…).
1. Body Pillow:
I have used it every night since the first trimester and it’s a lifesaver. It does take up a LOT of room in our queen bed but it is so comfortable and helps me sleep on that dreaded left side! It’s tough to sleep while pregnant and a body pillow is a must have! Boppy makes a super popular one here.
2. Bella Band:
Right when you find out you’re pregnant buy one. I wore it all the way up until my 8th month! I was able to wear all my normal pants but just left them unbuttoned. It really does stay up! It’s also great when you don’t really have the full pregnant belly yet, just the “beer gut” look, because it kinda pushes everything in. It works like Spanx but without the annoying panty hose type feel. I did quit wearing it eventually because I got to the point where any pressure on my stomach bothered me (I even push down all the panels on my maternity pants) but I’ll be sure to buy another one of these! You really only need one because they are easily washable! Shop for bella bands here 🙂
3. Maternity Clothes:
I think I did awesome in this department. I have always been a clothes whore but I managed to not spend much money at ALL on maternity stuff. I got several things as gifts but what I did buy I bought smart. I own 1 pair of black pants, 1 pair of khakis and 2 pairs of jeans. Instead of buying skirts (I own zero maternity skirts) I stuck with dresses because it’s cheaper than having to buy a skirt and a top and a lot of the styles now I was able to wear “regular people” dresses to church and showers. Old Navy is the BEST place for Maternity clothes! Their jeans fit awesome (especially me being petite) and their tops are cute! I bought a lot of PLAIN shirts and spent more money on accessories. You can keep accessories and wear them forever so why not just get several plain shirts and mix and match to make outfits? I have really liked the long tank top look with an open sweater over top, both of which I can wear post-pregnancy as well. Another good investment: instead of buying maternity camis to wear when things start cutting too low I bought nursing camis so I can use them again once I breastfeed. One mistake I made? Buying my pants too big. I bought Mediums thinking I’d grow into them and should have stuck with Smalls as you (at least I haven’t) don’t really gain in the pants area. I was also able to wear “regular people” shirts (the babydoll style) up until my 8th month. So it’s nice because I have those tops to wear after the pregnancy while I still have the weight to lose!
Pre-pregnancy all I really had for dressy shoes were heals. I’m short, pumps make the most logical sense. As soon as I found out I was pregnant I invested in ballet flats. I’m SO glad I did. The black pointy shoes Mom got me for my birthday have been worn OUT. I got a pair of ballet flats in several colors (black, brown, navy, gold, purple) and they have worked out wonderfully. They are comfortable, I don’t have to worry about falling, and they are still cute! Plus they are easy to slip on and off. Towards the end of the pregnancy I’ve noticed my feet will swell after lots of walking and wearing tennis shoes KILL me but with these I can slip them off whenever we sit down to take a break 🙂 Don’t invest in expensive ones, all mine are from Payless, because you WILL stretch them out and I’m not expecting mine to fit post-pregnancy!
5. Nursing Bras:
The first big mistake I made? Running out about buying a $40 Victoria’s Secret bra when my boobs got bigger. Your boobs change sizes a THOUSAND times (and I know they will continue to change after I have the baby)! Why waste money on such a nice bra? I wish we had a Motherhood Maternity store here but we don’t. I recommend getting FITTED at a store that sells MATERNITY clothes and bras. Then buy nursing ones! That way once the baby arrives you’re already stocked with plenty of bras that allow you to breastfeed. They are about $16 which is so affordable (at least compared to the $40 I spent on one that I only wore for a month!) and they are easy to care for. Comfortable? Not so much. But what is comfortable at this point? I also bought a couple comfort bras for sleeping. I slept in a sports bra as long as I could but they eventually got too small and so I invested in a cotton sleep bra. My only regret here is that they don’t have the pull down feature (in the picture above) so I won’t be able to attach my breast pump to it! I’ll have to invest in a comfort bra for pumping at some point!
6. Spray Tan:
I know this is a random thing but having some color makes me feel SO much more confident. I love my spray tan system and that the products are safe to use while pregnant and even nursing! You can read more about my spray tan system and where to get an awesome deal on one here 🙂
7. Bubble Bath:
When we bought this house I thought it was stupid and pointless that we had a bathtub. Who takes baths? Well, I do now! Not only is it super relaxing but it gives you much needed YOU time. You feel pampered afterward and so relaxed! I’m also looking forward to using the tub during labor 🙂
8. Cocoa Butter:
Anyone who knows me knows I’ve ALWAYS used cocoa butter! I spread that junk all over my body really thick and let it soak in, and I’d say I have pretty soft skin because of it! Well my pregnancy routine is: Vitamin E Oil on the spots that have or could potentially create stretch marks, Palmer’s Lotion on the stomach, boobs, butt, and thighs, then Cocoa Butter over it all! So far it has worked pretty well as I don’t have too bad of stretch marks…yet…
The pregnant woman’s greatest companion! How could I have ever lived without it? You wake up in the middle of the night and can’t sleep??? Don’t have to watch infomercials (although sometimes I just enjoy that) you can watch saved shows of A Baby Story or Jon and Kate Plus 8! Seriously the greatest invention ever! And if you’re doing Bradley it’s a great way to get your pelvic rocks and kegals in too 🙂
10. Bubba Keg:
I should have been using this throughout my whole pregnancy but I started in my 8th month and better late than never! They hold 34 oz, keep the liquid cold for 12 hours, and can be left in your car or in the sun and not give you cancer like water bottles can! So awesome! I am drinking around 70 oz of water a day now (and it’s worked! I’m hardly puffy at all!) so this is a lifesaver (or at least a looks saver haha). You can get one here!
11. Homedics Shiatsu:
By the time I’m pregnant again we’ll probably upgrade to the latest thing they will have out then but I wish we would have bought this sooner! It is a miracle worker on the sore back and shoulders! I don’t work outside the home so I know I don’t have it HALF as bad as most pregnant women out there but when I have a rough day and am in pain it’s wonderful. I heard it will help with the pain of lugging around a heavy child in my arms soon too! Check one out here!
12. Foot Spa:
Not to put down my husband, but when he bought me this as a gift (what woman DOESN’T own one?) I thought to myself “great something that will never get used.” And it didn’t. Until I got pregnant. I pull this thing out all the time and sit and watch my DVR while letting my feet soak. During first trimester and third it has been the most useful for me but I’m so thankful he bought it now! Mine has vibration, heat and bubbles and it’s awesome! There are tons of these on the market but here’s a link to a top rated one!
13. A Blog:
I was going to say this is probably the most important thing to have but I have added a number 14 and that’s the most vital but a Blog is pretty close! I have a couple Pregnancy Journals and I did okay keeping up with them but I’m so thankful I facebooked stalked Rachael and saw her pregnancy blog then copied her and started my own! It’s a great way to keep all the memories of this journey and to vent when needed. Even though I know some people read it I don’t write it for ANY of you! I write it for ME. It’s really helped me get back to something I used to love…writing. Growing up I always wanted to be an author and this blog has helped me use those “talents.” And in a fun way that also incorporates pictures which duh I love too!
14. A Supporting Husband:
I went over this list with Zach and asked him if I forgot anything and he was like “Yeah an awesome husband.” Haha! But that is true and it IS the most important thing to keep you sane while pregnant! Who else can you get mad at when you just feel like being mad? Who else will give you the money for the clothes? Rub your feet when they are sore? Zach has been, which I know I’ve said plenty of times, an amazing support system through this whole process and I don’t think I could have made it this far without him! I know he’s even more important in the delivery process (and the parenting process following) so he better stick around and not give up on me yet! haha!