10 Essentials for an Easy Pregnancy
With a handful of my favorite people expecting for the first time, I decided to take a trip down memory lane and do a post on 10 things for an easy pregnancy. People will tell you that you need tons of things, but you really don’t need much. Find a doctor or midwife that you like, find prenatal vitamins that you like and whatever else you feel is important for your personal experience. But no matter how anal or confused you are, here are 10 things that made my pregnancy easier for me and I hope that they make your pregnancy easier, too. Please share other products and resources that make/made your pregnancy more manageable in the comments below. We need to stick together on this!
1. ASOS Maternity in general was my favorite place to buy maternity clothes. They’re cute, trendy and affordable like this ASOS Maternity Skater Dress with Bow Back for $46.00. I had a slew of weddings to attend when I was pregnant and ASOS Materinty was my go-to for nice dresses that I actually didn’t mind seeing immortalized in wedding albums. I also found my amazing maternity bathing suit there that I got endless compliments on and some obnoxious and huge sunglasses to distract some attention away from my expanding belly. ASOS is based out of the UK but shipping is free in both directions so you can try this stuff on and pop it back in the mail if it doesn’t fit. Nice and easy. No getting in the car or on the subway, no waiting in lines, no having to pee with no where to use a bathroom. Just one good looking pregnant lady.
2. One Year to an Organized Life with Baby $12.92 As OCD as it sounds, it has a lot of stuff in there that you wouldn’t think about, that is actually nice to have done before the baby arrives. I haven’t looked at it since my monkey was born, but it also gives you stuff to do through the first few months or so.
3. I swore by Bio Oil when I was pregnant. Every day, beginning in my second trimester, I put this stuff all over my body from my neck to mid-thigh. I got ZERO stretch marks and it helped a lot with the itchy belly from stretching skin. Gross but true! $20.98 for 6.7 oz
4. Pea in the Pod Adjustable Waist Maternity Pajama Pants $38 Sure, the price might seem steep for something that you’re only going to wear for a few months but the truth is that you will never want to stop wearing these and they will make sleeping before and after birth so cozy and unrestricted. They expand with your growing belly without a hint of squeeze. They are worth every penny. I bought three pairs and don’t regret it one bit.
5. Bra Back Extender $1.98 Get a few of these and your current bras will hold out for most of your pregnancy. If you have to buy a bigger cup size half-way through your pregnancy, these will still come in handy as your rib cage expands through the third trimester. I only bought 2 bras in a bigger cup size; one neutral and one black and made do with those and a few of these until I switched to nursing bras.
6. Maternity fold over panties $14.98 for a 3-pack. I’m not usually a full-butt panty kid of girl, but these are another one of those things that you just have to have. I bought one 3-pack to test out and ended up buying two more. They are so insanely comfortable and expand so well with your belly that you can wear them right along side the pajama pants before and after birth. They don’t bunch, they don’t squeeze, they just hug and feel great. I still wear them sometimes, shhhh!
7. Designer Maternity Denim with Secret Belly Fit (r) This is another area where you have to trust me. I bought quite a few pairs of cheap maternity jeans with just the stretchy waist band or secret belly fit and also even did the trick with the hair tie through the button hole of my regular jeans but nothing came close to the comfort, fit and durability of my fancy maternity jeans. I only bought one pair and wore them to death. Literally. I wore them for months after I gave birth until the thighs got holes in them from the friction of my fat pregnant lady legs. The other maternity jeans that I bought just didn’t fit right in the crotch or squeezed my belly weirdly or were made of the cheapest “denim” I’ve ever experienced. It’s totally worth it to buy expensive maternity jeans and make sure that they have the Secret Belly Fit that goes all the way up your belly. You won’t even know that you’re wearing pants. These are from Joe’s Jeans Maternity but there are tons of options. Just be sure to try them on before you buy them.
Secret Belly Fit (r) I know that I mentioned it above, but it deserves its own line as well. Secret belly fit comes on skirts, pants, shorts, leggings, etc. and it’s amazing. Find your favorite styles and live in comfort until labor kicks in (well, almost). It might seem like it’s going to be hot and bothersome in summer to pull that stocking all the way up, and it might be a teeny tiny bit warmer, but it’s worth the comfort around your belly. Truly.
8. Baby Center This a totally useful site and app that helps you know what’s happening in your body with you and your baby. The app gets repetitive but it’s fun to check in on anyway. I don’t recommend joining your birth group until you’re in your third trimester because there are lots of scary stories that will stress you out more than comfort you. But, they have tons of resources on their website from what you should be eating to medications you can take when you’re pregnant to all sorts of checklists and even help choosing a baby name.
9. Mercury in Fish Chart This was something sort of new to us. We knew that mercury is a problem in fish and that we should avoid eating big fish most of the time for a bunch of reasons, but this Mercury Chart from the Natural Resources Defense Council will help you when you’re at restaurants trying to figure out what won’t poison your unborn child. Mercury is really, really bad for your munchkin. So, stick to the lowest mercury seafood until you stop breast feeding. To supplement DHA (the good oils and fats from fish) I took Nordic Naturals DHA because it’s the only third party tested pre-natal DHA supplement that I could find and the capsules don’t have a weird after taste. You can also seem my post on sustainable seafood for more info.
10. Counter Pressure This is getting into the labor part, but it’s something that you need to start working on in your 2nd or early 3rd trimester. Your birth partner will need the practice and it will feel great as you get more uncomfortable carrying that baby around in your belly. Counter pressure utilizes strategic pressure points on your body to relieve the pain from a heavy, moving baby. This Comfort Measures in Labor video is a little slow but very useful to watch and practice with your birth partner. These techniques enabled me to stay home through my entire labor and just push out the baby at the hospital a little more than an hour after we arrived. It was awesome. But we did these all the time during my third trimester because my back and my hips were so sore from all of the walking that I had to do in the city. Whether you want to labor at home or not, these techniques will make pregnancy better.