Now that I’m in my 36th week, it is safe to say I’ve gotten the hang of this pregnancy thing. The final stretch! I can’t wait to have a glass of wine, some delicious sushi, and take a REALLY hot bath (just to name a few things).
Although I tell everyone that every week is different (heck every DAY is different), there are a few pregnancy ailments that have come and gone, and some that have stuck around. I’ve done my best to take preventative measures on certain things (like stretch marks) and have had to accommodate many body changes, and I’m not just talking about the belly! There are some products that have really helped me during the past 8 months of baby bump-dom!
I really wish someone had kept it real with me and prepared me for the rollercoaster that is pregnancy, but there aren’t many articles out there. If you’re pregnant or have been, perhaps you can commiserate! If you plan on having a baby in the future, have a close friend or family member who is pregnant, maybe you’ll want to bookmark this post or send it to them! The more knowledge you have, the better.
My Pregnancy Essentials
I’ve used mine on and off for different reasons, but I can’t imagine being completely without it. After lots of research and recommendations, I went with the Leachco full body contour pillow. It feels like a hug while you’re sleeping. When I was losing sleep due to my rib pain, the pillow helped prop me up so I could sleep in what was essentially a sitting position. Later on, it helped to support my growing belly and provided a cushion between my knees to alleviate hip pain. If I’m having really bad heartburn, it props me up to help relieve the symptoms. And it creates a wall between me and #husbandofglam so that he doesn’t bother me in the middle of the night (JUST KIDDING! haha). I’m the one bothering HIM getting up to pee 3-4 times a night! I recommend getting it from Bed Bath & Beyond and using a coupon!
I’ve already talked about this almond oil in my recent Amazon finds post, but I have to mention it again because it is so good. After showering at night, I slather this oil all over my body from the neck down. If I’m being lazy, I just focus on my belly, sides, and back. So far, no stretch marks! It keeps my skin really soft and my nails have been looking really nice from having all this nourishing oil on my hands, too. Sometimes I add a little lemongrass essential oil (I like the Young Living brand) to soothe aches and pains.
Zantac + Tums
My doctor allows me to take Zantac for heartburn. Thank GOODNESS. I only use Tums when the pain isn’t too intense. Quite frankly, Tums isn’t too stellar, but it is good to have next to your bed for occasional indigestion. Just make sure you ask you doctor if they recommend either, and how much.
I tried the regular prenatal vitamins but I simply can’t swallow them! I gag and it isn’t cute.The gummies are kind of like dessert, and I love the citrus flavor.
Bras That Work
My breasts had an initial growth spurt in the first trimester, and second around 28 weeks. Buying new bras is so frustrating, especially when your size may change in both the cup and the band. I really enjoyed shopping for bras on Thirdlove.com, because I was able to order a try-on box with multiple sizes of the styles I was interested in, try them on at my leisure at home, and send them back for free. Band sizes range from 28-48, and cup sizes range from AA-I (and they come in half sizes!). Since I had so many rib problems, I had trouble finding the perfect bra, but finally landed on this one with the help of customer service. They didn’t sponsor me, but I had such a good experience that I feel the need to tell you! Other bras I’ve been enjoying are are these soft nursing bras, this $17 sports bra, and this back-smoothing bra.
It’s a good idea to be prepared for back pain and abdominal aches. I have a bean bag that I heat up in the microwave and put on my ribs or a spot on my back that happens to be bugging me. I like that it is small and portable. Before pregnancy I used it a lot for menstrual cramps or minor aches from working out! And there’s nothing like a good heating pad on your lower back at the end of the day, whether you are pregnant or not. The heat relaxes me and helps me sleep better. Mine turns off automatically after a certain amount of time so I’m not sweating in the middle of the night or a causing a fire hazard.
I’m at that point where I can’t tie or buckle my own shoes. Sad, but a reality. Additionally, my feet fluctuate in size day to day depending on how swollen my feet decide to be, so something flexible and adjustable has been key. I’ve been living in my Birkenstock Gizeh sandals, because they are comfortable, adjustable, and provide support. I think they’re pretty cute in the pink color! I also found these Birkenstock look-alikes for $13! Those flat slides all the other preggo girls are wearing simply won’t cut it for me (I’m talking about these) because I’m still walking a lot around the city, and I need more support.
SHOP MY PREGNANCY ESSENTIALS:
Pregnancy-Safe Acne Products
I do plan to write a whole post on my pregnancy skincare saga, but here is a cliffs’ notes version. Raging hormones combined with giving up retinols and salicylic acid wreaked havoc on my skin. Make sure you have some products with ingredients you can still use, like glycolic acid, a low % benzoyl peroxide, witch hazel, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin C. (Make sure you ask your doctor about what products s/he will allow, because every doctor is different!)
Being with-child has made my skin extra sensitive to the sun. I’ve especially been enjoying this tinted broad spectrum SPF45 sunscreen on my face, and this one has been really lovely and luxurious on my body. I put sunscreen on my face every single day and it makes a huge difference in my skin’s texture and pigmentation.
The THIRST! I’ve never been an ice water drinker, but apparently now I am. That goes with being overheated and needing to be refreshed, literally. I fill my hydroflask with ice and water and it stays cold for a super long time. I make it a goal to drink 3 of these a day. It doesn’t really matter what bottle you have, as long as you love it and use it.
My two favorites are Glow and The Bump. Both of them tell you what size fruit/vegetable your baby is each week, with accompanying articles on the baby’s current developmental stage, symptoms you may be feeling, and other helpful tips. I used the Glow ovulation tracker when we were trying to get pregnant and I liked it a lot.
SHOP MY PREGNANCY ESSENTIALS:
A few items stand out in my closet that I wear a TON. Soft, stretchy, and comfortable is key.
- Leggings. Maternity leggings SAVE MY LIFE. They are so comfortable. I prefer the kind that go over the bump. I love this affordable cropped pack of two, and while this full length pair is a bit of a splurge, you’ll only need one pair for your entire pregnancy.
- Maternity Dresses. My absolute favorites have been this tank dress, this shirred dress, this wrap dress, and this polka dot wrap dress. What do they all have in common? They are all soft and very stretchy. I rely on them SO much that I mourn when they are in the wash. They’ve certainly gotten their cost-per-wear accolades.
- Maternity Jeans. Some people don’t like the idea, but I embraced the maternity jean. This pair feels like butter, they stay up, and are worth the splurge. You really only need 1-2 pairs of maternity jeans, so the cost is certainly justified. If you’re still weary on the price, I recommend checking out Old Navy, because I love those too.
- Stretchy Pajamas. I’m obsessed with this soft nightshirt (I have this one too) and this top and shorts set. I sized up one size from my normal, which is fine because pj’s should be loose and comfortable anyway. I’ll still be able to wear them postpartum. They will also be perfect for nursing once baby arrives!
SHOP MY PREGNANCY ESSENTIALS:
Yes, the list is long, but each and every product is necessary! If you’re prepared and know what to expect, I promise your pregnancy will zip by in a flash! These pregnancy essentials have certainly made the past 8 months more enjoyable.