Now that pregnancy seems infinitely long ago and I can't remember what it felt like to lug around 30 extra pounds, I thought I'd share some of the "things" that made the experience just a little bit easier.
I should preface this by adding, you don't really need any of this, just as you don't really need most of the stuff I review here for running and fitness. But stuff is fun to talk about, right?
1) Burt's Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter
There is no real defense against stretch marks, of course, but it did make me feel better to put something on my sensitive stretched skin that seemed natural. Plus, it kind of became a ritual. After I had the baby, I felt a little nostalgic as I would rub on the last bits of my third jar on my post-partum belly.
Did it work? Well, I used it from 9 weeks on and didn't get any stretch marks until the last few weeks, and those are the kind that I think I wouldn't scrutinize over too much because they kind of just went down as my belly did. Who's to say whether the same thing would have happened sans this stuff? Let's just say that if I ever am expecting again, I would use this stuff again.
2) Bare Food Ginger Chews
I was pretty nauseous during the first trimester, and these were the ginger candies that were sold at the convenience stores around my workplace. Again, I felt better about the "natural" aspect of these. I kept these on hand for train and car rides, especially. Given how much I hated being nauseated, I would definitely eat these again if I had to.
3) Sour Candy
I actually ate less candy while pregnant than I did prior (and after, but that's a story for later, I guess). However, in the very early weeks, these were also a staple in the car.
4) BE Band
I got one of these at Target. Now, I know how silly this looks, but in the first and part of the second trimester, I still wanted to wear my usual work pants and jeans. I tried the "hair tie" trick where you use a hair tie through the button hole to hold your pants together, but it was not smooth nor comfortable because of possible exposure. Around the mid-way point, I decided to go for actual maternity jeans (see #5).
Looking back, I think going directly to the jeans would have been a good idea, since after the mid-way point, my BE Band became pretty useless since it kept rolling up. I thought I would use it again post-partum to hide my stomach while nursing or something, but again, the rolling.
5) Maternity Jeans
When I needed jeans, they weren't "in season" at the maternity store, so they only had stupid "skinny" ones that I hated. I was handed down a pair that had a partial panel instead of the full-type pictured above, but I guess I carried low because I could NOT get partial panel to work on me. I got a straight-leg pair from Motherhood Maternity during a shopping spree that took place once I ran out of acceptable work clothes.
Jeans gave me a sense of normalcy, even though it was very hot weather-wise for most of my pregnancy. I definitely recommend getting clothes that make you feel "normal" during an otherwise tough time! When it comes to maternity clothes, I think used is the way to go. They are so expensive! I got many items handed down, but with a good dry clean, I think used is the way to go.
6) Boppy Sleeping Pillow
Speaking of hand-me-downs, I was lucky enough to have this given to me around the beginning of the second trimester when I was starting to break down from uncomfortable sleep and was searching for one online that wasn't $60+. I wouldn't say this was the best of the pregnancy sleep pillows, but it did work better than my couch-pillows solution. I even brought this with me when I stayed with a friend. It could have stood to be a bit firmer and more supportive, though.
Toward the end, nothing, and I mean, nothing, would make sleeping a comfortable act. Still, even if I wasn't given a pillow, I would have bought one, even if another brand. I randomly saw some cheap(er) ones at Burlington Coat Factory.
7) Bra extenders
These can be purchased on eBay. They allowed me to not have to get a ton of new bras when my already large rib cage wanted to expand even more. Or maybe it was weight gain. Either way, sometimes I'd chain two of these on...
8) Flat shoes, shoe horn
I wore my usual heels at work, but at lunch and during my commute, flat shoes (really, any kind that will fit!) were the way to go. Also, toward the end, I had a tough time putting them on, so a shoe horn was useful here.
9) Smart Phone
As much of a curse it was to have Google at my fingertips to be paranoid, it also gave me access to prenatal workouts. Plus, it was the only way I'd have something on hand to get belly shots in. Although I found it weird to take selfies, I'm glad I snapped them now that I'm on the other side. I can't believe I looked like that not too long ago!
10) Trader Joe's Cleansing Pads
11) Traditional Medicinals Organic Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
I read that drinking this close to the end of pregnancy would help with labor. Obviously, I didn't get to test that theory completely, but based on how things went, I don't think it had any effect. I probably started too little, too late (like at around 35 weeks because I was afraid it would cause early labor). I'm not sure that I would try this again due to my risk/benefit mental calculation.
However, I will say that this stuff is worth having around. I was drinking this stuff for quite a while before my pregnancy, and I think it is just a good tea for hormone regulation and supposedly cramps.
Well, that about rounds out (lol) this pregnancy gear list! Hope you enjoyed it... because I'm planning on doing a post-partum edition and a "baby's first three months" edition when I get the chance.
FTC Disclaimer: I obtained these items on my own and am providing my honest opinions about them.