Let’s face it, while being pregnant is amazing (ahem…), it’s also super overwhelming. The advice, the do’s, the don’ts and let’s not forget about allllll the stuff.
Some you ABSOLUTELY need….and some you actually don’t. At all.
It’s a long 9 months, or 40 weeks or 3 trimesters and I’ve put together a list of pregnancy essentials that will help get you through, smooth sailing…kinda.
Here are my top pregnancy essentials:
1. An EXERCISE BALL
I tell all of my patients to get one of these balls and keep it handy through pregnancy and beyond.
Sitting on the ball is amazing for posture and to help ease back and pelvic discomfort. I also suggest a few key ball exercises to help keep your pelvis open and pain free. The ball is also a great tool to help get you through contractions at any stage. And trust me, you’ll definitely use it with your newborn. Endless middle of the night baby bouncing and it actually works!
2. BELLY OIL or LOTION
Let’s talk stretch marks.
A growing belly and tightening skin often damages the collagen fibers that give skin its supple elasticity resulting in those dreaded stretch marks. But even if you don’t get any stretch marks (lucky you!) – you may feel some amount of tightness, itchiness and occasional burning around your belly. Using a good quality belly butter certainly does help!
My favourite belly butter for both of my pregnancies was Joyous Health’s Belly Bump Butter. I spend a few quick moments after every shower or bath rubbing it into my belly. I also loved using Bio-oil post baby #2. It really helped reduce the signs of marks.
Tip: Find a lotion, butter or oil that is mildly fragrant or unscented. Your nose is a pretty sensitive thing when you are pregnant and some smells can be a bit overpowering.
3. A GOOD QUALITY PILLOW
As both a chiropractor and two time mama– I can’t stress the importance of getting a good quality pillow for sleep during pregnancy. The earlier you start using one, the better. I treat a lot of mamas in my practice whose aches and pains can be prevented by using a good quality pillow in the right set up from the first trimester. Ideally, you want to position the pillow between your knees, lower legs and ankles. You also want a bit of support (think a wedge) under your growing belly. And don’t forget about your neck – it’s just as important!
Tip: You may need to try a few different variations on your pillow set up. Trial and error is key and don’t give up! You’ll find a good position with some practice!
4. ALL OF THE SNACKS
Ok so growing a human being inside of you is hard and makes you super hungry. But then you eat a bite and you’re full (thank you baby who has compressed your stomach). One hour later, you’re hungry…again. And so the cycle continues.
The most helpful thing for me was snacking. Think smaller meals, more frequently. Anything from an apple with PB to yogurt with granola to a hard boiled egg… I kept my snack game tight and it helped. It also helped me be less hangry. Because let’s face it there is nothing worse than a hangry pregnant woman.
Tip: Try incorporating some protein in each of your snacks. It will help keep you fuller for longer!
5. A GOOD PAIR OF MATERNITY JEANS
Ok, so you’re retaining more water and your belly is starting to get a bit bigger and let’s be honest, the energy you spend getting yourself into your favourite pair of jeans is equivalent to doing a one hour spin class. Girl, it’s time to pack away your fave skinny jeans and spring for a pair of – dare I say – maternity jeans.
But don’t worry, maternity jeans have come a long, long way and there are so many flattering styles available now. Frumpy, boxy, shapeless stretchy “pants” are a thing of the past!
My favourite pair of maternity jeans are my Paige Denim Verdugo Distressed Ultra Skinny Maternity Jeans.
Tip: Check out Mom’s Buy and Sell Groups or ask friends who’ve been pregnant before – chances are someone has a great pair of J Brands they are willing to get rid off which helps ease the strain on your wallet.
6. A GOOD READ
Let’s be real, in pregnancy there is A LOT of waiting. Waiting for doctors, waiting for ultrasounds, waiting for blood tests and ultimately, waiting for the baby. Take a chill pill and read a good book, or several of them. It helps take your mind off things and will keep you distracted while you wait.
I remember plowing through several goodies – basically the Stieg Larrson collection (sooo good!)
Tip: Audio books are an amazing way to listen to your favourite novels anywhere anytime!
Listen mama, the next 9 months is going to be filled some serious, unbelievable changes – some are amazing and exciting and others are well, not so amazing. Luckily, there are tons of great resources, products, services and advice that will help make your pregnancy as smooth as possible.
Feel free to add anything else mama…:)