If you do a google search of pregnancy essentials, there’s a gajillion of these blog posts out there, and hey…I just needed to saturate the market a little more! There were some lists that I found to be more helpful than others and most were almost exactly the same. My list may or may not fall into that category depending on what you’ve seen/heard (I like to think that it doesn’t…) , but I figure if I can help out a pregnant woman in the future with even just one of my suggestions, than I’m more than happy to share. Because pregnancy can be difficult (amidst the joy, of course!), but there are things that have helped me out immensely during times I needed it most.
If for any reason, I could only have one essential on this list, it would be the Snoogle. This oddly-shaped body pillow is the reason I’m able to get any good sleep. There’s something about the positioning of this curved noodle-like cushion supporting your head, back, belly and legs that feels so comfortable and natural. It’s amazing! Sure you can recreate the same effect with a bunch of pillows and/or blankets, but the Snoogle won’t take up 3/4 of the bed, leaving your significant other with just a sliver of mattress. We have a queen-size and it accommodates the three of us (me, Bob and the Snoogle) very well!
2.) A thick, natural body lotion like Burt’s Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter
Studies show that applying cream might not help to prevent stretch marks (apparently, it’s all hereditary), but I’m not sure how sold I am on that so I slather the stuff on my body anyway…just in case. I started out using the Mama Bee Belly Butter (which I still recommend), but I’m currently using Blissful Body Butter in Buttercream. It feels thick, luxurious and the cake batter scent smells delicious. So far, no stretch marks! Knock on wood. If nothing else, the moisturizer also relieves belly itch, which is very common. Coconut oil is great for the itchiness as well.
3.) Coobie Bras
I found these a few months ago through another blog post and I’m so thankful I did because these bras are soft, stretchy, supportive and the only ones I wear at the moment. There came a point during my second trimester when my upper body started expanding and my underwire bras started painfully digging into my ribs. Coobies claim to fit a large range of sizes, but when looking at some of the reviews, I feared they wouldn’t fit me since a lot of small-breasted women complained it was too big for them. But once I tried them on, they fit like a glove. I’d recommend these to any woman, pregnant or not, looking for a comfy seamless bra. They average at about $20 a piece depending on where you order from, but I found a great deal on a 3-pack at Zappos that I think is a great value (plus free returns!).
4.) Books and blogs/websites
I would have never known what cradle cap or thrush was or the differences between a bouncer and a jumper (and whether or not I needed one or both) if not for the wealth of reading material out there. The Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy book was great for giving straight facts in a neutral and relaxed tone. Ditto for the Babycenter site, but with helpful visual aids. Babycenter’s message board was and still is my godsend through this process. The answers to your weird or embarrasing questions will likely be addressed here (and hopefully put your mind at ease OR make you worry even more, depending!). I also referred to Lucie’s List when I started to compile my baby registry. It is the most detailed and informative registry list I’ve come across. La Leche League’s book on breastfeeding is so enlightening and easy-to-follow. I have a feeling I’ll be referring to it many times for the next few months. Pregnant Chicken and Alpha Mom are good for specific topics like what to pack in your hospital bag, checklists, must-haves for the budget-savvy and postpartum essentials.
5.) Sleep mask
During my second trimester, I suddenly became a light sleeper. Any glimmer or flash of light would wake me up instantly. Think: the first light of day at the crack of dawn or any time Bob would come into bed at 2am and put on his bedside lamp to read. Placing a pillow over my head made me feel too hot and stuffy, so a sleep mask really came in hand. I used a cheapie polyester mask and that worked just fine for me, but I’d recommend something soft and non-irritating. This one looks comfortable.
6.) The Tummy Sleeve
This is basically made to look like you’re wearing a tank top underneath your clothes. I wouldn’t have been able to wear my pre-pregnancy clothes without it. I still fit into a few of my tops and leggings, but I always have to pair it with the Sleeve. The tops fall too high and the bottoms fall too low so this is what I use to cover the middle. I personally like to pair the black one with black leggings so that it blends in seamlessly. Back in my second trimester, when all I had was small bulge, I’d use this band to cover up my un-zippable jeans and no one was the wiser. If you’re new outie belly button popping through your clothes bothers you, the Sleeve will smooth it out for you. The material is soft, stretchy (so it grows to accommodate your belly) and doesn’t irritate. Initially I thought at $17 a pop, the price was a little much for what is essentially a tube top, but I have to say I’ve worn it so many times that it has paid for itself. I can also see myself wearing it postpartum.