If there is one thing that is consistent between multiple pregnancies is that they are definitely inconsistent with each other. What you went through in one pregnancy will almost never be your experience with the others. It is, I guess life’s way of preparing you for parenthood where as soon as you learn the ropes of one phase, the next is awaiting with its curve-ball. My first and second pregnancy were both so different – from the way I felt, to my cravings to the smells that I could and could not stand. Even though I had boys both times, my body just felt and responded so differently each time. About the things I knew the second time around that I did not know the first time around – there was more confidence there, but also, it was a lot more challenging to be pregnant with another little toddler – because we were soon going to have two under two!
Despite the fact that there are so many things that are so different, there are a few things that I came to recognize as staples that I thought were great must haves from one pregnancy to the next. I wish I had this list when I was pregnant with my first because it would have made me so much more comfortable. Having said that, I felt like this would be a good list to share with you all – if you or someone you know could use this list, feel free to share it with them! (**This post may contain some affiliate links**)
Nausea fighting remedies! – Eating smaller meals every 2 hours instead of three big meals worked so much better for me both times. I also took my prenatals right before going to bed rather than in the morning on an empty stomach, which helped with nausea too. Candied ginger is another one of those remedies that helps. I always had a sleeve of saltines ready especially during my first pregnancy when I was incredibly sensitive to smells.
Speaking of smells, I have such a sensitive sense of smell that I found my favorite smell and stuck with it. The Bath and Body Works’s Eucalyptus Spearmint candle was one that I literally bought multiples of each time I stopped by the store. I owned the lotion and the body wash that got me on to the smell. It is one of the most relaxing fragrances and I have been loyal to it for over 6 years now! Find a smell that gives you that sense of calm and light it up when you need that zen the most! There are some awesome fragrances in these essential oils if you are into those.
A good maternity wardrobe – There are a lot of subscription boxes that now cater to expectant moms. Take advantage of those because when you look good you feel good too. There are going to be days when you literally feel like you cannot make it out of bed and just being able to look good, and feel confident in how you look can make such a world of a difference in how you feel. This is one thing I wish I had done differently and would urge you to invest in yourself 🙂 Some of the staples in my mind is a good dress, maternity jeans, leggings (I lived in these) and of course a flattering bathing suit. Wrap dresses for pregnancy are my favorite cause they transition so well into postpartum wardrobe as well.
Pamper your belly with the right lotion so that your skin that is stretching gets what it needs to grow and keep its elasticity. Some bodies are just more susceptible to stretch marks and while there may be nothing you can do to prevent it, using the lotions or a natural coconut oil will definitely make you feel a lot more comfortable and maybe, just MAYBE help in reducing the amount of stretch marks.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate! – Do not take this lightly 😉 Buy yourself a great bottle that you can keep with you wherever you go. I tend to forget about drinking water if I am not carrying it with me everywhere. Add to this, nutritious food and fruits like apples and bananas keep leg cramps away! Fenugreek seeds and oats are great for amping up your milk supply too if you do decide to nurse. During and even after my pregnancy, I always kept a supply of healthy snacks in my nightstand – granola bars, string cheese, nuts and fruits made it in there as did some homemade natural and organic snacks that my mom and MIL made for me. One of the WOW women we featured and a good friend Kiran Jadhwani makes all organic delicious and nutritious snacks for moms to be and new moms!
The one thing I didn’t have for either pregnancy and wish I did is a nice soft robe. One that I could have definitely used as they made me walk laps to help with labor especially the second time around. I tell everyone to get a nice robe and pack it in your hospital bag so you don’t get caught taking those laps around the floor and are the welcome committee for the soon to be parents getting their hospital tour (Yikes…too much real deal stuff a little too soon!). Target has one by Gilligan O Malley that is super soft and inexpensive. While you may want to pamper yourself with a super nice one at home, this one from Target is perfect for your hospital bag because you don’t want to make it super messy either.
Invest in a body pillow to make yourself more comfortable. You will thank me when you start to progress in your pregnancy and sleep starts to get hard to come by with all of those constraints regarding how you should sleep. I am a belly sleeper and man oh man, would that body pillow have been helpful so I was not tossing and turning all night trying to find my sweet spot. Pregnancy insomnia is for real (and completely normal!) but there is no reason why we can’t try to at least have a few of the things that make it more comfortable for us when we do get that shut eye.
Get a pair of comfortable slippers to wear around the house and you can even pack them in your hospital bag! I love these and you can even get an inexpensive pair on Amazon if you like. My feet are always cold and we are a no-shoe house so these are perfect to fit both those needs, during and way after pregnancy phase is in the past. I love fuzzy socks as well and own a couple of really comfy slipper socks but if you want a pair of slippers that can do double duty and get packed in your hospital bag too, slippers is the way I would go.
While this may not be a maternity must have, I would recommend investing in a great baby carrier that will keep your hands free to continue doing all of the other things that you want to do i.e. eating your food while you snuggle with the baby, take a walk while the baby falls asleep on you (man…..I miss those heart to heart snuggles!). This is the one I had but there are a ton of really good ones that you may find which better suit your needs and lifestyle. My second lived in the ergo while I tried to maintain the sanctity of the busy social life my 21-month-old led at the time.
If you have always been exercising then keep up the exercise as long as it has been blessed by your doctor. Keeping active and staying fit during your pregnancy makes it that much easier for you to bounce back post baby! While these maybe some of the store-bought essentials make sure to get as much sleep as you can when your body demands it, before baby is here because you know that is going to change post baby. And we all know the time-tested advice of “Sleep when the baby sleeps” is never really meant to be followed…because there is never enough time to finish ALL of those things that are on your plate including binging on that TV show that makes so much sense in the moment when baby is sleeping or staring at those long lashes …. Guilty! Seriously though, sleep now because you may never sleep this way again! And along the way pamper yourself with some of those massages that will go a long way in making you feel comfortable and happy!
What were some of your can’t do without items on your list?