Celebrating the wonderful ups and challenging downs of this journey called motherhood...
For first time moms, we may have read all about what to expect in our first pregnancy and some of the information may apply to us. But you won't really know what exactly works for you until you've actually tried them. Here's my list of essentials or things I found worked for me with my first pregnancy:
1) Lots of pillows - I've seen so many different types of pillows marketed for pregnant women. For this pregnancy, I opted out of buying one and just surrounded myself with 3-4 regular pillows. I am one frugal momma so if I could save in any way I can, I would. I had one pillow on my back, one for my legs, one for my head, and one for hugging. I think one thing that all mommies will agree with me is it's uncomfortable to sleep especially during the third trimester. So anything that can make sleep (or lack of sleep) comfortable, is a must. Pillows are your friends. The more, the merrier.
2) Chocolate Milk - This is the one thing I allowed myself to indulge in (without feeling guilty) during my pregnancy. I got all my calcium requirements from this. My favorite brand is Silk Dark Chocolate Almond milk. Aside from the rich, smooth chocolate goodness, it is also non-GMO, has 50% more calcium than dairy milk, an excellent source of vitamin E, and only 100 calories per cup! The daily calcium requirement for pregnant and lactating women is 1000 mg and one cup of almond chocolate milk gives me 300 mg calcium. I drank about 3-4 cups a day. Also, I read that it's recommended to consume no more than 500 mg of calcium at one time. So I tried to space it throughout the day.
3) Prenatal Vitamins - I have to admit, I'm not a very healthy eater because I don't like vegetables. So I needed to supplement with prenatal vitamins to get all my recommended nutrients. I spent quite a while online trying to research the best brand for me. I was so particular and tried to research each ingredient because I was worried that it might negatively affect my baby. After a lot of research, I found a Canadian brand in our local health food store, CanPrev Prenatal Multi. I like that it has 333 mcg of folic acid which is very important for baby to help prevent spina bifida (defect of the spine) and other neural tube defects. I took 3 capsules every day which gave me about 999 mcg folic acid. I was very diligent in taking my vitamins in the hopes that it would give my baby the nutrition he needs. And I think it worked because I gave birth to a perfectly healthy 8.6 pound baby boy!
4) Pantyliners - One thing I liked about being pregnant is that I didn't have to worry about the hassles of monthly periods. But all mommas still have to deal with leukorrhea, a clear, white, mild smelling, vaginal discharge that is normal during pregnancy. And also not to mention, the issue of bladder incontinence as baby grows inside the belly and puts pressure on the bladder. This is where pantyliners come in handy. I used both cloth and disposable pantyliners. Cloth ones are nice because they're reusable and eco-friendly. Pantyliners are great and a must-have during pregnancy if you want to stay as fresh as possible down there.
5) Maternity leggings - Once I couldn't fit in my regular pants, I bought about five pairs of maternity leggings in our local thrift shop and pretty much lived in them throughout my entire pregnancy. They're super comfy and hugged my growing belly in a fashionable way.
6) Coconut oil - When I got pregnant, I was worried about getting stretch marks. I had a big belly with my first pregnancy, but thankfully, I didn't get any stretch marks! I used to lather coconut oil on my belly all the time, especially after showering and right before bed. Dry skin is very common for pregnant women, so we need to hydrate our skin well. Coconut oil is an inexpensive, natural way of moisturizing our skin, without the harmful chemicals that some stretch mark creams have. And it has a host of other benefits too. I love coconut oil.
7) Camera - In this day and age, with all the technology at our disposal, everyone probably has a digital camera or a phone camera. For me, I'm thankful that I live in this generation where it's so easy to document important life events like pregnancy. I took lots of pictures of my growing baby bump with the Nikon D3200 camera that my mother in law gave us. I think it'll be cool to be able to show it to my children someday and also it's a nice way to reminisce the good old days, when I'm in my 80's or something.
8) Flip flops - I found out I was pregnant in the winter, almost spring time. Once it was warm enough to ditch the winter boots, I used flip flops all summer long until I gave birh in the fall. They're just comfortable, especially with the back pains and cramps. Also very airy and cool, especially in the summer when it's hot out.
9) Lip balm - I had really dry lips when I was pregnant. Lip balm helped a lot with that. I used an all natural coconut lip balm and that kept my lips soft and moist.
10) Ginger Ale - Last but not least, a good cure for nausea is Ginger Ale. At least for me, it really helped. I only really had nausea in my first trimester, and even then they weren't that bad, just mild. So every time I felt nauseous, I'd ask my husband to get me ginger ale. I love ginger ale, I'd have that over pop any day.
So there you have it, my pregnancy essentials. I also have a wishlist of things I want to try out for my next pregnancy (hopefully in a year or so). What are your pregnancy essentials, share in the comments below.