I’ve read a lot of pregnancy essentials articles over the past 9 months. As soon as I found out, I wanted advice on everything I possibly could – I felt totally clueless!
As I approach the end of pregnancy – just a week to go till due date now! – I wanted to share my own “realistic” pregnancy essentials. I know that not everything will work for everyone in the same way, and something that was essential for me might not be for you and vice versa, but a lot of what I saw on the huge lists of essentials I read wasn’t relevant to me. So here are the things I actually used during pregnancy
Your prenatal vitamins, specifically folic acid, are absolutely crucial to help with your baby develop as best possible it can. The only problem was that it turned out the vitamins I was taking made me feel sick – in fact, I think they only reason I actually was sick those two times was because of them!
I got hold of some gummy vitamins on Amazon which are basically sweets, and these helped SO much. An absolute necessity for me.
My Snack Pack
You don’t need a lot in your first trimester, it turns out – you’re feeling totally different, absolutely exhausted and sick all the time, but there isn’t a lot you can do about it. The one thing I did need was snacks to stave off the nausea – these included:
- Ice cold water/squash
- Ginger biscuits
- Cereal bars
Second trimester was absolutely wonderful – I felt SO good once the nausea and exhaustion eased. I did find that, even though the bump didn’t appear quite as quickly as I expected, I wasn’t all that comfortable in my old clothes any more.
While maternity clothes in general are a necessity for most, for me, the most crucial was jeans. Being pregnant over winter, I could get away with wearing big jumpers or slightly baggy T shirts that weren’t necessarily maternity wear, but my jeans immediately felt uncomfortable over my stomach. My favourite maternity jeans are this pair from H&M – I’ve worn them non-stop!
While new tops might not have been necessary, new bras certainly were! I went from a 28GG pre-pregnancy, to a 30H around 14-20 weeks, then a 32GG/H from 20-28 weeks, and I’m currently wearing a 32H/34H (or stretchy unsized bras) from around 30 weeks onwards. That’s around 4-5 cup sizes up already, and that’s not even starting breastfeeding yet!
I won’t link to my maternity/nursing/pregnancy bra recommendations here, because I have a whole blog for that at Big Cup Little Cup where I’ve reviewed all my favourites in depth.
I started feeling acid in my throat at the beginning of the second trimester, and it’s only got worse as I’ve gone on! Having heartburn tablets (fruit flavoured are the best, in my opinion) in my handbag, on my desk, next to the bed and basically everywhere I go was the only option.
During the second half of my second trimester, I started getting pelvic pain, in the front and back. I was recommended to spend time sitting on an exercise ball to help combat this, so my evenings now meant I was bouncing on a ball rather than lazing on a sofa!
Same as above, the pelvic belt was recommended for the pain I was getting in my hips. I didn’t wear it a huge amount, so I wouldn’t say it was absolutely crucial, but it did help for the occasions when I needed to move around more.
As my bump got bigger in second trimester, I realised I was twisting my back a lot more in bed, hence the need for something to prop me up. I literally just grabbed a spare pillow, and I sleep with it between my knees and with my arm thrown over it.
I also used a cushion at work on my office chair, half way up my back to prop me at the right angle.
Microwaveable Heat Pad
Finally, again for the hip and pelvic pain, I had a microwaveable wheat pillow. The bonus with this is that it also has lavender in so smells nice too!
Third trimester, while I’ve felt a lot bigger (and more “real” pregnant – if that makes sense!), hasn’t been a huge amount different to the end of second trimester in terms of what I need. I’ve used the same things like yoga ball, pillow, heartburn tablets etc.
The big thing was making sure I had another pair of maternity leggings as even my maternity jeans have felt a little uncomfortable here and there. I’ve been alternating between this ASOS pair and this New Look pair.
Raspberry Leaf Tea
As I reached 33-34 weeks, I started drinking raspberry leaf tea – this is supposed to help prepare your cervix for labour. I can’t say that this is doing anything, but it tastes pretty good (for a flavoured tea), so even if it’s just a placebo, I’m good with that!
Similarly, dates are supposed to help soften your cervix too, so at 36 weeks, I started eating 6 of these a day – at least when I remember! Again, I can’t say whether these are doing any good, but it’s worth a try!
Nesting is real, people! Fortunately Ben’s already cleaning obsessed, so we had plenty of stuff I needed/wanted to get the house prepped.
What I didn’t need
Stretch mark cream/oil
I was convinced I was going to be absolutely covered in stretch marks so I bought some Bio Oil as soon as I found out I was pregnant and started using it daily from about 6 weeks. Then…I forgot. At about 9 weeks. I’ve periodically remembered it and used it (around once a month…), but I don’t have a single stretch mark. Apparently the creams and whatnot don’t really do much anyway as they can only enter the top layers of your skin whereas stretch marks sit deeper, but they can help with itching. Also apparently stretch marks are a genetic thing – my mum didn’t get any, and I don’t seem to have (still a week to go, so fingers crossed!), so it might not make a difference anyway.
I originally really wanted a giant pregnancy pillow that wrapped around my whole body – they looked so comfortable and amazing! Then I discovered the wonder that is the human radiator I have inside me – I’ve always been a cold person, especially at night, but now I’m waking up feeling like I’m in a furnace – and I don’t think I could bear one of those pillows anywhere near me! Plus I suddenly really like space – I keep upsetting Ben because if he’s so much as a few inches away from me in bed, he gets shoved out the way!
Fortunately my old IKEA pillow between my knees is plenty enough, and was much much cheaper than a big pregnancy pillow.
My Hospital Bag
And finally for today, a pregnancy essential towards the very end – your hospital bag! Rather than outline everything in a separate post, I’ve filmed a video which features everything in baby’s hospital bag and my hospital bag – take a look here and look in the description below for all the links to where everything is from: