“Pregnancy and birth knit womankind together. Help weave a gorgeous thread to add to the fabric. Be supportive. Be kind. Be wise. Be open.” ~ Desirre Andrews
The saying goes that it takes a village to raise a child. I’d back that up a bit. It takes a village to go through pregnancy.
It did not long for me to realize that the best resources at my disposal as a newly minted first-time momma-to-be were not the books at my bedside which laid out (sometimes in horrifying detail) what was to come, but the ladies surrounding me who have gone before.
In fact,after seeing those two pink lines, one of the first lists I made consisted of women I had questions for. These women have been my village. And thank God for without them, I would be lost without a compass.
However, being pregnant has this weird way of converting you back to the days of your youth. This has proven to be both a good and bad thing.
For example, the first couple weeks of being pregnant, all I wanted was mac and cheese. This often sent my loving and patient husband to the grocery store when all I wanted was Annie’s. Then he’d graciously make it for me and add (or hide if we want to be more accurate) the chicken so I got my protein in a way that didn’t make me gag. When’s the last time someone had to hide your nutrition. But this wasn’t so bad.
The weird and unnerving part is that once some people sense you’re pregnant, it’s as if all of the sudden years fall off of your age. These people often see you not as “with child” so much as a child yourself. They watch you, tell you how to act, what to eat, what not to eat, and what to do. Most of which is unsolicited. Think of them as the village’s door to door salespeople. This is not what I mean when I say it takes a village. However, it is your village that will help you get through this unsolicited advice and assist you in separating the useful information from the noise.
With that being said, this list is not an end all be all “must-have” list. This is simply a list of what I have found to be my favorites during pregnancy. All women are different, which makes all pregnancies unique. One of my first (and favorite) questions was, “what did you just have to have while you were pregnant?” I found it fascinating what helped different women during pregnancy. So from my village to your’s, here is a list of some of my favorite things.
From top to bottom, left to right:
- Water bottle. I’m going to be honest. I’ve never been a huge fan of water. It’s always been a necessary evil. I’m one of those weirdos that “doesn’t like the way water tastes.” However, the strangest thing happened when I got pregnant – I started to CRAVE water. This falls under the category of, “Isn’t the human body amazing.” You see, it makes sense that I started craving water since staying hydrating is vital during pregnancy. It helps your body not only absorb nutrients but also helps in the aid and transportation of these nutrients to your little one. Water also helps stave off many of those unpleasant pregnancy symptoms including fatigue, headaches, swelling, and constipation. That in and of itself should be enough of a reason. The Institute of Medicine suggests that during pregnancy, most women should try to drink 10 cups (2.3 liters) of water each day. Having a big water bottle like this helped me do that, especially while at work. Staying hydrated is also key if you continue to work out during pregnancy…which is a whole other post.
- Thick pair of maternity leggings. Yes I bought maternity jeans, but these, these are my happy place. Despite all of the cute maternity wear out there, while it may seem like an eternity, you are really only pregnant for a short time. Instead of spending a lot of money on maternity clothes, I decided early on that all I really needed were good solid wardrobe staples. I finally found these at Gap after ordering a couple other pairs that didn’t pass the test. While a lot of maternity clothes may be bought online, leggings are something you just have to see in the store and try on. However, if you must buy online, avoid any that include “light” or “lightweight” in the description. No one wants to be that person.
- Simple shirred tops. On the topic of simple staples, I have about five different colors of this Gap top. I found it to be so comfortable and easy to dress up for work during the week or wear with jeans on the weekend. Plus the gathered sides made it the perfect fit throughout pregnancy.
- Contour kit. Let’s face it, no matter how self-confident you are, at some point, you’re just going to start to feel well…pregnant. Your body goes through so many changes, there were days that I would look in the mirror and just didn’t feel like myself. I had been wanting to try a contour kit for awhile and figured this was the perfect time. I ended up getting this one at Ulta, and I love it! Overall it was a great beauty find but I really love it on those mornings where your cheekbones appear to be hiding. It’s a great way to give your face the definition that that little one of your’s may be stealing for the time being.
- Vitamin water. Luckily, the first trimester was not too wrought with sickness but nausea is one of the things I fought each morning as I got ready for work and each night on my drive home. In my search to find a remedy, I read Chic Runner’s blog where she listed that Vitamin Water really helped with her nausea because it is packed with b-12. It was perfect timing because this mama-t0-be was getting a little sick of ginger ale. Plus, chugging ginger ale at 8 am is a dead giveaway that you’re pregnant. I found that these really helped me. I would have half of one in the morning and then the rest as I drove home and it really helped.
- Pregnancy pillow. The Bump Nest, or Bumpy as we lovingly call it, has been a lifesaver. Luckily, due to working out, sleeping hasn’t been an issue. However, sleeping on my side was proving to be problematic. I got the Bump Nest early on (another Chic Runner rec) and found it perfect for support, keeping me on my side, and for keeping everything aligned, which helped keep away issues with my sciatic nerve and lower back pain. As your pregnancy progresses, you can change the position to support either your back or bump. And as an added bonus, both the pillow and cover are washable. The Bump Nest is a bit more expensive but if you’re going to splurge, this is where to do it. Now I just have to figure out how to justify keeping Bumpy in the bed once our little guys is here.
- Workout shirts. As I mentioned above, I’ll have to do a separate post about working out during pregnancy because it has truly made all of the difference. But for now, here’s the shirt I wore every day. These shirts aren’t meant to be for maternity but the fabric, softness, breathability, and flexibility made them perfect for working out. The description says they are “shape retentive.” I’ll update you on that one!
- Palmers. Stretch marks. To be honest, I’m not sure if I’ll get away unscathed or not my the time this is all said and done. But from the beginning, I have used Palmers. This is not necessarily because I believe it will keep the stripes away, but a little moisture can’t hurt right?
- Cardigans. Simple staples right? I got three cardigans in different colors and have worn them nonstop. These are perfect over the shirred tops mentioned above and over long maxi dresses. Pair it with a chunky necklace for date night and you’re good to go.
What were some of your favorite things while you were pregnant? Or onto what will be my next question – what are your favorite things post-baby?