The Best Items to Help Ease Your Pregnancy Struggles and Celebrate the Joy!
I’m not quite sure how Liam is already 4 months old! I think this time always goes by quickly regardless because they go through so much change in such a short time; I’ve certainly never met a mother who said the first year of their baby’s life was slow. However, I think a unique element of being a work at home mom is that “maternity leave” never really happened. My project load was definitely less for my own sanity, but I never stopped working and then the holidays were immediately upon us and then BOOM! I have a 4 month old!
A couple of my friends are pregnant and asking lots of questions, so I thought I would reflect on some of my favorite items for my pregnancy – either for survival or for fun. Plus I’ll toss in a couple items that I wanted but never got (maybe the next time!) and even a few items recommended by others.
Even before pregnancy, I have struggled with general body aches and a bad back, so I knew that pregnancy had the potential to be painful for me. By 6 months, I was already getting more than a little uncomfortable and I was looking for options. The BLANQI Maternity Support Tank Top kept popping up in searches, but the price was a little high for my normal spending habits. Especially for an item that might not actually help.
I finally gave in though and I wish I had done it sooner! Seriously! My back and shoulders noticed an immediate difference and even sleep became more comfortable. Every once in awhile, there would be a day where I couldn’t wear it because it was either laundry day or the black tank top I picked didn’t work with my outfit and I felt a difference every time. That tells me the tank top was helping. I probably loved it even more in the weeks immediately after having Liam as it helped keep things snug and in place.
From reviews that I have read, most women use these tank tops again in their following pregnancies without losing any of the support. Next time around I will definitely be adding the white tank top though for more outfit options and I’m interested in trying out the Post Partum High Waist Leggings. If you don’t want a full tank top, they have belly bands, too, and the Belly Bandit Upsie Belly Pregnancy Support Band was highly recommended by a friend.
Having a countdown shirt was one of my favorite pregnancy purchases! While I did not take weekly pictures, we made an effort to take a picture in the shirt every few weeks. Plus, it was in my normal rotation of maternity shirts and it always received a lot of cute comments from people while I was out and about. Make sure to buy a fabric marker so you can check the weeks off. The one I purchased isn’t available right now but there is this cute Maternity Countdown Tank Top and this comfy Maternity Countdown Tee.
You can also use the shirt for a cute post-pregnancy picture. I drew a heart around the week Liam arrived and took a picture of him laying on the shirt.
This is the pillow I personally ordered and loved. When I was looking at options, I heard a lot of people complain about needing to rotate “C” pillows if they turned over in the middle of the night which sounded like a pain in the butt. I know sleeping on your left side is supposed to be best but my body cannot handle sleeping on one side all night long. Therefore, I went with the “U” pillow.
We only have a queen side bed and managed with this big pillow. For the first time in forever Bryan was stuck on his side of the bed which was pretty nice. I needed room!
In addition to my pregnancy pillow helping me sleep, my memory foam mattress topper helped make a big difference, too. With so much dedicated side sleeping, extra support and cushion on the mattress went a long way to helping my hips as much as possible. Ours is old (and in need of replacing actually) but here is a 2″ memory foam mattress topper recommended to me in the past.
It is incredibly important to stay hydrated during pregnancy, so you need to do whatever it takes to increase your water intake. Having a reliable water bottle is the first big step for this. I had something different during pregnancy, but quickly switched to a CamelBak with a straw after. I found that I struggled to keep up my awater intake after having Liam with my old bottle because it would spill in more awkward positions – like when you are laying down with a baby on your chest. The CamelBak lets me drink in any position, and Liam stays dry. Plus, it’s never once leaked in my diaper bag.
My heartburn and acid reflux was horrible. It didn’t mater what I ate and water seemed to aggravate it even more for some reason. Not to mention sleeping was hard enough without this problem settling in during the last trimester. Tums helped and I kept them on hand at all times. Big bottles required!
It is important to start taking prenatal vitamins as soon as possible if not before getting pregnant and my doctor recommended staying on them afterwards as well. I took Nature Made Prenatal Plus DHA Softgels. I started off taking them during the day but it always resulted in a headache. Switching to taking the vitamin before bed solved this problem.
I had a lot of special events while pregnant – a few bridal showers, baby showers, and weddings. Upon a recommendation from an old college friend, I ordered a dress from PattyBoutik on Amazon and I fell in love! First of all, I find the dresses fairly affordable at $40 or less, especially compared to other options out there. Second, they fit beautifully and are really, really comfortable.
I had purchased the Cowl Neck Short Sleeve Maternity Dress, which they also sell in long sleeve, and the Crochet Lace Inset Ruched Sheath Dress in navy. They’ve come out with new V Neck Maternity Print Dresses that I am really excited about and will add to my collection next time. They’re gorgeous patterns!
I did not personally use this journal but I purchased it for one of my best friends this winter when I found out she was pregnant. It’s sweet, cute and filled with easy questions for inspiration. More and more I value opportunities to pass on memories and stories and this is a perfect way to do so.
Recommendations from Others:
Snoozle – It’s a little hard to explain how this works, but it’s a tubular sheet you place on your side of the bed on top of your other sheets and it helps you move more smoothly in bed. It was recommended from Cori at Hey, Let’s Make Stuff who had twins, so I trust it’s a must buy item next time. I had a lot of hip and pelvic pain, which is exactly what this is designed for!
FitFlops – They seem to come in lots of different styles (including non flip flops as that’s an assumption I made when looking at the name) and are supposedly SUPER comfortable.
Burt’s Bees Mama Bee Leg and Foot Creme – This creme sounds amazing! My friend, who was pregnant at the same time as me in the St. Louis summer heat and she said this helped tremendously with any aches and itchiness. She even said it helped with her sore ribs!
Mama Mio The Tummy Rub Butter – Protect your skin against pregnancy stretch marks with omega-packed blend of oils in an organic shea butter base.