With my due date (very) quickly approaching, not only have I been in full nesting mode but I’ve also been reflecting back on the past 9 months.
Our journey to this baby was nothing like I expected, and because of that I soaked up every bit of this pregnancy that I could. All in all, I absolutely loved being pregnant! Sure there were hard weeks or nights, and I’m excited to finally to meet our little guy – but overall, pregnancy has been a JOY and part of me will miss being pregnant (something I never thought I’d say!)!
Since I’m currently 37 weeks and everything is fresh, I put together a list of Pregnancy Essentials for First Time Moms. There are a lot of options out there – from the perfect pair of leggings to the best books to read – and while my answers aren’t gold, here’s what worked for me:
- Motherhood Maternity Leggings: When I first began looking for maternity leggings, I had quite a few people tell me to steer clear of Motherhood Maternity. However I took a chance on their leggings during a sale and am SO GLAD I did!! These are by far the MOST COMFORTABLE pants I owed in pregnancy. I wore the gray & the denim weekly and plan to wear them postpartum, too. Did they pill? Yes. But so did my Target leggings and these are 10x more comfortable. (I also wore them multiple times a week which means multiple washes – so of course they won’t be brand new after a few months.) What did I love about them? They weren’t too thick, yet they weren’t too thin. They were the right length for my 5’2” height, and the belly band actually FIT! The Target leggings have 2 seams that run vertically down the band; not only did the seams become uncomfortable as my belly grew, but you could SEE the seam under whatever shirt you were wearing. I hated that they made my belly look “lumpy”. My Motherhood Maternity leggings did not have a seam and instead were made from a thin, stretchy material that fit my bump well from Week 18 to Week 38!
- Old Navy Maternity Shorts: I bought these on sale before our babymoon in Hawaii. I wasn’t planning to buy shorts but I am so glad I did!! They fit true to size; I love the length and I plan to wear them this summer postpartum. Plus, Old Navy prices never break the bank!
- Old Navy Maternity Sweatpants: I bought these in black on clearance when buying the shorts and while it might seem silly to have maternity sweatpants vs. a larger pair of regular sweatpants, I am SO glad I added these to my cart!! I’ve worn them several times a week since Week 26 and plan to continue wearing them postpartum. They’re thin, gathered at the ankles (which my short frame loves) and they fit low & loose under my belly. After a full day of wearing belly band leggings – no matter how comfortable – I’m ready to let my belly breathe! Also, our little guy has sat very low on my belly this entire pregnancy; these sweatpants are the only pants I have that sit lower than him without me feeling like they were falling off!
- Isabel Maternity Tees & Isabel Maternity Tanks: Going into pregnancy, I didn’t want to buy too much. I knew I’d need pants/leggings but in terms of tops – I planned to purchase tees & tanks I could layer with cardigans I already owned. I loved this line at Target! They were affordable, came in a variety of colors and have held up very well! I purchased tanks & tees in several colors, as well as a few long sleeve shirts.
- If you’re looking for a fancier dress or two for your baby shower or maternity pictures, I loved Pink Blush! I found them to be true to size & they’ve held up well.
- Baby Bargains: A good friend (who also happens to be our birth photographer) recommend this book to me and I am SO glad she did! It’s the #1 book I recommend to ALL pregnant moms!! When I began researching all the baby things, I was instantly overwhelmed. How do you pick the right car seat? Why are there so many types of strollers? Do I want a bouncer or swing or rocker? Which pacifier is best? The questions were pilling up and while this book isn’t the end-all-be-all, it’s an amazing resource that subjectively weighs the pro’s & con’s of baby essentials leaving you with the best of the best. I highlighted, dog-eared & carried this book around Babies R Us a few times! 😉 (They also have a blog I found helpful!)
- Moms On Call: Another friend of mine recommend this book (thanks, Ashley!) and I’m so glad she did!! It’s another one I’ve highlighted and dog-eared and I know it will come in handy more fully once our little guy arrives! While I don’t think we’ll follow everything they suggest to a T, it’s a great resource to have on hand & I appreciate their approach to sleep training so early on in your child’s life.
- Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth: Before we became pregnant, I knew I wanted to do everything I could to have a natural delivery. My hope it to have a medicine-free vaginal-delivery with immediate skin-to-skin after he arrives. I loved reading the birth stories in this book, and hearing Ina’s wisdom on childbirth. Even if you’re not planning a natural delivery, I recommend this book if you’re looking for an eye-opening, realistic yet beautiful resource on childbirth.
- Bradley Method: I actually bought this book based on Amazon reviews, ha! Like I said above, I knew I wanted to focus on a natural delivery and in my research I stumbled upon the Bradley method. I found this book to be very helpful because the entire method focuses on the relationship between you and your spouse as your birth coach. I read the entire thing and marked sections I wanted to Matt to read, too. It was great for us to talk through together & because I’m very visual, I loved the diagrams for various positions of labor.
- Body Pillow: If you don’t want to listen to anything else in this post, get this pillow!!! I was hesitant to spend so much on a pillow – especially one I would only use for 6 months. But in the first trimester I suffered terrible indigestion and needed to sleep sitting up. I decided to try out a U shaped pregnancy pillow in hopes that it would help me get comfortable sitting up; it absolutely did!! As my belly grew, I began to snake this pillow between my legs and can’t imagine a night without it!! It was WELL worth the price-tag and a pregnancy essential EVERY mom needs!!
- Body Lotion: I started using this around Week 18. I would rotate between this lotion and my favorite one from Bath & Body Works.
- Body Oil: I also started using this around Week 18. I didn’t use it every day, but I’d add it to my “after-shower” routine every few days.
- 24 oz. Tumbler + Straws: I used this tumbler every.single.day! I never left the house without it – I’d even take it to church!! I found that not only did my OB want me to drink more water, but my body would literally crave it. These tumblers don’t sweat, keep my water cold & worked with my favorite straws.
- Easy-to-pack Snacks: During pregnancy, I ate a lot of triscuits, apples, carrots, grapes and peanut butter sandwiches. They were easy to pack snacks for when I was on the go; I never let the house without one or an assortment in my bag! Instead of “starting to feel hungry”, my hungry would hit hard & fast!! Having snacks on hand allowed me to eat when & where I needed!
What essentials did you have during your pregnancy?
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