Well, I’ve almost survived this whole journey of pregnancy. Just one month to go, and I will have my first pregnancy ‘under my belt’. Haha. I thought that was pretty funny.
Lots of people publish lists of things that they needed during each trimester of pregnancy, but a lot of those lists contain expensive items, or items that the women have personally craved. I haven’t had many hardcore cravings, so those items will not make it to this list. A lot of people will give you long, running lists of things that you NEED during pregnancy. Honestly, though…as pregnant women, our bodies are doing all the work to provide what the baby needs.
So I have thought through the things that have been the most important to me during these past 9 months, and I wanted to share them with you here. Perhaps you are on the beginning of your pregnancy journey and will find this helpful!
1. Support Group.
Ummm, I cannot emphasize this one enough. For me, my support group has included my husband, my family and my friends. You may not have all three of those groups supporting you and your pregnancy, but hopefully you have at least one.
From clipping my toenails (and painting them!), to naming the baby, to giving me lots of room in the bed, to letting my cry ugly pregnancy-hormone-tears, Theo has been so incredibly supportive.
My family and my girlfriends have been great for asking questions… “Um…is this normal???” is a very frequent topic of conversation. Also, just having someone there to give Theo a break from my hormones is a wonderful thing.
Seriously. There is no way I could have made it through this pregnancy without Theo, my family and friends. If you are pregnant, and don’t have the support of one of the above groups, I encourage you to find a support group somewhere. Someone who will listen, answer questions, and discuss all these emotions and things that your body (and mind!) are going through.
2. Water Bottle. When we first found out we were pregnant, we went to the store and bought me a water bottle with a straw. We then looked up how much water I am supposed to be drinking a day, and then I knew how many water bottles I needed to go through in order to stay hydrated. I carried that water bottle around everywhere…until I lost it earlier this summer. Whoops.
I would highly recommend having a water bottle and taking it with you EVERYWHERE during pregnancy. You will need it at the doctor’s office, to chug a bunch of water just so you can pee it all out again. You will need it to combat morning sickness, and swelling, and to keep you and the baby hydrated. You may even be able to use it during labor to keep yourself hydrated. Seriously…I highly recommend it.
People will sight many different things to help curb morning sickness and heartburn, but my gum has been a life-saver in both of those areas, plus a couple more! I chewed gum constantly in the first trimester to keep away that nausea. I continued to chew it throughout the second and third trimester to help with dry mouth, hunger, nausea, masking gross smells, and heartburn. I have the kind of gum that I like, and that is what I stuck with. I didn’t worry about what flavor will scientifically make my heartburn stop, but I just stuck with my flavor and let it do the trick!
This stuff is my jam! I even have a pack of gum in my birth bag to chew during labor and after. I love this stuff.
4. Maternity Clothes…especially the under-clothings. For me, maternity clothes have been a must. Although I was pretty small all the way through the 5th month, I was a having a hard time getting regular clothes on by month 4. Maternity clothes, especially some jeans, shorts and tops were really necessary for me. Some people can wear their regular clothes all the way through, but not me! I also found it absolutely necessary to get some bra’s in a larger size. Since bra’s are so expensive, I made sure to get a larger size and some nursing ones. They say you should get yourself fitted for nursing bra’s after 36 weeks, or when the baby is born and your milk comes in…but lets face it, you are going to need something in between that and your prepregnancy size.
Also, all those pads that you think you are kissing goodbye for at least a year? Keep ’em. You will use them throughout…especially in the third trimester.
And all those cute undies that you got as wedding presents that you are positive you will keep wearing throughout your pregnancy and beyond? Tuck most of ’em away in the back of your closet or your keepsake box. You are gonna have to learn to embrace the granny panties.
5. A comfortable place to sleep
Only you will know what is comfortable for you. I never invested in a body pillow…but that might be what you need. I also started out stuffing a billion throw pillows in every nook and cranny around my body, and found that wasn’t necessary, either. But what I did find necessary was lots of room in our King-sized bed. It takes me a good rolling start to flip from one side to the other, so space has been a necessity! When we traveled and didn’t have the luxury of a massive bed, I found it much harder to get comfortable and stay comfortable! Make sure you are willing to try different things to give yourself a comfortable place to sleep. Sleep during pregnancy is a MUST!
6. Reading Materials.
I’m a reader. I read anything I can get my hands on. I have read a lot this pregnancy, and that has helped me so. incredibly. much. I have had more time than most people to read a book, but I still highly recommend that you make the time to read some books. My three favorites so far have been:
– Baby Catcher
– Ina May Gaskin’s Guide to Childbirth (not a huge fan of the birth stories, though…)
– What to Expect When You Are Expecting
7. An exercise routine. Start immediately when you find out that you are pregnant! You might tell yourself you will start when the morning sickness subsides, or when you feel that second trimester kick of energy…but then you start to gain weight and exercising is just a little bit harder. And harder. And harder. And pretty soon you are as big as a whale and you never started that exercise routine that you intended. And by that point it’s pretty pointless because your body can do just about nothing.
So don’t do anything intense. Just start by making sure that you are getting exercise every day, and that you are keeping that routine. Your body will thank 25 pounds from now. And your body will REALLY thank you when it has to go through several hours of labor.
8. An open mind.
This one is so important. My favorite advice to give to pregnant ladies is
“Don’t listen to what anyone else says. Find out what works for YOURSELF.”
Some people do best when they eat some crackers before they get out of bed. Some people don’t.
Some people have the worst heartburn, and have to sleep in a funky position and not eat certain foods. Some people don’t.
Some people in history have had a cat and got toxomo-whatever-that-scary-disease-is. Some people haven’t.
Some people loved belly bands. Some people don’t.
Honestly, it can get frustrating or difficult when people shell out advice. A LOT of people in this world have been pregnant, and while I absolutely love hearing advice and experience, it all needs to be taken in through a filter. Some things that people tell you will terrify you, and you will go a whole three months without any caffeine, only to find that half a glass of coke is the miracle cure for your morning sickness. Some people will tell you horrifying labor and delivery stories, and the tiniest things will catch in your mind, making you fearful about one aspect or another…and you will then discover that was the easiest part of labor for you.
Sure….you need your support group, and you need people to tell you some ideas to help with morning sickness, round ligament pain, that weird discharge…but always remember to take what anyone says with a grain of salt. It might have worked miracles for them, but don’t be dismayed if it doesn’t work for you. And don’t be afraid to find what does work for you!
So what about you? Do you have anything to add to this pregnancy must-have list?