Throughout my pregnancy, there were a handful of things that just made the whole experience, that little bit better, more comfortable and just bearable. I thought I would share my top pregnancy essentials that helped me through the last nine months in hopes that it might help some of you who are currently pregnant or just about to embark on your pregnancy journey!
Over the bump leggings and jeans
When I first found out I was pregnant, one of the first things that came to mind was omg what clothes am I going to be able to wear once I have a bump!? I know it sounds vain, but it really did come to mind quite early on! I did some research on the most popular maternity jeans that are available on the high street and I came to the conclusion that I would best suit some “over the bump jeans.” There are quite a lot of options on the high street but I decided to go with the H&M MAMA Super Skinny Jeans in two shades.. because I’m super indecisive and couldn’t decide which shade of denim I liked best! God, I sound ridiculous! The only con to these jeans is that I found I had to size up over the recommended size up chart for maternity wear, which didn’t do great things for my confidence, but I think everyone has a bit of beef with H&M’s sizes don’t they? But these jeans really do stay up and are super duper comfy, so I 100% recommend!
For leggings, I kept with H&M too! I found their over the bump leggings in store during a sale weekend, but they’re still available now for £7.99 a pair AND they’re part of their conscious range! If you’re just not a fan of H&M then I know that George at Asda sell a two pack of over the bump leggings here for £12 and Mothercare have a single pair here for £15. Maternity/Nursing Bras
I actually didn’t get around to purchasing any maternity bras until quite late on in my pregnancy, which is a massive regret because they’re so comfortable! My favourite one’s so far are the T-Shirt bra’s by Blooming Marvellous from Mothercare. I bought a two pack similar to this one in the sale towards the end of last year and I’ve not stopped wearing them since! They’re pretty supportive and give me some shape, but don’t have an underwire so they don’t dig in to me at any weird angels and they’re nursing bras too, meaning that they unclip to let me be “free” for feeding the baby! The 2 pack t-shirt maternity bra set set is currently available from Mothercare for £30. I also picked up a cheapy pack of two maternity bras from Primark! I didn’t find that they offered much support/shape but they’re handy to have as spares as they were really cheap!
Now, I know that there is no 100% fail safe way to avoid stretch marks, they’re partly genetic so if you’re going to get them, you’re going to get them and boy did I get them. But, it’s still nice to moisturise your skin to prevent dryness and to keep your stretch marks as much at bay as possible. I know some women really love their stretch marks and they make them feel empowered and if you’re one of those women then I salute you! But, personally, I hate my stretch marks and I’m hoping that my daily skin care routine will help to aid their appearance over time.
I tried bio oil(two bottles of the stuff) from around week 10(when I wasn’t even showing/growing yet) until the two bottles ran out and I found that it just didn’t really do a lot, but like I said, genetics are the main culprit for stretch marks so, what’s a girl to do! I found bio oil to be quite.. well, oily! It took a bit of elbow grease to really rub it into my skin. At £20 for a 200ml bottle, I personally wouldn’t recommend it. I soon moved over to a lotion. I chose Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Massage Lotion for stretch marks and it’s been my favourite since! It’s a bargain at just over £3 for a 250ml bottle that comes with a pump, super handy! Using it twice a day on my bump, boobs and thighs has really made my skin feel quite smooth and I’m pretty sure it’s even reduced the appearance of some of the stretch marks on my boobs already! I’m hoping to continue using this lotion after birth to help aid the appearance of the stretch marks on my tummy, although some of the stretch marks are so deep and long, I’m not sure there will be much hope!
Something that I like to think of as a bit of a treat when it comes to my growing collection of lotions and potions is my Pregnancy Care Massage Oil Blend* from Indigo Herbs! Some nights before bed or after a shower, I will use about a 10p sized amount and rub it all over my bump. I adore the scent of this oil, a real mix of floral and warm scents! You could also ask your other half to rub this oil into your back or feet for a massage! Go on, treat yourself! You can grab yourself a 100ml bottle here for £6.99.
I know not every one will suffer with heartburn or acid reflux during pregnancy, but I sure as hell did. I had never suffered with acid reflux before becoming pregnant, so it was pretty intense and a bit of a shock when I started battling with it midway through my pregnancy. Sometimes, on the more mild occasions, drinking a lot of cold water will get rid of the burning sensation in my chest and throat, but as my pregnancy progressed, the burning got gradually stronger and actually started effecting my sleep! So I decided I needed to take something to at least take the edge off! Personally, I have found Rennie’s to give the best relief as they work almost instantly and usually keep it at bay for a couple of hours. The spearmint flavour are my flavour of choice. Rennie’s are safe to take during pregnancy but if you have any concerns, you can talk to your midwife about it before taking them.
I also tried Gaviscon dual action tablets and their original liquid/medicine but I didn’t find it to be very effective at all(plus the taste was kind of gross, sorry). I was also prescribed Peptac Liquid which is similar to gaviscon but a prescription medicine and it actually made some difference! I started taking it at night before bed time and it often prevented the acid reflux for a couple of hours before it woke me and I then chewed on a couple of Rennie’s, sorted!
I haven’t really had any food cravings throughout my pregnancy. Sure, I’ve been more hungry than normal(read: ravenous) but I honestly don’t think I’ve had any specific food cravings. I have however had cravings for drinks. Personally, I’ve been a little bit obsessed with fresh/pure orange juice, squash of any flavour and hot chocolate. The best of these of course is the hot chocolate! If you saw this post at Christmas, you’ll know that I love to go all out when it comes to hot chocolate.
There are a couple of apps that I have really enjoyed using during my pregnancy that I have found really useful too! The first of which is Glow Nurture. Glow Nurture allows you to see your babies development daily and offers you a variety of insightful short articles to read. There is also a log in which you can list your symptoms daily and also add any medical information that you wish to store in there. There is also a large community section in which you can share posts and comment on other posts from other mums to be for advice, guidance and general chit chat!
Another similar app that I have enjoyed is Ovia Pregnancy Tracker. Similar to Nurture, Ovia provides daily insights into baby’s growth and even compares it to bakery items and cute animals! There is also a feature that allows you to log milestones, for example, the first time you felt the baby kick, your first scan, decorating the nursery and so on. Both of these apps that I have mentioned are free from the Apple app store and I assume that they will be available for android too!
Some other bits and bobs
There are a few other small bits that have been useful throughout my pregnancy. One of those things are daily panty liners. As I’m sure you’re aware, when you’re pregnant, you tend to produce a bit more discharge than you would normally. Although this is totally normal, it can be annoying and uncomfortable, so I’ve found that using panty liners has really helped to make me feel a bit fresher and comfortable!
Another little saviour has been my exercise/birthing ball. I spoke about this a couple of bump updates ago when Jack managed to pick me up one from our local sports shop. Sadly, due to my spd becoming so incredibly painful, I stopped using it at the very end of my pregnancy, but whilst I wasn’t in excruciating pain, I absolutely loved sitting on my ball whilst writing blog posts or watching tv! It aided my back ache and honestly, you’d be surprised how much fun it can be bouncing and wiggling around on a giant inflatable ball can be!
So there we have it, my pregnancy essentials! What are you’re pregnancy must haves? If you’re pregnant, I hope that this post helps you at least in some way! Please feel free to leave any links to a post you may have written that’s simliar or if you have any questions about any of the things I’ve mentioned, I’d be more than happy to help!