Now that I’ve had two kids in the last three years, I have accumulated some of the pregnancy must-haves that any expecting mom (first-time and otherwise) should have on hand. Some were useful, others were not, but I’ll share the standouts.
1. Comfy maternity pants. Once you start to show, it seems pretty obvious that the next step is buying maternity pants. While comfy and long-lasting, they are far from practical, from a price tag perspective.
I visited a Motherhood Maternity while prego with Pumpkin, and a decent pair of maternity pants/slacks was seventy dollars! For pants? For pants that I’ll only wear for less than a year? I thought I would have my baby right there in the store.
With Peanut, I was much wiser this time around. Instead of searching for prego pants at a maternity store or department, I came across these Nike yoga pants ($20). For all intents and purposes, they function just like prego pants, including the stretchy, wide band across the top hem, which are the calling card of any prego pants.
I wore them from my fifth month until my daughter was born, and after a good wash and dry, they have shrunk a little and get this, I still wear them!
Note: Another way to get prego pants on the cheap is to search for them in the sleepwear department of your favorite store.
2. Spandex belly band. I purchased the Everyday Bella Band from Ingrid & Isabel ($30, ingridandisabel.com) in black. The price may seem a little steep for a thin piece of spandex, but let me tell you, it was money well spent.
Not only does this product come in an array of colors, but it stretches with your growing belly. If you get it early in your pregnancy, it will allow you to wear your pre-prego pants longer, even when the fly doesn’t zip up anymore. It covers the top hem of your pants, and allows for a layered look with your top.
During pregnancy, it helps to support your belly. Mind you, it won’t actually hold up your belly, but I definitely noticed a difference. After baby arrives, use the belly band to transition back to your pre-prego pants.
3. Body pillow. After about the fifth month, you aren’t supposed to sleep on your back anymore. Your doctor will no doubt have told you this, but also it becomes very uncomfortable which you would have figured out anyway.
Since you are now stuck sleeping on your side until baby arrives, you MUST get a body pillow. Without one, your belly will fall to one side while in bed, and well…it sucks.
I used the Boppy Total Body Pillow ($30, Target). Not only is it body length, but there is a place in the center where the top half of the pillow meets the bottom half, allowing the entire pillow to curve into a C-shape. This means the pillow will cushion you between your legs while it supports your now wayward belly, with just enough to place under your head.
I used mine for both pregnancies, and it was a great help. It’s also quite useful for after baby arrives and your pelvis is still sore.
4. Drape-front cardigan. It’s a good thing these are in fashion, because I don’t think I ever left the house without mine during my second pregnancy.
Since your body temperature can swing from hot flash to cold snap several times a day, it’s a good layering piece which won’t overheat or add bulk to your already bulky frame (sorry). You’ll get what I mean when you reach that point.
And it’s a piece you can wear well after your pregnancy is over. Most retailers carry this style, so finding one you love shouldn’t be difficult.
5. Coconut oil. While I’ve heard wonderful things about using cocoa butter to prevent stretch marks and nourish skin, I personally never used it for either of my pregnancies, and therefore cannot personally vouch for it.
Instead, I slathered Parachute 100% Pure Coconut Oil all over my belly the second time around. Since I got really dry skin and stretch marks broke out all over my belly with Pumpkin, I wanted to prevent any more marks from forming if possible.
A prego belly’s skin is expanding so fast that the skin gets super itchy, and once you start scratching, it’s very difficult to stop, hence, stretch marks. My prego belly drank up the coconut oil, keeping it supple. I typically applied it daily after my shower.
Every generation, women come across all kinds of solutions to help ease the sometimes massive inconveniences of pregnancy. Some are well-known and stand the test of time; others crop up through ingenious and creative ideas, which are also passed along.
What are the pregnancy must-haves you would recommend to others?