5 May 2020

Pregnancy Essentials

Maggie's Pregnancy Essentials

I'm going to start this post off with a disclaimer: this list is most definitely subject to change as I progress through my pregnancy, and discover more and more things which have come in useful!

It might seem slightly premature to write about pregnancy essentials before I've reached the end of my own, but I've already got a selection of recommendations that were either passed on to me and were invaluable, or that I discovered myself along the way and am keen to share with other mamas-to-be.

Thanks to suffering with hyperemesis gravidarum, I feel I have accumulated a fair amount of experience in ways to improve nausea and vomiting in pregnancy {note that I can't use the words 'fix', 'manage' or 'sort' because there was certainly no wonder cure for me and most other ladies with HG!} I think it will be best to put this in a separate post, as I appreciate there will be fewer readers who are looking for this specific advice, but I have still included a couple of useful buys for morning sickness below.

At 23 weeks pregnant now, I would love to hear what your essentials were when you experienced the rollercoaster ride of pregnancy, and I'm sure my readers would too - so be sure to leave your tips in the comments!

I aim to update this post as I go, and will mark any edits so it's easy to find them if you're revisiting for a second or third time. There's also a ready-made Pin at the bottom of the post, so you can save it to your pregnancy board for future reference!

I hope to post my favourite pregnancy-related books and podcasts soon too, so watch this space...

For sickness
- Fruit Pastilles* to suck on, especially the citrus flavours {yellow and green} - I read somewhere that citrus can be helpful when dealing with nausea, and found these worked quite well for me.
- Reusable straws* for when the nausea is particularly bad, and the thought of taking a gulp of even water is enough to make you feel queasy. I found taking small sips from a straw made it a lot more manageable to keep hydrated - and obviously we want to go for reusable as opposed to plastic in this day and age!
- San Pellegrino Limonata cans* to continue on a citrus theme - I found the sharpness of these really good for days when the nausea was lingering, and the cans are easy to pop in your bag or in the car when you're travelling. I wasn't brave enough to try the other flavours while feeling queasy...

- Baby Buddy for free and accurate information and advice, produced by the NHS. I've tried a few different pregnancy apps, and I like this one best as it is easy to use, the information is succinct, and it gives you a short daily fact or tip, with a little bit more info at the start of each week as to what baby is doing. There are so many to choose from though - I downloaded several at the start so I could try them all and see which I liked best.
- Trello for making lists. This was something my husband and I both used before pregnancy and love! You can use the app on your phone or sign in on your desktop, and it helps you organise the different to-do lists in your life into separate sections. When we started to feel a bit overwhelmed by all the things we needed to sort out or buy for Baby Maggie May, and then also me, we created a Baby Board with checklists which we can both see and edit. It's been a lifesaver!

- Multivitamins - I chose these from Pregnacare* to take for several months before trying for a baby, and throughout my first trimester {when I was able to take them with the sickness!} I liked the fact that they had the essential folic acid in them, but also iron and vitamin D. I took advantage of the subscribe feature on Amazon* which meant I signed up for 3 monthly deliveries and saved 5% on the price! The cheapest deal I found by far.
Rennies Heartburn, Indigestion & Wind Relief tablets*, as the famous pregnancy heartburn and reflux symptoms hit when I was around 16 weeks. Although it helped, I struggled to swallow Gaviscon when I was feeling sick. Mama Maggie May bought me these instead, which I found so much more effective than the standard tablets. They're a bit more expensive but they work brilliantly. {I should admit that ultimately I went to my GP and got a prescription for omeprazole as my reflux was particularly bad, and that is excellent - but I still use the Rennies for interim relief!}

- Non-alcoholic gin* that actually tastes like gin! Fellow gin lovers, this is such a treat - it's from Seedlip and has a lovely, botanical flavour to it. It's a great option for when you're out and about, or do as I do and have a bottle at home...! Mind you, I did get a few looks when drinking this from a balloon glass in our local pub, bump protruding...
Beautiful bubble bath* for the pregnancy aches and twinges. I've always been a bubble bath fan, but having new pains all over is prompting me to have even more!
A V-shaped pillow*, because no pregnancy essentials list would be complete without mentioning some sort of pillow - and I've kept it very simple so far. We already had one at home, and I've found it perfect for helping me get to sleep. I lie on my side, wedge one half of the V between my legs so it supports bump, and the other half lies behind me giving some support to my back. It will also come in handy for breastfeeding when baby comes along! There is a huuuuuge range of wonderful pillows out there for various prices, but at a time when you're spending a lot of money on other things for you and baby, a budget pillow might be all you need - and this one is currently only £15*. Bargain!

- Hydrating mist for bump; I'm using proper moisturiser in the evenings {see below} but find a quick squirt of a simple facial mist over my tummy gives an extra boost of hydration after my morning shower. My bump can feel quite tight and stretched at times, so I'm trying to keep the skin soft and supple.
- In-shower body lotion* for similar ease in the mornings - I use this after my shower gel over bump and it leaves it feeling lovely and smooth.
- Body scrub* for easing that tight, stretched feeling across the skin. I tend to use this just at weekends as a treat.
- Stretch mark cream* to try and reduce the severity of what I have accepted as inevitable! I'm using this one mostly as it seems to have the best reviews, but I use Burt's Bees* too which feels very nourishing and not too sticky.
- Tinted moisturiser* for the awful pregnancy breakouts! I thought my days of horrendous skin were behind me, but sadly not. However this stuff is blooming brilliant for providing coverage without feeling too heavy or greasy {thanks Ruth for the recommendation!}

- Maternity jeans*, obviously. I went for this under-bump pair so I didn't get too hot, and they're extremely comfortable.
- Wrap tops like this one* which is currently in the sale for just £3! I'm buying a few in this style so that I have a comfortable maternity option, but they can also be used for breastfeeding when baby arrives.
- Stretchy long-sleeved tops - I've just sized up in my usual wardrobe staple* {I think on the last count I have about 8 or 9 of them... Whoops!}

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