Pregnancy Must-Haves

{from a maternity session I shot early this year}

I am now six months into my second pregnancy. My first was pretty easy- I had very little nausea, minimal aches or pains until the very end, and in general felt pretty good most of the time. This pregnancy has been pretty much the opposite of that. I was sick every day for the first 15 weeks, and have had headaches at least a few days each week. Midway through I began to experience a lot of back pain, and in general my body has gone through much of the typical list of pregnancy discomforts.

I write all that not to whine and complain- it could totally be so much worse, and will be worth it a million times over. I’m sharing because in the midst of all that, I’ve found some things that have helped make me so much more comfortable and able to enjoy being pregnant, and I want to share those with other mamas.

Here are some of my pregnancy essentials:

~Mommy’s Bliss Morning Sickness Comfort – my midwife gave me several sample pack of these capsules, and they seemed to really help the nausea.

~Preggie Pop Drops – helped calm my stomach a bit too. i really liked the lavender ones.

~Miso soup – also for morning sickness. this helped so much! i made it with swiss chard or kale in place of or in addition to the kombu.

~Teechino – to help cut down my caffeine intake without withdrawl symptoms, I mixed this with my coffee grounds starting with a 1:3 ratio and working the actual coffee down to about 1/2 a small mug’s worth each day.

~Hair ties – to loop through button hole and around button of non-maternity jeans. this allowed me to wear them about twice as long as i would have.

~Bella Band – Another great item for wearing regular jeans longer. now i use it to hold up some of my maternity jeans that don’t like to stay up well.

~Belly butter – I like something with shea or cocoa butter. The key is keeping your belly super moisturized. I did this every day in my first pregnancy, and since I didn’t get any stretch marks then, I’m doing it again. Some people say if you’re going to get them, no amount of lotion will change that, but even so, keeping your skin moisturized will help prevent itching as your skin stretches.

~A journal – for me, navigating the emotional roller coaster of these nine months (and way beyond) requires frequent writing. I also keep a journal for each of my boys, where I write letters to them- I started both early in pregnancy.

~Water bottle – I love my stainless steel Kleen Kanteen to avoid the chemicals in plastics. I try to remember to have it with me whenever I’m not at home. Drinking more water than feels completely normal is really really important to feeling well and being well during pregnancy.

~Chiropractic care – I can’t say enough good things about my chiropractor. Without her, I might be bedridden right now. Growing a human really moves things around, and getting adjusted regularly helps keep the spine, hips, and pelvis aligned. It’s important after giving birth, too. I switched about a month ago to a chiropractor who has specific expertise in maternity care. I also trust her with my babies, as I really believe it’s never to early to start taking care of your spine.

~Supportive, comfy walking shoes – being active in pregnancy is so important, and comfortable shoes are a must. My old ones were not so great, so early in my pregnancy I bought some Asics. Love them.

~Yoga mat and prenatal DVD/class/book – I like this DVD, as going to class is tough on our budget (not to mention difficult to get into my schedule). EVen doing a few basic poses and some breathing for a few minutes out of the day has such a positive effect on my energy, comfort, and sense of calm. It helps to much to stay limber and flexible, and strengthen muscles that you’ll use in labor.

~Digestive enzymes – for any trouble with digestion. The difference after I started taking this daily was incredible. I get Whole Food’s store brand “Wholezyme”, which is a blend of different types of enzyme.

~Yoga pants, jersey skirts, comfy bras (I went ahead and bought a couple nursing bras since the ones left from the first time are totally shot), maternity jeans… basically, things with lots of stretch. A lot of what I wear on a daily basis isn’t even “maternity”. Comfort is paramount though, and it’s possible to have it and still look cute.

~Pregnancy tea – one that includes red raspberry leaf. Sitting down with a cup of herbal tea is a great way to relax, and getting a blend for pregnancy can have some great health benefits. I like the ones made my Yogi and Traditional Medicinals, and the trimester-specific loose leaf ones from Worts and Cunning Apothecary on Etsy.

~Pillows. Lots of pillows. My current setup is one in front of me, tucked under my belly a little, and one under my top knee. Otherwise I seriously can’t fall asleep.

~Dried fruit – I have craved sweets a lot, and while dried fruit is still sugary and not as good for you as fresh, I figure it is better than candy, and having a little bit of it helps the craving a lot.

~Snacks – having healthy ones around all the time keeps blood sugar steady.

Maybe I’ll have some more to add near the end, as the third trimester always beings new challenges. But for now, that’s what I’ve got.

What are your pregnancy must-haves?

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