Where do I even begin? Pregnancy is such a personal thing yet seems to be something that people LOVE weighing in on (whether you like it or not). There is something about pregnancy that makes perfect strangers or even people you know think they have license to give you unsolicited advice/comments/stories. The bigger the bump, the more randoms would talk to me. It was like being in the public domain. Because it was my first pregnancy, I listened politely. Most of it was harmless enough. I was actually curious about what others think and learn from their experiences. Now safely with my pregnancy done and dusted (!!!), I thought I would share what became my pregnancy essentials during my nine months of making a human. What I couldn’t live without – most things daily.
Being a little on the ‘older‘ pregnant lady side (on the brink of being what the medical world would label a ‘geriatric’ pregnancy folks – Google it), I have watched countless friends and family members begin families and with that privilege, parents shared sage advice with me. I am truly someone who does not believe in reinventing the wheel (is this smart? Or am I just lazy?) – I absorbed recommendations and tips like a sponge. To each their own
I didn’t really believe in investing tons of money into pregnancy related things and tried my best to keep things minimal. With that said, I definitely had my favourite items that helped me through the days as I got bigger and bigger and bigger. Kieran was almost 9lbs when he made his way into the world, so you can imagine what I must have looked like towards the end.
*NOTE: This is not a sponsored post!*
Pregnancy Essentials (the bare bones)
1. Maternity Leggings. These magical things were worn almost daily…. If not during the day, DEFINITELY after work in the evenings. I loved the H&M maternity leggings and had two pairs – worn 6.5/7 days a week. I bought other brands but the H&M ones were just the comfiest.
2. Palmer’s massage cream for stretch marks. I used several products at once, including Matter Company “Substance Mom” belly jelly (why so many names?!?!). I liked them all but Palmer’s is an old favourite of mine that I discovered in Target ages ago. Smells good. Creamy. I have zero stretch marks to give away that I grew a bambino in my petite body.
3. WATER. OMG hydration is even more important than normal. I drank so much water and really feel like it helped to alleviate any potential less-than-nice symptoms of being pregnant. And I needed something to counteract the coffee I kept drinking. I love S’well water bottles. They are so amazing but that’s old news.
4. Pillow city. Final count? 9. We had 9 pillows on our bed by the end. They are essential for getting comfortable at nighttime. I tried a pregnancy body pillow which was initially nice but ended up dominating too much space in bed so got the boot. I usually grab my pillows from Winners.
6. MATERNITY UNDERWEAR for the win. WHY would anyone struggle on wearing normal underwear when you can pay 10$ at Thyme Maternity for world’s most comfortable pregnancy underwear? Like, I don’t want to give these babies up. The foldovers are the way to go. They are the granniest of all granny panties. They go up and over most of your bump and are god’s gift to pregnant women. Buy them and never look back, friends.
7. Birks, baby. I had a winter baby and wore Birks at the end. They were the only thing that fit… Thank goodness we had a mild early winter. Saved me. I was wearing my Birks with socks (in true hippy style) until the very end. My feet were so bloated, nothing fit.
8. Maternity/Nursing bra. Even if you do not end up breast feeding, these are just a good call. They are comfy, soft and can accommodate your growing body while pregnant. And think about it, do you really want to wreck your good regular bra just so you don’t have to buy a new one? Save your 80$ bra and go buy a special one. I love the bras from Boob Design. Actually all Boob Design stuff is amazing. I was gifted a dress, sweater, pants and shirt and I live in them now postpartum (more about that in another blog post).
Other general tips. I loved dresses when I was preggers. They grew with me and tended to be more flattering for my shape. I know that won’t be true for everyone but I wish I had bought more dresses early on. I found bellybands not helpful (maybe it was just me) so investing in maternity clothing was well worth it. I got a hot tip from a friend about Thyme Maternity’s jeggings. They were another staple of mine. I lived in a soft short housecoat/robe that I bought on a trip down to Buffalo at Target. It wasn’t a necessity at the time but at the end of my pregnancy when I was huge as well as in the first two weeks of motherhood, I lived in that housecoat. Soft and perfect for wrapping around a changing body.
Where to shop in Canada for Maternity/Pregnancy Clothing
It shocks me how many women told me they didn’t know WHERE to get pregnancy clothes! I heard this all the time during my pregnancy. Here is a short list of places to grab maternity clothes from: H&M, Old Navy, Thyme Maternity, The Gap, Boob Design and Momzelle are the biggies for me. There are awesome smaller shops as well but I didn’t get anything from smaller shops this time around. The internet is a treasure trove of great spots (ASOS, Madewell, Storq, Dwell and Slumber and Hatch to name a few) but I hate ordering things from other countries if I am not sure about the fit (how the hell does anyone have the patience to look at sizing charts?). Also, if you want to save some cash and be more environmentally conscious, I found a few good maternity pieces in second hand shops like Value Village. Their maternity section is small so you can cruise it pretty quickly.
Other things I did before the baby arrived that I was so thankful for (that I am including in my pregnancy essentials!): put aside money every pay check that automatically goes into savings. This truly works. I know this is an old trick but I was skeptical (don’t ask) and I am now sold on the automatic transfer into savings (that dosh adds up). Prepped food. I did this the week before Kieran came (I had planned on prepping more but he arrived 2 weeks early). Having this food plus what others brought us was a lifesaver for two people who eat mostly at home. Making a “What to do when I go into labor” plan with your partner or support person. We both knew what we needed to do and how to do it. This made me feel better and ensured James knew what I expected. Prep for the baby. This was for my sanity. I prepped and bought a number of things in preparation for the baby (good ol’ nesting instinct) so that basically we could hide out for two weeks. Of course, even with my careful planning, we were missing things. But we did have 98% of what we needed for the baby.
What were your pregnancy essentials? Any tips that were life savers? What didn’t you use?