Pregnancy has been one of the biggest blessings in my life.
I'm one of those crazy people that has loved being pregnant, for multiple reasons. Thankfully, I didn't struggle with terrible morning sickness, but even more significantly, I was ecstatic from day one of this pregnancy.
As you know, our journey to having this baby was a long one. We had waited and tried for quite some time before finally being able to conceive, and now that we have, I've never taken a single moment for granted. I was thankful for the days I didn't feel well, because it meant that she was still here and still growing.
Still, I had to learn quickly to adapt to all of the drastic changes my body was undergoing! All of the crazy symptoms and my rapidly changing figure were uncomfortable to go through, and over time I found ways to alleviate some of that discomfort.
Today I'm sharing a list of pregnancy products that have been absolute lifesavers for me during this season of life. Maybe you're a pregnant mama trying to prepare for what's about to happen to your body. Or maybe you're a thoughtful gift-giver that wants to bless a newly pregnant loved one with a care package. In either case, these pregnancy products are tried, true, and super beneficial for women going through all the changes that pregnancy brings.
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Maternity Tops, Dresses & Bras
One of the first pregnancy products you might consider investing in is a comfortable bra. Y'all, I'll be real - I haven't worn a regular bra in MONTHS!
In the first trimester, your breasts begin developing already for breastfeeding. Mine were so incredibly achy that until I had a good maternity bra, I wore sports bras everywhere. I ended up buying a two-pack of maternity/nursing bras that are soft and comfortable for me at this stage, but will also transition perfectly for breastfeeding after the baby arrives.
Luckily for me, pregnancy in the wintertime is perfect because I can get away with wearing my normal loose-fitting sweaters! However, I suspect that come springtime when I'm 8 months pregnant, I'll purchase a pack of layering tees and at least one maternity dress, like the ones I've linked.
You'll soon find that out of all the pregnancy products available to you, comfortable maternity bottoms are super important!
Whether you're pregnant or not, these leggings are THE BEST. They've got an elastic drawstring waist and a cuffed hem, much like joggers, but they fit like a legging. AND GUYS... THEY HAVE POCKETS! I bought these before I had a belly, knowing that I'd be able to grow with them without a problem. They stretch well and fit under my bump perfectly now! I have these in ruby, but there are so many cute color options!
Most leggings you already have in your closet probably fit well enough already, so there may not be a need to purchase maternity leggings. I found, however, that the waist band on some of my leggings sat in a very uncomfortable spot on my belly, so I bought a pair of these maternity leggings from Old Navy. The waist band goes all the way over your belly, so they're a super comfortable fit for when your bump starts to grow!
One thing I quickly found out is that you can't get away with wearing your usual jeans for long! I picked up a few pairs of maternity jeans from Old Navy - they have so many fashionable and affordable maternity options! Just be aware that most Old Navy stores don't carry these items, so you'll need to purchase them online.
Combat Those Nasty First-Trimester Symptoms
Whether you're a pregnant mama struggling through morning sickness or you're hoping to bless someone who is, these items would be perfect in a care package! Pregnant women can't take all the same over-the-counter drugs that everyone else can, and it can be challenging to combat some of the nasty first-trimester symptoms naturally. Preggie Pop Drops and Tums are safe for pregnant women and effective in easing discomfort.
Peppermint tea is also perfect for a queasy stomach, and it's also known to aid digestion. Plus, it's caffeine-free, making it the perfect solution for pregnant mamas looking for a little comfort! Stash tea is my absolute favorite - I have purchased multi-packs of this peppermint tea in the past, and I'll never buy anything else!
Even though antacids and peppermint tea aren't just pregnancy products, expecting mamas might find themselves using these a lot more frequently in the first trimester!
Miscellaneous Items I Use & Recommend
Last but not least, I have to share these last three pregnancy products that I use daily!
Obviously, your doctor will tell you to start taking prenatal vitamins, but there are a ton of options out there. It's overwhelming! I recommend Nature Made Prenatal Multi+DHA Vitamins. These are the most affordable, quality prenatal vitamins I could find, and I use them every day!
Palmer's Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks is probably my favorite item on this entire roundup. Full disclosure - I have a lot of stretch marks elsewhere on my body, and I wish I had always known about this lotion! It is super rich, almost like a cream, and improves skin elasticity by keeping it supple and moisturized as your bump stretches and grows. I use this lotion every day on my ever-expanding belly and so far, it's helped me prevent stretch marks!
Lastly, I received this pregnancy pillow for Christmas and have slept with it every single night since! It's super soft and cuddly, and it provides the perfect amount of support for my belly and hips. I like the shape of this pillow as opposed to some of the U-shaped pillows, because you can kind of mold it around to fit how you want. It has definitely helped me sleep through the night better!
More Ideas for Thoughtful Gifters & First-Time Moms
Whether you're putting together a thoughtful care package gift for a newly pregnant mama or you're a first time mom yourself, the options are endless! Here are a few more products and gift ideas that have been helpful for me during this pregnancy.
A Pregnancy Journal
I received this pregnancy journal as a gift from my hospital after my first appointment. Yeah, I know, I know... I pay them plenty of money to provide care for me during pregnancy, but I thought it was a really nice and unnecessary gesture! Journaling your pregnancy is a sweet way to remember how you felt each week. Even if you've been terribly uncomfortable, you'll be able to look back and smile on what this time in your life was like many years from now.
The Bump Pregnancy Tracker App
The Bump's pregnancy tracking app (downloadable for free at the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store) is an excellent resource for first time pregnant moms. Since we first-timers have no way of knowing what's normal in pregnancy, this is a great, safe place to search for or ask questions on the forums. The app also tracks your pregnancy every day, giving you fun little tidbits on how big your baby is each day and information on how baby is developing week by week. You can even make reminders about upcoming appointments. Simply put - The Bump is a great tool, especially for newbies!
Yoga or Other Prenatal Workout Subscription
My workouts changed dramatically when I got pregnant. I know they say you can continue to do all the same exercises you did pre-pregnancy, but I'll be honest. I really didn't feel like working out anymore, at least not at the same intensity level! My boobs hurt when I ran or jumped. I felt exhausted all the time and had a hard time lifting weights because of it. Most pregnant moms feel nauseous and would rather lie in a curled up ball than do cardio!
Once I entered the second trimester and the initial uncomfortable symptoms tapered off, I was ready to work out again... but I had lost a lot of ground. These days I'm sticking to yoga, going for walks, and occasionally doing prenatal-specific workouts on Youtube. As a reference, I bought a year's subscription to The Yoga Collective on Groupon for SUPER cheap, and my husband and I have been enjoying it! As for free Youtube prenatal workouts, check out FIT by Larie's channel.
Gift Cards for Takeout or Homemade Baked Goods
Even though I didn't get super nauseous in my first trimester, I still had those crazy food cravings and aversions! Cooking and eating well can be difficult when it seems like everything besides fried foods and chocolate turns your stomach. Many days I simply didn't eat because just the thought of any food made me queasy. The best advice I received from my doctor? Eat what you can tolerate!
I didn't go crazy on junk food or anything, but I'd be lying if I didn't make a few impromptu drive through runs for chicken strips and burgers. So if you want to bless a newly pregnant mama, give her the gift she really wants - food! You could give her a gift card for those weeknights when nothing sounds good but Chinese takeout. Or if baking is your thing, bring her a pan of fresh, homemade brownies! I'm definitely not advising that pregnant women should eat this way all the time, but this gift could be a nice gesture and a big help on those days where cravings and aversions take over.
You got this, Mama!