Now that I’m two weeks post-partum I’ll go ahead and consider myself a pro and lend you some of my top tips based on my very-recent experience being pregnant. There are tons of lists out there but I’ll be honest, I think this is the best list out there because these really are must haves! Some of them are unconventional but everything on this list has been a must for me these past few months!
- Maternity leggings and tops that can be used for nursing as well. I will be honest, I didn’t get that big during my pregnancy so even in my 9th month I was still wearing some non-maternity clothes. BUT the one piece of maternity wear that I wore almost every week was a pair of simple black maternity leggings from Motherhood Maternity and they were super comfortable and kept their color really well considering how many times I wore/washed them. When you’re going through all the different stages of pregnancy – nausea, moodiness, tiredness, bloating, etc – it’s good to have something that you know will match with anything, that you can dress up/down, and that is super comfortable. If you plan on breastfeeding your little one nursing tops are a lifesaver. They are discreet for nursing in public, or even at home if you don’t feel like taking your top off every hour or two to feed your newborn.
- Stretch mark cream/oil – Not getting stretch marks was my #2 goal this pregnancy (#1 was of course to have a healthy baby!) My skin got really itchy as it stretched, so keeping your skin hydrated is key. I made sure to measure all the water I was drinking – I stayed at around 3-4L per day throughout my pregnancy (this also helps avoid any leg cramps) and in the beginning I was only using coconut oil as a lotion. After awhile I realized that it made my clothes smell funky so I and invested in a really good oil and cream. I wanted to make sure that they were totally natural and safe during pregnancy so these are the two that I used Korres body oil (in a beautiful Jasmine scent) and JASON Vitamin E cream I got from Wesley’s Wholesale. I put them on morning, night, and post-shower without fail and so far it seems like I haven’t gotten any stretch marks! The JASON Vitamin E cream has a very neutral and light scent to it and can be used on face and body so my husband likes to use it as well!
- Maternity Activewear/Comfortable Sports bra – This is actually super important! Getting active-wear that accommodates your changing body, makes you feel comfortable and confident as you move will keep you motivated to stay active even in the later months of your pregnancy. And that’s when it’s most important for you and your babies health! I’ll be honest with you, there will be days where you won’t want to put on anything other than a comfortable sports bra, gym shorts, and just lounge around. Post-partum I don’t want to wear anything but comfortable gym clothes all day every day! I plan on nursing for as long as I can so it is important to me that my active-wear not only work for maternity but for nursing as well. When it comes to activewear this is combination is harder to find than you would think. The main athletic brands don’t sell maternity/nursing clothes. The main maternity brands sell “active wear” but it’s not the type of quality that or style that you would expect (moisture wicking, nursing friendly, or trendy style/color). I did a lot of research and found just a few companies that offer proper maternity/nursing activewear:
Full reviews of the products that I have from each brand will be coming up shortly and I’ll update this list as I get those reviews up! 🙂
- Pregnancy Pillow – Once you hit your second trimester you’re advised to try to sleep on your side – sleeping on your back can make the baby compress on a vital vein that returns blood from your lower body to your heart. But sleeping on your sides all night is not that comfortable which is where this pillow comes in! It helps support your growing stomach, head, arms and legs as you lay on your side. My sister in law gave me her pregnancy pillow early on and I’ve gone to sleep with it every night except when we traveled – and I had the worst time arranging all the different pillows at night. Click here to see the type of pillow that I have. Now that I’m post-partum you ALSO can’t sleep on your stomach and sleeping on your side is questionable-especially after your milk comes in (hello, engorgement!) so I’m STILL using this pillow!
- A natural, tasty whey protein powder or bar – YES I am totally serious about this and this is something that isn’t on ANY OTHER pregnancy list. Even if you don’t workout or take a protein powder previously this will be a life saver, trust me! When I was nauseous, most protein sources made me feel sick at just the thought of eating them. Eggs, beef, chicken, fish, anything! What was I going to do then? I choked down a few spoonfuls of food but I was always worried that I wasn’t getting enough protein/calories for the baby and that I was overloading on carbs. I didn’t want to get super bloated from all the carbs and I was paranoid about developing gestational diabetes (my mom had it when she was pregnant with me so I have a predisposition to it). Having a protein bar that I enjoyed really saved me in those moments- and satisfied my sweet tooth at the same time! At another point in my pregnancy eating in the mornings was not an option – I would wake up so exhausted I couldn’t think of making a proper breakfast. So I started making smoothies with some nuts, chia seeds, banana, ice, and a scoop of protein. I used Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey, Double Rich Chocolate for protein powder, and Quest Bars for my protein bar of choice.