I’ve been fairly frank about the fact that I hate pregnancy. As far as I’m concerned there is no glow to be had – it’s 9 months of sickness, sleeplessness, feeling grotty, and behaving like an angry, hormonal monster. We all know it’ll be worth it at the end, but 9 months is a long time to get through so anything that will make pregnancy that bit easier is always welcome with me!
These are the items that have been getting me through this time around, those must-have pregnancy items that I just wouldn’t be without!
Ah, those people who tell you ‘get your sleep in now before the baby comes’! I could cheerfully slap them sometimes! If you’re anything like me, from the moment you get that positive pregnancy test your sleep is interrupted – either for trips to the loo, trying to get comfortable, or just waking up and not being able to get back to sleep. I really couldn’t be without my pregnancy pillow.
This time around I was kindly sent this U-shaped pillow from Snuggle Up Pregnancy Pillows and I can’t recommend it enough. It’s so big, that when I unpacked it, my husband couldn’t stop laughing at the size of it! But the size is its biggest strength – it’s fantastically supportive for your whole body, really supporting both your bump and your back too. I find I can’t sleep on my back once I get past a certain stage of pregnancy, and it’s not recommended anyway. As sleeping on your front is also out, that only leaves sleeping on your side as an option. The left hand side is recommended to encourage the baby into the optimum position for birth, and this helps me to stay on that side during the night. The outer fabric is so soft and stroke-able, and the inner fabric is scented with lavender to aid sleep. Since using this pregnancy pillow I’ve been sleeping so much better. Although I’m still waking up a few times in the night, this makes it far easier to fall back asleep as I’m not tossing and turning trying to get comfortable.
But, as you can see, during the day I lose my pillow to my son, who thinks it’s an amazing place to chill out, or to drape over the side of the bed and use it as a slide, or pretend it’s a fireman’s hose. It’s a multi-purpose device!
Stretch Mark Cream
I think I have about 4 of these on the go at the moment, from balms, to butters, to oils, to lotions! Although I do believe that stretchmarks are a genetic thing and if you’re going to get them, there’s not much you can do about it. However, it makes sense that if your skin is more supple, then if you are prone to them that at least they won’t end up being that bad. I have a few from my first pregnancy (I made it all the way through without any, and then they all appeared after the birth as my tummy shrank – how unfair is that?) and I’m hoping not to add too many more to the collection this time around. My favourite of all the various ones I’ve tried so far is Neals Yard Remedies Mother’s Balm – unscented, easy to manipulate out of the pot, easily absorbed, but you can feel all the moisturising oils softening things up.
I definitely didn’t realise the benefit of a bath in my first pregnancy, but this time around I’ve spent so much time in the bath. There’s something about the water taking on your weight, as well as the warmth and the relaxation that is the perfect soother to so many pregnancy aches and pains. I normally like a bath so hot that I come out lobster red, but as that’s not advised in pregnancy I’ve been taking slightly cooler baths which have been much longer as a result. I love my wooden bath tray to lay out all the things I might want to hand for a bath – a face mask, a scented candle, more bath salts if they need topping up. I love my Neals Yard Remedies products – their lavender bath salts are amazing, and I love a splash of their Mother Bath Oil too.
I hate that slightly metallic taste that appears in your mouth as soon as you fall pregnant. Even when the sickness has passed, that taste still persists and really turns your stomach. A pack of mints is an essential handbag item for me – my favourite is polos, there’s something about the slightly sweeter taste of them that seems to sit better with me.
So… big mum fail here, but first time around I didn’t know that you weren’t supposed to wear underwired bras in pregnancy. Apparently it can cause problems with allowing the milk to come in after the birth. I knew there were maternity bras but I thought they were just a con to make you spend more money! This time around I’ve been much better on that front and I’ve been wearing my nursing bras from last time around which still fit really well. I definitely find that boobs can get very sore in pregnancy and despite loving an underwired bra normally, I’m finding non-wired nursing bras so much more comfortable. And if you get a nursing bra with the unclippable straps, it’s not such a short term purchase as you’ll use it if you breastfeed too.
Good skincare regime
There are so many chemicals in skincare products that you are told to avoid in pregnancy – retinols and salicylic acid being the main culprits. I’ve found that my skin has been suffering in this pregnancy and I’ve stripped my skincare routine back to basics. I’ve always been a huge fan of Liz Earle – it just suits my skin really well, particularly during a period where I’m experiencing a bit of an eczema flare up, and I love that I know there’s nothing in it that will be harmful to a growing baby. I also love the Origins GinZing range which has a lovely uplifting citrus scent (you can read my review here) which is so refreshing after a tough night’s sleep. Find a skincare range that works for you and allow yourself a bit of time to pamper yourself.
Honestly, I never wear leggings at any other time in my life, but during pregnancy they are a must have! During the first few trimesters I break out the pregnancy jeans, but I’ve not yet found a pair that remain tight and are comfortable at the same time. And as you get further along in pregnancy getting skinny jeans on can be like a military operation! Take the easy (and comfy) route and opt for leggings, like these from Jojo Maman Bebe – you won’t regret it!
I really do find pregnancy more exhausting and stressful than those early newborn days. Having the support of my husband has been absolutely essential in getting through it – he’s been absolutely amazing and I’m so grateful for everything he’s taken on during this time. Most of the cooking, cleaning and general house ‘stuff’ has fallen to him, and he’s not complained once about it. I hope you have a supportive partner to help out, and if you feel you need more help from family and friends, please don’t be afraid to ask.
What are the must-haves that got you through pregnancy? I still have 15 weeks to go, so please do let me know!
Disclosure: The pregnancy pillow was sent to me in return for inclusion in this post (luckily I already had the supportive partner!). As always, all words and opinions are my own.