Pregnancy Essentials

Once I reach the end of this pregnancy in a few weeks time, I'll have been pregnant for a whopping 15 months out of the last 17. I've forgotten what it's like not to be pregnant by this point, so I thought I'd list the essential items that I've relied on during both my pregnancies...

Baby Books/Apps
I've acquired quite a collection of baby books. My favourites are Your Pregnancy Bible - which gives all the pregnancy info you could possibly want, and The Rough Guide to Pregnancy & Birth - which is informative in a lighthearted way and has plenty of laugh out loud moments. In terms of apps, there are some good free ones (BabyBump, BabyCenter My Pregnancy and What to Expect Pregnancy Tracker) but I found the best one was Health & Parenting Ltd Pregnancy++, which costs a pound or two but gives the most detailed weekly and daily updates, as well as featuring tools for kick counts, contractions, tracking weight gain and a whole host of other useful features.

Skin Care
Whether you get stretchmarks is more to do with genetics than skin care, but it's nice to pamper yourself during pregnancy. I recently reviewed the Love Boo range which is a delight to use. I prefer body butters to oils, and a great cheaper alternative I've found is nspa Mum to Be Moisturising Bump Butter, which only costs £5 from Asda. It contains Shea Butter, Rosehip Oil and Vitamin E and smells incredible! So far, no stretchmarks, but I know they often pop up in the very last few weeks/days so I'll wait and see!

Maternity Bra
It was a relief to switch from regular underwire bras to maternity bras, and I wish I'd made the change earlier on in pregnancy as regular bras quickly became uncomfortable. Bravado are well recognised as offering a great selection of maternity and nursing bras. Their Bliss Nursing Bra offers good support with moulded foam cups, and looks more like a traditional bra, but has no underwire and features a clasp for nursing. I've also relied a lot on my Emma Jane Maternity Bra, which is soft, stretchy and looks more like a sports bra. I wear this on casual days around the house when comfort is key and it would make a great sleep bra for nighttime feeds.

If you want to hang on to your regular bras for a while longer, I recommend buying some bra strap extenders. Something I didn't expect to happen was my underbust measurement to increase, so buying these meant my bras didn't dig into my ribs! I got a pack of 6 in different colours from Amazon for just over £5 and they've been put to good use.

Maternity Wear Basics
It's worth buying some maternity basics, like a staple pair of maternity jeans (I like ASOS), leggings and some plain short and long sleeve tshirts (I got mine from New Look). With this pregnancy, I had a bump very early on, so I was thankful to have my trusty maternity leggings at hand. I had initially tried Topshop for leggings, but they disappointed as they only reached my calves despite being from the Tall range, and felt too restrictive. Thankfully, I found some ver the bump leggings from New Look which were super long and very comfortable. Plenty of stretch for a blossoming bump, soft material and they cost less too. 

Pregnancy Journal
I recently featured the Bump to Baby Journal on my blog, which is available from Amazon. A really lovely way to keep track of your pregnancy and record a special time.  Matt and I have already enjoyed reading back on it, looking at scan pictures and watching my bump grow through the photos I've included.

Pregnancy Pillow
During pregnancy, you only have two options for your sleeping position - your left or right side! Constantly resting all your body weight on one hip can be incredibly painful, as I soon found out. During my twin pregnancy, a regular pillow between my knees didn't suffice or ease the pain, but in my current pregnancy, thankfully it has worked and I haven't needed to invest in a pregnancy pillow. If I had needed to, I had my eye on Pillow Pleasure - a full body pillow which has had good reviews and looks incredibly cosy!

Prenatal Vitamin
Folic acid is recommended before you even start trying to conceive, but I preferred to combine it with some extra vitamins, so once I was pregnant, I had the reassurance that the baby was getting all the nutrients it needed. That way, I didn't need to worry when I went through my morning sickness stage and could only eat McDonalds! I've been taking Pregnacare throughout both pregnancies, which is inexpensive and recommended by midwives.

Kegel Trainer
Every pregnancy guide emphasises the importance of exercising the pelvic floor. I was useless as remembering/bothering to do mine, so I downloaded the free Kegel Trainer app, where you can set reminders throughout the day. After carrying twins and becoming pregnant again so quickly after giving birth, I'm glad I took the time to do these daily (and continue to do so!)

Let me know your pregnancy essentials!

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