With this being my second pregnancy I thought I knew all about what pregnancy essentials I’d need to help me through these long 9 months. Yes I said long. To me it feels like a long time when you’re feeling sick and aching and sleeping badly. But I also know when each week ticks by that really, especially now well into my second trimester, it’s also kind of flying! There are some products I’ve used again which I used last time, but I’ve also tried some new things which I’d love to share with you. So, here are 11 pregnancy essentials you might not know about…
1. Travel bands
Ok, so I used these last time after some serious googling about morning sickness. Like my last pregnancy I haven’t actually vomited, but I felt so so sick from about 4 days after my positive test, until about 12 weeks. It’s also reared it’s ugly head again well into the second trimester. When I start to feel ill I put on my travel bands and it does seem to take the edge off. (That and beef flavoured crisps.) You can find them in places like Boots. Amazon sell these Sea-Band Wrist Band Drug Free Nausea Relief too.
2. Pregnancy pillow or normal pillows?
Last time I dutifully bought a pregnancy pillow assuming this was the done thing. But I have to admit for the last few months I’ve stopped using it and have simply been using normal pillows. This was on the advice of my physio who recommended rolling a firm memory foam pillow lengthways and taping it up, so it’s like a cylinder. It then goes between your knees right down to your ankles, not just between your knees. This helps support your lower back more. It doesn’t look pretty but it does the job! I then use another pillow under my bump.
My pregnancy pillow was massive, and it had a section for your head as well as bump and knees. But whenever you want to turn over in bed it’s a huge struggle and it also hurt my neck as the bit for under my head was on top of my normal pillows. I’m actually SO much more comfortable now. Each to their own, but if you’re not getting on with your pregnancy pillow, you can give this a try.
3. Pregnancy vitamins
I’m sticking with what I know and using Vitabiotics Pregnacare Max, 84 Tablets/Capsules – Pack of 1. They’re a lot pricier than own brand products but I like the reassurance because I’ve used them before. Whatever brand you go for, a good pregnancy vitamin is essential.
4. Aduna Baobab superfruit powder
Something new I’ve been trialing in addition to my multivitamin is Baobab powder. The African Baobab fruit is one of the world’s most nutrient-rich superfoods and is rich in vitamin C, fibre and antioxidants. So it’s a great way to boost your immunity. It has a really refreshing sweet and citrusy taste and is great sprinkled on porridge or cereal or mixed into yoghurt. There are a range of recipes on the Aduna website. At the start of the pregnancy I was constantly snotty and on the verge of getting a cold. Since I’ve been having this sprinkled on my breakfast most days I’ve actually noticed I’m less stuffed up. Whether that has anything to do with it or whether this pregnancy symptom just isn’t as bad anymore, I don’t know. But I’m going to continue to use it.
5. Stretch mark prevention cream
When I was pregnant with Miss Belle I was lucky and didn’t get any stretch marks. I used a cream every morning and Bio Oil in the evenings. I didn’t like using the oil in the morning as it took longer to absorb than a cream. This time I’m doing the same. I’m using Colief’s Mum To Be moisturising cream every morning. It’s contains rich plant oils and essential vitamins help to fight the appearance of stretch marks before, during and after pregnancy. It can also relieve dryness and generally rehydrates your skin. It absorbs well and isn’t greasy. It’s recommended to use several times a day as you get into the later stages of pregnancy so I probably should be using it twice a day. But, so far so good from using this once a day alongside my Bio Oil.
6. Top maternity and nursing bra from Bravado
We all know we need to make sure we wear a good maternity bra when we’re expecting. Last time I got remeasured at Mothercare and bought some non wired bras. I felt a bit self-conscious because I could tell my shape looked different. After Miss Belle was born a friend recommended I try a Bravado nursing bra which she described felt like “wearing butter” – as in, they are so comfy they just melt into your skin. And she was right! So this pregnancy I’ve been wearing the Bravado Body Silk Seamless Yoga nursing bra and I’m so much happier. It’s so comfortable, gives good support, and has moulded cups which give such a better shape. Sorry guys – I’m not sharing a picture of me in my bra! But check out the link above. It’s also available from John Lewis.
This bra is fantastic. It’s a maternity and nursing bra with easy to use clips to use if breastfeeding. If you’re pregnant and need a new maternity bra, and intend to feed, this is the only bra you need!
7. A relaxing bath oil
One of the best things to relieve aches and pains is a nice warm bath when you’re pregnant. I was sent some Olverum bath oil to try. I immediately used it and felt the benefits. My skin was soft and I was relaxed afterwards. It’s probably the nicest bath oil I’ve ever used. The leaflet says to check with your midwife or doctor if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. After a bit of googling, it turns out it contains two essential oils which are to be avoided in pregnancy – juniper and rosemary. I only used a tiny 5ml amount mixed into a very deep bath and there are lots of other essential oils mixed in with it too. But, on the advice of my reflexologist who’s also a trained midwife, I won’t be using it until after the baby is born now. So I’d consider this a new mum essential instead.
8. Hypnobirthing – book, CD, course.. just do it!
I did a full hypnobirthing course at the Orange Grove Clinic in Norwich last time and will be doing a refresher course later in the year. I can’t recommend it highly enough. As part of the course I got a book and relaxation CD. I’m already reading the book and listening to the CD at night. The CD has positive birth affirmations as well as a relaxation track. I am not lying when I say sometimes I’m asleep after a few minutes of the relaxation!
In my last pregnancy I got properly into the zone with hypnobirthing as I laboured at home and only had to go into hospital when I did as I had meconium in my waters. Although it wasn’t the perfect hypnobirth, I had a natural birth with some gas and air. In terms of birth experiences I’d say mine was probably the best out of my NCT friends. None of us had an emergency c-section but there were inductions, episiotomies, and the need for surgery after bad tears. In comparison I got off lightly, and I’m sure hypnobirthing helped me. In my opinion if there’s one thing you should do to prepare for birth, hypnobirthing should be it!
9. Align your baby course
I had Miss Belle at 40 weeks and 3 days but at my 40 week appointment I was told she was slightly back to back. After the birth I told a midwife that sadly because of the meconium in my waters I couldn’t have her on the midwife led unit. She seemed to think the reason for the meconium could have been because Miss Belle wasn’t in the best position. So, when I found out about the Align Your Baby online course, I decided this was something I really wanted to do this time.
The concept is clear – aligning your baby and pelvis is key to encouraging a quicker, easier and more comfortable birth. It’s run by a midwife with expert advice from physiotherapists and osteopaths. There are modules to help if your baby is breech or traverse, and a troubleshooting for problems in labour section. Both of which I’ve not yet watched obviously. My favourite thing about it is the earlier module which gives you six lifestyle tips on everything from how you sit and sleep, to yoga positions and walking, which you can do throughout pregnancy to help prepare for birth. There’s even a private yoga class with positions you can do at home. They recommend you start practicing these at around 20 weeks. This course is brilliant and well worth a look into if you’re hoping for as straight forward a birth as possible.
10. Pregnancy milestones card
After I had Miss Belle a friend gave us some milestone cards as a gift which were really lovely. Matt and I took some gorgeous pictures which we posted away on Facebook and added to our baby photo album. But I didn’t know that the fab people at Milestone Cards made pregnancy ones too! This time I’m more determined to get some nice bump shots, so these are perfect for that. You may have seen a few on my Instagram feed! In addition to the milestone “so many weeks” cards, there are cute ones for when you first feel those baby kicks and some for when the baby is born. You may be thinking these aren’t an “essential” but if you want to record your pregnancy they are a great way to document it. You can find them online at Born Gifted.
11. Mum to Be box
Last on my list is this wonderful “Mum to Be” letterbox gift.
It’s a brilliant gift idea for a friend or relative who’s expecting, or if you just want to indulge with a bit of pampering. The box comes through the post and has loads of lovely little treats. There are scented candles and soap which I’ve enjoyed with my bath. There’s also a packet of raspberry leaf tea which I’m yet to have as I’m too early. My favourite thing is the bump balm which smells wonderful, full of oranges. And there’s a nice lip balm too. Again, you may not think it’s a pregnancy essential, but it’s so important to relax and look after yourself when pregnant. This box set definitely helps mums to be have a bit of me time.
So there you have 11 pregnancy essentials that I’ve been using in my second pregnancy. If there are some things here you’ve not heard of before, I hope you find the post useful. Is there a specific product you’ve used during pregnancy which you couldn’t live without? If so, let me know in the comments box.