Today I’m sharing the products that have helped me the most during both of my pregnancies. While every pregnancy is different, if applicable, I hope they work as well for you as they have for me!
1. Isabel by Ingrid & Isabel Maternity Tank Tops. I love these tanks and depending on the weather, I wear them alone or with a warm or light cardigan. The long length is perfect even in the home stretch of pregnancy. Speaking of Isabel by Ingrid & Isabel, I highly recommend this brand when it comes to maternity clothes, as everything I’ve tried has been great! Target also carries quite a few of their pieces.
2. Lululemon Align Leggings. Aside from the occasional dress, I pretty much live in comfy, stretchy leggings throughout my entire pregnancy for both work and leisure. My favorite maternity leggings were purchased during my first pregnancy and are by Isabel by Ingrid & Isabel. I can’t seem to find the exact pair so I think they may have been discontinued. However, I also love the Lululemon Aligns. These cult-favorite leggings are non-maternity so I recommend going up one or two sizes. I’ve also read a lot of great things about these leggings that have built-in belly support.
3. Thorne Basic Prenatal Multivitamin. For my current pregnancy, I started out taking this prenatal, but then they changed the formula and they now taste like fish. Not just a little like fish…a LOT like fish. So I switched to these Thorne ones. They’ve worked really well for me and I’ve never felt nauseous after taking them. In my first pregnancy, I took this prenatal and liked it as well.
4. Nordic Naturals Prenatal DHA. Research shows that healthy DHA levels in moms during pregnancy and lactation support optimal brain and visual development in babies. I especially like this particular one because it’s the official Omega-3 of the American Pregnancy Association. They taste a little fishy, as you’d expect, but I don’t think it’s too bad at all.
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5. Hatch Belly Oil. Some say stretch marks are genetic and there’s no product that can prevent them. Even if that’s the case, I still like using an oil on my belly to keep it nice and hydrated. I love how this oil feels and will continue to use it even after pregnancy. A couple of other body moisturizers I’ve tried and like are this lotion for stretch marks (great price point!) and this belly oil (I pretty much love all Tubby Todd products for both Lake and myself.) I saw that Summer Fridays recently came out with a belly balm that looks like it could be a good option as well.
6. Farmacy Honey Butter Beeswax Lip Balm. I’m kind of a lip balm junkie, but this beeswax one in particular, has been my go-to during this pregnancy. It came in especially clutch during the frigid winter we had in Iowa this year.
7. Pregnancy Books. There are a LOT of pregnancy books out there. A few of my favorites include: Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy, Brain Health from Birth: Nurturing Brain Development During Pregnancy and the First Year and Real Food For Pregnancy. Also, I find anything from the Mayo Clinic or the American Academy of Pediatrics to be a solid resource for current and evidenced-based information.
8. What to Expect Pregnancy & Baby Tracker App. Like books, there are also a lot of pregnancy apps. The What To Expect app, based on the eponymous book, has been my most-used app during both pregnancies. It features a host of helpful articles and tools as well as a very active ‘Community’ section, which I check out often. I also enjoy their week by week videos and subscribe to their various newsletters. BabyCenter and The Bump are great resources as well and I’ve also read great things about the Ovia apps.
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9. Leachco Back ‘N Belly Pregnancy Contoured Body Pillow. One of the biggest adjustments for me when I’m pregnant is the transition to sleeping on my side as opposed to my back from the second trimester on. (There seems to be debate about this but some experts say sleeping on your back after 28 weeks can increase the risk of stillbirth by compressing a major blood vessel and reducing blood flow to the baby.) This contoured, full-body pillow has helped relieve some of my frustration. It’s very comfortable and I like how it’s a full U-shape and easily allows for me to switch sides during the night. (Sidenote: With many pregnancy pillows, it can be struggle city to put the pillow case back on after washing. I always feel like I’m wrestling a bear, haha!)
10. Abercrombie & Fitch Rubber Flip-Flops. My feet swell during pregnancy so when the weather allows, I gravitate towards open-back shoes. Sandals, flip-flops, etc. These A&F flip-flops are my all-time favorite since they’re really comfortable and well-made. Alternatively, these flip-flops are a great and inexpensive option as well.
11. Swarovski Crystal Ring. I feel like this one may have stood out a bit on this list, haha! Well, in addition to my feet, my fingers also swell when I’m pregnant so it’s only a matter of time before my wedding ring doesn’t fit. But I still want to wear some sort of ring. This ring is adjustable and looks very real! So much so that I’ve received multiple compliments on it. One important thing to note is if you don’t take it off each time you wash or sanitize your hands, it will tarnish on the bottom over time. Even though mine has tarnished some, it has never turned my finger green. The tarnish doesn’t bother me as it’s mainly just on the bottom of the ring which people don’t see. If it does bother you, you could always just buy another one when it starts to tarnish, as the price point is pretty good. For reference, I have the ‘White Gold Plated’ in ’04, April.’
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12. YETI Rambler Water Bottle. Gotta stay hydrated! I love this stainless steel water bottle because it’s large (36 ounces), keeps my water cold all day and the chug cap is a game-changer.
13. Orgain Grass Fed Clean Protein Shake, Creamy Chocolate Fudge. Whether I’m pregnant or not, this is my go-to ready-made protein shake. I like it because it’s a quick grab-and-go breakfast or snack, contains 20 grams of protein which keeps me satiated for a good amount of time, and best of all, tastes delicious! (For the record, I’m extremely picky when it comes to protein shakes and powders. I think there are so many more bad tasting ones than good tasting ones!)
14. Extra Spearmint Gum. With my first pregnancy, I didn’t experience any nausea and in this second pregnancy, I had bouts of nausea during the second half of the first trimester. I found that spearmint gum helped me the most. Some other popular remedies for pregnancy nausea include: ginger tea, ginger chews, crackers, peppermint discs and preggie pops.
ALSO OF NOTE:
- Count the Kicks. Count the Kicks (founded in Iowa!) is a stillbirth prevention public health and awareness campaign dedicated to educating expectant parents about the importance of counting their baby’s movements daily during the third trimester of pregnancy. It’s a wonderful campaign that has saved many children’s lives. Click here to download the free app.
- Pregnancy and Postpartum TV. This YouTube channel has a wide array of pregnancy and postpartum workouts ranging from gentle yoga to HITT. There are also fun themed workouts for kids.
- 15 Minute Beauty Blog. This blog is authored by a mom/pediatric critical care doctor. Created in 2007, it contains a wealth of information on pregnancy safe beauty products. I like to use the ‘Search’ feature to look up a particular brand to see what makeup and skincare products are safe and not safe to use while pregnant and breastfeeding.
- Hair tie hack for jeans/pants. I use this genius hack during early pregnancy with my regular, non-maternity jeans and pants when they still technically fit but are starting to become a little snug.
- 4D or 5D ultrasound. While this isn’t a necessity, I’ve had a 5D ultrasound for both pregnancies and they’ve been so much fun. It’s funny how much more REAL it makes your pregnancy when you see your baby’s face up close and personal in 4D or 5D. If you’re local, I’ve had great experiences with Prenatal Vision.
Do you have any pregnancy or maternity must-haves that I didn’t mention above? Leave a comment below letting me know your favorites!