There are women who breeze through pregnancy with nothing short of a hiccup. Then there are women who endure pain, discomfort, and/or emotional anxiety.
I was probably somewhere in between those two.
I was sick for six months, had back issues, and from time-to-time had moderate freak outs about the reality of what was happening (and was about to happen). I like to think that’s normal. Right? Yea, totally normal.
BumpNest Pillow: Any mom-to-be will tell you a pregnancy pillow is essential. The bigger you get, the more uncomfortable sleep becomes. My husband got me this pillow as a Christmas gift, and it quickly became my new bestie.
Preggo Pops: My morning/afternoon/nighttime sickness escalated quickly, and these definitely weren’t a cure. But they did help in the early weeks when I was just getting hit with those waves of nausea. They also taste like candy, and you have a valid excuse to indulge.
Maternity Jeans: I’m very picky about my jeans. It’s so hard for me to find jeans that hold their shape. So although most of my maternity wardrobe was on the more affordable scale, I did invest in some quality jeans. Joe’s were my favorite, and they lasted from 12 weeks all the way to post-partum. I’d suggest getting two pairs so you can rotate them.
Stretchy Pants: While we’re on the topic of investing in pants, it’s a good idea to get a quality pair of stretchy pants. I actually had these pre-pregnancy (for all the yoga I did…or, was gonna do…someday…), and as they were stretchy around the waist to begin with, I was able to wear them throughout the whole nine months. And I’ll vouch for them — there’s nothing worse than prancing around in stretchy pants and not realizing everyone can see the thong shining through the material you stretched too far.
WTE App: You’ve just found out you’re expecting. You have so many questions. And I’ll bet one of those questions is “what food item is my baby’s size relative to this week?” The What to Expect app is a really helpful tool as it tracks your baby’s progression, tells you what’s happening inside (and probably outside) your body, and tips to stay active and healthy. My favorite part though was the blog boards, which connect you with moms expecting the same month as you. I still check in with those moms from time to time to see what their babies are up to, and to ask questions I’m too embarrassed to ask my mom friends.
Protein Powder: Depending on what you’re craving (and what you can’t stand), protein powder is really great in smoothies and is easy as a quick snack. Whole foods has some good brands that are meant just as a supplement, not to turn you into a Hulk or anything.
Rest: The first trimester is scary/emotional/uncomfortable, so be sure to put yourself first and rest as much as possible! Don’t feel guilty calling in sick or working short hours, and if you feel like you’re pushing yourself, scale back. By your 2nd trimester you should start getting your energy back — and remember, your body is working harder at rest than a healthy person’s body while rock climbing (I read that, and I liked it, so it’s true). Your physical and mental health is your first priority now, so don’t ever feel guilty putting yourself first.
Food: I got a lot of dirty looks when I told people that all I was eating in my first trimester were carbs. But honestly, doctors don’t expect you to eat perfectly healthy during that time — all that matters is that you eat!! I mean, don’t use it as an excuse to throw a solo party at the buffet, but once the sickness and fatigue go away you’ll be able to make healthier choices. For now, eat what sounds good, when it sounds good. And drink lots of water!! Being dehydrated can make you feel worse.
Maternity Clothes: Once you start needing maternity clothes, you’re going to realize how limited your selection is. But, there are some good places to hit up (stock up during sales!!) I liked Gap Maternity, Old Navy Maternity, and ASOS.com. I paid the $20 to get free overnight shipping with ASOS, which is great since not everything always fits the way you think it will, so it was totally worth it.
Bras: This is tricky. If you’re like me, in the first trimester your boobs will probably grow multiple sizes really fast. I have a collection of bras now in about every size (and they’ll change during/after breastfeeding too). To get around it, these bra extenders are a more affordable way to stretch out. Also, if you purchase bras from Nordstrom, you can exchange them for the correct size should you need to switch. Just keep them in good condition, and it really helps to let the ladies there measure you!
Reading Material: I’ll be honest — I skimmed the baby books. You know, those ones that are supposed to have the answers to everything and if you don’t read them, your baby will be doomed? I skimmed them. But there was one book I read cover to cover, as it was a little lighter and offered more of a perspective on pregnancy and raising a child than a how-to-not-screw-this-up.