Last week I mentioned a few of the things I thought I might need for the baby. But honestly, I have no frigging idea whether I’ll need stuff or not at this stage so it’s all guesswork, anecdotal evidence and pressure from the
pushy helpful John Lewis staff. So, last week’s post was less informative and more inquisitive I guess. This week, I can speak with a little more authority as I wanna talk about the things I’ve found insanely helpful during pregnancy. My pregnancy essentials if you will.
As you know, or have probably guessed, I’ve had a pretty textbook, super easy pregnancy. I don’t know if that’s common or not…..I certainly know that alongside the fact there are a myriad of quirks and symptoms making no one pregnancy the same as another, there’s also an intrinsic need to complain about pregnancy. I include myself in this too, because sometimes your default reaction to someone asking how you are is to shrug and say: “So tired!”
Personally, I’ve loved being pregnant and far from feeling like I’m ready to pop the baby out sooner am keen for it to stay in as long as possible. (42 weeks with no induction would be IDEAL.) Mostly because I’m not at all prepared, I have loads more hypnobirthing practice to do, along with some epic nesting, work to finish (as I write this, I’m still working at 37 weeks with no end date for work in sight…..) and plenty more baths to take, you know?
I actually really think I need to slow down, but somehow I’ve found myself speeding up. Anyway, I digress.
All this is to say that my pregnancy essentials likely won’t be at all similar to your own. Because I’ve had a super easy, fun pregnancy and perhaps you won’t (although I’m almost certain the majority of pregnancies are better than people make them out to be….shhhhh.) But, these bits and bobs have been invaluable to me throughout and I’d wager you’ll get some use from them too.
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- Burt’s Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter | I was lucky enough to be sent a bundle of goodies from Burts Bees which included this dreamy belly butter. Every night me or Oli rubs it into my growing belly and, alongside being a cool bonding time for us and the nutty, kicking baby, has helped prevent stretch marks (37 weeks and still free from the pesky things!)
- This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray | I actually got this in a little gift set with the amazing primer before my wedding, and never really found use for it then. But in the later stages of pregnancy sleeping hasn’t been as easy (although I wanna say I still get a really decent eight or nine hours and it’s not nearly as horrific as many have told me their has been). Anyway, a few spritzes of this on my pillow at night genuinely seems to help. If nothing else, it’s a placebo and honestly who cares as long as the result is positive?
- Pillows | Fairly early on I started getting hip pain on the side I sleep on. Just a dull ache, but enough to make sleep a little less comfortable and on a few occasions it even woke me up. So my yoga teacher suggested I pop a pillow between my knees, and maybe even one under my hip too. I then had two or three nights where I had annoying restless leg syndrome, to which a friend suggested I pop pillows under my feet to elevate them. After which, I was basically sleeping bolstered up with a gazillion pillows! But you know what? It worked. At this stage, I have to admit I bought one of those Dream Genii sausage style pillows that wraps around you and I thought it was total crap. It’s such an intense faff and if you need a wee at night you have to rearrange yourself again…..I slept worse with it, so I personally wouldn’t recommend it.
- Books | There are such a humungous amount out there but I would wholeheartedly recommend these three for proper, sensible advice: Expecting Better by Emily Oster will help you understand the fact behind the ‘no soft cheese rule’ and empower you not to be scared by conventional pregnancy wisdom. How to Grow a Baby and Push it Out by Clemmie Hooper is a GEM of a book written by a midwife who’ll tell you what you actually need to prevent tearing, and whether you’ll poo during labour. It’s amazing. Finally, Juju Sundin’s Birth Skills was recommended to me by my friend Kate who said it was invaluable for giving practical pain management skills in childbirth. There’s no woo-woo nonsense, just great, common sense knowledge and brilliant wisdom on what is actually happening at each stage of pregnancy.
- Tonic Water, Dates, Raspberry Leaf tea | Tonic water plus cucumber, oranges or anything else a little jazzy is the yummiest non-alcoholic drink ever. (In my opinion) Dates are the best for feeling a bit desperate for sugar, and there’s quite a lot of evidence to suggest they help soften the cervix in preparation for birth……and Raspberry Leaf tea also helps things along, allegedly. Either way, I like the taste of it and it’s one of the only herbal teas I would ever allow to pass my lips (the rest taste like gross hot water)
- Bath bombs | Or just bath oil, or Johnson’s baby bath (divine!) or whatever. As my pregnancy progresses I’m taking ever more baths, and it’s so dreamy. I can’t recommend taking a little time out of your day/evening to do the same. Rose petals not necessary, but they are a fabulous addition.
Et voila! What would you add to this list?
Also published on Medium.