The Less Is More Approach To Pregnancy Must Haves
If you want to spend the money, you can find tons of pregnancy must haves. However, if you are more of a minimalist, here’s a helpful guide to pregnancy products that most pregnant women consider to be essential.
For the sake of clarity, the pregnancy must haves on the list are there to make your life easier. Strictly speaking, you could go without it. However, for a comfortable, safe, and healthy pregnancy, you will want most of the items on this pregnancy must haves list.
For your health and that of your baby, it is essential that you start taking a prenatal vitamin as early as possible. Prenatals should be on everyone’s pregnancy must haves list because they help to promote the healthy development of your baby.
There are lots of prenatal vitamins on the market, but it’s best to take one that has vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, B vitamins, zinc, and iodine.
Also, check with your OB/GYN, who might suggest higher doses of certain nutrients.
Loose / Comfortable Clothes
When it comes to clothes during your pregnancy, comfort is key! You don’t want anything pressing or digging into your belly.
If you have “normal” clothes that can comfortably go over your belly, great. Otherwise, you’ll need to get some maternity clothes.
You can get a few new maternity outfits, find them second-hand, or borrow them from a recently pregnant friend or relative. Either way, you’ll want to choose loose-fitting attire which should get you far into your pregnancy, if not all the way to the end.
During the warm seasons, consider flowy dresses and roomy overalls. During colder months, yoga pants and/or leggings may become your best friends.
You are going to be carrying an extra load for many months. It is, therefore, important that you are comfortable on your feet.
Good shoes for an expecting-mommy are made with breathable materials, plenty of cushioning, and sturdy, flexible soles that support your body when you walk and stand.
If you suffer from swollen feet during your pregnancy, consider getting a pair of shoes that are half or one full size bigger.
If your feet are prone to swelling, spend as much time as possible in socks or flip-flops, and save the shoes for when they’re truly necessary. For swollen feet, Healthline recommends you reduce your salt and caffeine intake, elevate your feet, and drink more water.
If you are normal, your skin is likely to change… and not always in a good way. You may experience skin that is itchy or dry, and hormonal changes could cause pimples, acne, and other skin conditions. However, before you start looking for remedies, it is essential that you find natural products that are safe to use during your pregnancy.
Why? Because certain skincare ingredients can be absorbed into your body, and therefore, your baby’s body, too.
According to Healthline, “most over-the-counter (OTC) body care products are completely safe, but there are a few ingredients that could be harmful to your little one.” Avoid skincare that contains:
- High-dose salicylic acid
- Formaldehyde, and
- Chemical sunscreens
Look for skincare products that only contain natural, plant-based ingredients, ideally carrying a stamp showing that it’s USDA Certified Organic. Steer clear of products that include unnatural scents, dyes, and other harsh chemicals.
Belly Creams & Oils
As your bump expands, your skin stretches. This causes stretch marks.
Stretchmarks are proof that you made a little human being in your body. However, if you want to prevent or reduce them, use a natural, high-quality belly cream or oil that’s made specifically to nourish and hydrate stretching skin.
Be sure to apply it morning and night to keep your skin soft and flexible, reduce itching, and hopefully prevent stretch marks.
A soft and supportive pregnancy pillow will help you improve your sleep quality. Pregnancy pillows help by cushioning your body and supporting pressure points. This helps to decrease pain, increase your comfort, and helps you to sleep more soundly. For easy care, look for a pregnancy pillow that comes with a removable, washable cover.
This is one of those pregnancy must haves that you seriously cannot go without.
To be comfortable in the hospital, be sure to pack your hospital bag ahead of time. Pack a couple of days worth of clothes, toiletries, reading materials, your birth plan, and other essentials. Here’s a helpful and comprehensive hospital bag checklist to get you started. However, take the time to think about other things you may need.
All hospitals and birthing centers are different, so you may not need everything on the hospital bag checklist. Sure, but it’s better to be prepared, than not. For example, you will spend a lot of hours in the hospital, and it would be rather boring if you don’t have something to keep you entertained, like a book or a journal. Or perhaps your phone can keep you entertained, but you will run out of battery power at some point. Therefore, making sure that phone chargers are packed for mom and dad’s phone, is important.
Note From The Author
My 5 cents about maternity clothes
I am an extremely frugal person. I value money—I will not spend a penny unless I feel that it is worth it. So with my first pregnancy, it was only around month 6 that I couldn’t fit into my regular clothes. With only 3 more months to go, it was difficult for me to justify spending a lot of money on brand new maternity clothes.
Since the latter part of the pregnancy was in the winter, I needed warm pants. I ended up getting a few pairs of black, drawstring sweatpants from Target. They fit perfectly under my belly, and thanks to the drawstrings, I could adjust them easily.
The reason I bring this up is that after using those pants through 4 pregnancies, I still wear those pants today! I’m between a size 4-6 now, yet I was huge during my last pregnacy—I had twins. For pants, it doesn’t matter if they can fit comfortably under your belly.
If you’re as frugal-minded as I am, consider drawstring pants, yoga pants, and leggings during the winter months. It’s one of my favorite pregnancy must haves.
Skincare / Stretch Marks
I have 5 kids, and there are twins in the mix. What I’m trying to say is that I was huge—my stomach was stretched to capacity. Yet, I don’t have a single stretchmark on my belly.
I’m not an expert. I don’t know if what I did would work for you—I’m simply sharing my experience. But to do that, I have to give you a little bit of a back story.
I’m a naturalized American. I’m originally from Cape Town, South Africa, where I enjoyed a Mediterranean climate. Point is, when I got to the USA, my skin could not handle it. I was very dry and unbearable, actually. This was a problem that didn’t go away over time. I had tried everything—expensive detergents, creams, etc. I even saw a doctor, thinking that perhaps I had developed an allergy. Nothing worked.
Finally, it occurred to me that I could try baby oil. It worked! In 2003, I started putting baby oil on my skin after every shower. I still do it to this day. This, I believe is the reason I don’t have any stretch marks on my belly… even after twins. Just in case you think I’m one of the lucky few who are not prone to stretch marks—I do have some on my legs from my teenage years in Cape Town.
Again, I am not an expert so I do not know if this will work for you. However, if you are going to try it, I strongly and earnestly recommend that you do it consistently. If you are going to shower/bath, you’ve got to put the oil on right after, on wet skin. It has to become a habit. (I had learned that if you put it on while your skin is still wet, it sinks in better.)
You may be wondering—what baby oil? I started with Johnson & Johnson’s Vitamin E Baby Oil. It’s cheap and you can find it almost anywhere. However, since I’m a frugal nut, I tried out the Walmart Vitamin E baby oil and it worked just as well. It is what I used during my pregnancies, and what I still use today.
If you are going to try it, I really hope it works for you. Let us know in the comments how it goes.
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