As mentioned in the last post, we are finally expecting our first child, and I am just over halfway through the pregnancy. Many of us know there are several essential items that one must have to successfully conquer the first few months. There are more than 5 individual items today, but I have grouped them into the top categories of things that have been the greatest help to me so far.
1. Combating Nausea: Soda Crackers and Ginger Tea
Despite being such a happy and exciting time, often pregnancy wreaks havoc on our bodies. This is especially true during the infamous first trimester. Many women report that the first symptom they experience confirming their pregnancy is nausea. It has been labeled as “morning sickness,” however, it is not limited to the early daylight hours and can strike at any given time. Leaving expectant moms weary, rundown, weak, and in some cases malnourished, there are a few suggestions to help alleviate the horrible feeling and try to increase overall health and strength. Soda crackers or saltines have been a staple go-to snack to ease upset tummies for decades. Their bread-like, basic composition makes it easy for digestion and helps absorb extra acid in the stomach. Also great paired with some cheese or peanut butter for protein, the crackers can help carry you through those first few dreaded months until your body settles down a little.
Ginger tea is the second must-have in my kitchen. Similar to the effects of the crackers, ginger has been long praised for its benefits of assuaging stomach discomfort. The type that I prefer is Organic Ginger Tea from Traditional Medicinals. It is caffeine free and does not have any added herbs or supplements. Some herbal teas, even plain green teas, are not recommended during pregnancy due their ability to affect things such as folic acid and iron absorption. I did get this specific tea approved by my obstetrician and would highly suggest all items be consumed in moderation and to check with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. Thankfully, I am well into my second trimester now and for the most part the queasiness is behind me. Keeping a little something in my stomach, namely a few soda crackers throughout the day and before bed, along with a cup of ginger tea in the mornings truly helped curb the nausea, and allowed me to be able to function and enjoy my first few months.
As the weeks progress, so does the waistline and almost every other part of the body, as well. Many women and experts agree that keeping the skin hydrated is a very important step all throughout pregnancy. Recommended from the first few months, a good lotion should be part of your daily routine. I use Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks. It was created specifically for pregnant women to help the skin around your tummy and breasts stay soft, supple, and reduce itching. There is no guarantee using this or similar products will eliminate the possibility of any stretch marks completely, but it does help to keep the sensitive and ever-growing skin well nourished. Any preventative measures one can take, early in the pregnancy is the time to start.
3. Clothes That Fit: Belly Bands, Bra Extenders, and Maternity Pants
I am the type of woman that likes to save money whenever possible. Spending thousands of dollars on a new wardrobe for maternity clothes to only wear for a few months is not something I’m willing to entertain. Yes, it’s fun to go shopping and get new items, especially since maternity cuts will help show off that cute baby bump. But I have been surprised to find that even now (22 weeks along) I am just beginning to show and with a few cheap accessories I can still make most of my pre-pregnancy clothes fit. The Belly Band is a large, continuous piece of stretchy material that is designed to be worn over the top of your favorite pants, skirts, shorts or any other bottoms to provide extra support for your growing tummy and add coverage to your midriff where shirts may be getting a little short. When I started getting to the point where I could not get my jeans buttoned up, the Belly Band was a great solution to keep the front panel smooth and hide any gaps. Now that my tummy is really beginning to stick out, I also employ the old rubber band trick. Thanks to the Belly Band it helps cover up the evidence and between the two inexpensive items so far my regular jeans have continued to last. There are several types of bands in various colors. Sites such as Amazon provide many options, and while there you can even start an online baby registry.
As far as saving old clothes go, bra extenders are my other new favorite accessory. Who knew a small piece of material could make one lady so happy. For me bra shopping ranks right up there with having bamboo shoots driven under my fingernails. Almost at the point of giving in last week, I had the brilliant idea to try an extender before I submitted myself to the shopping torture. For only a few dollars I was able to find 2 types of extenders in different sizes and colors from Destination Maternity. They are amazing! I was only expecting a quick fix and didn’t think they’d be that comfortable. However, much to my pleasant surprise, they are like heaven, giving me at least a few more months with my undergarments before I end up buying new ones out of necessity and for future nursing.
We all know there does come a time though when it is inevitable that actual maternity clothes are the only thing that will suffice. So far I still have a very limited collection, but it’s going to expand soon. Blown away by the comfort and appearance, I would highly recommend A Pea in the Pod brand pants. A reasonable price and very well-made, these jeans make me feel great and my husband always compliments the way they look. I am also quite tall (5’11”) and they still fit perfect. I will definitely be purchasing more of this style as the weeks go on.
This is our first pregnancy, and I wanted all of the information I could get on staying healthy, what foods to eat, how my baby is developing, and how my body will be changing. As soon as we notified our insurance company that we were expecting, they signed me up for their future moms program. I would suggest that you check with your company, if you have not already, to see if they provide any assistance along these lines. Ours offers a 24/7 number we can call if any questions arise where we can speak directly to a nurse, they also provide assistance with billing questions, and they sent me a pregnancy starter pack. This included pamphlets, information, a journal, and a copy of Your Pregnancy Week by Week. I was going to purchase a book of this style anyway, so it was nice to receive one for free. If you do not have that benefit, however, it is currently on sale through Amazon and Barnes and Noble for under $10.00. This book is now in its 7th edition and is extremely comprehensive. It breaks down the chapters by the weeks of pregnancy. Each starts out with describing how your body should be reacting and the current development of your baby, enhanced with pictures and diagrams. They also do an excellent job of discussing any issues that may arise for expectant mothers, tips for dads, and weekly exercises to help keep you and the baby healthy. It is amazing to watch the progress of your little one, and this book does a great job of educating newly pregnant parents.
It didn’t take developers long to learn that pregnant ladies are looking for knowledge, resources, and interaction with other soon-to-be moms. There are a numerous apps and websites out there devoted to our demographic, but I’ll just touch on a few of my recent favorites. What to Expect When You’re Expecting has grown from a well respected book to online presence with mobile apps. I have the What to Expect pregnancy app for Android and literally use it every day. It is also available for iOS and free on both platforms. It provides daily tips, weekly details and illustrations, a space to upload pictures of your growing belly, a due date tracker and countdown, as well as access to the online community. Their site provides additional support through apps geared towards fertility and after the baby is born, too. The other application I use most often lately is Baby Names by Sevenlogics, Inc. Also free and available for both iOS and Android it lets you search their extensive list of names by popularity, origin, meaning, gender, or by what letters a name begins or ends with. I most appreciate the fact that you can save your own list and view your favorites or a complete history of ones you previously liked.
My final preferred tool also has an app, but I generally visit their site directly, Baby Center.com. Chock-full of great information, news, blogs, videos, and also coupons and deals this site truly encompasses all aspects of pregnancy. Any questions that I have come across during the last 5 months I have been able to find an answer for or interact with other families experiencing similar circumstances at Baby Center.com. Whether you are wondering about reviews on cribs or how to change a diaper this site has it all.
Are you currently pregnant or do you already have children? What are your top items that helped you during this time?