I am currently pregnant with my 7th baby…yes, you read that correctly! I have one son and 5 daughters and this baby is also a girl! It is safe to say I have some experience with pregnancy, and have used my share of pregnancy items over the last 14 years.
I always get asked about items and products that I use during pregnancy and am happy to share any knowledge I might have. I thought it would be helpful to share my Top Must Have Pregnancy Essentials with you all in hopes that it will help you have an easier, more enjoyable pregnancy!
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This is a given, right? No matter how hard you try, eventually you’ll need some good maternity clothes. In my first pregnancy, I don’t think I wore maternity clothes until about halfway through. Now, I put them on almost as soon as I see two lines! Lol. Thankfully, I have found some amazing maternity clothes this time that are comfortable and beautiful from Pink Blush Maternity. You have to check out their dresses. Many of them can be worn throughout pregnancy and then while nursing. You can see one of my favorite dresses in this post.
Stretch Mark Cream
Some people care about stretch marks and some do not. I am one that is not bothered by stretch marks. They are a reminder of my beautiful babies in my belly. With that said, I do typically use a stretch mark cream during pregnancy because I don’t like the itchy feeling I get on my belly. I have used and liked the Burt’s Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter. I already have stretch marks, so I can’t tell you if it will prevent them, but I have not gotten any new stretch marks in my last couple pregnancies. You could also just use coconut oil if you wanted to.
I know this may seem like a strange “must have” item during pregnancy. However, during pregnancy our teeth can really suffer. Many women can end up with pregnancy induced gingivitis and that is not a fun experience. I have been there, as I already have bad teeth when not pregnant. A good electric toothbrush like this one here can make a huge difference in the health of your gums. Gingivitis during pregnancy can lead to preterm labor and low birth weight among other things, so proper mouth care is extremely important during pregnancy!
We all know a good prenatal supplement can make a huge difference in our pregnancies. Ideally, this will start before you conceive, but don’t worry if you are already pregnant- just start taking one now. One of the most important things it should include is a pure source of folate. I take and recommend Garden of Life Prenatal Supplements With Folate. They also have a DHA Omega 3 supplement that I take as well to support brain development and to assist in milk supply.
Proper hydration during pregnancy is so imperative! When pregnant, we need to drink at least 90 ounces of water a day to accommodate for all the changes our body is going through. Without enough water, we can easily become dehydrated and sluggish, and end up with problems that we just don’t want to deal with during such an amazing time. Aim to drink at least 90-100 ounces of water a day during pregnancy. You can use any water bottle that measures ounces to help you track. You can flavor your water with fruit if needed also. The Belly Bottle is such a cute, convenient way to track your daily water intake! The Belly Bottle is a water bottle specifically made for pregnant women to track their water intake along with developmental milestones of the baby! It’s really cute!
Pregnancy Body Pillow
I don’t know what I would do without my Leachco Snoogle Body Pillow! This pillow is such a lifesaver. I have used this through multiple pregnancies and it has helped up extremely well. You can use it in multiple ways/positions depending on how you are most comfortable. In my first couple pregnancies, I would use multiple pillows to try and get a comfortable night’s sleep. Now, I can honestly just use this body pillow and occasionally one regular pillow and I don’t wake up sore. I highly recommend this one!
If you don’t have one of these exercise balls, you don’t know what you are missing! Towards the end of pregnancy, I sit on this far more than a chair or couch. It is the most comfortable way to sit for my hips and lower back. You can sit on it and move your hips in circles to ease joint pain and help the baby get in proper position. When you are sitting in a regular chair or leaning back on a couch, the baby is putting extra pressure on your spine and lower back and may not be able to get in proper position for delivery. Sitting in a natural “birthing position” can help this. I have a basic exercise ball like this one and it has served me very well throughout my pregnancies. You could get a fancier one, like this Peanut Ball, with added benefits. This is the one they have in the delivery room for me and it is really comfortable! There are also ones specifically for pregnancy and birth like this one that come with some added bonuses, if you feel the need for that.
Hypnobirthing and the Bradley Method books
I think every pregnant women picks up a few books about pregnancy and labor during pregnancy. I know I have read my fair share over the course of 7 pregnancies. I do have my favorites though, those books that I read in each pregnancy to help me prepare. After multiple pregnancies and multiple natural births, it is more about preparing mentally for me. I fully believe our bodies were made to give birth and it is such a miracle of a process. I had an epidural with my first 2 deliveries and then researched like a crazy person during my third pregnancy. I latched onto a method called the Bradley Method and it is one I have used ever since. It is sometimes called Husband Coached Childbirth. Even if you don’t want your husband to be your primary labor coach, I encourage you to pick up the book and read through it. There are many tips on nutrition and ways of relaxing during labor to help prevent any complications and unwanted interventions. Hypnobirthing is another book I have had for years and while I don’t adhere to everything in in the book, I do appreciate some of the ideas on relaxation during birth. Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth is another favorite of mine, but some women find her a little too “natural.”
This is a new thing for me this pregnancy and I WISH someone had told me about it in my previous pregnancies! Integral Collagen has been a lifesaver for me! I use the one by Trim Healthy Mama because I know they have done their research on the purity and I appreciate that. I put a scoop in my morning coffee and am good for the day. Collagen helps with joint pain, round ligament pain, digestion, is a natural energy booster and more. I recently went about two weeks without using it and could not understand why I was suddenly so sore. I could barely move my legs! I realized I had stopped putting collagen in my morning coffee and started it up again. Within 2 days I noticed a huge difference. This is my 7th baby and aside from those 2 weeks, I have been far less sore than previous pregnancies. It is a bit of a miracle! MAKE SURE you grab some Integral Collagen for a smooth pregnancy.
Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
If you haven’t heard about the benefits of Red Raspberry Leaf Tea, I encourage you to do some research. I honestly could go on and on about the benefits of this tea. If you haven’t guessed already, I take more of a natural approach to health and wellness. I thoroughly did my research years ago before starting to drink Red Raspberry Leaf Tea and have been obsessed with it every since. This is NOT raspberry tea – it is the LEAF and tastes nothing like raspberry. RRLT is a uterine toner. The uterus needs a lot of vitamins and minerals to function properly and red raspberry leaf tea has almost all of them. Red raspberry leaf is high in Vitamins C, E, A, B and has significant amounts of major minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium, and phosphorus. It also contains essential trace minerals such as zinc, iron, chromium and manganese. These vitamins and minerals are in a readily absorbable form, making Red Raspberry Leaf tea a wonderful, food-based “supplement” during preconception, pregnancy and beyond. The nutritional boost that RRL gives you can help improve your immune system as well. Some people mistakenly think it will put you into labor – it will not as it is not the intention of the tea. It helps to tone your uterus and get it ready for labor and delivery. I did not drink it during my first 2 pregnancies but I have during the last five. It helps with blood pressure issues, leg cramps, mood, blood loss after delivery, placenta delivery, pushing and so much more. My body pushes my babies out, I do not have to push, and I attribute that to me drinking RRLT. I also drink it for a few weeks after I give birth to assist with milk production and to help my uterus go down faster. The nurses are always shocked at how fast my uterus goes down! I start with one cup a day right after the first trimester (just my personal preference to wait until then), 2 cups a day during the second trimester and 3-4 cups a day during the third trimester.