Wednesday, September 30, 2015

My Pregnancy Must Haves

As I reflect on my first pregnancy, I am thankful for a few products that helped me through those 39 weeks. I am by no means an expert but I enjoy hearing about what works for people so I thought I would share a few of my pregnancy favorites! 

1. Home Fetal Doppler- I am an L&D nurse so I was pretty nervous early on and wanted to be able to monitor my baby's heartrate to reassure myself before I could feel movement. It takes a little practice if you're new to it and does NOT replace a qualified practitioner's assessment, but it helped me. I found mine on Amazon for $35 (make sure you order ultrasound gel too!) 

2. Belly butters & oils- just stock up on anything and everything. I used the belly butter and body oil from Burt's Bees Mama Bee line, Cocoa Butter for stretch marks, plain Coconut oil, and a homemade belly butter with shea butter coconut oil and frankinsense, grapefruit, and lavendar essential oils. My opinion on  preventing stretch marks is much more than what you slather on your belly, but I put on something every time I got out of the shower and every night before bed. Staying well hydrated and gaining weight gradually are also key! I avoided stretch marks until the last week of my pregnancy (grrr so close) 

3. Essential oils- I bought a Young Living starter kit out of curiosity two years ago and have never looked back. As a nurse, I believe there is a time and place for modern medicine. But for everyday needs why not replace over the counter medications with something completely natural? I loved using peppermint for nausea, lavendar to help me sleep, grapefruit & lemon oil for energy in my water, and stress away and peace & calming for the moments my hormones got the best of me. I also used a blend called Claraderm that I was told helped prevent tearing. I started using it at 37 weeks, sprayed it a few times a day "down there" and I delivered an 8lb 3oz baby with a 14 1/4 inch head only needing a few external stitches (that my midwife said would not have been necessary if I didn't want them) My sister and sister in law also used it and did not tear with their 2nd and third babies after having episieotomys and 2nd degree tears previously. I wouldn't be endorsing these things if I didn't believe in them myself. (Email me at if you have questions or are interested in ordering something at wholesale cost)

4. Long tank tops- simple I know, but I didn't want to invest in tons of maternity clothes so nice long tank tops allowed me to stay covered and comfortable but get more use out of my normal wardrobe. I can't rave enough about H&Ms 2/$10 camis and tanks and of course Motherhood Maternity for tanks made specifically for pregnancy

5. Maternity jeans- these were worth investing in! I did the whole jeans unzipped, hair tie across the button trick as long as I could, but when I finally broke down and bought a pair  I lived in my H&M maternity jeans. They are $40 for the cutest comfiest maternity jeans out there. (in fact their maternity section in general was my favorite) 
5. Glass water bottle- hydration hydration hydration. I always had a water bottle with me, especially at the end of my pregnancy on the heat of the summer. **When putting essential oils in water, only use glass cups and water bottles! The strength of Citrus essential oils literally eats through plastic!** and when it's cute it makes it more fun to drink right? I found mine at Target. 
6. Memory foam mattress topper- I didn't use a pregnancy pillow and can honestly say I slept great until the day I delivered. I refused to spend $70 on a huge pillow that took up half the bed and I wouldn't use after those 9 months. Some people love them. I however, invested in a $100 mattress topper from Costco that made our mediocre mattress 100x more comfortable and let me sleep comfortably on my side. My hip and shoulder sank into the memory foam and I put a normal pillow between my knees and hugged another one and voila! I slept great. And now 2 months out from being pregnant I am still enjoying a comfortable bed. 

I'm sure I'm forgetting something but these are at the top of my list! 

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