Monday, April 30, 2012

Maternity Must Haves

Being a first time mom, my friends have been there for all kinds of parenting and baby advice. But I have to say, not many of them have had tips or necessities for those 9+ months of torture pregnancy. I'm being dramatic... I have had a great pregnancy, and thank God everyday for allowing me to get through these months without morning sickness, among other things.

However, there are some amazing products out there that are not maternity based, but should be. And I am finding in my daily rituals that I most likely will use these for years to come, with or without a baby bump. Here are a few things I recommend for the momma to be:


For some reason, before you give birth, you need as much rest as possible, yet you start getting less and less real sleep right before the baby arrives. As soon as the bump started getting bigger, and the books told me to start sleeping on my sides (how I miss my tummy time!), I knew the only way I could get comfortable would be with extra pillows. However, everyone knows how cramped a bed can be with 3 pillows for each person, plus a beagle who likes to hog the bed. Enter the V-pillow

I found this pillow at SteinMart of all places, for under $25, and on Amazon, it is even less! It even comes with its own pillow case, due to its unusual shape. I had seen maternity pillows like this one and this one, but unless you're sleeping alone, there is no way these are fitting in bed with you. I can put this between my knees, or wrap like an L behind my head and under my baby bump. I also use it in the V-shape shown when I am uncomfortable in the middle of the night... I just prop myself up and try to get back to sleep. It really is amazing, and a great all around body pillow. This coming from someone who hates body pillows.

I also hate sleeping with socks on unless it is the middle of winter. However, I have to say that these Dr. Scholls Diabetic and Circulatory socks really help with the puffy toes and middle of the night leg cramps. I picked mine up at Wal-Mart for $8/2 pair. They are lightweight, and super soft, so they don't bother me during the warm nights. And the times that I do wear them, I have less restless legs and fewer leg cramps than the nights when I don't.

Another godsend is something I discovered during a pedicure long ago, Aveda's Foot Relief cream. Lightweight and refreshing, it really helps with tired feet and legs. I put this on every night before climbing into bed, and sometimes even before I put my Dr. Scholl's socks on. It too helps with leg cramps and swollen feet. And a bonus, it has a cooling sensation, and if I get a hot flash in the middle of the night, I just put a little on the back of my neck and on my feet, and I can get my temperature back down and get back to those zzzz's!


I consider myself a pretty fashionable person, but a thrifty one. After checking out the limited selections of maternity clothes, I decided that I could find more reasonably priced dresses at Target, Old Navy, H&M, and TJ Maxx to wear to work and every other day. 

Maxi dresses are a MUST. There are some great colors and patterns out there for spring, and I simply bought a size or two up from my normal.

The black cross-smocked maxi from Old Navy is a definite go-to, as it makes you look slimmer (less pregnant) and offers plenty of support for a mom-to-be's growing cleavage. I pair it with bright flats, or a colored cami underneath. Or I keep things classic black and add a vibrant scarf or colorful jewelry.


Since the day I found out I was pregnant, I have used some sort of shea butter on my growing belly for stretch marks. One brand I like was actually gifted to me by a dear friend: Basq Advanced Stretch Mark Cream. I have only used this when I feel by belly is really tight and stretching, and have saved about half the jar for this last month of pregnancy. The other kind I have used religiously is the really inexpensive but effective Palmer's Shea Butter for Stretch Marks.

I lightly towel off after a shower and then spread this all over my tummy, chest (remember, they get bigger too!) and back while still damp, and let it soak in for a few minutes before getting dressed. I must admit, they are not the best smelling lotions, but the smell goes away after application. I don't know if they really work or if I just have great genes, because I do not have one stretch mark!

Another beauty product, that I have mentioned before, is one I even have packed in my hospital bag.... Kiehls Facial Fuel Under Eye Treatment. There are many uncomfortable nights, and restless sleep, and this helps me looking fresh every morning. I may be slightly addicted to it, and I'm sure once Baby D comes, I will be stocking up on it along with her diapers! I wonder what website I could order both from at the same time.....

So there is my mom-to-be must have list. I completely believe that I will continue to use these products for years, and swear that they have changed my life in some way. I'll try to give an update after Baby D is born to see if there is anything to add to the list!

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