For first time moms, finding out you're pregnant means you're entering a world of new and unknown territory. Trying to figure out what you need and should be doing can be quite confusing. You're probably doing some research about all the 'must-haves' and the amount of products is beyond overwhelming… Don't worry, it's all going to be ok! Nine months is a long time and you definitely don't need to get everything at once. Also, pregnancy goes in stages and something you feel you need one day, might feel unnecessary the next. So just take things easy and listen to your gut. I say, common sense is your best friend here - do you really need that $50 jar of magic stretch mark cream, that personal trainer, and that special pregnancy granola bar? To give you an idea of some of the things I have found helpful during pregnancy, I've made a list of some of my pregnancy favorites.
1. Coconut oil
Something I noticed quite early on in my pregnancy were the skin changes; your hormones are all over the place, body parts start growing and your skin can get itchy. I have found coconut oil to provide a great relief! I use it all over my body twice a day and give my belly some extra loving whenever I feel like it. It gets absorbed into the skin fast, has a very faint coconut smell (I find the smell of most of the processed stretch mark products too offensive), and leaves the skin moisturized and super soft.
Some people are lucky and get amazing skin while pregnant, whereas others can be struggling with outbreaks, dry spots, flaky skin, you name it… Either way, it's important to realize that your skin changes are hormonal and are coming from the inside out. So if you start battling your skin problems with harsh products, you will aggravate your skin even more. If you're experiencing some irregularities try to keep your make-up use to a minimum and use a non-irritating, hypoallergenic face wash.
It's no secret your body needs some extra nutrition when you're pregnant. It's always a good idea to maintain an overall healthy diet with lots of fruits, vegetables and minimally processed foods, but sometimes a little extra help can't hurt. On top of the regular prenatal vitamins, I also use Minami Nutrition's MorDHA Prenatal. Especially designed for pregnant women, these soft gels will give you a high dose of Omega-3 that supports your baby's eye and brain development. Please note that not all fish oils are of the same quality, so do your research before taking any and talk to your doctor if you need advice or feel unsure.
Staying hydrated is always important, but even more so during pregnancy. To make sure I drink enough water (I aim for at least 2 liters a day), I always bring a water bottle with me. In an effort to steer clear of disposable water bottles as well as impurities in regular tap water, I like to filter my water. The bobble water bottle is a great reusable bottle that self-filters as you are drinking.
5. Online workout videos
I'm too lazy to follow a strict workout routine and I like to work out whenever it's convenient. I like to walk a lot, but on top of that feel like some extra strength training would help keep me fit during the pregnancy. I found these great online workout videos at fitsugar.com that are especially designed for pregnant women. They're only 10 minutes each and target different areas of the body.
6. Comfy pants
Comfy pants are an absolute favorite and I'm always wearing them when I'm at home. I prefer them to be loose (so no leggings) to keep the blood flow going and avoid itchiness. I'm still wearing my regular sweat pants as they have a nice elastic band, but if you find this too tight there are also some great maternity ones out there.
Right from the beginning of pregnancy, your breasts will start growing. Around 20 weeks I had outgrown most of my regular bras and really needed something new. I opted for a nursing bra, hoping I could continue using it after the pregnancy. Consider a no-underwire bra to make it more comfortable and maintain milk flow (some say that underwires can interfere with the milk flow and cause clogging of the milk ducts, while others say it makes no difference. I'm not sure which is true but decided I rather just prevent any possible problems).
When you find out you're pregnant it's really exiting to look at all those cute maternity outfits and get some new things. However, with some little adjustments here and there, you will probably still fit into most of your regular clothes until you're at least 20 weeks and maybe even beyond that (I'm now 28 weeks and still fit into almost all of my regular tops). To not kill all excitement, try to invest in things you can wear throughout and after your pregnancy. For me these things have been long tank tops and cardigans. You can wear the tank tops under your regular tops to avoid your bump from popping out and you can change up any basic outfit with some different cardigans (short, long, textured, loose, belted - the sky's the limit)