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Over the last few months I have had so many friends ask what I couldn’t have done without while I was pregnant. I’ve given it some thought and here is what I came up with.
- Boppy Wedge – While there are maaaaany pregnancy pillows out there, I ended up with the Boppy Wedge. I tried one of those horseshoe body pillows that look like bliss in a pillowcase, but I hated it. It cut into my neck in a weird way and I was in more back and neck pain the morning after using it than I had been since I recovered from my back surgery. The Boppy Wedge was a lifesaver. It’s only a little more than one square foot and basically wedges under the belly to keep you from rolling. I paired that with a “snuggle pillow” (a regular pillow to wrap my arms around – I was having trouble with my hands going to sleep if I didn’t) and the one I always sleep with between my knees. It sounds more complicated, but it actually was a not-very-bulky system that worked really well. I also have used it a lot as a positioning aid for Marshall during feedings and such.
- Natural Calm Magnesium – I know I’ve recommended this before, but I would have been miserable and even more exhausted than I already was if I hadn’t had Natural Calm. A week into my second trimester I started getting these horrendous charlie horses in the middle of the night. They would violently wake me up and I’d leap out of bed and try walking around for a while. This was happening 3-6x night. My midwives suggested Natural Calm and after that, my nightly routine included a glass of it. Originally I got raspberry lemon and mixed it into warm water, but I really don’t like the taste of stevia and as time went on it started to make me gag. I ended up buying the unflavored and mixing it with just enough water to dissolve it, then mixing that into a glass of iced cranberry or apple juice. Pleasant, refreshing, sleep-preserving.
- Pregnancy Tea – I love tea, particularly a good black tea like Taylors of Harrowgate’s Scottish Breakfast or Hyley’s English Royal Blend. I would drink them by the pot-full. However, they are rather high on caffeine content and a pot of either of those would probably be a pretty bad idea. I never bothered with decaf black tea before because I always found the decaf versions to be not quite as good and if I wanted to have a decaf cup I’d have chamomile or something. Did you know chamomile is not pregnancy safe? I didn’t either, but I found out when I went checking. But I was pregnant during the fall and winter – peak tea time! So now what? I started drinking Traditional Medicinal’s Pregnancy Tea. I was glad to have a hot tea that I could enjoy and that supported my pregnancy well. That said, about halfway through January, I decided I no longer liked warm beverages and everything had to be iced. I started brewing this tea the night before, letting it sit overnight, and drinking it iced the next day. Yum!
- Bone Broth – Okay, this isn’t so much a purchasable product as much as something we had on hand that ended up being a life saver. At the end of my first trimester both Ben and I got the flu. Yes, real live influenza flu. It was miserable. And the worst part is there isn’t much you can take to offer relief when you are pregnant. While Ben could take any of that over-the-counter stuff, I couldn’t. I took zinc and Emergen-C to beef up my immune system, kept taking my prenatal vitamin, and drank enough bone broth to sink a small ship. The nutrients in bone broth help your body fight off infection by supporting your immune system, detoxing your system, and it helps keep you well hydrated. Plus, drinking it hot feels so good when you’re sick! Then I got a mild sinus infection that resulted in acute bronchitis which landed me in the ER waiting room for 5 1/2 hours on Christmas Eve (yes, that was fun) and again, bone broth to the rescue. I completely depleted our stock while I was pregnant. I use my InstantPot to make it, using this recipe from Amanda at the Curious Coconut.
- Grabber – While I may look like an old lady using it, I have two of these grabbers that I got at Costco last summer to replace the one I was given during my back injury/surgery. Guys, they are the best things ever. I keep one upstairs for picking stuff up off the floor and one downstairs with my laundry. I don’t bend over to get stuff out of the dryer, I use this. I don’t bend over and twist while sorting laundry, I use this. I don’t bend, twist, or contort to get trash or anything else off of my floor, I use this. Honestly, I credit it with saving my back while I was pregnant and continuing to help it even now. Plus, bending with a massive belly? Hard whether or not you have back issues. Trust me, this is one of the nicest things you can do for your body.
- Silicone Wedding Band – I was not comfortable not wearing a wedding band at all, but as I grew, so did my fingers. I never had severe swelling, but my rings would have been super uncomfortable so I took them off and got myself a silicone ring. That was perfect because it stretched some and, worse case scenario, I just cut it off and I wasted $10.
- Comfy Undies! All those cute pairs of underwear you have? Take them out of the drawer and add them to you pre-pregnancy clothes for later. They’ll be of no use to you now. This was a big bummer, because I find fun underwear to be the foundation of attitude on days when I need it. Weird, I know. But, with expanding belly, comes a need for something different. As with the maternity pillow, I discovered that just because something is marketed for pregnancy and other people like it, it doesn’t mean it will be even remotely comfortable or work for you. I ended up finding non-maternity underwear that were marketed as “flexible fit” and they worked perfectly for pregnancy and the postpartum recovery period.
- Fun tops – What is the point of having that bump if you can’t have some fun with it? I am a lover of puns and funny shirts, though I hadn’t felt like I could wear them normally, probably because I was a teacher and that’s not exactly professional wardrobe. Enter pregnancy. I discovered a fun site called Crazy Dog T-shirts. I went a little crazy and go
The following is the most important, most vital, most must-have item on this list. Are you ready? Are you really paying attention?
- TACOS! I don’t think I really need to expound on this. Tacos are the perfect food. I made multiple big batches of chicken taco meat in the crock pot and made them with fresh, locally made corn tortillas, taco meat, cheese, lettuce, salsa, a Greek yogurt dollop, avocado if I had any, and hot sauce. So much hot sauce. All I ate for 3 weeks was tacos. Breakfast? Tacos. Second breakfast? Tacos. Elevenses? Tacos. Luncheon? Tacos….. Oh, did I mention pregnancy also turns you into a hobbit? It totally does. You eat constantly, grow hair everywhere, your feet get bigger, and you have no patience for other people’s shenanigans. I’m looking at you, Gandalf. Also the idea of curling up for the evening in a little hobbit hole and not moving at all sounds even more appealing than usual. Side note, I had a dream that I was anxious about Marshall being late and Gandalf walked up to me and scolded me with, “Babies are never late, nor are they early. They arrive precisely when they mean to.” Not true, but somehow his dream-scolding helped me chill out a bit.
So there you have it. My list of pregnancy must-haves. Anything I’m missing that you found invaluable? Comment or shoot me a message! I’d love to hear!
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