Sunday, 5 March 2017

Must Haves // Pregnancy

Before we start, I am in no way saying that you must buy these products when you're pregnant, but for me, they were 'must haves'. I'll be doing similar posts for a hospital bag essentials and newborn baby buys. So here's what I couldn't live without when I was pregnant with Elsie...

1. Hot Water Bottle

You're likely to have one in the house anyway, but a hot water bottle is a life saver if you're unfortunate enough to get a bad back while you're pregnant (which lets face it, most people do). Paracetamol never seems to do much for me and seeing as though you can't take ibuprofen, a hot water bottle worked wonders. My back was terrible when I was pregnant with Elsie, not as bad with Ollie, so I had a hot water bottle with me in work pretty much every day. If you haven't got one, they sell them in Boots or Asda/Tesco.

2. Doppler
There's always mixed opinions about using a doppler at home. Some people find it completely reassuring (like myself) but others think you could become obsessed with checking on the baby constantly and panic if you don't find the heartbeat one night (which I can totally understand). However, I loved having one in the house. Once you've found the heartbeat a couple of times, it gets easier to find it each time but I would definitely stress that midwifes are much better at doing it! I had a doppler for Elsie and Ollie's pregnancies and would use the doppler about once a week to check in on baby and when friends or family would come round so they could hear the heartbeat too. You can buy them on eBay (search for 'Fetal Heart Doppler').

3. Exercise Ball
More for the later weeks/months of pregnancy, an exercise ball is both comfortable to sit on and can help bring baby down and engage ready for labour. I would sit on mine for a good couple of hours at night from about 32 weeks onwards with Elsie as it was so much comfier than sitting on the sofa. I'd rotate round on it and bounce a bit too to bring her down as much as possible. You can use the ball when in labour too but I've had no experience of that (two c-sections). Make sure you get one that suits your height though, I'm 5ft 10 so I bought this one from Argos.

4. Ovia Baby App
I highly recommend getting an app like Ovia Baby for while you're pregnant, especially if its your first pregnancy. Its so nice to have a little guide of how baby is developing each week and how your body will be changing too. It'll give you an idea on baby's size each week by comparison to fruit/veg and there's a little baby hand that grows on the screen each week. You can also add your own photos to the diary feature, along with appointments, general notes, weight and milestones too. I'm not sure if you can get the Ovia app on Android, but you can get it on the app store for iPhones/iPads.
5. Lush Bath Bomb
Like the hot water bottle, a nice hot bubble bath is also very relaxing and soothing for all the aches and pains of growing a baby. I know you can't have the bath too hot (I din't know this when I was pregnant with Ollie though!) as it can be unsafe for the baby, but adding a bath bomb to your bath makes it feel so much more of a treat at the end of the day. The lush ones are expensive but they smell amazing and leave your skin feeling so soft too. Our 'local' store is an hour away so I tend to buy them from their website instead, although going in to store is best to check if there are any ones unsafe to use when pregnant.

6. Tummy Butter
Stretch marks, no one wants them (who would?!) but they sort of come whether you like it or not. No one should ever be ashamed of them but I think it's natural to dislike them. I had a couple after Ollie but I've got more since Elsie. I don't like them, but they are a reminder that I grew two healthy babies so I'd never feel bad about putting a bikini on again. However, using oils and butters each night will help to keep them at bay. I used Bio Oil with Ollie and Palmer's Cocoa Butter with Elsie. I can't say that they stop you getting stretch marks (as I have got them) but they may have been worse without using it (plus I'm not the best at remembering to put it on every day towards the end of pregnancy which is probably when I should be using it more, my fault I know). 

7. Daisy Birthing Classes
I am a pretty shy person, I get terrible anxiety at the thought of meeting new people so signing up to Daisy Birthing classes was a huge deal for me. My friend's sister had been to them when she was pregnant though and found them amazing so I summoned up the courage and put my name down. It was honestly one of the best things I've done! Not only were the classes educational and relaxing, the instructor, Sian, was so funny and friendly I couldn't wait for my class each Tuesday night. I got to talk to some lovely expectant Mums while I was there and it was nice to just have an hour of 'me' time each week. During the 6 week course of classes, you are taught some pregnancy yoga moves and learn so much about labour (how it all happens, what to expect, breathing, positions etc) and can ask any sort of questions you may be too embarrassed to ask your midwife/friend/mum. I didn't go to any birthing classes when I was pregnant with Ollie and going to these made me realise how little I knew when I was pregnant with him (I totally expected labour to just happen while I was lay on my hospital bed instead of actually moving my ass and helping get things going... what an idiot). Although I didn't end up going into labour with Elsie, the breathing exercises most definitely helped to remain calm during my c-section. Have a look at where your nearest classes are on their website.

8. Pregnacare
It's important to take vitamins while you're pregnant, especially in the first three months. I actually started taking some when we decided to try for baby number two and then took Pregnacare when we found out we were expecting. I know some people don't like to take anything but I prefer to know I'm taking the right amount of healthy supplements to help that baby bump grow in the best possible way.

9. Dream genii Pillow
SPD is a killer. Luckily mine wasn't as bad as it can get, but even without SPD it's difficult to get a good, comfy nights sleep when you're carrying around a little human in your belly. Aled bought me a Dream Genii Pillow when I was about 5 months pregnant with Elsie and it was so comfy! I struggled to stay in one position all night at first but I soon got used to it and it definitely helped with my hip and back pain. The only time I didn't use it was when it was really hot during the end of July as I definitely didn't want to be cuddling something in that heat! We got ours from Amazon but they sell them in quite a few shops.

10. How to Grow a Baby
This book wasn't out when I was pregnant but I follow Clemmie on Instagram and I would definitely buy it if we have another baby. Like the Ovia app, it's nice to have a week by week guide of how your baby is developing and what to expect with changes to your own body too. The plus side of having the book rather than the app is that the book also prepares you for birth too, covering a range of topics (some you might be too embarrassed to discuss in person with anyone!). And with Clemmie being a real life midwife and mum to four girls too, she's seen it all! You can find it on Amazon.

11. Pregnancy Milestone Cards

I was lucky enough to be sent some pregnancy milestone cards when I was about 14 weeks pregnant with Elsie from Ellie at Eleanor Mary Designs. I'm so glad I took a photo each week of my bump as it's amazing to look back on and I'd encourage anyone to do the same. It doesn't have to be a perfect photo, even a simple selfie in the mirror is enough to capture your growing baby bump! Ellie has a shop on Not on the High Street with a few different pregnancy and baby milestone cards.


1 comment

  1. (sorry if this posts twice, my phone hates me)

    Fab post! I'm due in July and eager to do everything right but also not waste money on things I don't need!

    I've been looking for birthing classes and the Daisy classes sound amazing. I've sent an enquiry about a class in Swindon based on your recommendation.

    Thanks :)



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