#preggoproblems: My Pregnancy Must-Haves

I’ve been completely neglecting my blogging duties. Getting ready for baby has kept me pretty busy. I’ve wanted to post my pregnancy must-haves for a while now, so I’m happy I finally had some free time today. Broken up by trimester, the six items below have all been a HUGE help during my preggers journey. Hopefully this list is useful to other prospective mamas. Enjoy!

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First Trimester
Biggest complaint(s): nausea, nausea, and more nausea.

1. Ginger Snaps – I always hoped I’d be one of those lucky girls who never had to deal with morning sickness. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. I will say that I never actually threw up during my pregnancy (knock on wood—I do have a few weeks left). Still, the wave of nausea came multiple times a day EVERY day without fail. On my commute to work, especially, it was absolute torture. The technician who performed my first ultrasound told me that Ginger Snaps would fix me right up. I bought them that weekend and discovered that she was absolutely right. Whenever I felt a wave of nausea coming on, I ate one (yummy) cookie and, within minutes, I was cured! I will say that I got sick of them by month four because I was eating them so frequently, but lucky for me all “morning” sickness went away by the second trimester anyway. I know some women experience it during their entire pregnancy so I definitely dodged a major bullet.

2. Peppermint Candy – Along with Ginger Snaps, I would also pop a peppermint (yaaaas for alliteration) every now and then to battle oncoming nausea. I actually learned this trick from my mother-in-law even before I became pregnant, so I’ve always carried these bad boys around. They weren’t AS effective as they used to be pre-pregnancy and nowhere near as effective as the cookies, but they were great for temporary relief in a clutch. Plus, who doesn’t love minty fresh breath?

Second Trimester
Biggest complaint(s): sleepless nights and packing on the pounds.

3. Pregnancy Pillow – Anyone who’s been pregnant before and has owned a pregnancy pillow will tell you … YOU NEED A PREGNANCY PILLOW! After countless sleepless nights and waking up with unbearable back pain, I knew I had to do SOMETHING to get a good night’s rest. A friend of mine told me that she swore by her Leachco® pillow during her pregnancy and I literally ordered one that very same day. When it arrived and I was able to use it for the first time, I was blown away by how beautifully I slept. Once I was finally able to catch some Z’s, my mood improved significantly. Not only that, it helps to keep you on your side which is the best way to sleep while you’re preggers. Lying flat on your back (which is how I would wake up almost every morning) is a no-no.

4. Maternity Jeans – Denial and pride are not your best friends during pregnancy. In truth, I should’ve been looking into maternity jeans/pants right around month five, but I pretty much refused, opting instead to prolong my use of “the rubber band trick” despite my growing discomfort (and belly). I couldn’t understand (or maybe didn’t want to understand) why I was having really awful pelvic pressure and bladder control issues during what should’ve been a “blissful” second trimester. The fact was that my own stupid pride was causing me pain. My pants didn’t fit, with or without the rubber band. I had to face the facts. Once I finally and begrudgingly committed to the idea of maternity clothing, my whole life changed. I didn’t go crazy with the spending. Tops, you can buy from anywhere. I went to an Old Navy outlet and picked up a few swing tops and maxi dresses that will still serve me after pregnancy. Stretch fabrics—especially jersey—are always a good option. For jeans and pants however (not talking about our beloved leggings and yoga pants) you’ll have to cave in and go for maternity wear. If I’m being completely honest, though, maternity jeans are the bee’s knees! They are so comfortable and, thanks to the vanity of our generation, so stylish!  Being able to wear jeans again did wonders for my overall disposition. I went for so long not giving a crap about what I wore because I just felt so sh*tty. It was great to be able to look like my old self again … with a little extra around the middle, of course. 😉

Third Trimester
Biggest complaint(s): my achy breaky back and the seven month itch.

*** I interrupt this wonderfully written blog post to bring you this important announcement: When people tell you that the last trimester is the hardest, they aren’t kidding. The items below have offered me comfort like you wouldn’t believe, but I still can’t wait for these next few weeks to be over so I can meet my baby girl and just feel like a human again. Just keeping it real, folks! And now, back to your regularly scheduled reading. ***

5. Heating Pads – If my co-worker never recommended these to me, I can assure you I would’ve been on bed rest for as long as time and money allowed. The maternity pillow helped with back pain during sleep, but little did I know that I’d eventually have back pain literally 24/7 … and not just any back pain but EXCRUCIATING back pain that brought me to tears. I had so much trouble standing one morning that I called out of work because the pain was just too much. I sh*t you not, guys, I thought something was physically wrong with me. I sent hubby out for some disposable heating pads from our local pharmacy. FYI: My OB/GYN said that these are perfectly fine as long as they are NOT medicated. Definitely give your own doctor a call first to see what’s okay in your individual situation. These pads are heaven-sent. With the heat comes instant relief. The best part about the disposable (sticky) kind is that you can wear them virtually anywhere: sleeping, walking, sitting, standing, whatever. I eventually ended up buying an electric heating pad as well, just to have something more permanent in case of an emergency. While I love it, you’re not supposed to sleep on it, so I still recommend the disposable ones. In fact, get a FEW boxes. I promise they’re the best money you’ll ever spend.

6. Coconut Oil – Here is the holy grail of products for anyone suffering from that despised third-trimester-itch-until-you-die-syndrome (totally made that up). As your belly grows and your skin stretches, it’s common to find yourself incredibly itchy. Some women get a mild to severe rash known as PUPPP. While it’s not at all fatal or dangerous, it can certainly feel like it is. I’ll say this … I never actually confirmed with my doctor if what I had was PUPPP or not. The reason for this is that by the time I was ready to go see her, my symptoms cleared up. This is all thanks to a friend who recommended coconut oil. I was itchy to the point of pain and my belly was covered in tiny red bumps and splotches. The only thing that kept me from scratching until I bled was the idea that I might somehow be harming my skin or, even worse, the baby. If you’ve ever had shingles before (I’m probably the only non-elderly person that I know of who has), this is exactly what it felt like. I couldn’t even tell you what was worse between this and the back pain. Luckily, coconut oil began working the very same night that I first applied it and continued to clear up my skin and discomfort over the next few days. I now use it morning and night every single day. Screw cocoa butter for being totally useless these past eight months!

So these were the six products that really got me through pregnancy. I’m definitely not rushing to get pregnant again but if I ever do, I’ll load up on all of the above. Any readers have preggo products that they swear by? Let’s hear ‘em!

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