I have been lucky that I’ve had quite an easy ride during my pregnancy. I haven’t really suffered from bad morning sickness, stretch marks or heartburn (so far!) but there are some things that I have used that has made it go a little bit more smoothly. I have included links to where I have found the best deals for all products but feel free to have a Google yourself.
I am in no way an expert so please speak to your GP or midwife if you are unsure of whether anything I mention is safe for you to use.
In my opinion, I think a good quality prenatal vitamin is the most important thing that you need to stock up on. If you are trying to conceive, you should be taking folic acid at the very least which is what I was doing until I found out I was pregnant.
I have been taking Vitabiotics Pregnancare Max from around week 4 of my pregnancy and I am still taking it now. My blood pressure, iron and protein levels have been normal throughout my pregnancy and I have a feeling this might be why.
I haven’t been too bad with cravings and I have tried to stay as healthy as possible throughout but we’re all human and sometimes is hard to say no to that piece of Dairy Milk that’s been staring at you all day, especially when we’re hormonal and pregnant. If you take a good pregnancy vitamin, you can at least be sure that you and your cutie should hopefully be getting what you both need to be healthy. I know this option may be quite expensive, especially if you are using them throughout your entire pregnancy so I have found a cheaper alternative here. Our tooties deserve the best start!
One of the main reasons for starting this blog and my YouTube channel was so that I could remember as much as possible about being pregnant and becoming a mummy. Before I plucked up the courage to plaster myself all over the internet, I wrote each week in the From Me to You Bump to Birthday pregnancy & first year journal.
I have spoken to a few second-time mums who have said they forgot what their first pregnancy was like or couldn’t tell me much about the labour or the first few weeks with their newborn baby. I am such a sentimental person and I know I’ll only be pregnant or have a new baby for such a short time in my life so I needed something that wouldn’t let me forget. Sometimes we just need something to jog our memory and I think this little journal will definitely do the trick! I don’t think it matters which journal you choose, as long as you have something to keep a record of this special time and give you and your little one something nice to look back on in years to come.
I have played around with a few pregnancy apps but the two that I always go back to are the Ovuline Ovia Pregnancy app and the Pregnancy + app. Each week, its fun to get your baby’s development updates, see which size of fruit your baby compares with and body and symptom changes to look out for at each stage of the pregnancy. You can also keep track of things like your weight, contractions (I’m sure it will come in handy when the time comes eek!) and daily kicks. I’d pick apps over expensive books any day as I’m a really busy person so it’s nice that it automatically updates to where your at in your pregnancy.
I’ve always been quite lucky in that I’ve never had a problem with spots. And then I got pregnant. They haven’t really been an issue in the later stages – it seemed to be worst during the second trimester. They seemed to like my chin area or I’d get one of the random hormonal spots on the middle of my cheek or above my eyebrow.. so annoying! I’ve not came across a product yet that I can pop on before I go to sleep and a spot has fabulously disappeared by the time I wake up. But I will share with you my top three products that have helped speed up the disappearing process..
Sudocrem Antiseptic Healing Cream is a cheap option that you can use as an all-over face mask or you can apply to the ‘spotty’ area only, which is what I do. In the evening, I would do my usual skincare routine and then gently rub some Sudocrem on wherever I have a spot and leave it to sink in overnight. It definitely helps with redness and inflammation. It’s cheap enough to give it a try anyway and if it doesn’t work then there are 100 other uses for this magic cream. It’s definitely a bedside table essential.
The Body Shop Blue Corn 3-in-1 Deep Cleansing Mask is a golden oldie for me – I’ve been using it for a looong time. I’d use this maybe once or twice a week if I have any spot issues and it works a treat. It will clear out any blackhead and exfoliate the skin also but I’ve heard it’s being discontinued so stock up while you can! Hopefully The Body Shop will be bringing out something even better in it’s place..
Origins Super Spot Remover is something I will use on those sore, under-the-skin blemishes. The worst kind! This treatment gel contains salicylic acid which is an amazing anti-inflammatory but I don’t use it too often as it can be drying on the skin. You just need a teeny tiny amount so this little bottle should last you a long time!
Your body is doing probably the biggest job it will ever do during pregnancy so I definitely like to treat myself to some pampering when I can. I have enjoyed quite a few pregnancy massages since the beginning of my second trimester (they’re not recommended before then) but I know they can be quite costly. Sometimes, I like to treat myself to a little ‘spa at home’ where I’ll light a few candles, pop on a face and hair mask, and read a good book while I soak in some nice bubbles.
I’ve enjoyed using the Cussons Mum & Me Bump Bath Soak for the past few of weeks. It contains chamomile to help you relax and its milky consistency is meant to moisturise the skin so it may even help prevent those dreaded stretch marks. Win, win!
My husband, Greg, treated me to a couple of ‘mummy books’ for Christmas and I’ve really enjoyed reading them. It’s been exciting reading about what’s to come and I’m not surprised these two books are flying off the shelves!
Truly Happy Baby by Holly Willoughby is more of a practical guide to help you with your new baby. It gives you tips for things like sleeping, breastfeeding, weening, bathing – basically everything you need to know to help you during the first 12 months of your babies life. As a first time mum, it’s all new to me so it’s nice to get some advice from another mum and have something to look back on if I’m not sure about something. I’m sure every mum wings it until they figure out what’s best for their baby as each wee one is so different! This book definately ticks all the boxes.
The Unmumsy Mum is written by fellow blogger, Sarah Turner. It’s basically her take on being a mum to two small boys. This book is light-hearted and hilarious so it’s an easy read for anyone who likes that sort of thing. Definitely a good book if you can find time to enjoy a nice soak in the bath.
Stretch Mark Treatment
I decided to stick to oils as opposed to body butters as I believe they penetrate deeper in to the skin – where stretch marks form – instead of sitting on the top layer. So far, I have no stretch marks (touch wood!). I have never had a problem with the oils getting on my clothes, which I’ll get in to more detail about in a minute.
I use Clarins Huile Tonic Body Treatment first thing in the morning after my shower. I lightly dry my skin so it’s still a bit damp and rub this everywhere – belly, back, boobs, bum and thighs. I wrap my towel round me and by the time I pick out my clothes for the day, it has soaked in to the skin. This oil contains a whole host of ingredients which claim to help combat stretch marks and it leaves you smelling like a spa. What’s not to love?!
I use the famous Bio Oil at night before I go to bed. I am extremely heavy handed with my application and slather the stuff all over. I do have to admit that getting in to bed every night is like a slip ‘n’ slide but I’m not too fussed about it getting on my clothes and sheets (they wash) if it stops me from looking like a zebra. So far, so good!
Finally, after probably my 100th “how to prevent stretch marks” search on Google, I came across the Secret Saviours Anti Stretch Mark Band. I’ve been wearing a band every day for the second half of my pregnancy and who knows if it works or not but anything is worth a try. It also provides some support the heavier the bump gets. The band has little dots and hearts which imprint on the skin which I believe helps encourage the blood circulation to the top of the skin. Who knows. At least it gives the midwife a good laugh at my check-ups when I lift my top to reveal my decorated tummy!
One of my favourite purchases during my pregnancy was definitely the Sanggol Maternity and Body Pillow. I’ve only found it more difficult to get comfy in bed in the later stages of pregnancy but who wants to wait until then.. This thing is literally what dreams are made of! I’m going to find it hard to put it away once the baby arrives. I recommend all mummy’s-to-be to invest in a pregnancy pillow at least half way through your pregnancy. You deserve to get to sleep with this dream cloud for as long as possible!
Now I don’t know if this really works or if it’s psychological but the This Works Deep Plus Pillow Spray is lovely to use to help you to relax at bedtime. I used this a lot before I went on maternity leave to make sure I got enough sleep. I absolutely love the smell but I’m sure most other lavender sprays would do the trick. I’m hooked on this one anyway when I know I need to be as bright as a button the next day but feel like I’m going to have one of those annoying toss-and-turn nights. And it’s safe to use during pregnancy. Amazing.
Maybe from around week 25ish when my bump started to pop out, I started using George Asda Maternity Bump Bands to basically give me a bit of support and hold me in. You can find a pack of bump bands in almost any maternity section in clothes shops and they aren’t expensive. I went out the other day without one on for the first time in weeks and I noticed a huge difference! They’ve definitely helped keep me comfy in the later stages of pregnancy.
Plus, they’ve helped hold up maternity jeans when you’re at that awkward ‘chubby or pregnant?’ stage when non of your normal clothes fit you but you’re still too small for maternity. You could always stick to leggings or dresses though.
Finally, I have started taking raspberry leaf in the form of Natures Aid Raspberry Leaf and Clipper Organic Raspberry Leaf Infusion Tea since week 34 after a midwife recommended them to me. I usually take two tablets (along with my prenatals) and have 1-2 cups of tea a day. Don’t worry, this does not work to induce labour but it should help tone my uterus to help push this baby out. I can’t really give you my opinion to whether or not I think they work but here’s hoping!!
Well that pretty much sums up my pregnancy essentials. Please let me know what you couldn’t live without during your pregnancy in the comments below! I’d love to know and hopefully you’ll help someone else have a dream pregnancy too.