Basically, a pregnant girl is a retail company’s wet dream… with a happy ending. Not only are we suddenly in turmoil about our bodies, but there is SO MUCH stuff we’re told we need… so you’d be forgiven for having to extend your credit limit well before baby is actually due. And you think they’d be kind don’t you and make everything cheap, or at least reasonably priced… Oh no, the price of preparing a healthy little human and retaining some sort of your previous self is high. But I’ve realised there are very few things we actually NEED throughout pregnancy so I’ve put together this list of the absolute basics, build on it at your own peril.
1) Comfy Clothes
This was essential for me as a few weeks into pregnancy I started to feel so sick, and it didn’t let up for a good 8 weeks so having clothes that I felt ok in was the only saving grace. I didn’t wear jeans for MONTHS, even elasticated waistbands pressing on my tummy made me queasy. So I ended up buying some loose joggers, a shirt dress, a swing dress, maternity leggings and a few maternity tops. OK maybe a bit premature, they gave me a baggy faux belly, but they were on sale so…
2) A Pregnancy Book
There are times in my life (most of it) when I like to be spontaneous and somewhat unprepared; it keeps me on my toes. But when I found out I was pregnant I was actually super keen to learn everything I could about what my body and my baby would go through, step by step. And you quickly learn its INSANEEEEEEE. It’s amazing. Like, mind blowing and will give you a new found respect for yourself, even when you feel like shit. There are tons and tons and tons, I’ve been reading What To Expect When You’re Expecting, but don’t even waste your money because that friend or relo that’s had kids has probably still got a book lying around, so just commandeer that!
Your normal diet will dictate what you might want to top your self up with, but Folic Acid is a pretty good start, though I’m sure I’m not the first person to tell you this. Conversations when you’re pregnant tend to go along the lines of “I’m pregnant!”, “Congrats, when are you due? Are you taking Folic Acid?”.
Alongside that you might want to consider Iron, Folate, Vitamin D, Magnesium and Probiotics. And as if our simplicity prayers are answered, all of the above come in most popular Pregnancy Supplements. But don’t just take my word for it, always consult your doctor blah blah blah.
4) Belly Band & Cream
I’d like to think every mum-to-be worries about getting stretch marks at some point, and while I think there’s something awesome about the battle scars of a pregnancy, I’m all about the preventative measures, so I started using belly cream almost straight away.
…Is anti aging face cream in your 20’s too obsessive??
Anyway, I’m a #basicbump. So my tummy essentials are still nothing more than a belly support band from Amazon (TER Products Maternity Support Belt – £13.93) which I’ve been wearing at night from about 20 weeks (I actually sleep better with that than a pregnancy pillow hence why that isn’t on my list) and Rituals For Mama Stretch Mark Tummy Cream (Rituals – £ 19.50**) which I started using around 10 weeks… and so far so good! This combo, along with lots of water, seems to be doing the trick and my bump still feels quite comfy, fleshy and elastic… good thing too, I’ve still got 2 more months of growing left!!
5) A Doppler
This is less about the need and more about the want. I was so gobsmacked at the idea of a second heartbeat when I got pregnant that I couldn’t wait to hear it. A lot of healthcare practitioners will advise against dopplers, simply because you can confuse your own heartbeat one minute and think you’re not hearing anything the next, but don’t ever panic about it. I bought the AngelSounds device (around £20) and used it eagerly, and yet unsuccessfully, a few times before I picked up the little squirts heartbeat at 13 weeks. And even then some days I just couldn’t find it, I mean it is pretty small at that stage, so not surprising. Now at the ripe old age of 28 weeks using the Doppler is like a direct line to the unborn, hearing the reactions when you play music and talk is pretty cute and helps me bond. So need not. Just want.