Monday, July 11, 2011

Bringing Home Baby: A Pregnancy Must Have List

I just found out that one of my besties is pregnant with her first. I decided to put together a Survival Kit for her and it's got me thinking about the things I learned through out my pregnancy and what I recommend for others. I decided this would be something fun to post about so that I can reference it when other friends get pregnant.

1st Trimester

Prenatal Vitamins!!!!!!!!

This should be one of the first things you think about after finding out that you're pregnant. Consult your doctor about which ones are the best but anything is better than nothing. My doctor wrote me a prescription but you can get them at many stores. If you think they are making your nausea worse, consider trying a different brand or type or taking it at a different time of day. Some of the girls I know had good luck with Targets gummy prenatals. I set an alarm on my phone and it helped me take them almost every single day I was pregnant. Always consult your doctor though!

Cracker Packs!

I've said for a while that the pregnancy test people should get with the Lance Cracker company and make a combo pack because if the test is positive you should go ahead and put a couple packs in your purse. ;-) The first few weeks the nausea was pretty bad, but I could manage it if I kept something in my stomach. Eating every couple of hours became very important. I also found cereal to be really helpful because I could eat a little or a lot. If we were meeting friends for dinner but wouldn't be eating for a couple of hours, I could eat just a small bowl when I got home from work and it would keep me from getting too nauseous while we were waiting for a table. Also, servers are usually pretty helpful and will bring you some crackers or something if you need it. I had to do that a few times while I was figuring the whole thing out.

Jolly Ranchers or Preggy Pops

Some people find sour things settle a nauseous stomach. I found that they made me want to throw up even more. But a lot of girls I know swear by them!


This was probably my way of incorporating something sour, plus I got dehydrated really easily. This was my go to when I knew I needed to up my fluid intake, plus it's caffeine free. The premeasured powder packs were awesome too!

Ice Water with a Straw

Don't ask me why this seemed to help the nausea and why it was one of my biggest cravings. But since I'm a non-water drinker when not pregnant, I was just thankful!


Growing a human is E-X-H-A-U-S-T-I-N-G! Get as much sleep as you can and don't apologize for it. If you partner doesn't want to go to bed that early then get used to going to sleep by yourself. I know it's not very romantic but trust me, you'll be glad you did when you can function the next day.

Pregnancy Books

I definitely recommend that you pick up a book about pregnancy, if not 30. Learning about what my body was doing helped me feel more in control. BUT... be careful which you you read. The most popular, What to Expect When You're Expecting should really be retitled What to Freak the Freak Out About While You're Expecting. I found it to be way too anxiety producing. My doctor gave me Your Pregnancy Week by Week and it was much better. In my opinion, pregnancy is kind of like water. If you're going to be on it or in it, you need to understand it and respect it but not fear it. If what you are reading is making you fear pregnancy and childbirth talk to your medical professional or other moms and find an alternative.

2nd Trimester

BeBand (Bella Band or other brands)

This thing is awesome and a life saver! When you start showing it allows you to wear your pre-pregnancy pants (unbuttoned) for a while longer. Plus by the end even your maternity shirts will have a hard time covering your bump and the waist band of your maternity pants. This extends your shirts and helps you feel all covered up.

Body Pillow (Regular and Pregnancy Specific)

I just got a regular body pillow from IKEA, but there are many options. I thought mine was ok but since I didn't have any others I can't really compare. The pregnancy specific ones get really expensive but seeing how important it was towards the end, I can see investing in it. As your belly gets bigger it needs a little bit of support to make sleeping possible. A body pillow supports the belly and also helps with hip pain. Whether you buy a pregnancy specific pillow, a standard body pillow, or use multiple pillows you'll need something by the time you get to the end of the second trimester/third trimester.

A Good Body Lotion

People swear by different things but from the research I've done stretch marks are genetic. Either you are going to get them or you're not regardless of any products you use, so I don't recommend putting too much time and effort into finding that miracle cream. I didn't have any problems, but some of my friends had problems with their bellies itching and burning as they stretched to accommodate the growing human, so a good, basic body lotion really helped.

3rd Trimester


During the 3rd Trimester, my biggest complaint was indigestion. I really had to start watching what I ate and cut out as much fried food, anything with tomatoes, vinegar, or too much grease which cut out almost everything I eat. Oops. By the last few weeks I was beginning to wonder if one could live on nothing but TUMS. I recommend buying a few small packages so that you can have containers in different places. I had one in my office drawer, one in my car, one by the couch downstairs, and one by my bed. After you get your smaller containers start buying them in large containers and just refill your small ones or you'll go broke. Note though that you can overdose on TUMS so don't eat them like candy. Plus they'll back you up for realz which most pregnant women don't need any help with. ;-)

Baked Potatoes

The only thing I found that would consistently not give me indigestion was baked potatoes. I guess in the grand scheme of things that was a fairly healthy thing to crave. I think the starch calmed down the acid but that's just my guess. Most people don't know that Wendy's sells various baked potatoes including a broccoli and cheese one. I think I single handedly kept the Wendy's by my office and house in business. I probably had a baked potato 5-7 times a week. Thankfully Jay's Irish so he loves anything made from the potato. Don't know if this will help anyone else, but it certainly helped me.

Classes and Hospital Tour

This is the time for taking as many classes as you can (in my opinion). Check with your hospital to see what they offer but you can also take classes other places. I'm a big fan of classes. I took Breastfeeding, Infant CPR (should have been renamed, 1001 Ways Your Baby Can Die but still good), and the Car Seat class through our hospital and then we took the Hypnobabies Childbirth class. I'm glad I took the class, but I'm not sure I'd recommend it to a first timer. It focuses on eliminating the pain of childbirth through hypnosis to the exclusion of everything else. So, if the hypnosis doesn't work for you during labor, you don't have a lot of techniques to fall back on. Regardless of whether you decide to have an epidural or not, I highly recommend a childbirth class of some kind. Childbirth is difficult and painful no matter how you approach it. Even if you get an epidural you will most likely feel contractions for hours before you can get it so knowing how to cope is essential. Plus it is unlike anything you have ever experiencing and that unknown can be very scary if you don't understand what's going on.

I think that's the best advise I can give. I'm sure I'll have to do another post soon because I'll think of a million other things. It's amazing, it's only been a few months since I was pregnant, but it feels like another lifetime. I can't even imagine a time when Turtle wasn't with us.

Ok, Mamas. What's your go-to pregnancy items?

Bringing Home Baby:
2) A Pregnancy Must Have List


Jessica said...

I am looking forward to reading these!! :) I was craving baked potatoes at the end. But really I think it was the sour cream. Sorta weird but I wanted Outback loaded baked potatoes ALL THE TIME! My husband was at their curbside pickup a couple days a week. Glad to know I am not the only one.

bonniebelle said...

That's so funny! I'm so glad to know I'm not the only one too! My husband thought I was crazy. I'm not sure he's looked at a baked potato since. Hehe.