Pregnancy must haves


I have a sweet friend pregnant with her first baby and she asked if I had a pregnancy blog post up and it dawned on me that I didn't. I told her I would get on writing one right away. I thankfully have so much experience with pregnancy, postpartum, and all things newborn because of the nature of my job and had several friends who went before me in the whole pregnancy realm that helped prepare me somewhat for this crazy, incredible, amazing adventure that is pregnancy....

Here is a list of some of the must haves and expectations for pregnancy:

1//Prenatals-I think any woman considering getting pregnant or in the child rearing age should be taking a prenatal vitamin...there are so many reasons prenatal vitamins are essential but one of the most important things it is needed for is the Folic Acid that helps prevent neural tube defects (most commonly known as Spina Bifida)...I've switched to a prescription strength prenatal both pregnancies for different reasons...with Isabella I needed more iron and this time I needed the added stool softener...there are so many great prenatals out there that meet different needs so definitely talk to your OB about a great choice for you!

2//Body Pillow-This is so important that you find a great pillow that is comfortable to sleep with...I have so many friends that liked these style pillows but I like my normal pillow behind my neck so I have 2 body pillows one for each side....they don't recommend sleeping on your back during the 2nd and 3rd trimester because the weight on the vena cava (the main vein that carries blood from your extremities back to your heart) can be compressed causing interference with adequate circulation, which is essential during pregnancy. I have these covers for mine and they are so soft.

3//Nausea treatment-Not everyone suffers from nausea during pregnancy and everyone does to a different extent...I was a huge sufferer but preferred to manage mine naturally without medication....mine lasted a little over 20 weeks with Isabella and not quite as long with Cayson thank goodness....
  • Ginger is a natural remedy for mom used it through chemo and I liked to chew on candied ginger (thanks to my friend Lauren's recommendation)....
  • B vitamins are also known to help with nausea, there are prenatal vitamins that have added B vitamins that you can ask your OB about, or just take an additional supplement
  • Preggie Drops- I absolutely loved these Preggie Drops...they were a life saver when we traveled to Spain while I was pregnant particularly on train rides and when it would hit me suddenly
  • Mama to Be Tea Sampler-another gift from a sweet friend...I found several of these teas to be helpful with my nausea...they have different ones for the different trimesters and even for lactation...highly recommend if you like tea...
  • Carbonation helped me tons....I loved, loved sparkling water and an occasional sip of Sprite and it seemed to settle it some, Ginger Ale is another good one
  • Peppermints-have peppermints when available...they are also a natural nausea cure
  • Crackers-I had lots of friends who had crackers on their bedside table that they snacked on before getting out of bed and swore by it...the thought of crackers in the morning made mine worse so I didn't do this but I've heard for some it works wonders...
  • If all else fails ask your MD for a prescription nausea medicine like Zofran that is safe during pregnancy
4//Reflux treatment-well reflux was a whole new world for me..I had only experienced once in my life prior to pregnancy thanks to an antibiotic...I feel for those who are daily sufferers (like my hubby), ugh it can be awful...towards the end of my pregnancies just bending down to pick something up causes instant reflux....even for reflux I tried to go the unmedicated route though there are several safe prescription antacids you can ask your OB about if these little remedies don't help....I don't like Tums usually the taste and chalkiness typically does not settle well with me but the Tums Smoothies did the trick for me...they are basically just calcium and aren't as chalky tasting...I swore by these it was rare that they didn't do the trick rather instantly....if this doesn't work definitely ask your OB for can also try some of the Mama Teas mentioned above, they have one specifically for heart burn...

5//Belly Band-another great life will probably need it earlier your second go round but this belly band helps make your pre-pregnancy pants/shorts last you can simply unbutton your pants and slip this belly band over them....I also like the rubber band through the button hole trick...I use my belly band towards the end of my pregnancies for some added support as well...

6//Stretch Mark Prevention...lather, lather, lather, water, water, water...while stretch marks can be genetic, inevitable, unpreventable, etc for some I swear by lathering and making sure you stay hydrated it can help/prevent for mom got some pretty intense stretch marks while my sister and I have so far staved free from them and we have both done the same thing (my mom says she did neither)....LATHER & WATER....stable, slow weight gain is also helpful...I still have 5 weeks to go this pregnancy and if this baby boy gets too much bigger there is still the possibility of getting them but I will continue to lather and increase my water intake to decrease the chance...stretch marks or not these are both so important anyways...I lather with Shea Cocoa butter every morning and the Oil every night....I adore this water bottle...I don't think I have been seen without a water bottle since I realized how important it was for me while in nursing school...I am addicted to water....early on in my pregnancy like I said Sparkling water was a huge nausea fixer and craving for me....mostly when we went out to was my "cocktail" ;) You think you are thirsty for water during pregnancy...if you decide to breastfeed I swear that intensifies 100%.

Pregnancy symptoms:

Some of these symptoms were expected and some were such a surprise to me I thought I'd share..while everyone's pregnancies are so different and one persons pregnancy can vary from baby to baby...I thought I'd share mine...tell me what symptoms you had? If you ask my mom she will say I don't remember any of those....I think she has just forgotten and didn't escape 4 pregnancies without symptoms but hey maybe she was a lucky one but my bet is pregnancy hormones and forgetfulness...thank goodness for that right!

--Cramps....while cramps aren't always normal they can also be normal....confusing OB told me cramps without spotting and bleeding are normal....they are caused by your uterus stretching....I felt like I was having menstrual cramps for a long in the first was very worrisome at times but reassuring to know it was normal and common...if you are worried don't hesitate to seek your doctors cramps also return for me in the 3rd trimester by way of Braxton Hicks

--Vaginal discharge...TMI...sorry, you may want panty liners for certain stages as this can pick up during pregnancy and change and vary

--GI upset...another common symptom...diarrhea, gas, constipation...I suffer from all of these most intensely in the first trimester...this really surprised me...I wasn't expecting this...I have a gluten sensitivity so avoid gluten while not doesn't tend to bother me as much during pregnancy but the adjustment could be part of my issues...but these are common and many of my friends have suffered from the same

--Nipple and Breast discomfort...for some women breast tenderness is their first symptom...for me it showed up later especially the second time and I honestly did have more nipple discomfort than breast discomfort...I'd say its similar to menstrual tenderness just a little more intensified...

--Frequent urination....hello increased volume and active kidneys...this has both pregnancies showed up as one of my first symptoms...I suffer from day 1 until seems to get a little better in the second trimester but returns with a vengeance in the 3rd thanks to pressure on the bladder..

--Headaches...I'm a huge pregnancy headache sufferer...they were way worse with Isabella than they have been this time...the frequent migraines I had with Isabella haven't been as present this time...I think I've only had 1 true migraine this time...

--Leg cramps...hello charlie horses...these happen mostly in my sleep....they are brief and intense but they do stop, I've tried potassium and more water and it doesn't seem to matter for me...

--Nasal congestion and shortness of breath...nasal passages get swollen with pregnancy due to hormones and then the shortness of breath starts for me once I get bigger and run out of room...this was the worst with Isabella being breech with her head in my diaphragm

--Round ligament pain...notice this the most during the first trimester...I did have some the 2nd pregnancy but not near as bad as the 1st....this is just pain as your uterus is stretching and growing

--Femoral nerve pain and Sciatic pain....eek man both of these can be painful....they can literally almost knock me off my femoral nerve pain comes on quick and hadn't been bad this time until the last several weeks...

With all this said I am not complaining....I was/am thankful I get to experience these symptoms just wanted to share my experience....each and every symptom was worth every ache and pain and I was thankful for them

Favorite books:

I absolutely love, love the Pregnancy Day by Day book....It is such a good, helpful read with things to anticipate, good pictures...its a fun one to sit down with daddy to be and read at night...helps him feel involved and stay educated as we'll...picture below since I forgot to add it above....What to Expect when you are Expecting is also a great resource..I also swear by Baby Wise for sleep, play, sleep is the gist of it....praying it works this time around and I will hopefully get a post in the works on this as well one day...

Favorite Apps:

Ovulation app-great to start tracking ovulation and periods 

What to expect when you are expecting-love this one...especially the first time helps you know what to expect each week...and I swear it was right on most of the time for me!

iContraction-greater for when the big day comes so you can time contractions and know when to head to the hospital

Baby log- best app for tracking feedings, diaper changes and sleep in the newborn period...I was a little Type A/OCD and may nor may not have used it a full year;)

Pampers rewards-keep track of your Pampers points...I haven't redeemed any yet but I have a friend who got a stroller from hers...having the app I actually take the time to put mine in

Target Cartwheel-Hi my name is Stephanie and I am a Target addict...ha....this app is wonderful you can add coupons to suite you...they always have coupons for diapers, wipes, organic clothes...anyways trust me get it;) Also if you are an addict like me make sure you have a Target RedCard...saves you 5% every time...uhmazing!! I love watching my total drop ha especially since I can't leave without spending at least $100...shhh don't tell the hubs

I'm working a post about the little tricks I've learned since being a mommy hopefully I'll finish that one day;)

Hope this helps any of you sweet mommas best advice is to love this time...embrace your changing body and the miracle it is doing and don't be too hard on yourself or the changes occurring...being pregnant made me truly appreciate my body and the amazing way God created it to do what it does while pregnant!!

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