Pregnancy is a roller coaster. My two pregnancies were very different, even though, both times I was pregnant with a girl. With one baby, I felt nauseous, but never actually needed to throw up. She was also late, like more than a week late. I gained 14 kilos, and held onto most of them for a loooong time. With my second girl, I was nauseous (and vomiting) a few times a day. She was early, and I left the hospital zippered comfortably into my pre-pregnancy jeans. Yeah, not stretchy leggings, friends. Jeans.
So, there go all of those gender-based wives’ tails. And, no matter how many babies you have or how different each pregnancy is, there are a few predictable obstacles you’ll face. Here, I’m sharing a few must-haves that will help you navigate through each trimester. With both of my pregnancies, I found myself starving, hot, cold, nauseous, exhausted, energized, schlumpy, and sometimes, surprisingly chic. Basically, everything could change at a moment’s notice in a way that you’re just not prepared for pre-pregnancy. So, grab a pen (or a Pinterest button), and take note. Here is everything you need to keep your skin moist, your nausea under control, and your nights full of restful slumber. I’ve even included some books to get you through all the time you’ll spend waiting in the doctor’s office for appointments.
1. Sea-Bands – these bands hit key accupressure points to help keep nausea at bay. Drug-free and with no side effects they are definitely worth a try.
2. Elevit Morning Sickness Relief – with a combination of ginger and B6 vitamin, these pills might be just what you need (though of course check with your doctor before taking them).
3. Eat Small, Regular Meals – eating little and often can help keep nausea at bay. Be sure to include lots of ginger and foods that contain vitamin B6 in your meals. Think meats, wholegrains, leafy green vegetables, oranges and bananas.
4. Pukka Three Ginger Tea – Swap your caffeine fix for a hot cup of this delicious, fragrant organic herbal tea. So good.
5. Blackmores Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Gold – A pre and post-pregnancy vitamin is highly recommended by most health practitioners (check with yours), and Blackmores is a trusted Australian source of vitamins. Makes sense to us.
6. The Source Stainless Steel Water Bottle – This is one cool looking water bottle and at 500 ml, it means you only have to fill it up four times a day to stay at peak hydration. Remember to sip, sip, sip throughout the day because your body needs more water when you’re pregnant.
7. Preggi Bellies Exercise DVD – Professionally designed to suit all levels of fitness during pregnancy. Keep active and strong, because you’re going to need to be in peak condition when your baby arrives.
8. Fertile Mind Bando Belly Band – Support your growing bump with a super-stretchy belly band. They feel comfy, but help you carry your bump without harming your back. Worth checking out.
9. Mind the Bump app – Brought to you by the amazing team that puts together the Smiling Mind app in collaboration with Beyond Blue, this app aims to guide you through a mindful, restful pregnancy. We couldn’t decide whether to list this one in ‘health’ or ‘wellbeing’. Let’s just say that it’s a whole lot of both.
10. Celsius Fit Ball Pro Exercise Ball – Ease pain in your hips and lower back by sitting on an exercise ball to work and play. Try bouncing on it before bedtime to relax and get comfortable.
11. Trail Mix Snacks – You’ll find yourself hungry at the most random times, so it’s good to carry a healthy snack at all times. Try mixing your own trail mix bags – you can vary the contents to add variety and interest. We like the ideas at Greatist.
12. Bhumi Soft Knit Organic Cotton Throw – You need lots and lots of rest when you’re pregnant (especially in the first trimester and towards the end of the third trimester). Snuggle up with an organic cotton throw that will keep you cosy, without making you feel too hot.
13. Scrumpy Soap Company Chocolate Truffle Natural Soap – No, you can’t eat all the chocolate, but you can enjoy a luxe chocolate bar in the form of natural handmade soap. Such a delicious way to treat yourself every day.
14. 100% Pure Natural Nail Polish – With all the bump patting that goes on during pregnancy (we just can’t help ourselves, can we!?), nails are on display more than ever before. Pretty nails just make you feel good and 100% Pure nail polishes are free the common toxins found in many other nail polishes.
15. Aromatherapy – Certain essential oils are best avoided during pregnancy (check this list here), but others like lavender, neroli and ylang ylang can bring a sense of calm and purpose. Check with your doctor or midwife before burning essential oils and definitely before using topically or ingesting them.
16. Belly Bean Pillow – It’s so hard to sleep when you’re pregnant. Many believe that it’s training for when you have to deal with a newborn, but if that’s true, it’s a cruel way to introduce us to motherhood! A pregnancy pillow like the Belly Bean pillow can help you find a comfy position to sleep in.
17. Cocoa Butter Lip Balm – Pregnancy dries out your lips (and face and body and everything), so you’ll definitely be needing this super-smooth and not too sticky SPF 15 lip balm. Mint is our favourite.
18. Tummy Butter – Stretch marks are like the evil kingslayer of pregnancy – just waiting to pounce. Slathering on a thick moisturiser is your only defence, and Palmer’s Tummy Butter is a good one. Despite being thick and creamy, it’s not greasy at all.
19. Eye Mask – Towards the end of your pregnancy, you will want to give sleep everything you’ve got, so think eye masks and ear plugs. Whatever it takes.
20. Crane Elephant Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier – Combat dry skin and sleepless nights – especially if you sleep with the heater or air-conditioner on – with a humidifier. This one is a real cutie and will be perfect for keeping your new bubba comfortable as well.
21. Podcasts – You’re going to spend a lot of down time in waiting rooms and the best way to fill all that time is with an uplifting, go-get-em podcast on play. We like:
- Straight + Curly – An Aussie duo who road test different self-help concepts.
- Happier – Happiness guru Gretchen Rubin talks all things HAPPY with her sister Elizabeth Craft.
- Magic Lessons – Elizabeth Gilbert – author of Big Magic and Eat, Pray, Love – explores creativity and fearlessness
- Triple P Parenting – The podcast of the ABC radio show, it’s a good introduction to all things parenting.
22. Bra Extenders – These are your new best friend. You can wear your (generally wire-free) bras for so much longer before you need to invest in maternity bras for giant boobs / breastfeeding purposes.
23. BellyBelt – Keep wearing the clothes you love with a belly extender. Works with pants, shorts, jeans and skirts – basically anything that has a button-up closure.
24. Slumbies Slippers – Hobbit feet are a thing when you’re pregnant. Fluid retention, carrying extra baby weight and loose ligaments all combine to produce massive feet. It’s actually not uncommon for women to go up a whole shoe size or more during pregnancy (and beyond, but let’s not get into that). Slumbies are like sliding your hobbits into a warm, soothing bath.
25. H+M Maternity Jeans – Or anything maternity from H+M, really. Cheap, fashion-savvy and practical, the pieces will last you your pregnancy and you won’t spend a fortune.
26. Bonds Hidden Support Tank – It’s a workout top that looks good enough to wear with jeans or a skirt. The best bit is, you can probably get away with not wearing a bra and some days that can only be a good thing.
27. The Goodnight Society Pyjamas – Whether it’s the snuggly pair of pyjamas or the breeziest nighties you need, The Goodnight Society has literally got you covered. The company uses only organic cotton and guarantees that its products are sweatshop-free, so there’s a lot of goodness being tucked up with you each night.
28. Birkenstock Sandals – Long before Birkenstocks became acceptable fashion footwear, pregnancy women wore them anyway. That’s all you need to know.
29. Up the Duff By Kaz Cooke – Of course, What to Expect When You’re Expecting is also a contender for Pregnancy Bible, but we love the humour and playfulness in Kaz’s book so much more. Pregnancy is fun, guys!
30. Baby Love by Robyn Barker – This has been the go-to book for Aussie mums since 1994 and updated a gazillion times since then. The same no-nonsense but nurturing tone has stayed true, supporting new mums and making us believe I got this.
31. Dude, Your Gonna Be a Dad by John Pfeiffer – An essential in any pregnant woman’s life is definitely a switched-on baby daddy. Get him a copy of this and he’ll be so much more understanding when you’re dead tired one minute and regrouting the bathroom tiles the next.
More about pregnancy:
- The 9 Best Free Pregnancy Apps & Trackers
- 31 Creative Ways to Tell Your Husband You’re Pregnant
- 6 Things I Packed in My Hospital Bag (But Never Used)