Note that I didn't say necessary, or life easier or better, just happy.
I think that's kind of key when you're dealing with pregnancy hormones and depression and mood swings. Just happiness. There's a lot to be excited about, and a lot to look forward to, but of course that is coupled with anxiety and worry and gross stuff. #vaginalmucous
Here are some things that I've found to be useful! And....some things that are not so much.
- Apps: I have the What to Expect and Pregnancy+ apps. I liked them both at the beginning because they told me what size of produce I was growing and I love food, but honestly that's about it. I find both to have pretty antiquated articles and research, nothing very useful (what's the actual current research with circumcision, exercise, alcohol, etc?) and the Pregnancy+ app demands money after week 14, which I didn't pay. BUT, they do have the weight trackers and places to add to-dos and your current weight, so there's that if you like those sorts of things. I think that I'll enjoy apps for tracking contractions when the time comes - any suggestions for those? After baby is born there are apps for tracking sleeping and eating, and it seems like people go both ways on whether or not you need those. Thoughts?
- Prenatal vitamins. Target gummies, kids. When I was first pregnant I got all weird and thought I needed a whole foods vitamin, but then a pharmacist told me there isn't any research indicating that whole foods are better than synthetic, and I couldn't stomach the price or anything else about the massive pills. I took the gummy bottle to the midwives to assess, and they said "oh thank goodness you didn't spend $300 on whole foods vitamins, these are great." They have everything I need, they taste good, and they're cheap. Done. They don't have a ton of DHA, but they have some, and the midwives were happy with that.
- Old Navy workout clothes. Old Navy! I HATE their clothes. I find them poorly made and they never fit my body. Not so with the workout gear! It fits great, is super affordable, and everything feels really well made that I've tried so far. I have a few of these shirts, these sports bras, and these pants. One thing that I don't love is that a lot of the shirts don't have built in bras so you need the extra sports bra piece, but it's worth it for the price to add an extra garment. I also have a long pair of Athleta yoga pants, but I haven't tried them on yet so...stand by.
- Sevens. I broke down and bought these. They were worth every stinking penny, although with ANY maternity pants, there is butt saggage. That isn't a word. The belly panel just will never hold up the way a zipper and button does, but these pants fit true to size and Jay says they make my butt look good, so there you have it.
- Destination Maternity. I now have a few things from here, and all I can say is SEASONAL CLEARANCE. This stuff is expensive, but everything I've tried so far has been well worth it, and the last clearance I got into was buy one discounted item, get one for $5, so you end up with lots of crazy cheap stuff. Good for when you basically need an entire new wardrobe all at once.
- Loft Maternity. Just like DM. I wear Loft clothes lots in my real life (shirt in the picture above is a regular size from Loft) and the Maternity stuff fits great too. The key is to wait until they have an "everything on sale" web deal with free shipping and a coupon on top of THAT, get a bunch of stuff, return what doesn't fit to the store. I have a pair of black work pants (with the slippy butt and high belly panel, but they still work) that I wear all the time and several shirts that I like a lot.
- Gap Maternity. I was gifted a TON of maternity clothes from my friend Amanda who says she's done having babies, and in that lot were a lot of basics from Gap. The PJs and tanks are my favorite items. They actually look like regular clothes to the naked eye (read: no obvious ruching) but somehow expand nicely over a belly without getting all baggy. This is key to maternity clothes. Not all baggy. Also, the models on the maternity section of the website aren't rail thin (though they're thin for sure) and look like they might actually be pregnant instead of just digitally enhanced wearing the regular clothes to make the belly look spherical? Whether they employ better photoshoppers or legit pregnant models, I dig it.
- Target Nursing Sleep Bra. Not nursing yet, obviously, but these are comfy and cheap and fit great. When I was first pregnant my boobs hurt so much that if I slept without a bra on I would wake up when I rolled over from the pain from GRAVITY, so these were key. I'm not quite as sore now, but still wear one most nights for support, especially when I'm wandering around the house in PJs a long time before bed. Gotta keep the girls supported.
- Fre wine. Yes, I drink wine with alcohol in it. Yes, I've read more research on drinking while pregnant than you can possibly imagine, and Jay and I feel comfortable with my actions. But, I don't drink much at a time and I don't drink every day, and sometimes it's nice to pretend to be drinking. I've tried a few brands of ... juice .... and the Merlot version of this brand is actually pretty good. I've tried lots of non-alcoholic beers too, and they're fine, but the further I get into pregnancy the more they irritate my stomach. Heartburn or reflux or whatever this is doesn't like fake beer.
- Belly Bands. I have a few of these in different brands, and just yesterday I got one to work properly. It's the kind that attaches to the button of your jeans so you basically don't close your pants all the way, and it kind of felt fine. All of these require long loose-ish shirts because they really don't lie flat at all, so wear at your own risk. I actually am still wearing the white jeans in the photo above, just buttoned way under my belly (more butt slippage!), and that's working for now. I have one pair of pants that I like enough to bother with the belly band, but honestly I'm more about over-wearing the maternity pants I've bought.
These are some of my current favs - I have a whole list of websites and blogs that I'm super duper into as well. I'm not doing anything really special with body products or body pillows, thought I might delve more into things to help me sleep a little bit better as the months pass.
What else should I try? Educate me.