Modified from a post originally appearing on Mismikado Down the Sidewalk
The following are my favorite products from my first pregnancy. I have organized them into trimester windows so no matter what point you are in in your pregnancy adventure, you can find something great for you.
Trying to Conceive
For a lot of couples and pregnancies, this isn't an active stage. But there are a lot of others out there who do go through a "trying to conceive" or "actively trying" period. Our first wasn't that long but our second was almost a year so there were a few things that I found very helpful to the process.
1. Taking Charge of Your Fertility - This is the Fertility Awareness Bible. Whether you are wanting to start trying to have a baby, you want to prevent pregnancy, you are just hitting puberty (or have a daughter at this stage), or are entering the menopausal stage of life, EVERY WOMAN SHOULD READ THIS BOOK! There are so many things that I (and all the ladies I've talked to) never knew about our bodies and fertility before this book.
2. Rainbow Light Prenatal One - Every doctor I talked to and everything I've read about pregnancy recommends starting prenatal vitamins at least 3 months before getting pregnant. I stumbled across Rainbow Light by chance when Walmart was clearancing them out. Turns out they are some of the best rated prenatal vitamins on the market except for the fact they contain folic acid instead of the superior folate. They offer food-based nutrients and much higher values than most other prenatals. Plus they have more iron than most which makes me wonder how low my blood count would have gotten if I was taking a different brand. I will note that if you are struggling with prenatal induced nausea, a gummy variety might be better for you like SmartyPants.
3. BBT Thermometer - If you are serious about trying to conceive then you definitely need to start charting your cycle and this means you need to take your Basal Temperature every day. I know there are a lot of thermometers out there including ones specially marketed for fertility awareness. A simple cheap thermometer is perfectly fine as long as you are using it every day at the same time so that you can pay attention to the fluctuations. I personally like one that is backlit and remembers your temperature so you can mark it down later.
4. One Step (Hcg) Pregnancy Test Strips - I am a POAS (pee on a stick addict) so these test strips were great! At $.60/test, you cannot find anything cheaper, plus they are super accurate and can detect a pregnancy earlier than most commercial tests. I got my first positive 5 days before my missed period. So if you want to know if you are pregnant as soon as possible and don't want to spend a fortune testing month after month, pick up a pack of these.
The First Trimester
For me, my first trimester (both times) was ruled by morning sickness so finding ways to continue to function was vital. This was pretty much the trimester all about getting on a good vitamin routine.
5. Vitamin C Drops - A lot of people recommended Preggie Pops to me for dealing with nausea. As I went searching for them, a kind pharmacist at Walgreens turned me onto Vitamin C drops. Apparently, they are basically the same thing but at a fraction of the cost. While they didn't permanently curb my nausea, they totally helped as long as I was sucking on one.
6. Ginger Root - This was a recommendation from my midwife to help keep nausea at bay. Taking a ginger root capsule with each meal totally helped me get through the day.
7. D3 2000 I.U. - Did you know that you are probably Vitamin D deficient? Did you know that your prenatal vitamin doesn't have enough Vitamin D to rectify this? Did you know that a Vitamin D deficiency raises your risk for gestational diabetes, required c-section, preeclampsia, and could even lead to jaundice or autism in your baby? I had no clue about any of this the first time, but at my 8-week blood draw, I was deemed Vitamin D deficient at a level of 18. So I was encouraged to start taking 4000 I.U. (International Units) of Vitamin D3 a day. That works out to 2 extra pills which can be obnoxious, but 28 weeks later, my Vitamin D level was a whopping 45!
The Second Trimester
My 2nd trimester with baby #1 was when my antenatal depression decided to rear its ugly head. While that's a discussion for its own time, there were a couple of items I picked up that made the time more comfortable.
8. Body Pillow - As my belly grew, having a big body pillow to curl around and keep between my legs made sleeping a lot more comfortable. While you can definitely get a pregnancy-specific pillow that I'm sure is great, I just went with a cheap Target pillow that served its purpose.
9. Coconut Oil - I've talked about my love for coconut oil before and there are so many uses for it that I haven't even explored yet. For moisturizing my changing skin and body, coconut oil was the best thing ever! And I know there are some fancy, organic options out there, but the cheap grocery store cooking kind has been perfect for me.
The Third Trimester
This stage is definitely all about discomfort so trying to find relief is the goal.
10. Liquid Calcium & Magnesium - After picking up some of this for prepping my Laborade, I decided to give it a try for the heartburn I was suffering with and it was AMAZING! I wish I had started taking it earlier.
11. Ice Pack - Midway through this trimester with baby #1, my tailbone started KILLING me. It hurt so much to sit and getting up was even worse. So icing my back became such a welcome relief.
12. Birth Ball - Officially mine is just a standard stability/fitness ball, but it worked great for relieving some of that back pressure. Swapping it out instead of other chair options makes sitting at home feel a lot better plus according to my midwife, the squatting position will really help with labor.
What could you not live without during your pregnancy?