Monday, March 24, 2014

Top 12 Pregnancy Must Haves

As my pregnancy is winding down and my due date approaches, I wanted to share with you guys my favorite products from my pregnancy. I have divided these into time windows so no matter what point you are in in your pregnancy adventure, you can find something great for you.

Trying to Conceive
I know that for a lot of couples and pregnancies, this isn't an active stage. But their are a lot of other planners out there like me who do go through a "trying to conceive" period. While ours wasn't that long, 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 a 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. I 100% believe that we would not have gotten pregnant so quickly without my reading it and implementing cycle charting.
2. Rainbow Light Prenatal One - Every doctor I talked to and everything I read before my pregnancy recommended starting prenatals at least 3 months before getting pregnant. Since it happened quicker for us than anticipated, I was only on them for about a month before. 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. They offer food based nutrients and a lot 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.
3. Digital 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 are marketed for fertility awareness. I believe that 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.
4. One Step (Hcg) Pregnancy Test Strips - I was a compulsive tester 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 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 the didn't permanently curb my nausea, they totally helped as long as I was sucking on one.
6. Ginger Root - This was a recommendation form my midwife to help keep the 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 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! This means I won't have to supplement Minion's breast milk with Baby Ddrops® as long as I keep up with my personal Vitamin D routine.

The Second Trimester
Other than some emotional trials, my 2nd trimester was pretty uneventful. So I didn't need a whole lot to function but there were a couple items I picked up that have helped me down to today.
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 has worked great.
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
I can't believe I am almost done with my third trimester and pregnancy. This stage has definitely been all about discomfort so trying to find relief has been the goal.
10. Liquid Calcium & Magnesium - Up to this point, I was relying on at least 2 Tums every day to combat the constant heartburn I have been living with. After picking up some of this for prepping my Laborade, I decided to give it a try for the heartburn and it was AMAZING! Wish I had started taking this earlier.
11. Ice Pack - Midway through this trimester, my tailbone started KILLING me. It hurts so much to sit and getting up is even worse. So icing my back has become such a welcome relief.
12. Birth Ball - Officially mine is just a standard stability/fitness ball, but it has 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 :)

Well there you have my list of must haves for any pregnancy. What could you not live without during your pregnancy?

For a list of the natural items that helped me check out 4 Tips for Surviving Pregnancy the Natural Way.

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