Favorite Pregnancy Products
Since I am nearing the end of this pregnancy (SO CRAZY) I thought I would round-up my favorite products that have helped me get through all the ups and downs of growing a tiny human. To be honest, this pregnancy has flown by! I do think it's helped that I have been pretty healthy the entire time. Minus a few bouts of exhaustion, I've been able to power through. I didn't buy a ton of maternity products, but I did find some amazing essentials. These products have helped so much and I wanted to share what worked best for me
1. 100% Tea Tree Oil
If you have problem skin going into your pregnancy, this is a must! I've always struggled with my skin and it took medical-grade products and treatments to keep my cystic acne under control before baby. Toward the middle of my 1st trimester, my acne came back with a vengeance but I wasn't able to use any of my skincare products due to them having retinol or other unsafe ingredients. A few people recommended trying Tea Tree Oil and it's been a total game changer! After a few weeks of consistently cleansing my skin, exfoliating 2x a week and following with a swab of this magic potion on my problem areas, my skin completely cleared. Not only did my acne go away, but the texture and tone of my skin improved. It only took a few drops 3-4 times each week to start seeing results and I am still using my first bottle at the end of my pregnancy. I almost think my skin is now better than it was pre-pregnancy! I will continue to use this postpartum and highly recommend it. Plus, you can find at any natural grocery for around $10 - $12. That's a win-win.
2. Pregnancy Pillow
My husband bought me the Leach pregnancy pillow for Christmas as a gift and at first I thought it would be something I would never use. Jokes on me because I am hooked. I started testing out the pillow around the beginning of my 2nd trimester when I had a few difficulties sleeping and it made staying on my side (I am a back and tummy sleeper by nature) easier. And I haven't stopped using it since! As your belly grows, it's nice to have the larger pillow that can wrap for extra support and I've been able to manipulate this pillow to support my feet, neck and back thanks to it's extra long length. The only con? It's like having another human in our bed and it makes cuddling with your husband nearly impossible. But worth it for a good night's sleep!
3. Soft Button-Down Pajamas
I love wearing extra soft pajamas to bed and had a pretty nice collection pre-pregnancy, but they started to not fit just right once I started to grow in my 2nd trimester. Hello, silky camisoles and sleep rompers do not work with a belly! So, I went on the hunt for pregnancy-friendly pajamas that would also work postpartum. Honestly, Target has been my go-to for soft basics and they never disappoint when it comes to fit and price-point. Hint: I also realized I needed pajamas in darker colors...because weird things happen to your body that you cannot control when pregnant. Just saying! So, I went with black and darker gray pajamas in soft materials with stretchy waistbands. This pair in black or gray have been my favorites! I also plan to add this new robe to my hospital bag and have my eye on this nursing nightgown!
4. Shea Butter & Vitamin E Oil
One of my biggest worries when I found out I was pregnant was stretch marks. I know, it's so silly in the grand scheme of things! Since I have stretch marks pre-pregnancy from puberty and growth spurts, I just assumed the worst and that my belly would be covered in them. Luckily, I've made it to 32 weeks without a single one. I think this is in part to working out regularly, staying hydrated, eating healthy AND smothering my belly in all the natural shea butter and Vitamin E oil. I did research on the best stretch marks cream and while there are fancy, reputable products on the market for mamas-to-be, I settled on an organic shea belly butter by Glow 9 and 100% Vitamin E oil from Trader Joe's. I figure, these products have no additives and would give my body the natural moisture it needs. I didn't start applying regularly either until my 2nd trimester and I now apply once in the morning and in the evening. I also plan to keep up the applications after pregnancy to reduce any stretch marks that may occur as my belly shrinks. Even if a few pop up at the very end, I’m happy with how far I’ve made it and know it’s all worth it.
I wore non-maternity jeans until I was 23 weeks pregnant and then struggled finding maternity jeans I loved. I purchased two pairs from DestinationMaternity.com from a brand I've worn non-maternity jeans in before, but just didn't love the fit. I constantly felt like they were stretching out and they would get too loose around my hips and legs. I ordered my normal size, but just couldn't make it work. Waste of money! Lucky for me, I received the BellaBand from my aunt and ended up loving how it felt on. You essentially wear around your belly and it covers the top of your regular jeans so that you don't have to zip them up. Plus, it's nice to have the supportive material on your belly and gave more coverage when wearing lightweight tops. The band was perfect for me because I was carrying most of my weight in my belly! The only con? By the time I started to need this, the weather got warmer and I started wearing more dresses vs. denim. However, I definitely recommend this if you are going to be pregnant for a large part of the fall/winter!
7. Apps - Babylist, Baby Center & The Bump
While I have a few friends with new babies, none of my closest girls are pregnant at the same time as me. So, I definitely have turned to all the apps and online groups to answer my weird and somewhat embarrassing questions along the way...I also have loved having weekly updates about the baby's development from apps like, The Bump and Baby Center. It's something to look forward to every week and makes me feel more educated on what is going on with baby (and my body) through the journey. I also found a few mom-focused Facebook groups that have been good sources for questions on products, birthing questions, and more. I have been loving the Sequins & Stripes mom group on Facebook because it's lots of moms and moms-to-be! For our registry, we decided on Babylist and I am so glad we did! It's been so easy to update and keep track of everything we've received. I've had several family members comment how much they liked it, too because they could pick the items at their favorite stores - shopping online or in-person. More on that soon!
8. Lululemon Align pants
These Align pants are the best when pregnant! I already owned one pair pre-pregnancy for working out, but I started wearing them so much that my husband bought me another pair in my 2nd trimester! With the super soft & stretchy fabric, high waist that covers the bump and quality of the pants - what's not to love? I've worn both pairs of my Align pants too many times to count from working out to even going out for dinner (paired with a longer blouse and jacket). I know, the price is high...but if you are looking for a good quality legging that doesn't pill, stretch too thin or show too much, these are the ones you need. Plus, they will get more wear post-pregnancy!
9. Crest Gum Detoxify
I have always struggled with my gums. No cavities here, but swollen gums have been a struggle I’ve dealt with for years! Well, pregnancy makes your gums even worse. Something about all the hormones that makes bleeding gums and even gingivitis occur... I’ve had to really step up my oral hygiene game by brushing my teeth after every meal and flossing regularly to keep my gums healthy. So much work! While they definitely aren’t in perfect condition, I do think using the Crest Gum Detoxify tooth paste has helped.
I’m soooo glad I invested in new Birkenstocks last summer while we were in Colorado before getting pregnant. I love my rose gold Birks because they look stylish and they have been the most comfortable shoe I own during pregnancy, especially in the third trimester! If you’re going to be pregnant in the summer, these are a must! They mold to your feet and provide excellent support. I even prefer to walk the dog in these over my tennis shoes!