Over the past few months, I've been thinking about my most-loved pregnancy essentials and I've narrowed it down to a "must-have" guide for the expectant mamas out there! The list is compiled of my tried and true items, along with some items I've been generously gifted for review that I was sincerely pining to try out, and now use daily because I absolutely love them. Although the list is not extensive, it goes to show that the biggest thing I've learned with staying comfortable and happy in pregnancy is keeping it simple.
1) First up! My trusty Bellybuds. However tempting it may be to hook up a microphone and blast baby boy with a Modern Family Gloria-esque rendition of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Lamb," I like to play soft music for him and recordings of family member's voices. Studies have found babies in the womb hear and make memories by 30 weeks, so we are preparing him to be a musical prodigy and to know all of his kin, both near and far! These little Bellybuds have become a bit of a lifesaver too, because the little man is breech (another story for another day) and I am able to stick them low on my belly to prompt him to turn head down toward the music and recordings. Turn baby, turn!
2) I probably have the worst swayback in the history of, oh, practically ever. Girls in junior high used to talk crap by saying I stuck my butt and chest out when I walked, but it really was just my back being its wonky self (hashtag swayback problems). This issue has continued to hassle me throughout life, especially being pregnant for the second time. Then one day something magical happened. I was introduced to Blanqi support tanks and my back has lovingly treated me with kindness since. It tightens up and supports the core, gives you a lift in all the right places and holds your pants in place. Blanqi support tanks for the win!
3) Coconut oil is the stuff pregnant lady dreams are made of. Can I get an amen on that? You can eat it and slather it up on every surface of your body. Doesn't get much better than that. Not only has it helped decrease the keratosis pilaris on my upper arms (those unsightly little red bumps) but it has kept my belly stretch mark free and smoo-oooth. I prefer to use Dr. Bronner's Coconut Oil (you can buy it at Sprout's) because it fair trade and all that good stuff. I just rub it on in the shower once a day and that seems to do the trick. Smelling like a cookie after lathering up in it isn't half bad either.
4) I'd be lying to you if I said I don't wear my Isabella Oliver top every other day. It literally adorns my body the better half of the week, stains often included because I can't part ways with it to give it a proper wash. Every pregnant woman needs a drapey tunic in their life and a place to score some maternity clothing that is actually flattering and on-trend. There is a reason maternity clothes get a bad rap -- it's because 95% of them are frumpy and make us feel even more like cows that we already do. Point blank, they suck. I was lucky enough, however, to discover the brand Isabella Oliver and every single piece in their maternity line is high quality, chic and fits a pregnant woman's body in a sleek and slimming way. I truly recommend snagging a few pieces from this brand. It's absolutely worth the money and investment and right now they are offering 25% off select Lookbook items using code LOOKBOOK25 at checkout.
5) Last, but DEFINITELY not least, is the holy grail of pregnancy essentials... the Bump Nest pregnancy body pillow. There is a good chance I am actually in love with this tube of heavenly fluff. I am sure Matt envies the beauty since it gets all of my tender love and affection these days, but I've caught him sneakily sleeping with it too! I've tried two other body pillows in my time of being with child, and nothing compares to the Bump Nest. Allow me to lay it out for you: A) The U shape, materials and stuffing contour to your body like no other and are incredibly soft -- kind of what I imagine a Care Bear cloud to feel like (you know you've always wanted to snuggle up in one of those clouds, and now you pretty much can with this pillow). B) Both the cover and pillow are machine washable. Need I say more? C) The prints are whimsical, beautiful, and will actually complement your bedding instead of being this random lump of a pillow on the bed. And you can buy multiple covers if you feel like switching up colors. Bonus, the folks at Bump Nest make hats and blankets for babies in need using the scraps from their products. Basically, it's the best thing that ever happened to me. I would not be sleeping at night without it, and that's not an exaggeration. Now that you are convinced you need one (oh, but you do!) Bump Nest is offering you $10 off your order and free shipping using code ABBEYTEN at checkout.