My Top 10 Must-Haves for Pregnancy

I’m a first time mom and, while I’ve seen countless pregnancies, I had no idea what to expect, how I would feel, or what information was actually relevant. As I’ve gone through the past almost 9 month (we’re so close), I’ve found some items more useful than others. So, here are my top 10 must-have items for making it through both the good and challenging days of becoming a mother.

  1. Comfy T-Shirts

    I’ve tried several different maternity brands throughout my pregnancy and the t-shirt winner is….A Pea in the Pod. Sure, you may have to dish out a little extra cash for their shirts, but they are so worth it! My shirts from A Pea in the Pod have grown with my belly and held up despite countless washes. I also found several of mine on Poshmark for really affordable prices. My personal favorite is the A-line Maternity Tee.

  2. Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Stretch Oil

    This oil is my favorite, especially for the price point. I’ve used it since day one of pregnancy, and I currently do not have any stretch marks on my belly. Now, that could change over night, but my belly is stretch-mark free as I write this. I like to think that the oil helped. Regardless, it’s super moisturizing and contains safe ingredients. Skip out on the drugstore brands and make sure you’re using a lotion that is safe for mom and baby.

  3. Stretchy Wedding Band

    It took a while for my rings to become too small. When it did finally happened, I instantly took them off and ordered a silicon band set. I am slightly terrified of having rings stuck on my fingers. You can get an assortment of silicon bands for around $10. It’s worth the money, and they come in super fun colors. I am going to continue wearing mine after I have the baby to prevent scratching the little guy.

  4. Snoogle Pillow

    I was determined that I would not need a giant pregnancy pillow for sleeping. I honestly thought they looked silly, and I sure was not about to pay for one. As the third trimester rolled around, I started to grow desperate. I finally picked up the phone and asked my sister if I could have her Snoogle for a while. She brought it to me and I was finally able to get some much needed rest. Don’t be hardheaded like me! Get the pillow.

  5. Exercise Ball

    If you’re pregnant and do not have an exercise ball, stop what you’re doing and get one now. This is my seat of choice lately. I sit on mine to get ready in the mornings…everything from blowdrying my hair to putting on makeup. I sit on it to do computer work. I use it for exercising. We also will likely take ours to the hospital with us. It’s a worthy investment for sure!

  6. Water Bottle 

    Hydration is such an important part of pregnancy. I knew it would be necessary to keep a functional water bottle on me at all times to help me keep my water intake at appropriate levels. It’s so hard for me! My favorite bottle, hands down, is the Swell water bottle. It’s easy to clean, stays cool, and has a functional design. Best of all, it’s not plastic! I’ve been able to carry the same one throughout my pregnancy.

  7. Prenatal Petite Mini-Tab Multivitamin by Rainbow Light
    Anyone else struggle to gulp down giant vitamins? That’s me! And, I refuse to put myself through the torture. I love Rainbow Light and I love the fact that they have a petite prenatal vitamin. Sure, you have to take it more times in a day, but it’s worth it to me. My autoimmune disorder also makes me super sensitive to certain vitamins. I’ve been able to take this one without any issues!
  8. Magnesium Lotion
    I was very happy to have my doctor tell me to continue using my magnesium lotion at night. It helped with some of my join pain prior to becoming pregnant. I now use it at night to help with the leg aches and cramps I’ve experienced while being pregnant. I can definitely tell a difference when I forget to put it on. I personally like the Ancient Minerals brand, but there are several different options out there. You can accomplish a similar therapy by taking Epsom salt baths, which I also do. Just be careful not to get the tub too hot.
  9. Diffuser and Essential Oils
    There are countless options and companies for you to pick from when it comes to diffusers and essential oils. I’ve found essential oils to help with the sinus issues I’ve experienced while pregnant and they also help me rest. My favorites are peppermint, eucalyptus, and lavender. Oh, I also love lemon! I’ve been obsessed with citrus while pregnant. Note: I do not ingest or apply any of them topically.
  10. Comfy Dresses
    I saved my favorite for last. Dresses are the real MVP of pregnancy. You can typically wear the same dresses throughout your pregnancy, while this has not been the case with pants (at least for me) and a lot of shirts. My favorite place for comfy dresses is Loft. It was that way before pregnancy and has remained during pregnancy. I recommend getting a few basic colors and changing up the outfits with shoes and jewelry. I also think I’m going to be able to wear several of my Loft dresses after pregnancy!

There you have it! 10 items that I’ve found completely necessary for pregnancy. If you have questions about anything on the list, please let me know! I wish you a happy and healthy pregnancy and baby!

-Jess

Maternity Fashion Favorites

Maternity clothing has been more fun than expected. I’ve looked at my former wardrobe with sad eyes a few times, but I’ve been able to find great replacements for those pieces and even experiment with a few new styles while pregnant. There are several options out there and, like anything these days, sifting through the options can be overwhelming and expensive. It’s also a little more challenging for me because I am petite (which is just a nice word for short). Here are my favorite places to shop for cute, affordable, and, most importantly, comfortable maternity clothing!

LOFT: Prior to becoming pregnant, most of my closet was filled with items from Loft. I LOVE their maternity selection, too. New styles are added constantly, and you can pretty much always find a deal. The pieces are timeless and fit well. The shorts and white shirt pictured above are from the maternity line. Shop Here!

Stitch Fix: I order this clothing subscription box from time to time, and I recently discovered their maternity service. I was super excited to have a few surprise pieces arrive at my door. It’s always so much fun…like receiving a birthday gift every month! My favorite items from the boxes have been the shorts and pants. It’s definitely worth a try for a few months while pregnant. The jeans pictured above are from a Stitch Fix. Shop Here!

ASOS: This is a great option for super trendy maternity clothes. I hop on their website when I want a wardrobe shakeup. They also have petite (amen!) and tall sizing options for several of their items. I have a few new fun pieces on the way that I can’t wait to try! Shop Here! 

Poshmark: If you don’t know about Poshmark, you should grab your phone now and download the app. If you don’t mind gently used maternity clothes, then this is an awesome resource. It has also been a useful way for me to clean out several clothing items that I know I will not use after having the baby. I will also post several of my maternity pieces once I do not need them anymore. If you signup with the code “GFNED” you will get a $5 credit. Shop Here!

I also have a few great pieces from Old Navy, Motherhood, and a few items that aren’t maternity at all (although those are quickly coming to an end). I encourage you to shop around and checkout a few of the places mentioned above.

Where are your favorite places to shop for maternity clothing? I would love to hear what works for you!

Prenatal Yoga

Prenatal Yoga has been such a blessing during my pregnancy. We are fortunate enough to have an instructor in Athens who works with moms to be and holds a class once a week for expectant mothers. I was very early in my pregnancy when I walked into the door for the first time, but I was determined to give my body the best care possible from the beginning. As the baby grows and my body changes, I am more thankful than ever for yoga and the difference it makes for my overall health and wellness. I don’t get to attend the class every week, but I have found many great online resources for prenatal yoga. I would just make sure you attend a class to understand proper technique before taking on a practice of your own from home!

Here are five ways I have personally benefitted from yoga while pregnant: 

  1. I get to connect with other expectant mothers at various stages in pregnancy. 
  2. I feel strong and empowered even as my body shifts and changes. 
  3. I get to have time to myself without any distractions (like the phone! Can I get an amen?). 
  4. It’s equipping me with techniques to use during labor. 
  5. And, most importantly, it helps me feel great both physically and emotionally. 

If you are a mom to be, I highly recommend checking your local area for prenatal yoga classes or even exploring online resources. It has been one of the best decisions I’ve made during this pregnancy, and I think everyone (as long as your doctor gives you approval) can benefit from an hour focusing on you and baby!

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My favorite little yoga partner…Chewy Man!

Pregnancy: The Best Surprise

The day I found out I was pregnant will forever be frozen in time. My first instinct was to walk laps around the inside of the house. I just started walking and kept walking as I processed what was ahead. This was not planned so it was such a surprise! My mind was filled with delight and hope and shadows of fear. Fear of the unexpected and a path I had never walked down before. Yet, I felt so blessed that I had been given such a wonderful gift. When you have an autoimmune disorder, you never really know how your body will respond to pregnancy. I often questioned if it would even be possible for me to have children. Here, on this day, I was met with that reality and resounding YES. Yes, it is possible and it’s happening right now! I called my doctor to make the first appointment and waited for what felt like years before the day came. But, then it came.

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Hearing that heartbeat for the first time brought me much peace. The fear whirling around started to settle after seeing our little one and talking with the doctor. My midwife along with my rheumatologist developed a plan for care, and things have been great so far for our baby and me. We are hopeful and excited for the next few months as I finish up the second trimester and finish out the third. The autoimmune issues have only tried to flare a few times, but it’s usually taken care of with a little extra rest. I’ve been proactive in taking care of my joints and preparing my body for this time. We also made the decision early on that we would celebrate this pregnancy and not fear anything to come or any “might-be.” It has made a huge difference for me. Instead of spending time worrying about hypotheticals or statistics, we have rejoiced and celebrated the little life we already love so much!

My Pregnancy Self-Care Routine 

  • Biweekly prenatal massages. Find someone who specializes in prenatal massages in your area.
  • Prenatal yoga (group classes weekly and at home). I cannot recommend this enough! It’s a great time to connect with other expectant mothers and learn correct form for practicing at home.
  • Walks outside. Vitamin D + low impact exercise for the win!
  • Vitamins. I went the longest time without taking my prenatal vitamins. I’ve recently started taking them and notice a difference.
  • Salt baths. Epsom salt eases aches and boosts your magnesium. Add some essential oils for added benefits.
  • Quiet time to reading and writing. I love flipping through magazines right now. I also have started a Bible study on the book of James. It’s a great way to relax if you have a busy mind like me,
  • Give yourself some grace to rest. Growing a baby is no easy task! I’ve had to learn to let some things go (hello wrinkly clothes) or allow my husband to help.
  • Be joyful; fear less!

Whether your already a mommy or hope to be one, I wish you well on your journey!