New mama essentials: While pregnant

In the next few posts I'm going to share a few things during pregnancy and postpartum that have helped me alot in my own experience recently being a first time mom. This is what's worked for me, so I'm sharing for any expecting ladies out there who might stumble across this. (Sorry about the lack of pics, but once you have a newborn you'll totally get it).

While pregnant...
  • Maternity clothes - You will go through several phases. Phase one, about the first 15 weeks, your belly gets bloated, but not huge - you don't really need maternity clothes yet. Phase two, about the next 15 weeks, you really start to need maternity clothes, especially bottoms. Phase three at the end, you may even find maternity pants to be uncomfortable! Go for loose, knit maxi dresses and skirts. Don't be afraid to go cheap - Forever 21, Target, Old Navy, etc. Don't assume everything must be maternity. Buy things like pajama pants in larger sizes. Look for things like tunics, maxi dresses and empire waist tops that you can buy at normal stores and still wear. And layer in other pieces like vests, sweaters, jackets, etc to keep it from getting boring.
  • Converse kicks - Great for second and third trimester - flat shoes, adjustable laces, comfy, but still a little fun.
  • New pair of flip flops - Hey, treat yourself to some cute ones. You'll be wearing these out in the third trimester.
  • Pedicures - Treat yourself nice and get them regularly towards the end when you can't reach your own toes.
  • Bath products from Belli and Mama Mio. I had to re-think beauty products that I slather on my skin while I was hatching a little one. These are two brands I liked. Burts Bees is also great.
  • Birth doula. Get one! I used a local doula group called Get Babied and it's been a great support system throughout the whole process. Oh, and btw, my husband didn't really think much about me having a doula, but when it was all over, he was soooo grateful we did. It's good for him too and takes some of the pressure off.
  • The Business of Being Born and More Business of Being Born. Great videos to watch to get excited, inspired and educated. I wasn't so much into nitty gritty birth videos, but I enjoyed these.
  • Hypnobabies home study course. I should probably write a post on my experience with this, but one thing I will say - this totally helped me relax on a regular basis and feel good and confident about being pregnant and pending childbirth! I'd highly recommend it for that alone.
  • Natural Hospital Birth by Cynthia Gabriel. This was one of my favorite books. It wasn't full of birth stories or super duper granola. It was for someone taking an "in-between" approach - someone giving birth in a hospital, but wanting as few interventions as possible.
  • Get ready for caring for a newborn. In the last trimester, you'll be nesting full bore, you may be enjoying baby showers, decorating nurseries and watching lots of television. Be sure to put some time into studying up on baby care. Read, seek advice, take a class, etc. I did some of these, but frankly I could have been even MORE prepared.
  • Create a postpartum plan. I knew I should do this, but wasn't as prepared as I could have been. Read more in my "postpartum" post coming soon.
  • Create a postpartum treat kit. Buy some things and stash them away for later - new lip balm, lotion, PJs, house slippers, new robe, lap blanket, books to read, movies to watch - anything that makes you feel good. Plan to do a little pampering of yourself in the first month after baby's born (and pamper yourself, don't expect others to do it for you).
Coming up next... my postpartum and newborn essentials!

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