Friday, March 16, 2012

The Pregnancy Necessities

Welcome to the Pregnancy Necessities Carnival!

This post was written for inclusion in the Pregnancy Necessities Carnival hosted by Parenting God’s Children. Today, participants share what they simply cannot live without during their pregnancies or simply what to gather for their upcoming new addition. Please see the full list of links to the other carnival submissions at the end of this post. Enjoy!

I tend to take a rather minimalistic approach when it comes to babies. You know what a baby needs? It needs love, food, a place to sleep and something to keep him/her warm. I'm hesitant to say diapers are a necessity because lots of cultures around the world raise diaper-free babies....but for the sake of this, we will just say they are necessary. Everything else is extra...though I would recommend a good sling or wrap for baby wearing.

I tend to take the same approach to pregnancy. Pregnant momma's need love, food, a place to sleep and something to keep them warm. Actually, since our society generally frowns upon outright nudity, we'll say "something to cover you", (a.k.a., clothes). Diapers possibly at the end of pregnancy when we all lose bladder control when we sneeze, laugh or cough.

So, here is my personal top ten for pregnancy necessities. 

10. Bella Band.
You know that time during pregnancy when you can't tell if you are fat or pregnant? Your regular jeans don't fit but maternity jeans fall right off of you? This is when the Bella Band will be a life-saver. It is a stretchy-spandex-y band that fits right below your rib cage, covers your expanding tummy and stops at your hips. If you leave your regular jeans unbuttoned...the Bella Band will hold them up! It looks like an undershirt peeking out from non-maternity shirts AND, it provides some support for your tummy. As your belly grows, it continues to offer support and will hold up regular non-maternity unbuttoned jeans.

9. A BIG purse. 
Why a big purse you ask? To fill it with snacks. Lots of snacks. I don't know about you but most pregnant women I know can't go more than 1.2-2 hours without eating. If I go more than two hours without eating, I will be puking. I live in a big city with bad road planning and unfortunately, it takes forever to get anywhere. A quick trip to the grocery's going to take me at least an hour. Pack a big purse full of snacks in baggies. Bonus -- look on to find reusable snack and sandwich bags!

8. Pregnant Friends
Most people are thrilled to see a growing pregnant belly, feel the kicks and movements of that special life, enjoy shopping trips for that perfect outfit or to help with a registry...but that's about it for the non-pregnant among us. Only your pregnant friends will understand the words "So much" in relation to gas, discharge and vomit. Only your pregnant friends will be readily willing to discuss birth plans, cervical dilation and prenatal vitamins. And only your pregnant friends will understand the emotional rollercoaster. Don't know any pregnant women? Get online -- find groups like the Natural Parents Network on FB and get to know people. The Natural Parents Network has a list of local parenting groups for different areas, find a group in your area and attend meetings! 

7. Cloth Pads
Speaking of "so much" in relation to discharge, I'd highly recommend you get some cloth pads. If you are crafty, you can make them from a flannel material, such as receiving blankets or leftover fabric from another project. They are easy to wash, easy to use and keep you dry! If you do an Etsy search, you'll find plenty...but they are easy to make and the material is usually pretty cheap. You might even convince yourself you want cloth for postpartum!

6. A million Maxi Dresses
Well, a million might be exaggerating but if you are going to be pregnant in a hot climate or during the summer, this one wardrobe staple will save your life. The good thing about a lot of maxi dresses is that it doesn't matter if they are maternity or not. Most maxi dresses are going to have enough fabric to grow with your belly. (Notice I said *MOST*). Old Navy seems to have the best sales and I recently bought two maternity and one non-maternity maxi dresses for $10 a piece online! Browse thrift stores, Ross, and Target for other great sales!

5. A Chiropractor
I can't find the link for this but I remember reading that during pregnancy and labor, a woman's pelvic bone with expand by up to 30%. If your pelvic bones are expanding, it is going to be pulling on the ligaments and other bones in that area. I actually had a chiropractic appointment yesterday. My hip was almost out of place causing the vertebrae in my spine to pull down and outward. Two quick adjustments and I was back in place and the pain was gone! As your body grows it is going to put a lot of stress and pressure onto your hips, pelvis, and spine. Also, later in pregnancy there are chiropractic techniques that will help a breech baby turn, and assure that a baby stays in a good position. Most insurance plans cover chiropractic services, and if your insurance won't, a lot of places have amazing payment plans and discounts. My chiropractor gives us a military discount, as well as a discount for using a midwife. Your body will thank you!

4. Pillows
Sleep is going to get difficult towards the end. I slept in a recliner for many nights toward the end of my pregnancy with my son. If I slept in bed, I had to have pillows between my legs, under my belly or side, two for my head and one just in case I needed it. I tried two different body pillows without much luck, but having several regular sized pillows seemed to do the trick.

3. Earth Mama, Angel Baby Better Bottom Salve
This stuff is for your lady parts. It will sooth and cool the pain from hemorrhoids, tears, episitomies and general swelling that goes on after birth. To make this simple -- it is a miracle worker.

2. A Knowledgeable and Wise Care Provider.
It goes without saying that pregnancy can be full of lots of questions. Is my body suppose to do that? Is my butt suppose to grow at the same rate as my belly? Having a care provider who will listen, who is empathetic and who is knowledgeable will go a long way in helping with a peaceful pregnancy. I choose a midwife, one who was experienced, knowledgeable and wise. She is very attentive and answers questions about anything. She's loving and sweet and I feel very comfortable with her. Mommies have an intuition like no one else. And that intuition is there during pregnancy. LISTEN TO IT! If something feels off about your OB or your midwife or your doula, don't ignore that feeling. Along with this, you also want a care provider who has a similar belief about pregnancy and birth. If you are wanting a non/low-intervention non-medicated birth, find a care provider who will help you achieve that. The last thing you want is to be arguing with someone about pitocin or epidurals or labor positions WHILE you are in labor!

1. A sense of humor and peace.
You won't survive pregnancy without it. Everyone is an expert. Everyone will want to touch your belly (this doesn't bother me but I know it bothers some people). Whether you are homebirthing or planning a scheduled c-section, someone will have SOMETHING to say. If you are the type of person who can think of witty comments, go for it! I'm not, so I just smile and nod, vent to your like-minded pregnant friends and move on. There are occasions when saying something IS necessary, and by all means, say it. When I was pregnant with my son, my first child, so many people felt the need to share the "horror" stories of birth. I didn't want to hear it, so when they started I politely said "I'd rather not dwell on the negatives, as I'm looking forward to a positive experience." If you make it through pregnancy without any inappropriate or rude comments, consider yourself blessed!

This is in by no means a comprehensive list, but these are the things I need and want when I'm pregnant. Pregnancy is different for each woman, so needs and wants are going to be different!

What did you HAVE to HAVE while pregnant?



Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants!


    1. Ha! My original list would be almost a carbon copy - GMTA ;) I did not use a chiro wth Kieran, did with Ailia - would never be pg without a chiro again!!

    2. I used that Bella Band and found it to be surprisingly useful! I also kept using it after I gave birth, when I had the same problem of being in-between normal pants and maternity pants.

    3. I used a bella band with no issue throughout my entire pregnancy with Esther! I never wore maternity jeans. I must have carried Abigail differently (and this one for that matter) because it now just rolls all over the place and is annoying :/ But I did still love it for the first few weeks! And I definitely second the care provider and chiro - both of ours are amazing and super crunchy! ;)
      Thanks for participating, Kym! <3

    4. I LOVE the Bella Band. Most of my maternity pants (hand me downs) would not stay up without it.

      I'm also a big fan of maxi dresses! They were especially great for the months after giving birth.

    5. I was totally nodding my head throughout your entire post! Especially the friend part.
      It's weird, I could rattle off a list of people that have/had babies around when I did, even if we really never talked before, we became closer because we were pregnant.
      PS: Earth Mama Angel Baby products are AMAZING. I use their infant bath shampoo/body wash and lotion and I loooove them.
      ~Megan (

    6. I love your care provider comment. My OB was terrible. Beyond terrible. Your birth experience is so influenced by that person too. I wish I had done more research before settling for the OB I did. As for the rest of your list - spot on!

    7. I received a Bella Band for my review, love it! As for pregnancy pillow, I got this Ready2Roll Pregnancy Body Pillow for review! Another must have product!

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