If you've been TTC for a while, that positive sign on the pregnancy test is a dream come true. Congrats on the exciting news!
Whether it's long-planned or utterly unexpected, finding out you're expecting comes with a slew of new requirements. A spot of retail therapy can help settle your nerves and make you feel like you have some control over the situation and your already-changing body. After double-checking with your OB-GYN, grab these items curated for all three trimesters, and you'll be off to a great start.
Sure, you can Google the information you need. But why stare at a screen when you can get one handy educational book to page through every day while sitting on your balcony and sipping a warm beverage. Perhaps you can borrow the one your friend or family member swore by instead of buying a new one.
What to Expect When You're Expecting isn't the only pregnancy guide out there. Also consider Nurture: A Modern Guide to Pregnancy, Birth, Early Motherhood, and Trusting Yourself and Your Body by Erica Chidi Cohen.
There are few clinical trials on the safety of skincare products for fetuses, but anecdotal evidence often informs dermatologist recommendations. Many agree it's best to avoid some of the products you might have used, such as topical retinoids, while you're pregnant or breastfeeding.
Pregnancy also gives rise to hormonal changes and skincare issues that might necessitate a whole new set of creams. If you have breakouts, you can use a low concentration salicylic acid face wash or spot treatment. Benzoyl peroxide creams of 5% or less are also an excellent twice-a-day spot treatment for pimples. Prevent hyperpigmentation by wearing a high factor broad-spectrum mineral sunscreen.
Purchase a beautiful notebook that makes you look forward to journaling. Commit to writing at least two sentences about what you feel physically or emotionally each day. If you really want to get into it, log what you eat, listen to, and can't stand the smell of, and document your hopes and fears.
It might be a helpful reference for a future pregnancy, or it could simply bring back memories of your unique experience during a literally life-changing time.
Are you ready for the bigger breasts, the giant bump, and the swollen feet and legs? Ready or not, they're on their way. You'd better have comfortable bras sans underwire, jeans with elastic waistbands, compression socks, adjustable slip-on shoes — Birks are great — and stretchy basics you can mix and match with your current wardrobe.
If you're not already on prenatal vitamins since preconception, one of the first things your docs will do is put you on a comprehensive supplement to fill any gaps in your nutrition. These often contain folic acid, iron, calcium, vitamin D, and other nutrients essential for nourishing a growing fetus and maintaining a healthy pregnancy.
Cod liver oil is another common addition that helps with the baby's brain development.
Ideally, stick to caffeine intakes of below 200 mg a day. Any higher, and it could negatively affect pregnancy outcomes and your newborn's sleep. Start experimenting with delicious substitutes for tea, coffee, soda, and energy drinks. That's where rooibos and tisanes come in. Most tea brands have a huge selection of herbal teas, including plenty with all-natural ingredients and minimal packaging.
Ginger can help with digestion and nausea, as can mint. Consider getting an infuser water bottle so you can stay hydrated with ice teas and fruit and cucumber infusions.
At some point, your morphing body will make it challenging to find a comfortable sleeping position. A full-body pillow provides much-needed support between your knees and underneath your stomach, and later, it will come in handy at feeding time. It can act as a barrier between you and your partner so they don't struggle with your restlessness.
A birth ball is the same thing as any large exercise ball, although it's often a bigger circumference. You can sit and carefully bounce on it, use it for gentle exercises to stay active and relieve back pain, and even take it into your birthing room to assist with pelvic or abdominal pain during labor.
Pregnancy can wreak havoc with your teeth and gums, and, again, it's down to hormones. Your oral health will also take a knock if you have severe morning sickness or crave many sweet things.
Brushing your teeth might make you want to gag during this time, so make the job as easy as possible and splurge on an electric toothbrush with different settings for sensitive tooth and gum care. You can also switch to chewing gum with xylitol to help the cause.
Stretchmarks are nothing to be embarrassed about, and they can be unavoidable, but if you want to try to minimize them, talk to your doctor or dermatologist about which creams actually work. Diligently applying a suggested product during the early stages of your pregnancy is the best way to reduce them later.
When your skin gets itchy, apply the product instead of scratching. Overpriced tummy butters abound online, but tried-and-tested Bio-Oil is what many specialists recommend.