I feel like I've really been pretty minimal (out of necessity and personal preference) regarding buying ALL THE THINGS that they market for pregnant women and new moms. However, I wanted to write a quick post to help me remember what products I have found useful during such a unique time. Let me know if I need to add anything!
Body pillow-- I asked for one for Christmas as an alternative to the fancy "pregnancy-shaped" pillows because it was much much less expensive and seemed more versatile. I was already a side sleeper, so this replaced the small pillow between my knees and was much more comfortable and supportive as my joints got looser and my body got bigger. My grandma bought mine at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.
Support hose-- I started getting painful vericose veins around 15 weeks and I wish I'd bought some good hose the minute I started having symptoms! I finally bought some around 18 weeks and they offered SO MUCH relief. I went to Biofeet here in town to be fitted and ended up buying some Sigvaris medical grade support hose at a hefty price point. But oh my word they were invaluable. There was a huge difference between the days I wore them and the days I didn't. I actually wore my fist pair into the ground and bought a second pair for the last few weeks. So worth it for the support they gave my legs and belly. Not sure how I'd feel about them if I was hugely pregnant in the middle of the summer, though...
Larabars and KIND bars-- Both have simple ingredients, are gluten free, and don't make a lot of crumbs! Such a great snack when I was on the go and started to feel lightheaded. Also, I ate a chocolate chip cookie dough Larabar before our 12 week sono and baby was bouncing off the walls. Safe to say he loves them too!
Pampers' Hello baby app-- This app offers highlights every week of pregnancy, but even more fun is that if you double click on the image, it goes to a life-sized image of your baby at that gestational age! So fun, but I wish we'd had an iPad to view it on. Baby outgrew the iPhone pretty quickly :-)
Full Term app-- I'm sure there are lots of contraction timers out there, but this one couldn't have been easier. You just push "start" at the beginning of a contraction and "end" when it's over. The app calculates frequency and duration, maps out averages for you, and more. It also has a cheat sheet for the different stages of labor which is nice.
Body pillow-- same pillow, different use. It has been so helpful for breastfeeding support since it's wider and also unstructured. I basically wrap it around myself and tuck it into the side of the chair when I feed the baby.
Larabars and KIND bars-- Another repeat. So easy to snack on during middle of the night feedings.
Ice packs-- Also see if your nurse will send you home with ice pads! For your underwear. Yeah.
Lanolin-- I've only tried two brands, but I like the Medela one the best. It seems to go on easier.
Breast pump-- I learned this the hard way: even if you don't think you'll use it right away, or don't plan on using it at all, order it before your due date! Most insurance companies provide some sort of benefit for breastpumps now, and you can usually order them a month before your due date. Do it! (P.S. First choice for home pump is Spectra S2, then Medela Pump and Style, then Ameda Purely Yours.)
Nursing tank tops from Target-- Not nearly supportive enough for me to wear out and about, but awesome for wearing to bed and around the house. I actually even wore this and a loose black skirt for my postpartum hospital stay. I'd love to have some nicer, more structured nursing tanks but for now, these are the ones in our budget. (But if money wasn't an issue I'd stock up on these and these).
Maxi skirts-- Because nothing else fits and my cute maternity dresses just don't look right on my deflated belly
Summer SwaddlePod-- OMG this is too cute. And Noah LOOOVES it! He totally knows that when we zip him up in it, it's time for bed.
Moby wrap-- I'd used this with a baby in the NICU and fell in love. I know there are a ton of wrap and carrier options out there, but this works for us in the newborn stage. I like having him right against me and he gets to feel like he's being held while I have the use of a hand or two.
Aden + Anais blankets-- My grandma and one of my friends also made some big, soft, swaddle blankets. But when it comes to store-bought ones, the Aden + Anais ones have been the best. They're actually big enough to keep him swaddled! (Although after he got stronger around two weeks, we moved to the SwaddlePod at night and just use the blankets during the day.)
Boon grass-- Ross is obsessed with this company and their "grass" is a fun and functional drying rack that doesn't look totally utilitarian.
Soothie pacifiers-- the shape is better for the palate and it actually helps babies with a weak suck because if they aren't using it properly, it falls out.
A nice camera-- We totally splurged on this... but if you're going to take the plunge, what better time? Can't wait til our newborn photographer has her next camera class so I can learn how to use ours better.
Alone time-- I haven't been great at this, but don't regret it when I am able to get away for an hour. Swimming laps feels the BEST.
A baby bathtub with a ledge to support baby-- because otherwise you need two adults just for bathtime.
And don't forget Jesus. Lots and lots of Jesus.