(Disclaimer: This is NOT a pregnancy announcement. Lol.)
When there’s a mini-human growing inside of you, life changes.
You’re nervous, elated, anxious, and quite...large. Not only is this cluster of cells already stealing your food, it’s stealing all of your personal space & energy!
No matter how cute the little toes in the ultrasound may be or how adorable those flutters may feel, pregnancy can be taxing. The universe, it seems, knows you’re struggling, and is finding ways to take all of your money. “This will make it easier,” it whispers into your mind as the internet attempts to seduce you with expensive, unnecessary pregnancy doodads.
Although I do not think that you need to spend hundreds of dollars to make your pregnancy more comfortable, I do agree that there are certain items that help make the whole experience considerably easier.
In this post, I want to share with you my absolute must-haves for pregnancy.
I found out I was pregnant a week after signing my paperwork for a new job in February 2017. Although the pregnancy wasn’t a huge surprise, I definitely did not picture myself working full-time as a walking, talking balloon. On top of that, being pregnant while living in a city like Manhattan can be challenging for a few different reasons. For one, I had my fair share of MTA (AKA subway) station trash can pukes, and there were plenty of days where I did the 15-minute-walk to my apartment from the fruit stand guy carrying a large watermelon (aside from the one attached to me) because, well, urgent cravings and bad traffic don’t mix well.
Aah, good times.
So let's hop into it. These products helped me navigate a pregnancy in one of the most congested cities in the world and through 40-hour-weeks of work-environment human interaction (not my strongest suit during pregnancy which I've come to discover now). I hope they're helpful for you, too.
Just an FYI: These products are not sponsored and were purchased with my own money. Some of the links below are affiliates, and the amommaly: may earn a commission if you use these links (without an extra cost to you!). If you choose to support our operations, THANK YOU! We are so grateful. :) Otherwise, you can conduct a Google search to find where else these products may be available.
1) Liquid Iron Supplement: A lot of women become anemic while pregnant. I was anemic before I was pregnant and during my pregnancy, so I needed an iron supplement. Because of the wonderful changes in one’s digestive system during pregnancy, traditional iron supplements may make things—erm—more difficult on the loo’. In other words, with pregnancy comes constipation… a lot of it (can you tell we aren’t afraid of poop talk here?). I found that Floradix, a liquid iron supplement my OB doctor recommended, was the perfect supplement that didn’t destroy my already destroyed excretory system. It tasted a bit meh, but I got over it pretty quickly. I’d down this with some orange juice (Vitamin C helps with iron absorption, folks!) and I found that it really helped me feel more active and energized! You can get the bottle in different sizes. I’ve linked the 17 oz bottle above, but you can also get this size which is 8.5 oz.
2) Bra Hook Extender: While we continue the talk about uncomfortable bowel movements and expanding body parts, let’s discuss BOOBS! Your chest is bound to grow during pregnancy, and oftentimes, it’s not the issue of the cup size but rather the length of the band. Instead of shelling out tons of money for new bras just for 10ish months of balloon-body, these expanders do a great job. I had bras that had three hooks on them, and these expanders with two hooks worked just fine. They made my existing bras a lot more comfortable and bearable.
3) Tank Tops: In the beginning of my pregnancy, I wouldn’t mind the extra support from a bra. Later on, however, ESPECIALLY during months 6 and beyond, I literally wore these tank tops every. single. day.
Every day, guys.
They are the BEST. They have padding in the chest area for support, and they are a snug material that hugs your belly so nicely while still being breathable. I gave these tank tops so, so, so much use during my pregnancy and postpartum times, but they are still in amazing condition, and I’ve folded them away for future use. Also, THEY ARE AMAZING FOR NURSING. Literally the best. I would toss on a cute button down with leggings and have this under, and I could discreetly and comfortably breastfeed wherever I was.
I generally wear a size large or extra-large in tops, so for pregnancy I got a size large which grew with my belly, and for postpartum, I got a medium so that all my loose-ness could be held together snugly. :') I am also 5’11’’, and these were long enough to accompany my long torso. They also tuck very well into jeans/leggings/yoga pants, and they are so comfortable to sleep in. Nursing pads comfortably sit in the chest padding area, and would never fall out like they would in other nursing tank tops.
4) Pregnancy Pillow: Ah, sleep. I remember how torturous it was trying to get to sleep after accidentally scarfing down a pizza and having to deal with the consequences (heartburn. omg.) all night. This pillow made things a lot easier. It’s bulky, hard to store, and needs to be moved around based on what direction you sleep in, but aside from that, it’s definitely a must have. Also, this may be psychological, but it seemed to have a very cool feeling to it, which was so nice for my overheating body. After I had my little one, I would use this sometimes for his tummy time. Again, it’s bulky and hard to store, and it took up a good amount of our NYC real estate, but it worked wonders for my sleep and I would definitely buy it again.
5) Socks: I traveled many times during my pregnancy, and most of my trips were 4-hour flights from NY-TX to see family. I found that these compression socks really helped keep blood circulating well in my feet and kept the swelling down. When I got off my flight, I’d still feel relatively fresh and comfortable. I once took two long flights without my socks and my feet felt like they weighed a million pounds during and afterwards. Although these are definitely pricier at about $22 for a pair of socks, I think it's a worthy investment especially if you will be traveling a lot during your preggo days. They are a neutral color and, like I mentioned before, I am almost 6-feet tall, but these sat pretty high on my legs, which I was grateful for.
6) Prenatals: These prenatals are vegan and relatively affordable in the world of prenatals. They don’t have a gross aftertaste, but HOLY COW are these pills huge! They didn’t give me any stomach issues, though, which I was so grateful for, so the few seconds of trying to get the pill down was worth it.
7) Pregnancy Belt: As I got bigger, I started getting lower back, hip, and pelvic pain. I purchased this belt to help with that, especially when I went on walks. It definitely helped a lot. The weight was better distributed and it gave me a lot of relief. The only downside is that it tends to get pretty hot.
8) H&M Maternity Clothing: I had a pretty solid capsule wardrobe during my pregnancy, and almost every single thing I owned cost less than $15 a piece from H&M. Their maternity clothes are inexpensive, cute, low-maintenance with washing, neutral, and grow with you. A shirt that I wore in the first trimester looked cute and had a relaxed fit, yet by my third trimester, it still fit really well around my belly without sacrificing length. I really loved my pants from H&M and wore them for a while post-partum too. I highly recommend checking out their “MAMA” collection.
9) Lululemon Yoga Pants: Call this fate, but one day during my first trimester, I was out walking around and hopped into a Lululemon where I found the most COMFORTABLE yoga pants marked down from, like, $100 a piece to $25 a piece. Best believe I grabbed whatever I could in my size! I found 2 yoga pants that I bought in my pre-pregnancy size 12. I wore these pants from my first trimester to my third, through postpartum, and—lol—I’m actually wearing them right now! It’s been over two years of hardcore use multiple times a week and the quality of these pants has not been sacrificed. I have been trying to find the exact model and I just can’t figure out what it is, but they were a pretty relaxed fit in the legs and high waisted. The best part is that the waistband did not get stretched out when I wore them while pregnant. HUGE win, and I wish the Lululemon sale odds in your favor!
So, voila! These are my top-five pregnancy must-haves, with a few honorable mentions sprinkled in. I hope that these product recommendations are useful and help make your pregnancy a more comfortable one. I am very careful about where my buck goes, and I would never recommend anything to anyone unless I actually found it useful.
Happy Baby Growing, and have a wonderful day!