Pregnancy Survival Kit: My Favorites

Over the past nine months, there have been a few staple items that just helped pregnancy go a bit smoother. I fully believe that healthy pregnancy is a normal season of life- not an illness that needs medicating. However, it is a time of rapid changes for both Mama & Baby, so some special adjustments and supplements can be helpful in promoting continued health, as well as daily comfort. Here are some of my favorites:

Epsom Salts

Perfect for soaking your achy feet in a basin of water (plus some essential oils, if desired) or a full tub bath. They contain magnesium, which can be helpful in calming early/Braxton-Hicks contractions, as well as comforting swollen feet. Epsom Salts are widely available at pharmacies, grocery stores, and dollar stores, and an especially inexpensive remedy. (I’ve seen cartons of them for about 88 cents!)

Snack Bars

If I’m feeling too queasy or tired to make my own snack bars, my favorites to stash in the car or purse/diaper bag are LaraBars and Tanka Bars.

They’re full of both protein and fiber, which can help with the early weeks of morning sickness or a tendency to low blood sugar during the last trimester and postpartum nursing stages.

Reusable Cup with a Straw

Staying hydrated during pregnancy (and labor) and breastfeeding can be challenging! I’ve found that I drink more water, when I can pick up a cup one-handed and take sips throughout the day (rather than having to use both hands to twist/pop up a lid on a water bottle). This is especially helpful if I’m in the car driving to my many midwifery appointments out of town, juggling children in church, or nursing a baby.

Immune-Booster Supplements

As a mama (and Sunday School teacher) of small children, I am regularly exposed to the latest circulating cold/flu bugs. My midwife recommended the following (which seem to have really helped me, in addition to my regular vitamins & cod liver oil):

Belly Balm/Massage Oils

As that belly grows, it’s nice to have a balm or massage oil to soothe that itchy feeling, as well as massages for general muscle aches. I love my homemade balm “bars,” applying 1-3 times per day, as well as massages with some Apricot Kernel Oil (sometimes with essential oils added).

Nursing Bras & Extenders

I love the Bravado Nursing Bras’ ability to accommodate the entirety of my pregnancy and nursing seasons (and their longevity- I’ve had the same few in constant use since 2008!). They are made to allow for the rapid change in sizes, as well as a wide band for a good fit over the growing belly, and with a basic bra extender, have fit my own varying sizes. When lactation-preparation begins near the end of pregnancy, as well as during breastfeeding, the fit does not compress milk ducts (helping to avoid clogged ducts/mastitis). (I’ve often said that the bra extender is the best $5 I’ve spent during pregnancy; you don’t have to splurge on a whole new bra, just for an extra couple inches that will disappear in a few weeks/months.)

Herbal Tea

During the second & third trimesters of pregnancy, I drink a few cups per day of a nourishing herbal tea. (You can find a pregnancy tea recipe in Herbal Nurturing, or choose a prepared option, such as Traditional Medicinals.)  During the final few weeks, I add in some more Red Raspberry Leaf , too, in preparation for labor (and my midwife offers me a cup of this when we’re chatting at my appointments, too).

Body Pillow

I just have a basic body pillow from the department store, but there seems to be a selection of “pregnancy pillows” available these days. A body pillow helps provide support during sleep as Mama’s body changes over the months of pregnancy, as well as helping assist with proper positioning (such as recommended by Spinning Babies). My chiropractor recommends the use of a supportive pillow (along with regular adjustments).

Chocolate

Yes, sometimes life just goes a little smoother when Mama has a bit of chocolate. My favorite is the gluten-free, soy-free, vegan dark chocolate from Alter-Eco (which I occasionally find in clearance bins in natural food stores). A tiny bit, chopped up and sprinkled into a trail mix of almonds, seeds, & dried fruit makes a delicious snack, during pregnancy and postpartum (which you can eat one-handed, without spilling!).

I’ll be sharing more of my favorite labor/birthing items soon!

What are your favorites for pregnancy?

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4 comments to Pregnancy Survival Kit: My Favorites

  • Great tips! Will have to keep this in mind for the next time around! :)

    [Reply]

  • Thanks for the great tips! I have loved a warm bath with lavender Epsom salts before bed. I didn’t know they could calm early contractions – that knowledge will come in handy soon. Two other things have greatly helped me throughout this pregnancy: a cold pack for my aching lower back and sciatic nerve, and a hot pack for my tense neck and shoulder muscles. I’ll often go to bed with both 😉

    [Reply]

    Michele Reply:

    @Lisa, Oh, definitely the hot pack! :) I use mine often, too. I just made myself some new rice ones. They’re great for the postpartum aches, too.

    Thanks!
    Michele

    [Reply]

  • this is great, thank you!
    i see that you drink the herbal teas in your 2nd and 3rd trimester … i am 11wks and finding it hard to get the herbal pregnancy tea down lately :( it just doesn’t sound or taste good. i am encouraged to increase my intake in the next few weeks! :)
    your belly is SO cute!
    i am so happy for you. i’ve loved your blog for a long time and remember your struggle with infertility – GOD is good!
    blessings,

    [Reply]

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