A Pregnant Mama's Must- Haves

Pregnancy is a wonderful season but it is filled with a lot of newness and frankly newness can be scary. 
I wanted to share with you some of the gems
that have made that season sweeter and have helped me embrace all it's change
and newness.

Pure Food Women's Prenatal Multivitamin & Mineral by Whole Earth & Sea
After trying other types of prenatal vitamins, I found I would often feel nauseous, especially if I only ate a small meal while taking them. With these Food-Based Prenatal vitamins I found I could even take them without food (a big plus when you are pregnant and don't feel like eating anything) , and I never felt nauseous.
Reasons I love them: Canadian Made, Food Based, Taken once a day,
Non-GMO. Find them at your local Health food store.

The Mama Natural Week-By-Week Guide to Pregnancy & ChildBirth Book
This book by far is the most helpful and informative pregnancy book I have read. Beautifully illustrated and split up by chapters based on your weeks of pregnancy. This book has been such a helpful guide, I loved it so much I bought it for another pregnant mama friend
Reasons I love it:
It delivering the information week by week as needed. Beautifully written and illustrated. Mama Natural is awesome & she has great videos on Youtube as well!

Comfortable Pregnancy boots / shoes
Canada gets cold in the winter and finding a pair of boots I didn’t have to bend over ( those months I could) and tie up was a huge time & energy saver. These boots were also roomy in case my feet did swell by the end of my pregnancy. I bought these boots because they were warm with sheep’s fleece on the inside and were easy to slip on and off. With a pull-tab in the back I could actually get these guys on without having to sit or bend over which was a plus. ( These were UGG Women's Bonham Ankle Bootie)

Blanqi leggings / tights
If there is one piece of clothing I could not live with out it is my Blanqi tights. I found these tights Pre- pregnancy when I was searching for good quality high-waisted tights. The tights I get are called support tights and are also great post pregnancy to help smooth things out. They also have other pregnancy specific wear such as tank tops to help with support. During my pregnancy I stuck with their support tights but I went up a size to the Mediums. I would pay attention to their height measurements as the tights are also sized according to height and the large tights were too long for me. They are an investment but they often also have sales especially a 50% off sale on Black Friday so I would recommend stocking up then. I have lived in these during my whole pregnancy and will most likely afterwards as well!
Reasons I love it: Super comfy & Flattering. Can be dressed up or down & matches with everything!

Daily Belly Butter
There are so many brands out there, I personally got a couple and alternated them. The most important thing is that you use them daily. I got used to applying them as part of my night time routine and I’ve been blessed to not have any visible stretch marks on my belly. Two of my favourites are bellow, The Badger Mom Care Belly Butter has a nice cocoa butter smell and spread on smooth and thin, the Shargan butter is a thicker consistency (with a shea butter scent which I don't love as much), but Earth to body products are really rich and nourishing and I have found they do wonders for healing.

Maternity clothing
I know this seems like an obvious one but I wondered when I was first pregnant if this was really necessary. I tried to avoid the major investment of a new maternity wardrobe but as soon as I tried some maternity clothing on I felt so much better about my body. I felt like I went from looking awkwardly bloated to baby bump! I ended up buying just a few shirts and 1 nice dress and they became my pregnancy uniform. I would go in store and try out clothing first before buying online as sizes vary a lot. Unfortunately most stores have gotten rid of their maternity in store but some still sell them online (ex. Old Navy) I would also recommend scoping out the sale racks at Thyme Maternity, and once you know your size, checking out their frequent online sales. For me a couple investment pieces meant that I felt comfortable and confident even as my body was changing. Finding flattering maternity clothing is not impossible! ( Beware maternity clothing should often be hand washed and hung up to dry as the stretchy material over stretches otherwise! Trust me, this is the only time I have EVER bothered using a hand-wash cycle) I also recommend signing up on their email lists as many stores such as Thyme maternity, Motherhood Maternity & Pink Blush often have big sales during the year- I got a lot of clothing 30 -60% off. Also if you have friends who have had a baby, consider borrowing some clothing from them- another great way to save!

New maternity/ nursing Bras
I found that I went up 2- 3 band sizes being pregnant. At first I was a bit in denial about it but as I found I was getting chest tightness, I realized it was due to the constriction of my bra. Depending on your body you may change cup or band sizes- or both and new bras are a good investment. I bought nursing bras during my pregnancy that were the right ‘new size’ for my body and they have worked great. ( No need to buy nursing bras after baby is born!) I do hear that for some woman they also grow a lot when their milk comes in, so I may need to buy new ones later on if I find these ones become tight again. Your bra size may also not change, in which case the nursing bras bought ahead would save you from doing one more then when baby comes. ( Thyme often has sales on their nursing bras, but I again would recommend you try them in store first before guessing which size / style fits best) Another option if you feel like your breasts are the same size but your band width has increased is to by a band extender. Also, buying some comfy sports bras is also a good option as they have flexible sizes and will work well when your milk comes in.

Writing is a good way to process and reflect on the newness, challenge & change of this season. I started writing in a new journal the day we found out we were pregnant. It’s fun looking back now and reading my thoughts and emotions. Also on harder days its nice to have a place to process through emotions. If you haven’t already started a journal, start one from where you are. Write in it as often as you like, I try to do it at least once a week. Life moves so fast sometimes that we don’t stop to document the journey. This is a sweet way to do that, include pictures if that’s something you’d like to do!

Exercise Ball / Birth Ball
Our prenatal class instructor shared research that suggested sitting on a exercise ball each day for 20 mins decreases your labour time by 4 hours – not sure how accurate that is considering I still had quite the long labour but it is a valuable purchase none the less. Nothing felt better then sitting on a birth ball during contractions- I had my husband follow me around the house with it when I was moving around from floor to floor during labour. He also suggested that this should be on my pregnancy must have – because it came in so handy for labour.

Hospital Bag
As we had a home birth we didn’t pack too much in our hospital bag but I will share another list of things to pack for birth & post birth. I will just mention it is important to pack your hospital bag – or at least a list of the things you need and where they are so that in the case of early labour you can either quickly grab the bag – or send someone to find those items you need and bring them for you.

***Luxury Items***
A Maternity Bathing Suit
I personally found solid colours more flattering. It was hard to find a maternity bathing suit that a) didn’t make me look like a beached whale and b) didn’t break the bank. I found two I loved for a reasonable price on Target.com

Week Number Stickers
You could totally just DIY this – But we bought these stickers and they were fun to monument the bumps growth throughout the weeks!

Maternity Photoshoot
I would highly recommend this- you may feel gross but pregnancy is such a beautiful season and its truly incredible what our bodies can do! I would recommend having a shoot done near the end of your second trimester – or beginning of your third. I love looking back at those pictures to see my baby bump and cherish that precious season. I also felt like looking at those photos and seeing how my body was carrying this precious life made me appreciate this special time even more.

Feel free to reach me with any questions at Motherhoodandmaplesyrup@gmail.com

Hoping you all the best Mama!


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