It’s still a little hard for me to believe, except for my hugely bulging belly, but I’m 31 weeks pregnant and in the final countdown to sweet baby boy’s arrival! If there’s one thing I’ve learned through this fourth and surprise pregnancy, it’s that you can never be fully prepared for all of the side-effects and symptoms of pregnancy that you will experience.
As you strive to have the healthiest pregnancy that you can, some of your symptoms will be the same as previous pregnancies, some will be worse or more intense, and some will be less intense or you won’t experience them at all. Just as each baby is unique, so is each pregnancy.
That being said, there are always those must-have items that can help you to manage your pregnancy and have the healthiest pregnancy possible, with all of the good and the bad that comes along during those nine months.
I am not shy about sharing how I do not enjoy being pregnant. Of course, there are the moments of amazement at the life growing inside me, and wonder and awe in the strength and ability of the female body, but there is not a lot of enjoyment in pregnancy beyond that for me. Mostly I’m just trying to make it through to the other side, and these 10 items are absolutely things I could not live without during this pregnancy!
10 Healthy Pregnancy Items I Can’t Live Without!
1. Papaya Enzymes
If you’ve never experienced pregnancy heartburn then I am both happy for you, and extremely jealous. With each pregnancy my heartburn and acid reflux has started earlier and gotten progressively worse. This time it was one of my very first pregnancy symptoms, and at this point in my pregnancy it is a daily reality of my life that I have to manage somehow.
After eating conventional antacids like candy during the third trimesters of my first and second pregnancies, I learned about papaya enzymes during my third pregnancy and they were a total game changer! They are a natural alternative to antacids that helped my digestion and calmed my acid reflux during the first few months, and that I now use in combination with other treatments, including OTC medication, to help keep my heartburn under control. I keep one bottle next to my bed and one in my purse so that I always have them on hand when I need them!
2. Support Belt
Let me just be honest here about how everything is a little more stretched out this time around, including my ab muscles, and my growing belly could really use some extra support. I started experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions around 20 weeks, especially when I have been on my feet for long periods of time.
So, I wear a support belt when I know I’m going to be doing a lot of walking, or just a lot of up and moving around – like cleaning, running errands, etc. in a day, and it helps to support my belly and my back, and reduce the intensity of my Braxton Hicks.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Along with the papaya enzymes, a daily dose or two of apple cider vinegar helps to control my heartburn and acid reflux, and also boosts my energy levels. When my heartburn is raging I will pour about a teaspoon of ACV into a cup with a little water and basically take it like a shot. Yes, it’s a terrible taste, but it’s only for a few seconds, and the relief of my heartburn is totally worth it.
Also, while I would love to nap every afternoon, that’s not realistic at this point in my life, so I sip on my natural energy-boosting drink instead and it helps to get me through the rest of the day.
4. New Chapter Perfect Prenatal Vitamins
It is really important to me to take a high-quality prenatal vitamin throughout my pregnancies. This time around, I started out with a well known, high-end brand of vitamin, but I realized after a few weeks of taking it that the vitamin was making me extremely sick. I thought I had the worst morning/all-day sickness that I’d had with any of my pregnancies, but instead it was that brand of vitamin that was totally upsetting my stomach!
I had used New Chapter Perfect Prenatals during my last pregnancy and loved how I could take them anytime, even on an empty stomach, and never had issues with them upsetting my stomach. So I ditched the other brand, ordered New Chapter Perfect Prenatals from Amazon, started taking them again, and I couldn’t believe the difference in how I felt!
I love that New Chapter Perfect Prenatals incorporate targeted nutrients for healthy pregnancy and fetal development, including fermented folate, 100% daily value of iron, and whole-food fermented B vitamins to help naturally produce energy*. New Chapter vitamins are also uniquely formulated with individual vitamins and minerals fermented with beneficial probiotics and whole foods to transform the multivitamins into whole-food fermented nutrients. I know I can trust the quality of the vitamins and nutrients I’m getting with New Chapter vitamins and I’m so glad I’ve found a brand that works so well for me!
5. Supportive, no-underwire Bra
My husband actually picked out this bra for me when I was newly pregnant, based on a recommendation from the sales lady, but as soon as I wore it for a day, I knew I had to go back and get another one! I usually wear underwire bras for the support when I’m not pregnant, but you know how completely uncomfortable those get when your belly is protruding right below your bra! And yet, since the girls get bigger during pregnancy, a supportive bra is extremely important. This bra has molded cups and supportive straps without the pain and discomfort of an underwire.
6. Slip Shorts
While we’re on the theme of undergarments, let me take this opportunity to mention how awesome slip shorts are. Because of being (very) pregnant during the summer this time, skirts and dresses are a staple of my maternity wardrobe. I can wear non-maternity ones throughout my pregnancy and after, and they are about the most comfortable thing you can wear while also still looking well-dressed and put together. But, the thigh rub and chaffing that usually happens when wearing skirts and dresses is neither welcome nor enjoyable.
Enter the slip short, these are saving my life this summer! I wear them under all my skirts and dresses and they provide coverage and save my legs from rubbing together in the normally sweaty and painful way that happens on hot summer days. Also surprisingly, they are extremely comfortable and don’t make me feel any hotter than I already am. I think these will remain a staple in my wardrobe even after I’m done being pregnant!
This one is similar, and yet a bit different, than the slip shorts. I’m so, so glad that leggings are a thing again and that I can rock leggings under dresses and skirts, and even leggings as pants, because there is no way I could handle actual maternity pants at this point in my pregnancy. I have a few pairs of maternity leggings that are great, but I also bought some non-maternity leggings and I might love them even more. I wear them below my belly and they are just as awesome and comfortable as the maternity ones and I’ll be able to wear them after my babe is born too!
8. Pregnancy Pillow
We all know how important getting enough sleep is, and this is especially true when pregnant. But it can be hard to really feel comfortable enough in bed to get a good night’s rest. This is the first pregnancy that I have used a special pregnancy pillow, and only because my awesome sister lent hers to me. In the past I have used one, and then two, body pillows, but I had no idea what I was missing!
This pregnancy pillow is like a full-body cocoon that envelopes your whole body in comfort and support! I feel like I’m always in the correct position for sleeping, on either side, and I sleep SO much better since I started using it. It is amazing.
9. Mama Natural’s week-by-week natural pregnancy updates
Although this wasn’t launched until I was about half way through this pregnancy, I absolutely love the resource of Mama Natural’s week by week pregnancy guide! I’m so thankful for the natural slant that she brings to pregnancy and birth that is often missing from the more well-known week-by-week pregnancy guides. I like to see how my baby is growing and also read well-researched and detailed articles that will help me to have a more natural and healthy pregnancy.
10. Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
And finally, no natural pregnancy should be complete without reading this classic birth book. This time I’m skipping or just skimming some of the birth stories and diving into Part 2 of the book where she talks about women’s bodies, labor, delivery, and natural childbirth. Even though I’ve done this three times already (!!!), I still think it’s so important to prepare myself mentally for the work of labor and birth. The more educated and informed we can be about childbirth, the better we can advocate for ourselves and work through our labor and delivery in the most natural way possible!
So if you’re expecting your first sweet babe, or you’ve been around the pregnancy block a few times like I have, you know there are those items that you just must-have to make it through these amazing and exhausting nine months! I hope by sharing my favorites with you, I’ve given you some great products that will help you have the most natural and healthy pregnancy that you can! All the best to you, Sweet Mama!
Please share with us in the comments – What are your must-have items for a natural and healthy pregnancy?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, care, or prevent any disease.
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