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I’ve been following your pregnancy journey and would love to know what you found invaluable during your pregnancy—I’m six weeks now and based in NY, any recommendations would be amazing!
Congratulations! Six weeks was around the time my morning sickness hit hard, but fingers crossed you are one of the lucky few who avoids it. If you’ve been following along you might be aware that my pregnancy / life took an unexpected turn at the five-month mark (which I’ll be writing about in due time), but for now, a light-hearted list as opposed to our usual deep and meaningful Ask Amy responses is very welcome to what has otherwise been a bit of a heavy time (see what I did there, ha). At the time of writing this I am nine months pregnant and would not have been able to get through the past 39 weeks without the following stuff. None of this is #sponsored, rather a random collection of things that have been given to me, recommended to me, or bought based on Amazon ratings in times of desperation. I hope it helps.
PS. Most of this list is NY / US specific, or available online, but for the things I bought in New Zealand, you’ll be able to find a US-based equivalent.
The first 12 weeks were rough. I could hardly get out of bed or eat. I came across Vitamin B6 on multiple baby forums as a suggestion to take with Unisom, a combo which my midwife in NYC also suggested, even in the first trimeter. Even though she said it was safe, I ended up just taking the B6 as I was too paranoid to take the Unisom. I found that B6 alone helped (there is a maximum dose you can take each day, check with your midwife/doctor). If you are going to take Unisom as well, check with your midwife/doctor. While my midwife in NYC said it was completely safe to take, my midwife in NZ did not encourage it. You do you!
Apple Cider Vinegar
I poured a good slosh of ACV into my water bottle every morning to sip throughout the day, and found that it helped. You’ll need to find unpasteurized ACV to be on the safe side (aka no Braggs).
While in New York, my health insurance was New Zealand based, and as standard prenatal care is free in New Zealand, I was left with no with no prenatal coverage in NYC. When calling around for OB appointments, the average cost of one visit was between $700–800. Not including scans or labs. My doula recommended Village Maternity—a group of (amazing) midwives who work with OB’s (so you have access to both) and were about the half the price of standard OB consults. I would recommend this practice to any woman looking for nurturing prenatal care, insured or not.
BOOKS / PODCASTS
I only read two pregnancy books because I found the abundance of information overwhelming, and I only listened to one podcast because I found most mommy / pregnancy podcasts painful, I couldn’t stand them.
Nursing & Cursing
Imagine someone recording a very real conversation between you and your girlfriends where you say things out loud that you probs wouldn’t say in public. This is what Nursing & Cursing is: a brutally honest and hilarious podcast hosted by five girlfriends (and moms) across NYC, LA, Oklahoma and Hawaii. I started listening to Nursing & Cursing as a non-pregnant person and found it equally as entertaining. Start from Episode 1 and work your way through.
Great With Child: Letters To A Young Mother
I read this in one sitting and could not put it down. This is not a ‘pregnancy book’ per se, more about the guts and glory and heart and heartache of what it means to be a mother. It was a gift from a dear friend and I plan on gifting it to every pregnant friend I have in future.
Nurture: A Modern Guide to Pregnancy, Birth, Early Motherhood—and Trusting Yourself and Your Body
A beautiful pregnancy book by doula Erica Chidi Cohen, who is also the co-founder of LOOM: a parenting and pregnancy community in LA. Look out for our interview with Erica in the next few weeks—I asked her all the things about pregnancy that I was freaked out about, and learned so much.
Storq (for staples)
You know how you buy three pairs of H&M leggings and they never fit quite right? Spend the same amount on one pair of Storq leggings and never look back. I lived in my Storq t-shirt dress and leggings throughout my entire pregnancy. Hands down my best maternity clothing purchase and the first thing I recommend to mamas to be.
Hatch (for your few ‘nice’ things)
Maternity clothes that you’ll actually want to wear—post baby too. They have a store in NYC now also.
ASOS (for basics)
This really depends on your body shape, but I found that floaty, baggy things made me look planetary, and that fitted things were more flattering. As I spent my third trimester in summer, I was able to get away with wearing a rotation of tank dresses I found on ASOS ranging from $15—25 each, in a few sizes up from what I’d usually wear. Like this. Also, if you are in NZ, I thrashed these from Glassons (bought in a bigger size, worn as a dress), and their bikinis, as worn in pic below.
Kindred Bravely Sleeping Bras
In the first three months of pregnancy my boobs felt like burning volcanoes on the brink of eruption. Lying on my side at night and accidentally squashing them would bring me to tears. I went from a C cup to a DD in a few weeks and needed a bra to sleep in. I found these on Amazon and they were perfect. At a 10DD I was a size large.
Outdoor Voices Steeplechase Bra
During the day, I have worn the OV Steeplechase bra exclusively. Underwire became too uncomfortable as my rib cage expanded, and if I wore a bra with no support, my gloriously gigantic boobs would rest on my belly, pointing downward. Super attractive. You need something with a thick band under the breast that is not as rigid as a sportsbra, and the OV steeplechase is perfect. I plan on wearing them breastfeeding also. I wear a size large in these.
My boy had a rapid growth spurt in the third trimester and this was quite painful for the old belly muscles, particularly in my lower abdomen. A good quality belly band has been a solid investment, particularly in the last few weeks on labor-inducing hill walks.
Fat & The Moon Growing Belly Balm
I love this stuff and use it in the shower while my skin is still wet, rubbing into my belly and boobs. If you’re going to use it regularly throughout your whole pregnancy you will need two jars.
Sans Ceuticals Activator 7 Oil
I used this oil before I was pregnant on my whole bod and face, and continued using it throughout my pregnancy to prevent stretch marks and all that. It has a thick, luxurious feel, smells delicious, and is made in New Zealand.
Glossier Body Hero Oil Body Wash
Because all pregnant women are heroes, and because I’ve been obsessed with being an oil slick while pregnant.
(Yes they get their own subtitle)
Full Body Pillow
Who needs a man when you have a human-sized pillow? This pillow is no joke. It was a gift from my aunty and I plan on using it for the rest of my life, pregnant or not.
Bump Support Pillow
A friend gave this to me when I was about five and a half months, just when my bump was starting to get sore when lying on my side with no support. Don’t underestimate its humble appearance—as my bump has gotten heavier and heavier, I can no longer sleep without it. And yes, I use this in conjunction with the pillow above.
I have to go bounce on my swiss ball now and eat some curry, but hopefully you found the above useful. To save OKREAL from becoming a mommy blog, all future baby spam will be posted here.
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