Pregnancy is a special yet complicated time.
You’re celebrating the fact that you’re growing a human life for nine months, but in that time, you’re also going through major physical and emotional changes.
As your body begins to expand and grow, it feels less and less like your own with each passing day. On top of that, the hormones raging inside of you are likely to take a toll, and there are days that you don’t feel your absolute best. To be honest, I had more than my fair share of those days.
I sifted through numerous blogs to prepare for my first pregnancy, but throughout, I found that I didn’t need all that much aside from a handful of life-savers that helped ease the pain along the way.
One thing I avoided (and this might not be sound advice for everyone) is investing in too many maternity clothes. Maybe it’s because I was fortunate enough that my belly was pretty tiny, but I found that everything I needed – aside from maternity leggings and jeans (definitely grew out of my pre-pregnancy ones real quick) – was already in my closet. It was also helpful that I was pregnant during the winter months, so I just threw on an oversized sweater and called it a day!
I’ve compiled a list of my top recommendations for items that I found super useful during my pregnancy. I hope it helps you on your exciting journey! And please take a moment to reach out and comment below to share the things you splurged on!
And be sure to always consult with your doctor to be on the safe side!
As your belly grows to accommodate the little renter inside of you, you’ll want to invest in a belly butter that keeps your expanding tummy nourished, hydrated, and stretch-mark-free.
I found that the Honest Company Butter was my favorite, though I did switch off with the Burts Bees Mama Belly Butter. The Honest Butter consists of shea butter, avocado oil, and vitamin E, but my favorite part is that it isn’t greasy. For those with a sensitive nose during pregnancy, it also has no smell, which makes it the perfect addition to your daily beauty routine!
There were times when I simply needed something with a little more edge, and the Bio-Oil featured the perfect blend of oils, especially when rubbing it on my belly overnight. The oil helps improve the appearance of scars and stretch marks, so it can also be used postpartum. And the investment is worth it as I’ve had friends who swear by this stuff even when they aren’t pregnant! It can be applied to the abdomen, breasts, lower back, hips, buttocks, and thighs!
So, the Burt’s Bees Peppermint and Coconut oil cream was sent to me as part of a gift set from a friend after I announced I was pregnant. At the time, I didn’t know that I was going to swear by this foot cream the further along my pregnancy got. After a long day on my feet, which began showing signs of swelling in my second trimester, I would rub this minty bad boy on and immediately felt like I was at the spa. (Due to COVID, I couldn’t actually go to the spa, so this was heaven-sent). It’s such a stress-reliever and helps with aching feet and legs!
Pregnancy means two things: you have to drink a lot of water (especially if you’re at risk of preeclampsia) and you have to pee a lot. The two go hand-in-hand. And while the latter isn’t ideal, I found having a nice water bottle really helps you get the liquids in.
I invested in this one because once I filled it up in the morning, I didn’t have to fill it up until the next day! According to the Institute of Medicine, pregnant women need to drink ten 8-ounce glasses of water per day.
Belly bands support your lower back and abdomen during pregnancy. According to Healthline, they’re particularly helpful for active mamas in their second or third trimester.
As someone who was diagnosed with SPD (symphysis pubis dysfunction) around 24 weeks, the belly band helped ease the unbearable pain in my pelvic area. Aside from physical therapy, there’s not much to help SPD, but the belly band decreased the pain substantially and allowed me to walk again. (For anyone who has suffered from SPD, you’ll know some days are better than others depending on the severity of your flare-up).
Swelling… trouble sleeping… there are several reasons why you might wake up looking way too puffy for comfort. The Tula Rose Glow & Get It eye balm helped hydrate, de-puff, and cool! Ingredients include probiotic extracts & superfoods like caffeine, aloe & watermelon—plus the addition of rosewater & rosehip oil (a plant-based retinol alternative!)
I loved how reenergizing the balm felt, so I used it at night and under my makeup in the morning!
Remember that SPD thing I told you about? Yeah, sleeping with a wedge between definitely helped. I never found a need to invest in a body pillow (though plenty of people swear by them), but I did love the wedge-shaped pillow as it took the pressure off my pelvis!
By now, you know swelling comes with pregnancy territory, but if you’re anything like me, you’ll also experience dry lips, particularly if you’re pregnant in the frigid winter months. Laneige offers a lip sleeping mask that you dab on overnight to lock in moisture. Wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world!
There’s nothing comfier (and stylish!) than leggings during your pregnancy! There are so many to choose from, but I really loved Old Navy’s, which are soft, breathable, and elastic. And with sales happening all the time, you cannot beat the price!
Old Navy leggings = daily wear. Spanx Maternity Faux leather leggings = fancy wear. The COVID-19 pandemic put a bit of a damper on dressing up and going out while pregnant, but I still got plenty of use from these during the holidays and while dining out in igloos! You can dress them up or dress them down and still feel like a million bucks. Find them here!
Jeans are an everyday part of life, but when you can no longer squeeze into your favorite denim bottoms, you have to snag a pair that has a little wiggle room. I personally spent my whole pregnancy wearing the jeans with an inset panel from Target, but they also have the crossover panel available. Snag them here!
I love baths, and when I got pregnant, I didn’t know that it was possible to take a bath that was considered “too hot.” Baby Center notes that while it’s unlikely a bath would be set to temps high enough to hurt your baby, you should avoid soaking in baths that raise your body temperature above 102.2 degrees. That’s where Mr. Ducky came into play. The adorable little thermometer helped keep me in check as he beeps when the water temp gets too hot. Ducky makes a great bathtime buddy, plus, he’ll be useful for baby’s first bathtime in a few short months!
If you had the willpower to give up coffee during your pregnancy, props to you. It wasn’t for me. But I also wanted to limit my caffeine intake for the sake of the bubba. Mommee Coffee was the perfect solution as it includes a quarter of the caffeine. The package says it’s “designed for moms of all stages” and features low-acid. Can’t go wrong with that!
High blood pressure in pregnancy can pose plenty of risks. I was someone who constantly had high blood pressure whenever I walked into the doctor’s office, though my blood pressure remained quite low when I was at home. The Omron machine is the same one my OB-GYN used, so I knew I was getting an accurate reading. This was especially important as they asked me to monitor my BP for signs of preeclampsia!
One of the weirdest symptoms of pregnancy turned out to be an increase in facial hair. No, I didn’t grow a full beard, but I did get a lot more peach fuzz on my face that seemed to grow at rapid speeds. I felt self-conscious about it, so I ordered the flawless and painless hair remover that zapped all of those unwanted hairs away! The best part is that it’s so small, you can literally carry it in your purse!
Don’t forget to share your must-have pregnancy items with us!
And congrats on this exciting new chapter in your life!
4 Best Salted Caramel Cocktails to Try this Fall Including Caramel Pumpkin Pie
The Best Dog-Friendly Pumpkin Patches in Illinois to Check Out This Fall
Fall is the best time of the year.
Pumpkin spice lattes, apple cider, pumpkin and apple donuts… the list goes on.
But best of all, it’s time to visit a pumpkin patch and get lost in a corn maze!
It isn’t just kids and adults that want to get in on the fun, so do our furry four-legged friends!
If you’re a crazy dog parent (and who isn’t?), there’s no reason to leave Fido at home on a beautiful fall day.
After all, your pup loves the crinkling leaves and brisk fall weather just as much as you do.
You can obviously take your pup to the park, but if you’re going for the full fall experience, you’re likely making your way to a pumpkin patch or apple orchard so that they can run around, play, and socialize. It’s all especially important after we’ve spent a lot of time cooped up at home amid the pandemic.
The good news is, there’s a handful of pup-friendly farms near the Chicagoland area that will greet your whole family with open arms.
Just make your Fido also gets a #basic fall photo from the day’s activities.
*Most farms have COVID-19 protocols in place, so be sure to double-check those before going!*
Richardson’s Adventure Farm – 909 English Prairie Rd, Spring Grove, IL 60081
Open: September 11 – November 7
Fun for the whole family” takes on a new meaning here. Not only does Richardson’s Adventure Farm boast the world’s largest corn maze with 28-acres, but you can get lost in the corn maze with your dog!
“With its 9 – 10 miles of trail winding through 28 acres of live corn, you are in for a challenge and a treat,” the website notes.
There’s also a petting zoo, kiosks with food and drinks, and more!
Per the website, “you are welcome to bring your dog if it is on a leash and plays well with others!”
I speak from experience when I say this is my doggo’s favorite pumpkin patch to visit. He loves socializing with all the other pups!
Konow’s Corn Maze – 16849 Cedar Rd, Homer Glen, IL 60491
Open: September 18 – October 31
A maze, an animal barn, and fun rides — what more do you need?
Other fun activities include a corn pit, shooting gallery, and straw playground. You won’t run out of things to do here. ? Best of all, dogs are allowed on the premises.
Abbey Farms – 2855 Hart Road, Aurora, IL 60502
Pumpkin Daze Opens: September 18 – October 31
Priding themselves on ol’ fashioned fun, Abbey Farms welcomes the families + pups to explore their 40-acre pumpkin farm, sip of craft beer, get lost in a corn maze, and pick pumpkins for at-home celebrations.
If you’re bringing a pup, be sure to be courteous: “We love our furry four legged friends. A few rules do apply tho. We do require all owners to take full responcibility for their pets, clean up after them and abide by the areas of the farm that do not allow pets due to close proximity to other guests. Abbey Farms reserves the right to ask any guest to leave for any reason. Abbey Farms requires all owners to accept all liability for their pet while on Abbey Farms grounds!”
Eckert’s Farm – 951 S Green Mt Rd, Belleville, IL 62220
This one is a bit of a drive, so make sure you plan it on a weekend when you have some time to spare. But it’s definitely worth it. As the farm is open year-round, you can enjoy the summer months strawberry or peach picking, or check out the sunflower maze.
When fall comes around, you can go apple picking, taste cider, or find the perfect pumpkin to carve.
Your options aren’t limited to summer and fall either as you can pick your Christmas tree in the wintertime.
Thankfully, your best furry friend can come along for the adventures.
“We are a pet-friendly company and we welcome leashed dogs on the farm and bike path. Service dogs are the only dogs permitted inside buildings. We welcome leashed dogs to ride on the wagons. They are also permitted in the apple & peach orchards, Christmas tree fields, and the pumpkin patch. Dogs are not allowed to enter the strawberry or blackberry patch or the veggie fields. Reminder: Please be prepared to pick up after your pet,” the website notes.
Cheesecake Factory Treating Customers to Pumpkin, Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecakes This Fall
I know I don’t need to tell you that it’s officially pumpkin season.
The minute the clock strikes September, pumpkin-flavored items take on a life of their own.
The Cheesecake Factory is tapping into the pumpkin obsession as the chain released the seasonal Pumpkin and Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecakes.
You can purchase both flavors by the slice or as a whole now through Thanksgiving!
Bon Appétit, pumpkin lovers!
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