my pregnancy essentials

I've been waiting to write this post for a while because a) I feel like there are a lot of these out there already, and I wanted to gather a list I felt was really comprehensive and b) I wanted to wait until a little later in the pregnancy so I could cover all the bases!  I know now that the things you find essential in the first trimester are often replaced by something else in the third.  So at 29 weeks, here are the things I would genuinely say I wouldn't have wanted to live without during this pregnancy, in order of importance.  

1.  The Snoogle Pillow.  I'm a stomach sleeper, so transitioning to sleeping on my side was tough.  In the beginning, I was just using Darrell as a body pillow - not his favorite thing - so he literally asked me to go to the store and get a pregnancy pillow.  I wish I'd gone the day the test read positive, this thing is amazing.  There's no way I could sleep without it now, and I'm fairly sure that once Claire is born Darrell will be taking it for himself.  

2.  J Brand Mama J Maternity Jean.  I know what you're thinking - "I would NEVER spend that much on jeans I'll only wear for 6 or 7 months."  But these are really important.  Maternity jeans, on the whole, are no good.  The ones with the belly band will never fit your belly the entire time, so chances are you'll end up buying 2-3 pairs....or you could just buy this pair one time.  They don't fall down (unlike every other pair), they don't pinch or constrict the belly, and they won't give you love handles.  Order true to size - DON'T size up, I made that mistake.  You can usually find these on eBay for less than $100, which I highly recommend.  

3.  "Bumped" by Blanqi tanks at Target.  Blanqi makes two levels of these tank tops - one is a thicker, higher end version that retails at $70 at Nordstrom, and the other is $35 at Target.  I bought both, and actually WAY prefer the one from Target.  It makes me feel supported but not restricted unlike the heavier version.  Blanqi tanks basically support the bump and hold your pants up at the same time, both necessities in your late 2nd - 3rd trimester.  Before I actually was pregnant, I used to think the bump was like a hard, self supported entity - probably because the fake bumps maternity sites use look that way.  But guess what...it's not.  It sometimes feels really heavy, which is what causes a lot of women back pain.  This alleviates that, and also just makes everything under your clothes feel really smooth!  

4.  T Shirt Dresses by Isabella Oliver.  These are by far the most versatile piece of maternity clothing I have owned.  You can dress these up with heels, dress them down with a jean jacket and flats, shorten or lengthen them via the ruching, and they work for every season.  These will also fit your ENTIRE pregnancy - I promise!  I sized up one size, just because I knew I would appreciate the give in the third trimester, but these dresses still fit me great the entire pregnancy.  They really highlight the bump, and also manage to still make everything that is "normally" sized look small (like your waist and arms!) They're expensive, but the fabric is so high quality and they have lots of sales.  These retail for $150 normally, but I bought all three of mine for less than $100, and I think I'll be able to wear all three of them for any subsequent pregnancies we're blessed with!  I should also just mention that I've been a big fan of Isabella Oliver's maternity clothing in general.  These dresses, the Urban Ruched dress, the treggings (best maternity leggings ever), and their layering tees have been staples of mine since about week 14.  

5.  Lavender Oil.  This one is kind of random, but at about 16 weeks I started having a lot of nightmares and it gave me serious anxiety about sleep.  I'm a big fan of homeopathic remedies in general (I can probably count on one hand the pills of Advil or Tylenol I've taken during this pregnancy) so I was thrilled that this worked.  Just rub a little on your temples before sleep and voila, no more nightmares.  

6.  Honest Belly Balm.  This is by far my favorite stretch mark balm - it's the only one I've tried that actually made a stretch mark DISAPPEAR.  As in, I had one, and then I put this on at bedtime and when I woke up it was gone.  It smells a little bit like a dirty hippie, and you have to order it online, but it's worth it!  

7.  Tory Burch Reva Flats.  I know this might seem specific, but ever since I ordered a pair of these I've worn them non-stop.  A tip?  Buy them on eBay!  Don't buy new, there are so many great pairs for much less online! They keep an otherwise comfy outfit looking polished, and aren't as much of a surrender as tennis shoes.  I also just think they're really pretty......so there's that.  

8.  Mommy IQ & Hypnobirthing.  I haven't been a fan of any pregnancy books really....at all.  Most of them make pregnancy out to be horrible - which I haven't really found it to be!  I wanted to read a few books that celebrated what a blessing it is to be pregnant, and these two were pretty much the only ones I found.  Mommy IQ is wonderfully comprehensive, and so upbeat.  I highly recommend the interactive Kindle version, which has videos and interviews with Rosie Pope and her husband.  Hypnobirthing is the pain management method I'm planning to use, but I actually think that the book would be a wonderful read for anyone who's giving birth soon, whether they're planning to use an epidural or not.  It just highlights a lot of good points about giving birth - like how women's bodies are created for that purpose, and how to cultivate confidence in your own ability to carry and bring your child into the world safely.  

9.  Prenatal Vitamins - Honest Company & Trader Joe's.  I was a big fan of Honest Company prenatals in my first trimester because they didn't make me queasy at all, even if you took them on an empty stomach!  That's pretty rare for any kind of vitamin, honestly.  I do, however, think that the Honest Company ones are pretty expensive so after I was feeling better in my second trimester I switched to Trader Joe's.  They're also great, and although it's better to take them with food it's worth the drop in price.  

10.  ANYTHING striped.  I would say that 50% of my maternity wardrobe involved stripes.  That might seem excessive, but stripes flatter the bump, match everything, and work for a ton of occasions.  To me, there's just nothing cuter than a baby bump in stripes.  I bought tops from Target, Old Navy, Gap, and ASOS.  

11.  GapFit Maternity yoga pants.  When the baby is lower, like in the first and second trimester, your normal yoga pants will feel really constricting.  I love my Lululemon wunder unders, and I'm wearing them more now that they can comfortably be worn under the bump, but a few weeks ago that just didn't seem possible.  The GapFit pants are super comfy and not restricting, and now that I'm in my third trimester I've been wearing them with the waistband pulled up over the bump.  

Got anything else you would add to the list?  I've still got 10 weeks to go, so let me know if there's anything you think I'll be wishing I had near the end!  

*ps - i didn't receive anything free, or any compensation from any of these companies for featuring these products.  I bought them all and loved them, so I'm reviewing them just because I felt compelled to share!  

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