At this point and I’m more of the way through pregnancy than I have to go I thought it would be a good time to share a few things that I would list as my own pregnancy and maternity essentials. These are the products and items that have helped keep me comfortable, keep any not-so-fun symptoms at bay and generally keep me feeling more perky than peaky for the past 29 weeks… basically the things I would recommend to any fellow pregnant people or friends to help get through the phases of pregnancy towards D-day.
I resisted buying these for a long time. I had a few maternity bras and they were doing the trick for daytime (I already talked a bit about boobs and pregnancy FYI on another post) but after a while I foundI was fine day time at night I wasn’t comfortable. I’ve never been a bra-at-night type person but I picked up two duo-packs of sleep bras from ASOS (first one, then loved them so much I ordered a second). They have made a world of difference – just some light support, sort of like a lightweight sports bra that’s soft and comfortable. But just gives that extra bit of support without any clips or solid straps to irritate whilst you sleep.
Decent Maternity Bras
Another one I already mentioned but wanted to give a shout out to a couple of brands I’ve really loved as ‘proper’ maternity bras. Essentially a lot of maternity bras are just non-wired for comfort but designed to offer support for your growing boobs. For me I wanted something slightly padded (to prevent visible-nipple type situations), soft fabrics and no skinny straps that dig in. Basically the ultimate combination of comfort and support. In all honesty, the idea of going back to underwired bras in future doesn’t sound fun – although they are undoubtedly nicer looking than the average maternity bra.
I already mentioned the Bravado Body Silk Seamless in THIS post (the one all about boobs) but my most recent addition is the Fleur bra from Theya Healthcare which they describe as ‘…a hug in a bra’. This one makes for a perfect maternity bra but is not exclusively for maternity purposes as it is actually a ‘recovery’ bra for post-surgery. So it really is designed for maximum comfort and support. My favourite aspect of it is the band around the body and how it’s totally seam-free so absolutely zero chaffing or discomfort. It’s stretchy but firm. The straps also have clasps at the front just above the boob area so you can easily unclip and use for breastfeeding too. Super soft, super comfortable – well worth the investment to keep those babies (the boobs, not the actual baby) looked after in pregnancy and beyond.
Maternity Leggings & Jeans
I could probably dedicate a whole post to the hits & misses in my quest to find the perfect maternity leg-wear that is both comfortable, flattering and doesn’t want to fall down after five minutes. It’s an ongoing quest but I wanted to share a few that I’ve found that work for me and I would recommend.
On the jeans front, I would personally recommend the under-bump style of maternity jean for the earlier months of pregnancy. Frankly, these should be the norm for jeans as they make a world of comfort difference after a meal. I’m only semi-joking… who wants a restrictive button clasp when they can have elasticated comfort?! These are great if you suffer from bloating in the first few weeks (something I did, well before I had any form of visible bump). As your bump gets bigger the over the bump ones might feel more comfortable as they can feel like they offer some support. My favourite pairs are from ASOS – one dark indigo under the bump skinny pair and one black skinny pair with over the bump support.
I’ve had more success overall with maternity leggings and frankly, they’re more comfortable anyway. My two favourite pairs were both picked up from ASOS – one own-brand seam-free full length pair and another from the brand Emma Jane (no longer available on ASOS but available HERE). Both of theses styles are seam-free and over the bump (WELL over – they reach up to under the bra). The material for both is also mostly viscose which I find clings and holds the shape better. I find leggings with cotton are soft but they tend to get a bit more sag and seem to risk the ‘showing the pants’ situation a bit more.
I’m going to do a dedicated post on some of the pregnancy beauty products I’ve been reaching for so far so I’ll keep this one fairly simple and list-style. But I’ve been slathering on body products along with a few tweaks to my usual facial skincare routine too.
I’ve already gone through a full bottle of the gorgeous ESPA Nourishing Body Oil – this isn’t a pregnancy-specific product, but all the ingredients are pregnancy friendly. It’s just lovely and have been using it all over rather than bump-only. I find it really hydrating and absorbs easily so doesn’t leave an oily feeling behind. My only minor niggle is the bottle is a little messy and would love it even more if it had a pump! This was one I used after I had a pregnancy massage at the incredible Corinthia Spa in London – pure luxury bliss from start to finish. I then treated myself to another ESPA Pregnancy massage when Ollie and I were away on a little pre-baby holiday in Tenerife in early December. So if you have any ESPA spas near you then checking out the maternity treatments is something I really recommend. But if treatments aren’t your style the Nourishing Skin Oil is just wonderful for at-home pampering.
I’ve also been loving Mama Mio Tummy Rub Butter – really rich and feels like it’s ‘really doing something’. They also have a product called ‘Superstar in a jar‘ that’s an ace all rounder and helped with everything from giving my cuticles a boost (not pregnancy related, but can’t hurt…) to soothing sore nips that I had in the first trimester. Mama Mio also have an amazing FREE pregnancy guide that you can download and read online – and when everything else baby-prep wise seems so expensive a freebie is a welcome change. It’s called Mama You Got This and well worth a read for down to earth advice and tips.
Body wise I’m also really enjoying a combination of products from Pai – the Pai Pomegranate and Pumkin Seed Stretchmark System is amazing. A pair of products with an oil and a cream (oil for night, cream for day – but you can use as suits you) means you can hydrate the areas that are prone to stretch marks day and night. This includes not just the bump, but hips and tops of legs are danger-zones too – without then having to deal with oil marks on your day time clothes etc. Pai also have a great customer service chat section on their website that I used in the early weeks to ask which products were pregnancy friendly and which weren’t. You can ask them anything product related of course but it was so helpful to get such a quick and easy answer this way.
Pillows, pillows & more pillows
Because I’m normally a front-sleeper, trying to get comfortable at night has been tricky since fairly early on. There’s also a lot of advice about not sleeping on your back. In fact the advice is to always sleep on your left hand side – which I of course try to do. But staying in one position all night is near on impossible. So personally I take it as sleep on your side, with left being best but either being ok.
I have a Dreamgenii maternity pillow that was given to me by a friend who bought it but then didn’t get on with it at. I would say this is a great pillow for the earliest phases to first and second trimesters so give you a bit of support and get you used to sleeping on your side if that’s not your usual. On top of that I’ve added a couple of extra pillows to the mix (much to Ollie’s delight…) I have one fairly soft one that I tend to pop in-between my knees as I find without it they get sore. Plus I have two silent night pillows that I use to prop myself up more than usual at night to help deal with bouts of heartburn. One is a softer memory foam one we bought when we replaced our mattress a couple of years ago and the newest one is a Studio by Silentnight one that was sent to me via Silentnight when the spotted me tweeting about not being able to sleep well – so thank you Silentnight for my additional pillow! But sleeping badly actually leads nicely to my next maternity essentials product… get ready, it’s a super glam one!
Oh yeah. Nothing but fabulous recommendations here! Of course this won’t be the case for everyone and please do contact your healthcare provider to check this is a safe one for you (I’m not a professional and this is just what has been working for me) but Gaviscon has been an essential for me since about week 25 when I started suffering from pretty bad heartburn. I’m sure there are other heartburn-tackling options on the market too, but this has been the one I’ve been using. In particular at night, but also on and off in the day. My go-to is Gaviscon Double Action Mint and I have a bottle by my bed for night time. I’ve been also trying to combine with things like drinking milk, propping myself up more at night (see above) and avoiding triggering food and drinks (spicy, rich or acidic things like orange juice have been my main culprits). But so far, Gaviscon is my new pregnancy BFF. I would definitely advise checking with a pharmacist or midwife if you’re suffering from pregnancy heartburn for something like this as it’s not something you have to just live with.
Of course now I’m almost at 30 weeks I’m getting fully into the preparing for baby mode – which includes everything from cute clothes to the practical bits (who knew there are so many variants for a bottle feeding teat?!). There’s a lot of decisions to be made on things that frankly I’m pretty clueless about – any and all advice welcome!
Some products featured are gifts or PR samples.