With my first pregnancy, I was so overwhelmed with all the pregnancy lists and doo-dads out there. I feel like anytime you’re about to encounter a new life experience, we’re inundated with information about what you have to do, have to have, etc. It can definitely be overwhelming. Now that I’m on my second pregnancy, I can confidently say that I’ve rummaged through all of the fluff and have come up with a concise Pregnancy must-haves list for the healthy and active Mama.
Let’s get right to it shall we?
Staying active is my number one tip for staying healthy and energetic throughout pregnancy. But you need the right clothes in order to do so. Good maternity workout tights are SO hard to come by but I’m pleased to say that I’ve found “the one” 🙂 Say hello to your new favourite maternity workout tights from Matletik from Ella Bella.
Are you an over the bump or under the bump kinda lady? I love the feeling of having my baby bump hugged by a soft fabric. It feels a lot more secure and comforting which is especially important for me while working out. Matletik is a brand new Canadian company and their stuff is so amazing. Each piece of clothing feels so luxurious and everything is of super high quality.
These tights still leave me tons of room to grow without being baggy. They have a generous over the bump fabric that’s hilarious to look at on its own, so I definitely recommend wearing a shirt over top 😉
The fabric that goes over the bump feels so amazing when doing any sort of higher impact activities. It gives you just a bit of extra support without being too restricting.
Be sure to check out Ella Bella for the Matletik line and everything-pregnancy! Ella Bella has the best selection of maternity and nursing wear I’ve come across and if you spend over $75, they’ll ship to you for free in the US & Canada.
I didn’t have a body pillow for my first pregnancy and now I’m so disappointed that I didn’t. I’m a minimalist at heart and really don’t like accumulating stuff. But this is one of the few things I’d highly recommend to make your pregnancy much, MUCH more comfortable. My belly wasn’t really big until 6 or 7 months with my first pregnancy and I found that the most comfortable sleeping position for me was on my side with one pillow in between my knees, one under my tummy, and one for my head. It was like assembling the Michelin man together each night before going to sleep. With this second pregnancy though, I started showing at 8 weeks, meaning there was a lot more belly to accommodate for a longer period of time. Enter the Snuggle-Pedic Body Pillow.
My Husband calls it his surrogate because it really has taken his place in bed (not in that way… 😉 ) The Snuggle Pedic is honestly like receiving a warm hug all night long. It feels so luxurious and has two different pillow cases depending on the level of coziness you’re craving.
I love it more than any other body pillow because:
They offer free customizations
If you send it in to get altered, everything is complimentary – they’ll even pay for your shipping expenses!
I downloaded every single pregnancy app on iTunes last time, but the What to Expect app was the only one I went back to this time around. It has everything you need, including the weekly fruits – my fave! I also really love the groups and networks you can join. There’s seriously a group for everything and if you’re experiencing a pregnancy related problem, these groups give you comfort that you’re not going through it alone.
This is more of a pregnancy must-do instead of a must-have but I take any chance I can get to talk about the benefits of barre during pregnancy. This specialized workout carries you through your pregnancy with confidence and builds exactly the right muscles to help you have a smoother labour and delivery. I love barre for pregnant women because:
Strengthens your pelvic floor like crazy (ie. no snissing!). Kind of an important one 😉
Barre moves can be easily modified to suit any pregnant lady, but most are fine as is.
There’s a huge focus on opening up your hips and squatting. There is seriously nothing better than this to help you have an easier labour and delivery.
The cardio portion can be as low or as high impact as you’d like.
I’ve been going to a studio here in Calgary called Barre Body Studio for 4 years now. Their instructors are so helpful when it comes to pregnancy modifications and are so mindful of Mamas without making you feel singled out. I’ll be talking more in depth about the benefits of a pregnancy barre workout in an upcoming post, so be sure to keep an eye out! Read more about the benefits of barre during pregnancy here and here.
High Quality Vitamins
I’ve always wanted to be a vitamin girl, but I find it so hard to stick to a routine of taking 20 supplements a day. But when I got pregnant, I really started to notice the effects that certain supplements would have on my body, mainly in terms of the amount of energy I had. And also knowing that you’re taking supplements on behalf of your baby will make you a lot more disciplined so you’re likely to take them every day. Here is the bare minimum you should be taking as advised by my team of midwives. I’ve also included the links to the brands I’ve been using and that I would definitely recommend:
• Folic Acid – this is for baby’s neural development and is a must during pregnancy and is also encouraged when you’re trying to conceive as well
• Vitamin D – it’s recommended that women in North America should be taking at least 2000 IU per day (that’s typically 2 small tablets) because we don’t get exposed to nearly as much sunlight as the rest of the population. Don’t worry, you can’t really overdose on Vitamin D.
• Omega Supplement – the DHAs in omegas help significantly with baby’s brain development, particularly in the third trimester and is also an essential supplement for a nursing Mom.
• Prenatal Vitamin – prenatal vitamins are different from your everyday multivitamin because they contain a blend of vitamins specific to helping Mom & baby like calcium, folic acid, iron, and most vitamins of the alphabet.
I try my best to consume as many vitamins as possible through my daily diet, but truly believe that supplements are necessary for the healthy development of babies. If we were to try and eat all the recommended doses of vitamins per day, we would have to eat a pound of broccoli, a slab of fish, 3 servings of squash, nuts, seeds, and much much more.
Some optional supplements to consider are:
• A Probiotic – yeast infections are super common among pregnant ladies and a high quality probiotic (NOT yogurt or sugary probiotic drinks) can help balance out your pH levels
• Placenta Pills – this obviously comes after you deliver the baby, but it’s definitely a supplement that you can start to consider. Read more about placenta pills here.
The long and the short of the list
Women have been getting pregnant and having healthy babies for centuries and it really is the most natural phenomenon in the world. In all honesty, you don’t “need” anything. However, you can make pregnancy, labour and delivery a little easier on yourself by incorporating a few items like the ones I’ve listed above.
You might also be interested in checking out the article on how to have a shorter and easier labour. Click HERE to read!
What are your pregnancy must-haves?