30 Pregnancy Essentials | Holistic, Healthy Pregnancy
Over four months later… here we are! This video, which is more like a movie (clocking in at over 40 minutes!) shares all of the things that I found essential to my pregnancy.
This includes my thoughts and experiences with all of the basics, including supplements, stretch mark creams, body pillows, pregnancy books, morning sickness remedies, maternity clothes, and so much more.
If you are hoping to have a natural, unmedicated birth or simply enjoy living as holistically as possible, then this is the right “pregnancy essentials” list for you.
*I published this months after the video was shot (#newbornlife!) so I’ve updated the info below where applicable.
The Baby & Me 2 prenatals were a favorite for me as they contained many of the most important nutrients (methylated folate, choline, iron) but are also made from natural food sources, which was important to me.
Nordic Naturals is a highly reputable company for vitamins sourced in many of the pregnancy books I read. DHA = omega 3s for pregnancy/baby brain development.
I started taking these pregnancy-safe probiotics around the same time I became pregnant, and I never dealt with any of the issues around constipation that many pregnant women experience.
If this is within your budget I highly recommend hiring a doula. I realized quickly early on that my OB team was not going to provide me with the level of care I was seeking, especially as it was my first time being pregnant. It was amazing having someone on call that could answer questions and provide personalized care on demand. And the birth… that was a whole other story! I truly don’t know what I would’ve done without our incredible doula. I could write a lot more about my experience working with a birth doula (as well as postpartum!) so let me know if that’s something you’d like to see.
Ancient Map for Modern Birth by Pam England
This was so key in feeling like I was getting nutrients from fresh vegetables during the first trimester! (And the second, for me.) I love this juicer because it’s super easy to clean, which is something that previously scared me away from juicing at home.
I constantly kept a pouch of almonds, cashews, and dried fruit (I love these apricots) in my purse, which helped a ton with nausea, especially in the car. Love these Stasher bags for this! *You may also want to do this with dates closer to your due date, as eating dates may shorten labor and soften the cervix (studies show women who ate 6 dates a day for 4 weeks had a shorter first stage of labor and softer cervixes before delivery). Eating dates in late pregnancy has also been shown to lessen the need for oxytocin, the medication used to start or speed up labor.
This helped me a ton especially in the early days when I was the most nauseous.
This is a great book if the style of eating described in my video is new to you.
What was unique about this class was that it focused more on the relationship between the parents, which I felt was so overlooked and important. The class itself was super outdated but the ideas behind it were timeless.
A great app for timing your contractions offering gentle guided meditations and visualizations that you can start using throughout your pregnancy.
You can use any notebook you like! But I love the ones from Papier as you can get them printed with baby’s name, or “Baby” with your last name.
I loved using a Nespresso so that I could monitor how much caffeine I was having (each pod has somewhere around 65-85mg). I like this model because it’s super compact, and the milk frother works brilliantly.
Well, maybe not a cure, but something to make them more manageable! I mixed peppermint essential oil into a small jar of coconut oil (just warm up the coconut oil first so that it liquifies) and would rub this into my temples and on my neck to help combat the vicious headaches of the second trimester.
Using a food diary really helped me to see what foods made me feel better or worse. I found that eating more protein had the greatest impact in mitigating nausea. My doula also shared that eating beans of all kinds help with this.
THE GEMINI Pomegranate & Pumpkin Seed 2-Step Stretch Mark System by Pai Skincare
This cream and oil duo is on the pricier side but it lasted me almost my entire pregnancy. Happy to report I didn’t end up with stretch marks, though this may be more due to genetics.
I couldn’t breathe throughout my entire pregnancy. Having a humidifier in the bedroom during winter months was key, and I used saline spray every night and day (this one is safe for pregnancy). Also tissue boxes in every room of the house! Covered by these, of course.
This really helped with naps, which were much-needed.
My philosophy was to keep the purchase of actual maternity clothes to a minimum. I mostly bought things that would still work after pregnancy, with the exception of maternity jeans (which honestly aren’t all that necessary). My favorite sources for non-maternity clothes that work during pregnancy are: Free People, Zara, and Z Supply. For maternity leggings, I loved Storq and Kindred Bravely. Bumpsuit for one-pieces, and also this romper from FP that I bought in multiple colors and wore often.
None of my bras fit me during pregnancy, so I opted to go ahead and buy nursing bras that I could continue to wear postpartum. (Update: The Everything Bra by Bodily is my favorite nursing bra for sleeping and I love this one by Negative Underwear for daytime.) I also avoided wearing thongs per my doctor’s advice, so I had to buy new underwear (I love the Cuup bikini, which I can still wear postpartum and thereafter, so soft! and Kindred Bravely for a maternity option).
My feet grew an entire size during pregnancy, so you may want/need to buy bigger or more comfy shoes. I lived in these Jenni Kayne slides. Some women’s feet do not go back to their original size, though (thank G) mine did.
Flossing is important during pregnancy to prevent bleeding gums and gingivitis. My gums were in horrible shape until I got a Waterpik and was able to commit to using it daily.
I personally hated the U-shaped pregnancy pillow I had; it was too big (even in a king-sized bed) and too stiff on my neck. I actually just used one of the extra king-sized pillows we already used on our bed between my legs, but a body pillow would also work.
I loved making and drinking this 24-hour infusion herbal tea throughout my pregnancy but especially during the third trimester.
My doula advised me to do bodywork as often as my budget would allow; she cited this as one of the most important things we can do to have a healthy birth.
Massage – increases blood flow, releases tension and stress
Chiropractor – need to be in alignment for baby to be in the right position
Acupuncture – helps with overall pain, stress, and inducing labor
This is a technique originated by Mexican midwives using a long cloth (like a scarf) and a gentle sifting technique to relax muscles and ligaments. It’s great for labor positioning and ease, plus it just feels good! Here is a video to show you how it works.
In the second half of my pregnancy I discovered my iron was low, which is common. I did some research and opted for this supplement as it was the most natural option (made from vegetables/herbs).
Sitting on an exercise ball is a great way to ensure perfect posture during pregnancy. If you’re sitting at a desk all day, it’s recommended to replace your chair with a ball for as much of the day as you can.
My feet and ankles became very swollen very quickly at one point during my third trimester. I bought these on Amazon and liked the nude color as well as the fact that they were toeless. Just be sure to measure before you buy; I was in a much larger size than I would have thought!
There are so many opinions, studies, and people who will tell you what’s best for you and your baby. Now is the time to lean into trusting yourself; as the Mother, you truly know best. 💗