My Top 10 List for Expecting Moms
By Amelia McLear
I’m in my final month of pregnancy, ( finally because I feel like I’ve been pregnant FOREVER), and I wanted to share my top 10 list of things that have kept me going throughout these nine long months.
Being a first-time mom, a lot of what I have learned during this pregnancy was trial and error; but I also gleaned a lot from moms who have been down this path before and who were generous enough to share their ideas, lists, and advice with me.
- Belly Butter. I have tried a ton of brands of this stuff, all in the name of avoiding the dreaded pregnancy stretch marks. My favorite brand has been the Burt’s Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter with Shea Butter & Vitamin E. The scent is a nice, almond-like smell and the consistency is smooth, not sticky. I have used it morning and night and so far, so good.
- Bella Band. The Ingrid & Isabel ‘Everyday’ Maternity Bella Band got me through about the first six months of my pregnancy without having to buy special maternity jeans or maternity pants. Truly a wardrobe saver and it smoothes out zippers, pockets, etc. I bought one in black but also would recommend purchasing one in white.
- Maternity Jeans. Once you graduate from the Bella Band, it’s time to find an awesome pair of maternity jeans. Spare no expense on these, ladies; you will be living in them. I went with the J. Crew Maternity Toothpick jean in classic rinse. They go with everything and stretch comfortably as your belly grows.
- Maternity Spanx. The Spanx Power Mama is a pretty awesome undergarment; I bought one in nude and one in black. It leaves a mesh area for your belly, but helps suck in all of the jiggly parts of your bum, thighs and back, and looks great under dresses for work or going out.
- Pregnancy body pillow. Every morning, I wake up and thank my good friend and recent first-time mom Joahn who loaned me her Bump Nest body pillow. Shaped like a candy cane, this thing helps reduce sleeping discomforts like restless leg syndrome and an achy back, and encourages you to sleep on your side, which is ideal for baby.
- Pregnancy Apps. If you are a first-time mom, I highly recommend you download an app on your phone that keeps track of both yours and the baby’s growth week-by-week. I use the free Web MD Pregnancy App, which has all kinds of articles and advice for mom, as well as a kick counter and contraction timer feature.
- Prenatal Yoga. I cannot describe how empowering it is to walk into a yoga studio filled only with pregnant ladies. It is crazy to think that we are all doing yoga with a bunch of little people inside of us and can get kind of trippy if you think about it from a spiritual perspective. I go to Herself Moms in midtown, and founder Julie Hurst is great about making sure we are doing modified positions that are both safe for mom and baby, but also positions that will help us in labor, including breathing techniques.
- Prenatal Massage. Prenatal massage is a must-do, especially in the eighth and ninth months. The therapist can target the lower back and hips that are likely feeling strain from carrying the baby. I go to Kristen Breaux at One Within Massage in Midtown – she is amazing! And, she has a custom-designed table with a giant cut-out for the belly, which for stomach sleepers like me who haven’t been able to lay face down in nine months, is heavenly.
- Anti-heartburn medication. I never had heartburn before I got pregnant and now it seems that no matter what I eat, I have to follow it with two Tum’s Extra Strength Sugar Free tablets. There are only certain kinds of heartburn medication you can take while pregnant so check with your doctor, but Tum’s was approved for me and thankfully, it works.
- Pregnancy book. There are a TON of books out there about being pregnant, but What to Expect When You’re Expecting is a bestseller for a reason. It tracks your progress month-by-month and has a detailed Q&A section at the end of each chapter. I just started reading “What to Expect in the First Year” and hope it’s just as useful!
These are the tricks that have kept me going these past nine months, please feel free to share anything I may have missed in the comments section!
EDITORS NOTE: As of publication of this article Amelia and her husband have welcomed their little boy into the world. Congratulations to the happy parents!