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10 Pregnancy Essentials {Weeks 1 – 19} From a First Time Mom-To-Be!

October 3rd, 2016 | no comments

Hi Mamas-To-Be!

When we first got the news that we were expecting, after the shock and then joy set in, there was a bit of overwhelm about all of the pregnancy stuff I did not know about. Mainly what to expect and when, what the symptoms would feel like and what to stock up on to make things a bit easier and more comfortable along the way. Now that I’m in Week 19, I am starting to get the hang of a few things such as being able to listen to what my body wants and needs (mainly good clean nutrition and LOTS of sleep!) and which go-to products are making my symptoms more comfortable. Just in time for things to change again, I’m sure. Know what I mean? LOL!

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I thought I’d put together a list of some of my First Trimester and early Second Trimester essentials that I have found super helpful to have around. Let me be CLEAR, I am a first-time mama-to-be…so being that this is my first pregnancy, I am only able to speak from that perspective. I figured I’d share in case there are other new-mamas-to-be who might be interested in hearing about my experience. This is by NO means an exhaustive list but just a few items that have eased the symptoms or made this beautiful process a bit more special, so I thought I’d share! 

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Let’s share in this amazing experience together! I’d love to hear about your pregnancy journey and what product, resources, blogs and experiences you found the most meaningful/helpful along the way. Tweet me @DeeLynn or leave a comment on my Instagram @DeeLynn78 so that we can connect and talk babies and bellies all.day.long!

Here’s the list, I hope you find it helpful!

My List of 10 Pregnancy Essentials for Weeks 1 – 19 (from a first time mama-to-be!)

1. Prenatal Vitamins: The very first item my doctor recommended was to start taking a prenatal vitamin. We immediately took to the web to research the options and ultimately landed of Garden of Life Vitamin Code RAW Prenatal. This is a vegan, non-GMO, raw, dairy-free, gluten-free formula that has probiotics and natural digestive support in a  3x a day supplement. I buy my prenatal vitamin by the large bottle at Vitacost.com since I love the selection of healthy organic foods to add-on to my prenatal vitamin order and it’s the best price I’ve found (and you know how much I love a deal!). Something like a prenatal vitamin is so personal and for me this was an important decision, so do your research and find one that fits your values and lifestyle. This one works for me but there are a lot of great brands on the market!

vc2. Belly Oil + Body Lotion: Stretch marks are a common side effect that many pregnant women experience, so it was important to me to start a belly lotion/oil ritual early on.This item was on my radar early on and one of my first pregnancy purchases. Between purchases and gifts I have quite the collection of belly oils, butters and lotions to help ward off stretch marks and give my skin an elasticity boost. I recently found this article from Desiree Hartsock with pregnancy safe product suggestions for stretch marks and I wanted to share to show you that there are a variety of scents and price points to fit every lifestyle and budget that do the trick. I’ve had friends recommend olive oil or coconut oil that works just as well and I’ll probably add that in closer to my third trimester – I love me some coconut oil. Here are a few products I love:

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3. Belly Bands: These little wonders are inexpensive and effective for those first few weeks when you start to pop a bit but you’re not quite in maternity clothes (or want to save a few bucks – gosh maternity clothes are expensive!). These bands expand with your growing bump and allow you to stay in your regular pants, just unbottom the top button for more comfort/room and place the band over the top of your pans to secure. At 19 weeks, I’m still in my regular lower cut pants (though they’re getting TIGHT, especially towards the end of the day) but I enjoy wearing the bands to give me a little extra support. Here are a few great options:

4. Comfy Cotton Bra: As you new mamas-to-be know, breast tenderness is an early symptom that can last throughout pregnancy (and postpartum too) so early on one of my essentials became comfy cotton bras that I could wear at night and for lounging around. I love these Calvin Klein Modern Cotton Racerback Bralettes, they’re super soft, stretchy and light weight and they will support you without feeling too tight or constrained. Any non-wired cotton bralette will do. Comfort is key! Have you found any that you love?

5. Pregnancy Apps: At the moment I am loving Ovia, The Bump and What to Expect for weekly updates, answers to frequently asked questions and the size of the baby compared to fruits and veggies. Since this is our first go-round, sometimes I’m not sure what questions to be asking so it’s helpful to have apps that provide some popular questions and answers. We also recently started our registry on BabyList and I love that the app makes organizing everything so easy. Sneak peak of this week’s update from The Bump App – baby is the size of a mango this week – ahhh! :) 

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6. Ingredient-Conscious Skincare: One of the biggest changes in my daily life has been my skincare routine. For the past few years I’ve been “cleaning up” my beauty act…switching to natural toothpaste, natural deodorant, body soap and many face products. Now more than ever, I am extra careful about what I put in my body and on my skin since what you put on your skin gets absorbed into your bloodstream and thus, reaches your baby. I want to preface this category by saying… do what you can without driving yourself crazy. You have to find a regime that works for you without stressing you out. Do your best to avoid chemical-laden products and think about the areas of your body that are very porous and close to your bloodstream like under arms, mouth/gums and on your skin. I  am the first to admit that I can always do better in this category — yes, I still use regular nail polish and my favorite shampoo/conditioner though sulfate-free and paraban-free, but there is always room for improvement. Here are a few of my go-to products:

7. A Journal or Memory Book: Early on my bestie Lisa got us this adorable journal. This wasn’t on my radar due to good old morning sickness ;) but I LOVE that we have this to jot down memories for our baby to enjoy when they are a bit older. We have so much fun filling out the journal. This specific adorable keepsake allows us to write down one quick memory, thought or anecdote a day…something that we and the baby will enjoy for years to come. It’s been fun to document the “firsts” like sharing our news and hearing the heartbeat. I recommend a journal of some kinda so that you can remember these precious moments that fly by. 

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8. Milestone Cards for Bump Pictures: Another sweet gift I received early on was from my friend Katie who made these “weekly photo cards” for us to document the progression of *The Bump* and various milestones. Katie downloaded a template, customized it in Photoshop and then printed at Staples and we LOVE our custom milestone cards so much (thank you Katie!!)!  You can make or print cards of your own, I’ve seen people use a chalkboard, index cards or Photoshop like Katie. Again, early on my focus was getting through the day without being sick so this isn’t something I’d think to buy for myself but it has been really fun to capture the moments and changes. 

I found these cute ones on these Etsy shops:

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9. BPA-Free Water Bottle: Along with all of the wonderful changes your body is going through comes dehydration which can cause headaches and cramps. It became a must for me early on to have water with me at ALL times. Staying hydrated helps reduce headaches and overall I feel better when I get in enough water during the day. The flip side to that is having to run to the bathroom a lot so I try to reduce my water intake an hour or so before bed and then drink a big glass right when I wake-up. 

10. Essential Oils: During my first trimester I experienced a lot of morning sickness and all day nausea and had a lot of trouble sleeping because of it. Certain senses like smell were heightened and a lot of everyday scents bothered me. It was helpful to have essentials oils like peppermint for nausea (when I didn’t feel like sucking on a peppermint candy) and lavender for calming and relaxation at night. These are not going to be essentials for everyone but they did help me find small moments of relief. throughout the day, and I lean on them even now (as I did pre-pregnancy). I’ll add a few drops to a tissue and lay next to my pillow or add a few drops to a warm bath or directly on my temples for more intense relief. 

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That’s a wrap on some of my early-on essentials. I’ll keep you posted as my pregnancy progresses with resources, tips and products that I find helpful or enjoyable throughout the way. I hope you found this helpful and found a new ‘essential’ or two of your own. Let me know!! Tweet me @DeeLynn or comment in Instagram @DeeLynn78 with your favorite essentials for me to try. Let’s help each other out Mama! :)

Missed my initial Pregnancy update? Read all about my experience so far with a few Bump pics from Weeks 1 – 18: CLICK HERE

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DeAnna Lynn Englezos is a Brooklyn-based Certified Holistic Health and Lifestyle Coach. Her core mission is to share accessible information on health and happiness that actually works and healthy recipes that taste great. DeAnna is the proud owner of an adorable rescue pup named Harlow and posts pictures of her often.
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