Pregnancy Must Haves by Kenli Parker

Written by Kenli Parker | @kenliparker

As a first time mom, I spent lots of time browsing Pinterest trying to figure out what exactly I would need to make my pregnancy go as smoothly as possible. I was fortunate in the sense that I didn’t have any morning sickness, my discomfort was minimal (until the last few months, but I am positive that’s inevitable!) and I didn’t really have any food aversions. 

There are so many lists out there with TONS of items that they say you “should” have, but I have compiled a list of the things that I thought were totally necessary. It’s short and sweet and all of these things will help your nine months be a little more comfortable!

Nursing Bras // Even though I obviously wasn’t nursing my whole pregnancy, I decided to order these around month six and wore them almost daily. Your body keeps changing and growing (and growing) and I found that these carried me through to the end, even with those changes. Not to mention they are incredibly comfortable. 

Promptly Journal // This was one of my very first purchases after we found out we were expecting. I am someone who dreams of being the most organized mom that will document everything, but I know I’m just not. This journal documents pregnancy through age 18 and provides writing prompts to make sure you record all of the important stuff. It also has space at the end of each section for journaling so I was sure to take it to the hospital when Lucy was born to make sure I recorded her birth as we went along since I knew those first few days, er weeks, would be a fog after she was born! Pro tip: Make notes of things you want to put in their books in your phone notes app. I have dozens of letters to Lucy and milestones that I have saved in my phone so that when I finally get the chance to sit down and write in her book, I don’t have to wrack my brain trying to remember those details! 

Body Pillow // To be completely honest, this one took me a while to get used to and get comfortable with. I used to sleep with tons of pillows and blankets, but in recent years have retired to just one pillow, a husband, and sometimes a dog. This sucker takes up half of the bed and the aforementioned husband somehow always ends up with it under his legs. I was waking up sore every morning after using it and had to stop for a while, but once the bump started getting in my way, I put it back on the bed and it saved my sleep. They say you’re not supposed to sleep on your back or your right side after a certain point, but those were literally the only two ways I could get comfortable, so having this pillow to prop up my back and belly made me feel a little better about falling asleep that way. Also her constant moving from 2-4am were pretty good indicators that everything was a-okay in there!

Honest Belly Balm // I did do a bit of searching and read a lot of reviews on Amazon before buying any stretch mark creams. General consensus seems to be that if you’re someone who gets stretch marks, you’re going to get them no matter what you do. However, you can tame them and also help ease any itching that goes along with stretching skin. I got the belly balm and an oil (also listed here!) because a lot of reviews mentioned using the balm right after a shower to lock in the moisture vs. the oil that doesn’t mix well with water. It definitely doesn’t dry quickly and you’ve really got to rub it in, but it is instant itch relief - especially in those final months and weeks. I also used the balm when using our fetal doppler occasionally instead of a gel and it worked great for that. 

Wink Prenatal // I have a few friends who sell Wink products and I was THRILLED when they came out with a prenatal back in September. One of them offered to let me give it a try before the release and I was hooked. It’s a melt instead of a pill and it has a great, unique flavor profile. I’m not great at taking vitamins, so having something with a good taste helped me remember to take it each day because I actually looked forward to it. 

Water Bottle // STRAWS WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE! I don’t know what it is about having a straw to drink out of that makes you drink more water, but it totally does. I was finding myself so thirsty by about noon each day even though I had cups of water sitting on my desk at work. I just struggled to consume what I was supposed to. In comes this water bottle and I was drinking 5 or 6 bottles a day and feeling so much better! Also, adding flavored water to my routine helped keep things a little more interesting!

Maternity Underwear // I know - it seems ridiculous, but this is totally one of those things where I say “I’m never wearing normal people clothes again!” They fit much more comfortably around your growing bump and there are no seams to dig into your skin -- especially when you’re sitting at a desk all day!

Belly Oil // As I mentioned above, a lot of comments I read suggested using both a balm and an oil. I used the oil in the mornings when my skin was dry. I tried a couple different ones, but ended up liking this one the most! 

A few other things that totally deserve a mention: 

These Target maternity tank tops and tees. SO comfortable and can definitely be worn post-pregnancy. 

These leggings (which I had pre-pregnancy and wore for the entire nine months) and these leggings. I lived in leggings from October - December...and the next nine months after Lucy was born, too!

The Bump app. So fun to follow along with what's happening with babe and also has an extensive forum with answers to every question you could think of. I spent many 2am’s browsing those pages. 

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