As soon as you become pregnant, you become a companies dream customer. Everyone is trying to sell you something under the pretence that it will make your pregnancy easier or the baby healthier. The NHS even promote this idea through providing Bounty or Emma’s Diary packs full of samples and coupons. Not that I don’t love a freebie, cause I really do (my dream is to be savvy enough to feature on an episode of Extreme Couponing) but the truth is you don’t really need most of it. I thought I would create a post about the products that helped me through my pregnancy and if anyone has any others they found really helpful, please comment with them!
- Vitamins – This one is kind of a must. I had been using Pregnacare Conception prior to getting pregnant so I finished these off before moving on to their original pregnancy ones. Once these finished though I switched to Tesco’s own pregnancy vitamins. They are almost half the price of others and from what I could see from the list of ingredients, not much difference. My health board provide Healthy Start vitamins to every pregnant woman, I know some boards provide these on a means tested basis, however they only contain the essential Folic Acid, vitamin C and D so I thought it was worth buying my own to get the extra vitamins, especially Iron!
- Doppler – I know this is a really controversial one but I found it really reassuring throughout my pregnancy. After my miscarriage I wanted that reassurance for the long duration between appointments. I think if you are sensible about it then they are safe to use. Although I tried before 16 weeks and heard a heartbeat I never took it is a definite since there are so many different sounds in there. You have your own heartbeat along with the sounds from the placenta and your digestive system. The more midwife appointments I went to the better I got at finding Dylan’s heartbeat but when I started feeling movements I hardly used the doppler. It is important that people using a doppler never rely on this if feeling reduced movements. I admit I did use it when I thought Dylan had been moving less but that was only because he always started kicking up a storm when I put the doppler on. It is also important not to overuse it also as some studies have shown overuse is not good for the baby. I started off using it once a week and then when I started feeling consistent movements, I would only use it very rarely.
- Books – I know the internet is the holy grail of information but it is also a really scary place. Type some symptoms in to google and you are 3 clicks away from buying a funeral plan! So to avoid the dark corners of the web I mainly referred to books when querying any symptoms. The main book I referred to was ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting 5th Edition‘ it has a wealth of information and I found it easy to dip in and out of when needed. The “Ready, Steady, Baby” book provided by the NHS is also really useful.
- Water – We should all be drinking around 2 litres of water a day but this is obviously more important when baking a little one. I found using a bottle like the ones from Hydratem8 really helped me with my water intake. Not only are the bottles so cute, they also have the times of the day marked on them to keep you motivated. A donation is made to the Great Ormond Street Hospital for each bottle sold as well so good for both you and others.
- Stretch Mark Oil – I think Bio-Oil pretty much have the market cornered on this one and that was what I first bought but upon reading the ingredients I noticed that lavender is in there. Now with being a paranoid mess after the miscarriage I didn’t want to risk using anything known to stimulate the uterus. I don’t for a second think that Bio-Oil could actually cause a miscarriage. The levels of lavender are probably so low it wouldn’t be a concern and most midwives recommend Bio-Oil so I am sure it is perfectly safe but in my neurosis I wasn’t for taking the chance. Instead I turned to Boots own stretch mark oil and I don’t have any complaints. It is a lot cheaper and it worked for me.
- Mini Cheddars – When I experienced nausea in the first trimester, these were a lifesaver. I could munch a packet and then feel fine for an hour or so.
- Breast Pads – I started leaking at 18 weeks so breast pads were a must for me! I found Tesco’s to be the most comfortable and absorbent over Asda, Mothercare, Tommee Tippee and Medela.
- Pregnancy Ball – A.KA. exercise ball. This one was a necessity for me in my third trimester. I probably couldn’t have worked as long as I did if not for my ball. I had one at my desk and would bounce and roll all day. It really took the pressure off and is also known to help get the baby in the right position for birth so win-win!
- Aqua Natal – I looked forward to this class every week. I loved feeling weightless which was a welcome change from the usual elephant feeling. I really believe this class helped me have a good birthing experience as it covered gentle exercise and breathing techniques.
- Pregnancy Yoga – I give a lot of credit to this class for helping me through giving birth. The breathing pattern really does work. I felt so empowered by this class also, the instructor was amazing! At the end of each class we would sit around and she would give us homemade cake while discussing things that would help with giving birth. I left each class feeling like an absolute goddess and I don’t think I have ever been so in tune with my body before. As soon as any of my friends tell me they are pregnant I recommend pregnancy yoga. I just wish I had started it earlier. Once Dylan is a bit more independent I hope to start yoga classes again, I am a complete convert!
So there you have it, a list of things that helped me through my pregnancy. I was lucky enough to not really have any cravings or too many complications as I’m sure the list would be much longer if I did. If there is anything you found really helpful during your pregnancy please comment below as I have no doubts I’ve missed out some great things to help others.
Important: None of the products listed paid to be mentioned or provided free products. I purchased all of the above products of my own accord and the reviews are my honest opinions.