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Last week I posted my list of essential baby gear (find it here) and this week I’m going to do an essential list of must have mommy goodies! Because moms need stuff too!
This list covers everything from breastfeeding musts to maternity clothes and so much more! Check it out and shop away. I linked everything I could to make it super easy for you to get all the gear you need before, during, and after your pregnancy.
Underwear: Yup I went there, ladies! We’re going to talk about underwear. As far as maternity clothes in general, I have no necessities. You have to choose what fits the best and makes you feel comfortable. But there are so many great options out there that shouldn’t be an problem.
I’m nearly 20 weeks into my third pregnancy and I’m telling you right now if you buy only one piece of maternity clothing let it be underwear! I can’t quite put my finger on what makes it so great, but it is! It sits under your growing belly and expands with your expanding hips. It was really a game changer for me.
I’ve tried a few brands but my favorites are the maternity underwear from Kindred Bravely that I just found this pregnancy. I tried them on a whim and they knocked the competition out of the water! If you’ve been feeling a little uncomfortable as your tummy (and hips) grow, try some maternity underwear! And don’t be shy about it either- a mama’s gotta do what a mama’s gotta do!!
p.s.- If you’re one of those women who refuses to wear maternity clothes, more power to ya, but remember you don’t get extra mom points for stuffing that growing belly into a regular-person dress! I guess I’m more of a stretchy pants, sweatshirt dress kind of lady, but if there was ever a time to get away with stretchy pants- it’s pregnancy! Own it!
Pregnancy Pillow: My only other 100% pregnancy necessity is a body pillow! I talked about this body pillow in my morning sickness tips post but it’s worth another mention. I received this as a gift during my second pregnancy and it was a game changer. Seriously. I refused to buy one with my first because I had plenty of pillows at home, why did I need an pillow just for pregnant ladies??
But with my second pregnancy I was so sick and uncomfortable something just drew me to this body pillow. And it made a huge difference for me! I named him Norman, and when I can’t get comfy in bed Norman is my best friend. Plus, I use it as a back support/nursing pillow once the baby comes. This bad boy pays for itself your first night of painless sleep.
I’m not going to lie to you, my postpartum with Bubbaloo (my first) was rough. I won’t go into all the details, it’s a loooooong story, but let’s just say it had many bumps in the road. When Nugget (my second) came along I was definitely looking for ways to help myself have a more restful and peaceful time post-baby.
I was honestly at a loss until I found a book called The First Forty Days. The book talks about a lying in period, during which women just rest and focus on the baby. The book goes into great detail about what a traditional lying in period looks like in many cultures. It also discusses how to adapt those traditions into our modern society.
This book really changed the way I approach my postpartum time. My husband and I worked as a team to make my healing and rest a top priority for the first 6 weeks after Nugget was born. And it showed. My body bounced back much faster and nearly a year after that delivery I feel better and stronger than ever! I highly, highly recommend this book, it will greatly impact your postpartum experience.
Underwear: Yup, we’re talking about underwear. Again. Twice in one post, maybe I should talk about a nursing bra next and we can go for the hat trick! You’re going to want ginormous panties after you get that baby out. Just trust me on this. I won’t go into the gory details (here anyway, maybe that post is coming) but believe me, the bigger the better.
And you’re belly will still be pretty big for a while so size up. I would start a few pairs of underwear that are basic like and inexpensive and size up about two sizes. No joke. The bigger the better.
And I wouldn’t spend too much money because…..well you’ll find out why. Just trust me when I say you want them to be, ummmm how should I put this…. expendable.
And once you’ve healed and your initial bleeding has settled you can upgrade to postpartum underwear that are much more feminine and comfortable. I cannot say enough good things about the postpartum underwear from Kindred Bravely. They’re soft and comfortable and Kindred Bravely really understands the body of a postpartum woman. These are an investment but worth every penny, treat your body to something wonderful after birth- you deserve it!
For some of you your maternity underwear might do just fine, but if you happen to have a c-section (like I did) you’ll want higher cut underwear that won’t rub on your scar. I talk more about that here.
*Here’s a tip from a pro: click on that little link up there and order those big undies now!! Better to be prepared than to have to send your husband to Wal-Mart with the task of “finding the largest panties he can find” Trust me on that one!!*
A Freezer Full of Food: This one is pretty self-explanatory, but a stash of already made home cooked meals made a huge difference for us! I started cooking when I was about 7 months along and all I did was divide recipes in half- we ate half for dinner that night and froze the other half for when baby came along. We did that two or three times a week and before we knew it our freezer was full!
I stuck with recipes that I knew would be easy to freeze and reheat like lasagna, casseroles, even some soups and chilis freeze really well. This was essential to my postpartum healing. Not having to worry about dinner every night gave me more time to rest. And it gave my husband more time to help with baby and our older kiddo, instead of cooking all day.
Pump: A good pump is my number one breastfeeding tip! I named mine Harold, and Harold and I love to watch Hallmark movies together. He makes a humming sound while we watch but that’s ok. He is my friend. It kind of sounds backwards because you think the baby will do all of that for you, but that’s not always the case. When you first start producing milk it is not uncommon to produce waaaaay too much. And this leads to
pain….well….discomfort. To say the least. Some people will tell you not to pump in that situation, but I say otherwise. And those people can come talk to me when their chest feels like it might explode with milk!
A pump will also be helpful if you think you might ever want to be away from the baby for, oh I don’t know, more than 2 hours! I used to pump so my husband could give a bottle while I napped. See, pumps are good thing. Pumps equal sleep. I have two, my main squeeze (Harold) is a Medela Freestyle Pump (hahaha main squeeze- see what I did there?!). It. is. the. best. Plain and simple. Medela knows what’s up.
The pump is tiny and quiet so I can pump with a sleeping baby right next to me. The battery lasts forever and I can clip it to my pants and vacuum or do dishes while I pump. (Although, admittedly I always use pumping as an excuse to sit- because why not?!). And I invested in one of these bad boys to make pumping hand free. Genius!
My back-up pump (for when Harold is drying or charging) is this little gem right here. I didn’t name her because we aren’t that close, but I liked having a back-up when I needed it. This is easy to toss in my diaper bag for when I need a quick pump session on the go. I mostly use this after a feed when I need to get out a little extra milk from each side (or if my electric pump is charing or drying).
It’s probably not necessary to have two pumps, but I like having a back-up. Make sure you stock up on storage bags and bottles too! *be sure to clean all of your pump parts really well (and let them dry completely) after every pump*
Soft shells: These things saved me! Period. They are the only reason I was able to keep going. I am not talking about the shield you wear while feeding baby, soft shells are for in between feedings. Essentially what these do is create a little bubble around your nipple so it can dry (newborn cluster feedings can leave your nipples wet and raw all day).
AND it keeps your shirt from rubbing on your very sore nipple. Genius! Whoever invented this should be given a medal. Get them now. Do it. Just click on this link and order them now. You can thank me later.
A Support Team: Breastfeeding is no easy feat. It’s incredible and well-wroth the effort, but it’s not easy. You will need a support team. This would ideally include some friends who have been there and professionals. I was not successful in breastfeeding Bubbaloo so when Nugget came along I didn’t know a lot. I did research while I was pregnant but we all know that no amount of research can prepare you for the real thing!
So I texted and e-mailed friends a lot and I attended a few breastfeeding support groups. Finding support in the right people made a huge difference. All of that plus my husband cheering me on and always bringing me water (I was sooooooo thirsty) made a difference! I was able to breastfeed Nugget exclusively for 6 months and weaned him when I found out I was pregnant. It was quite the journey, and well worth it!
*make sure you do plenty of research about breastfeeding, there can be a steep learning curve and the more reading/research you do before you start the higher the chance that you will be successful with it*