While there are many tips on stuff to get for mom during and after the pregnancy, such as a nursing pillow or nursing bras and shirts, I wanted to share my list of things that are not on the traditional must-have lists, but that I found particularly useful and/or fun (because being pregnant and being a new mom is meant to be fun and exciting).
During the pregnancy
Yoga cushions are a great support in the later stages of pregnancy, as they are wonderful for taking pressure off your pelvic muscles as these grow ever more sensitive and soft as the pregnancy progresses. Plus, you can use it for meditating or mindfulness exercises, both of which I found to be extremely helpful to mentally prepare for the birth.
Get yourself a good pregnancy body oil. I magically got through the pregnancy tiger stripe-free and only had a few of them post-partum. I put this down to using bio-oil –since the start of the second trimester and applying it twice a day to keep the skin smooth. This was of vital importance in my case, as my belly looked like I was carrying twins. And this product is honestly truly amazing. I also continued with this habit post-partum to help my skin cope with the deflation process and so far it is working wonders.
No, this does not make you look eye-wateringly gorgeous, but it will be your new best friend in the later stages of pregnancy when the belly gets really huge. I am talking about a pregnancy belt. It says “I got your back, girl” and it does really mean it. Although it can’t save you from getting back pain, it certainly reduces it and allows you to handle walking longer distances and be more mobile. Because no matter how many workout sessions you dedicate to strengthening your lower back, it will never be quite enough as soon as your pregnancy reaches the home stretch. There are different types of belts and I tried several styles. The only one that gives you the feeling of actual support and isn’t merely a tight ring around your ever rounder waist is this system.
I rarely see this one on any of the hospital bag checklists, but I do highly recommend it: get yourself wet toilet wipes, not only for when you are home again, but bring them to the hospital with you, as they won’t provide them there. Everyone tells you how excruciating and frankly a bit traumatizing the first bathroom visit after birth will be – and that’s true – however, wet toilet wipes can help you with this a little bit, as normal toilet paper will feel painful.
One of my dearest possessions with regard to all the baby stuff is my coffee mug holder (click here) for the stroller. Make sure it fits the width of the handlebar of your stroller. Mine was a present from my wonderful partner, as he knows how much I love going out while sipping on my coffee (always with a straw!). Since the caffeine would go straight through to my baby, it is mostly decaf, but I still enjoy it while on our daily 1-2 hour walks. Speaking of walks, they are a great way to support you in getting back into an exercise mindset before your doctor gives you the green light for it. Simply try to maintain a brisk walking speed and it is almost a mini-workout. P.S. the first walks will anyhow feel very much like a workout for your sour body.
Another wonderful item for the stroller is the mommy hook (e.g. this one) with which you can hang a shopping bag or a gym water bottle there or for your portable diaper changing station.