Written by Alonna Atterbury
I know I was guilty of being one of them, but is everyone pregnant during this pandemic? Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like all the missed weddings turned into “screw it, let’s have a baby.” No judgment, I’m here for it!
So if you’re newly pregnant (congratulations, you’re in for a ride!) or know someone who is expecting – here’s the shit they really need and what you should get them.
And if you are the expecting or new mom (otherwise, please skip ahead!) – the absolute best advice I received from a stranger when I mentioned I was nervous was, “Don’t be. Moms are the BEST community – you are not alone!” This advice still rings true and has been proven to me time and time again throughout my journey. If you don’t know a mom or want to grow your network – hi, I’m a mom. Feel free to reach out and connect or share what you want my next post to cover!
When you’re pregnant, you can get caught up talking about your side effects (does anyone reading this feel tired or have swollen feet?) or you spend your time gushing over all the cute baby things. Instead of focusing solely on the baby or how uncomfortable growing the cutie could be, I spent time checking in with myself and finding things that I loved and needed to keep me stress free and sane:
All I can say is WOW. I didn’t know I needed this until I had it. Being pregnant you have a lot of nights spent tossing and turning – this didn’t help me fall asleep, but I was 100% more comfortable trying to. I would also get up before my partner and regularly found him curled up on my side cuddling up on it. If you buy this, it’s really a win-win for both of you.
Boxes are SO fun. I personally received The Bump Box, and while I didn’t use every single thing in it, I absolutely loved getting mail and being reminded each month that someone was thinking of me. And of the products I did use, I loved them and probably wouldn’t have thought to get myself. Their coconut rum scrub is to die for.
Anything for Morning Sickness
That first trimester is no joke. I lived in my anti-nausea wristbands and wished I bought this pack of goodies. Even consider an extra water bottle and monthly Goldbelly subscription so they can get a dozen bagels because that’s all they may be able to stomach.
My sweet friend took my pictures, so it doesn’t have to be over the top, but it’s definitely a moment in time you or your friend will want to look back on – even if they may not feel so beautiful the further along they get.
Oh no – it’s not to bounce back! My doctor recommended using a belly wrap immediately after birth for the first few months, and I couldn’t get used to trying to breathe and breastfeed. I’m not sure why he initially recommended it, but I was SO thankful to have it a few months later when I realized how supportive it was for my core. After spending so much time leaning over to breastfeed or pick up my newborn, my core was even weaker and I was carrying a ton of tension in my shoulders and neck. The belly wrap kept me centered during the simplest/smallest things that made me feel weak – it was a game changer months after birth.
I was lucky and worked out throughout my entire pregnancy, and during the end I was going on 4-5 mile hikes a few times a week to stay active. I know this isn’t the norm, but I bought myself new shoes for after I gave birth so I would be excited about easing back into working out. Maybe I’m the only one motivated by new gear, but it made my postpartum depression walks feel like I was walking on cloud 9. (More to come on postpartum depression another time… heh)
I am NOT the type of person who has a face routine or knows the best hair treatments, etc. But one thing I know about all expecting moms, they’re conscious of stretch marks and how pregnancy will physically change their bodies. I don’t mean that in a “my body will be destroyed” way, but in a “damn, my body’s going to look different” kind of way. It’s just a reality. I wasn’t worried about getting stretch marks, but I did want to hydrate my skin to prevent itchiness and keep it elastic best I could. I ended up using one of these two oils every time I came out of the shower and loved both: Hatch Belly Oil and Earth Mama Belly Oil.
I don’t think this happens to most people, but I had the worst scabbed nose my entire pregnancy and the only thing that helped was my humidifier. While my nose was abnormal, having a humidifier is a g-a-m-e changer once you realize how dehydrated you are all the time. I once had it up so high, the fire alarm went off because it registered the condensation in the air as smoke (whoops!).
Whether this comes in the form of one rare glass of red wine and listening to all her fears (mine was, How will I shave during month 8 or 9??) or a shipment of ice cream and a long, overdue FaceTime, the number one thing you (or your friend) really needs is a non-judgmental ear to listen. There are a million things running through the new mama’s mind, and the best thing you can do is be there so she can share them without feeling like she’s being irrational or overthinking it all.
I’m sure once this is posted, I’ll think of a ton of other helpful things that I loved throughout my pregnancy and into postpartum, but if you have your own favorite must-haves, share them with us!