Pregnancy Essentials

Nobody tells you that you need all new things for pregnancy. Your clothes don't fit, neither do most of your shoes. You become acutely aware that all of your beauty products are full of fragrance and parabens that are likely killing you. You need new hobbies since drinking is off the table. And let's not even get in to how many pillows you'll require to coax yourself into a comfortable sleeping position.

Bottom line, pregnancy is sort of hard. Definitely at the beginning, and then again toward the end. There's a magical time between week 20 - 26 that makes it seem like you could do this 100 more times. But in my 32nd week I'm feeling like that time has passed and I've been thinking more about the things that have made the discomforts a little more bearable along the way.

Without further ado, my recommendations to make pregnancy a little more enjoyable.

Zella Leggings - Do not, I repeat, do not wear cheap Target leggings while pregnant (or ever!) Throw them out! They are see-through and no one wants to see that. It's time to invest in a pair (or two) of big girl (no pun intended) leggings. Trust me it's worth it.

Ponchos - My mom bought me a couple of ponchos for the winter/spring. They were awesome when my normal clothes started to get snug and I just wanted to hide the "in-between" phase of pregnancy. Plus some days you just don't feel like having everyone stare at you. Poncho to the rescue! Anthro, Franchesca's, and Nordstrom all had really cute options. Wear them with your Zella leggings and booties and you're in business!

Target tee shirt jersey dresses - As it's gotten warmer (even hot) over the past few weeks I've been rotating my 4 or 5 Target tee shirt jersey dresses to work. They are long and stretchy enough to go over the bump and still hit right around the knee. Paired with a cardigan and nice necklace, they're definitely work/meeting appropriate.

Converse Chuck Taylor Shoreline Sneakers - Comfort is king and if you plan on doing any walking while pregnant (and you should), you're going to need some support. I love pairing my Shoreline Chucks with my jersey dresses on the weekends. It looks pulled together, but more importantly it's easy!

Mother's Special Blend All Natural Skin Toning Oil - They say that stretch marks are hereditary and that there's not much you can do to avoid them - but that's not going to stop a girl from trying, right!?! But now that my choices effect someone else I look discerningly at all my products and won't go to extremes to get results. I decided on using Mother's Special Blend which contains no chemicals, perfumes, emulsifiers, dyes, or preservatives. No, it doesn't smell particularly great, but it nourishes my skin and so far it has prevented stretch marks the natural way. Or maybe it's just my genes?! We may never know! ;)

Leachco Snoogle Body Pillow - Invest in a lot of king sized pillows. The Snoogle helped me get used to sleeping on my side when sleeping on my back was no longer an option. Currently, in addition to my Snoogle I have about 7 other pillows propping me up. It's a fortress and it sure makes making the bed a task.

Good books and Netflix - Sometimes pregnancy is boring. It's a lot of waiting around. Nine months is a long time! But this is also one of the only times in life that you don't have to feel guilty about putting your feet up and and resting. So enjoy it! To bide my time, I've been watching Netflix (we're almost done with Breaking Bad and I watched the first season of The Affair on Showtime) and reading books (I've read The Girl on the Train, The Good Girl, The Husband's Secret, A Map of the World, and a whole bunch of pregnancy-related books).

Kiehl's facial cream and eye treatment - I used to use an arsenal of products on my face. Cleansers, toners, exfoliators, serums, masks, peels, treatments, balms, mists...the list goes on and on! I am a product lover - there is no doubt about that, but while pregnant I took a more simplistic approach. My routine consists of a simple cleanser, facial moisturizer, and an eye cream before bed. Good night.

Yes to Grapefruit Bodywash - Guess what? Bath and Body Works products are not so natural. They are actually chock full of things I can't pronounce, so I threw them all away in favor of Yes to Grapefruit body wash which is 95% Natural, and petroleum, SLS, and paraben free.

Trader Joe's Unscented Moisturizing Cream - My philosophy is that fragrance free is half the battle when trying to rid products of most of the bad stuff. This Trader Joe's cream is $5 and comes in a HUGE 16 oz bottle that should definitely last 9 months!

Trader Joe's Coconut Body Butter  - Oh I love this stuff! It may be the only product I have these days that smells good! It's made with pure coconut oil and other natural, skin-soothing ingredients like aloe vera, shea butter, and vitamin E.

Microwave safe bowl with lid - In addition to eliminating lunch meat, alcohol, sushi and a TON of other things, I also decided to give up Lean Cuisines. I think I always knew that in addition to the heaps of sodium they contain, heating them up in plastic containers in the microwave was probably pretty dumb. Instead, I found a few darling little ceramic bowls with plastic lids (just for transporting, not for heating) to bring to work with me when I need to reheat my lunch that I now have to plan in advance. Ugh...being responsible is so hard!