As an expecting mom, you will undergo numerous physical changes over the course of approximately 40 weeks. During pregnancy, your body will experience both visible and unseen transformations to accomplish the extraordinary task of creating new life.
Different women will have different experiences during pregnancy. Yet, all share a common need for certain nutrients and resources to support your baby’s growth, along with your own health and wellness. Ten of the most important items for an expecting mother to have on hand include:
1. A Body Pillow
Sleep is extremely important throughout pregnancy. However, your body is experiencing rapid changes that make lying down increasingly uncomfortable and often require you to change your sleeping position. In fact, the American Pregnancy Association recommends that you sleep on your left side, as it will increase the amount of blood and nutrients that reach the placenta and your baby. A body pillow can help by supporting your body and expanding belly in the right places to help you rest more comfortably and get better sleep. Be sure to consult your healthcare practitioner to find a solution that best suits your needs.
2. A Complete Prenatal Vitamin
When expecting, you will need reliable nutrients both for your sake and for your baby’s healthy development. Similar to your normal diet, your diet during pregnancy should include proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). It’s also recommended to take a prenatal multivitamin to ensure you are getting the proper amounts of iron, folate/methylfolate, vitamin D3, and iodine. New Chapter’s Perfect Prenatal Multivitamin includes these nutrients needed during pregnancy, along with ginger, an herb that can help soothe pregnancy-related nausea and morning sickness. Plus, it’s fermented - enhancing the absorption of nutrients so your body can recognize them just like food. Gentle enough to take anytime, even on an empty stomach!
3. Healthy Snacks
Expecting mothers get hungry—a lot. After all, as the adage goes, you’re eating for two! Therefore, it’s a great idea to keep nutritious snacks on hand. Healthy snacks for pregnant women include apples, peanut butter and multigrain crackers; tortilla chips with guacamole; yogurt with nuts and fruit; trail mix; smoothies; and hummus with veggies and pita chips.
4. Moisturizing Lotion or Oil
Stretch marks and other changes to skin texture are common for many expecting mothers. You can address those issues—and contribute to your skin health in general—with oils and high-quality lotions. Look for pregnancy-specific options that include cocoa butter, vitamin B5, Shea butter, and/or moringa. There are some ingredients that you should avoid during pregnancy, however, and these include beta hydroxy acids, diethanolamine (DEA), chemical sunscreens, parabens and retinol.
5. Stretchy Clothing
You’ve got enough going on during pregnancy without having to take on uncomfortable, tight-fitting clothes. Fortunately, there are plenty of options for maternity wear - whether you’re looking for stylish or cozy or both. Most name-brand stores carry fashionable, yet comfortable maternity clothes. If you’re trying to be thrifty, you can find items at consignment and thrift stores. And you won’t have to figure out which size to buy - maternity sizes work the same as regular clothing sizes.
6. Water Bottle
Although everyone should focus on consuming enough water, fluids are especially important for expecting moms to prevent dehydration and maternal overheating, according to the American Pregnancy Association. Additionally, water assists in forming the placenta, which is how your baby receives nutrients during pregnancy. Purchase a large, reusable water bottle that you can carry with you while you’re on the go and at home, so you are drinking water continuously throughout the day.
7. Belly Support Bands
Maternity belly bands help support the lower back and growing belly during pregnancy, with the goal of reducing back and joint pain. They also provide gentle compression to support the lower abdomen when you are engaged in physical activities, such as jogging, yoga, dancing, or playing other low-impact sports.
8. Flat, Comfortable Shoes
As your body changes during pregnancy, it affects your center of gravity and overall balance, especially during the third trimester. As both a safety precaution and aid to overall comfort, expecting mothers should have plenty of flat, supportive shoes on hand.
9. Maternity Bras
Maternity bras are both useful near the end of your pregnancy and after the baby is born. They are designed to provide extra comfort and support and allow you to easily and conveniently breastfeed. Choose from a variety of maternity bras, including everyday nursing bras, sleep nursing bras, and extra-supportive nursing bras.
10. Books about Birth & Parenting
While your little one is growing and evolving within, you’ll likely be imagining your life together. From delivery to their first birthday, infants go through remarkable changes. And although unexpected things will certainly occur throughout that first year of life, it’s best to be as prepared as possible. Reading books with credible sources, such as doctors and psychologists, can help you learn important steps to take while pregnant and during childbirth, and also get useful parenting advice on feeding, sleeping, and other aspects of your infant’s development.
You Deserve Great Self-Care
While you’re doing the world’s most important job, remember to take care of yourself and trust your instincts when it comes to your pregnancy journey. Make sure you have the essentials to best support your and your baby’s health and well-being, including the Perfect Prenatal Multivitamin from New Chapter. Easily digestible, 100% vegetarian, and crafted with certified organic vegetables and herbs, this multivitamin provides critical nutrients for expecting moms.