Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Top 10 Pregnancy Must-Haves for the Budget Conscious

I've seen several "must-have" posts around the web, so I thought I'd throw my 2 cents in and let you know about a few things I couldn't live without!

1. Ponytail Holders.  Multi-purpose!  Great for keeping my hair out of my way when exercising, cooking, etc.  Also great for looping through my skirt buttonhole and hooking on to the button, thus giving me a little more time in my regular clothes while looking for maternity clothes.  Ghetto?  Yes. Cheap? Yes. But, hey... you do what you gotta do.  I refer to these as waistband extenders in public so people don't think I'm wacko.  But now you know the truth. 

I got a pack of Goody brand elastics at the dollar store, but you may already have some on hand.

2. Belly Band.  Also know as a BeBand, or shirt extender.  You can get them in a million different colors, it seems, but I recommend getting one in white or black.  Great for holding up unbuttoned or unzipped bottoms, or covering up really awesome elastic waistbands.  You can wear it doubled over, under your belly when it's small.  Or, wear it full length when your belly starts to get huge (like mine did toward the end). As long as your hips don't change size much, you can pretty much stay in your pre-pregnancy clothes with this puppy.  Also great for transitioning back into your pre-pregnancy clothes after the baby's born.  

Note, this is not a pic of me... I only wish I was this thin when I was pregnant.  I got my band at Target on sale for around $12.

3. Body Pillow.  Absolute lifesaver. When I'm laying down, it provided great support for my belly and took some of the strain off my back.  When up sitting up, I folded the pillow in half to support my back.  I even brought it to the hospital with me when I was induced. It was way more comfy than the hospital pillows and it was nice to have a touch of home with me.  I bought mine pretty inexpensively at Wally. (Around $8)

4. Yoga Pants.  I could not live without these pants.  Serious.  They are SUPER comfy.  I wear them all the time around the house.  You can find them about anywhere; I got mine on clearance at Sears for about $5.

5. Low-Rise Panties.  Yes, I could have bought special maternity panties.  But why?  I went to Wally and bought 2 packs of Fruit of the Loom low rise bikini panties and they worked out perfectly. If you're close to the borderline on size, go up a size so you can wear them the whole 9 months. I don't remember how much they cost, but I know they weren't too pricey.

6. Bra Extender.  This purchase got me through the first trimester... then I had to go up a cup size.  It was a good purchase, though! I got mine at JoAnn Fabrics (on the notions wall) with a 50% off coupon, so it only cost me about $2.

7. Lotion Bar.  I got this cocoa butter lotion bar a couple years ago when I placed my huge order at Great Canadian Soap Company.  At the time, my thought was, "that might come in handy some day."  I was right.  If you don't feel like paying for international shipping, try making your own lotion bar (my step by step post here!).  I love it for my dry, itchy skin (especially hands, elbows and belly!).

8. Prenatal Workout DVDs.  Check out my review here.  In short, it is SO important to strengthen your core muscles and keep up your cardio during pregnancy.  These videos were such a help! I got them on Amazon.

9. Prenatal Vitamins.  SO ridiculously important.  I can't stress that enough.  If you're even thinking about getting pregnant in the next year, start taking these now and build up your nutrient stores.  I found these especially helpful during the first trimester when I couldn't eat much.  Load off my mind to know that the baby was still getting vital nutrients.  What I love about this brand is that all the vitamins/minerals come from whole foods sources and are easy for your body to break down and utilize.  When you're pregnant, the last thing you want is your body working overtime to get nutrition out of what you're consuming.  I pair these with some cod liver oil capsules for a DHA boost.

These can be a little on the pricey side, although not as expensive as some other brands I've seen, so I'd suggest getting these through Amazon with Subscribe and Save - you can get up to a 15% discount on each bottle, depending on how many items you subscribe to each month.

10. Water Bottle.  I love this one from Life Factory.  I hate the taste of water after it's been hanging around in plastic, so this glass bottle solves the yucky taste issue.  Also, the silicone sleeve helps the accident prone (like me!) not to break it.  You can choose a sport top, straw, or a screw on top, whichever you prefer.  This was probably the most expensive pregnancy related item I bought, but I feel it was totally worth the money. My bottle is still holding up well almost a year later!

Side note, Life Factory also sells glass baby bottles and sippy cups - super cute!

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