Maternity or pregnancy items can be expensive and you may not want to spend money on items that you’ll only need for a short period of time. Here is a list of 10 inexpensive items I used all the time during my pregnancy that made my life so much easier. Most of these items I’ve used after pregnancy too.
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I still managed to fit into most of my tops by the end of my pregnancy, but struggled to fit into pants, tights and jeans midway through the second trimester. I thought I’d get by the whole pregnancy without needing any maternity clothes but I was getting really uncomfortable especially on hot days. Here is a list of maternity clothes I purchased, they were very comfortable and I wore them all the time in my third trimester.
- 2 pairs of maternity jeans, a blue and black pair, purchased from Target and H&M for less than $30 AUD each
- 1 maternity cotton pencil skirt in black purchased from Target for $10 AUD
- 2 maternity dresses, a striped midi and a dotted maxi, purchased from ASOS and H&M for about $20 AUD each
- 3 pack maternity bamboo underwear purchased from Kmart for $12 AUD
I wore flats my entire pregnancy. Luckily I didn’t have any swollen feet or back pain but I’m clumsy at the best of times. So getting around without being cautious about falling made me feel more stress-free. I own plenty of flats but my go-to were white Converse leather shoes and leopard-print flats.
I got into a routine of reading before bed and also in the middle night when I had insomnia in the third trimester. My favourites were:
- Nurture by Erica Chidi Cohen
- Fourth Trimester by Kimberly Ann Johnson
- The Montesorri Toddler by Simone Davies
I also started reading children’s books aloud a few nights a week after reading that foetuses can hear sounds and voices from the end of the second trimester. I didn’t do this every night but felt it was a great way to start bonding and building our collection of children’s books. My favourites were:
- Oh Baby! The Places You’ll Go by Trish Rabe
- The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin
I suffered a horrible cold in my second trimester and there is a whole list of cold remedies that are off limits in pregnancy. I used a humidifier for weeks as I recovered and as the nights got colder. I found it helped clear nasal congestion and moisten my throat which helped me breathe and sleep better. If you’ll be pregnant during winter then you’ll find a humidifier helpful.
I purchased the Aroma Snooze from Lively Living ($100 AUD) and used it without essential oils. It also has in-built songs or white noise sounds (e.g. lullabies, heartbeat and rain/nature) and coloured light options which I’ll try to use as part of our baby’s sleep routine.
5. Body pillow
From the third trimester, it’s recommended that pregnant women sleep on their side to prevent stillbirth. As someone who usually sleeps on their back or stomach, I started sleeping on my side in the second trimester with a body pillow so I would get used to it by the third trimester. A body pillow helped me stay in the side position and when I didn’t use it, I rolled onto my back during the night.
My mum already had a body pillow which she purchased years ago from a manchester store. It’s just a long, thin pillow with rounded ends – it looks like this Luxdream Memory Foam Body Pillow which costs $60 AUD.
6. Exercise ball
I was working from home full-time for most of my pregnancy and found myself sitting much more than usual. I didn’t get an exercise ball until my third trimester and wish I’d got one sooner. I purchased a 65cm Gym Ball from Kmart for $7.50 AUD.
It was much more comfortable for my spine, hips and back to sit on an exercise ball than my office chair. They have a variety of uses – such as general exercise, helping your baby get into the ideal position for birth, and as a ‘birthing ball’ to help reduce pain during labour.
7. Moisturiser and hand cream
Dry skin is a common pregnancy symptom. My hands were especially dry from frequent hand-washing so having hand cream on my desk and in my handbag was a lifesaver. In my third trimester, my belly was also itchy sometimes so moisturising regularly was important and may have kept stretch marks away.
I usually have sensitive skin so always choose products that are unscented or fragrance free. I love Aveeno products and have been using the Aveeno Intense Relief Hand Cream and Aveeno Daily Moisturising Body Lotion for years.
8. Physical sunscreen
First trimester of pregnancy wreaked havoc on my skin with acne and pigmentation. I made sure to wear sunscreen everyday before going outside. I switched to a physical sunscreen as soon as we started trying to conceive. It took me some time to get used to because it’s thicker and can leave a white residue if it’s not blended in well. There were also a few brands I tried that had an awful smell which would make me nauseous in the first trimester. My preferred would be the Life Basics SPF 30 Natural Facial Sunscreen ($27 AUD from Nourished Life) which after blending in well, it was also easy to apply makeup over.
9. Healthy snacks
I kept a small box of snacks at my bedside table in the first and third trimester. In my first trimester, I had morning sickness which was worse at night with loss of appetite so plain snacks like nuts, crackers, pretzels or popcorn were helpful when I was feeling queasy before bed or in the middle of the night.
Towards the end of my third trimester, I occasionally woke up in the middle of the night starving so having a small snack helped. Other snacks I made sure to stock up in the pantry or fridge were fruit, hummus, cheese, milk and cereal.
10. Water bottle
I was thirstier than usual during pregnancy and it’s important to stay hydrated so having a water bottle with you all the time is a must. It was also helpful to have on my bedside table when I was nauseous at night. The Thermos THERMOcafe Vacuum Insulated Bottle is compact and keeps water cold for several hours. It can also keep water hot for several hours so we bring it along when we go out to warm up our baby’s bottle.