Sharing my pregnancy must haves today on the blog! So many of you have asked for this blog post. I wanted to make sure I did it towards the end in case I added products. There's so many things that come up in pregnancy it can seem daunting to know what pregnancy must haves you need, especially if it's your first baby.
Then besides pregnancy must haves, it can seem overwhelming to weed through all the natural products and what you really need. Well, I've done all the homework so you can sit back and relax during your pregnancy.
With my third baby due literally any day now I've been around the baby block a time or two and know what natural pregnancy must haves you really need and what you don't. I'm sharing all the details in this post. I've picked up so many products along the way from all of my pregnancies and I'm sharing them in this post with you.
My hope is that you feel armed with a little more info. to make the best decisions for you and your baby!
I'll also have an updated baby guide soon. I want to try a few more baby products before I update it, but first I need a baby to try them on. 🙂
*As always this is merely what has worked for me. Please always consult your physician before starting something new or taking a new supplement.
Lily Nichols Real Food For Pregnancy Book-
This book is seriously a game changer! It wasn't available for my first or second pregnancy. Lily does such a great job of weeding through the research and really backing her findings with actual data. You will know what foods to eat and when to support a healthy pregnancy and baby. She even dives into supplements, exercise and child spacing. She also has some great recipes too. I can't recommend her book enough. Get it here!
Lily Nichols For Gestational Diabetes-
This book I got later on in my third pregnancy but I wished I would have had it from the very beginning. If you're pregnant than you've probably heard of gestational diabetes. I didn't have it with my first two and didn't give it much thought with my third. However, after testing my blood sugar myself it was elevated. I wasn't diagnosed with gestational diabetes but I did want to lower it. This book really would have been a great resource in the beginning because she recommends you have a certain test done in the very early part of your pregnancy to determine if you're at risk for developing gestational diabetes. This test is pretty accurate if done in the beginning of pregnancy. It would have been great to know in the beginning since you can change your diet, etc. early on. I learned so much from reading it! My blood sugar was lowered with just a few tweaks and I felt better overall. Get it here!
Testing Your Blood Sugar Yourself-
This might sound annoying but honestly it made such a difference for me. I had just taken the glucola drink with my first two pregnancies but with this one I wanted to avoid the drink. I did get the undyed glucola drink both times but still, it's not my favorite and I never have that much sugar at once. I thought it would be interesting to test my blood sugar myself instead for a couple weeks. This is what they will have you do if you don't want to take the glucola drink. You prick your finger in the morning upon waking, and then and hour after each meal. Some practitioners may have you even do it after snacks. You write down your results each time. It was so eye opening! It made me realize how my body was processing different foods, compared to others. For example, I found white rice would really skyrocket my blood sugar. So I knew to avoid that. Personally, in the long run I think it's the best method because it really gives you an individualized approach to what foods affect your blood sugar. It also just makes you aware of how blood sugar works in general. I didn't fully understand it all until testing myself. I am excited to test myself even after having the baby to see if foods affect me differently then. Here is the kit I bought from Amazon!
DGL For Acid Reflux-
I struggled with acid reflux in my first pregnancy but not in my second. Then it came back with a vengeance in my third. DGL is what has helped both times. DGL stands for Deglycyrrhizinated licorice. It's an herbal supplement that helps to ease acid reflux. If you have a chewable form it takes like black licorice. This is what my naturopathic doctor recommended. It worked both times! I don't get it everyday, just every now and then in my third trimester. I would take 3 chewables and it would go away. So much better than taking an OTC med in my opinion! This is the one I took!
Compression Tights or Socks-
I can't recommend getting a pair of these enough! They have helped with every pregnancy. My mom suffered from varicose veins and I have one on my left side that will bother me. When I wear my compression tights, it feels SO much better. Plus, I wear the compressions tights for swelling. Most of my pregnancies have been more in the warmer months and I tend to swell more in my feet. Especially my left side which they say is common in pregnancy. When I wear my compression tights my legs and feet are so much less swollen. Plus, if you want to avoid getting varicose veins they recommend you wear them if you are pregnant too. Get them here!
Mountain Meadow Herbs Gentle Birth Drops-
My midwife recommended these to me this time around for the third baby. She said every patient of her's who's taken them has a pretty straight forward birth without complications. It's an herbal liquid tincture. You just take it starting at 35 weeks and then up the dosage at 36 weeks. It does have blue cohosh which some people don't like since it's been linked to birth defects in animals. They do have a version of the herbal tincture that does not contain blue cohosh if you feel more comfortable using that instead. Get them here!
Get at least 80-100 grams of protein a day-
I remember thinking this seemed crazy with my first pregnancy! However, your baby is growing so rapidly and needing the extra protein for fetal development. Plus, for me the biggest thing I noticed when I ate enough protein, especially in my first pregnancy was increased energy and less nausea. It helped keep me full longer which kept my nausea at bay. I know you will crave carbs really and that's it a lot of times but if you can really get some good protein in it helps so much. They say the average pregnant women needs 80-100 grams of protein! And if you're having twins it's more like 120-150 grams. This also helps with blood sugar regulation. I have an extra protein shake everyday using Activ Whey Goat Whey Protein. It's so tasty and the protein powder is the best! You can read more about the protein powder here and why it takes the cake in my opinion. I will add 1 cup of Forager coconut/cashew milk, 3 ice cubes, a teaspoon of chia seeds, and blend that all together. Then I'll add the two scoops of the Activ Whey protein powder after the ice is all mixed up and smooth. I only blend the protein powder for a few since if you over blend it can add air to the drink and make you feel gassy when you drink it. Sometimes I'll even add a scoop of cacao powder- it legit tastes like a chocolate milkshake! Check out Activ Whey here. Also, check out my protein podcast I did with my naturopathic doctor here!
Natural Stretch Mark Cream For Belly-
Avoid all the mainstream stretch mark creams filled with synthetic chemicals and snag a natural one instead. Let’s be real, I rubbed stretch mark cream on my belly a couple times a day during my first pregnancy. With my second pregnancy, same story. But with this one…I rubbed it on faithfully and I got two stretch marks! The more I read up on stretch marks the more it has a lot to do with your hormones and genes. My belly was so different this time around too. It protrudes so much more than the first two. I've come to peace with them! But the natural stretch mark cream is good for helping ease itchiness too. I really like Primally Pure's Baby Oil– it's what the founder used for her growing belly and I love Earth Mama Naturals Belly Oil and Lotion. I rub it on my belly morning and night.
I would also recommend taking your blood throughout pregnancy. I did and it really helped me to know how my thyroid was doing and if I was low in anything else. Your body goes through so many changes when you're pregnant, it's important to keep tabs on what's happening so you can properly adjust or supplement if you need too. I'm going to share a few supplements below that I started to take after getting my blood work back.
This is great for helping with blood sugar regulation. It's just a powder that you add to some water. It almost tastes a little sweet. My naturopath had recommended it to me initially after seeing that my antibodies were getting pretty low(I have Hashimotos) and he said that taking a combination of that plus selenium had shown to help reduce antibodies even more. So I was already taking it but then after my blood sugar testing had shown my blood sugar was elevated he said to keep taking it since it helps regulate blood sugar as well. Check it out here.
I also started to take an iron supplement. The baby goes through so much iron! So even though you might not think you need an iron supplement since you're no longer having a period and losing blood, you might. Obviously, talk with your doctor and have your levels checked but I've always been low in iron in my pregnancies. It's best to have your levels checked in the beginning so you can get a jumpstart on supplementing. Check out the iron I take here.
This is one I find not everyone considers taking when pregnant but I think it's a great one to incorporate. Studies have shown that you can help achieve a negative GBS(Group B Streptococcus) when tested. This is the bacteria you get tested for towards the very end of your pregnancy. Taking a good probiotic might help your test to come back negative. If you have a positive GBS then they say you have a 1 in 200 chance of your baby getting an infection. The bacteria isn't necessarily bad for adults but for babies. If you are positive your doctor will have you take antibiotics during your birth. It's obviously not the end of the world, but if you can avoid getting antibiotics then why not. Check out the probiotic I take here.
I also can't recommend meal planning enough for postpartum. I didn't do this for my first or second but wished I would have. Knowing I have healthy options is so key when having a newborn. It would have helped me ease into things a little slower. I did a whole meal prep video showing you how I meal prepped for a month and how I stored the food here.
Stay tuned! I'll be sharing next week what I have ready and prepped for after baby. Even though I'm having a home birth there are some essential things I like to have ready to go. I may not have a “hospital bag” since I'm staying at home but this would be the equivalent if I did!