My pregnancy must-haves

Monica Reyes lists her pregnancy must-haves.

Pregnancy-September2013-iStockphoto

Photo: iStockphoto

Monica Reyes resides in Vancouver with her husband and neurotic dog. She’s also a soon-to-be first-time mom who is excited and terrified about her new life. Follow along as she shares her pregnancy journey.

I’m firmly in my third trimester and I thought it’d be fun to list the things that have helped me through pregnancy:

Stash snacks everywhere:

In the first trimester I was starving (and, for a few weeks, queasy). It was amazing to go from perfectly fine to ravenously hungry in a split second. In my queasy period, I had crackers by the bed and at work to help with the nausea. When the nausea was over, I had protein bars in my bag at all times for emergencies.

Read more: The facts of morning sickness >

When snacks weren’t enough, I had a “second breakfast.” After eating my breakfast, by the time I got to work I could eat a full meal again. I kept sachets of instant oatmeal in my work cabinet which would be my second breakfast. Eventually the hunger tapered off, but now that I’m in my third trimester, the baby is having a bit of a growth spurt and I’m back on the snack wagon.

I keep a variety on hand because I never know what I’m in the mood for until the hunger strikes.

Belly cream:

I had a couple of ladies that recommended leaving a bottle of belly cream at work so I can regularly lotion up my belly. There’s no evidence that slathering cream on will prevent stretch marks, but lotion does help prevent itchiness and dry skin. I like Earth Mama Body Butter (you can get it at Whole Foods or online at Snugglebugz). It smells great and I find that the moisture gets locked in for a long time. The downside is that it’s pricey and small so you end up going through it quickly. I also like coconut oil which is a cheaper solution and also natural.

Heating/ice packs and warm baths:

The farther along I am in pregnancy, the more I rely on heating and ice packs. At the end of the day my back is achy and I just need a bit of relief. Warm baths with Epsom salts are great for relieving round ligament pain and sore muscles. Baths also take away that heavy belly feeling that you carry around for most of the day.

Snoogle:

I debated about purchasing this for the longest time. It felt like a lot of money to spend on something that I was only going to use for a few months. My pillow set up was one for my head, one between the legs, one to support my back, and one to snuggle with. Sometimes I’d need additional pillows to get the comfort I needed. I caved and bought a Snoogle, a long curvy body pillow, and I can say that I have absolutely no regrets on this purchase. It’s a complete bed hog and a barrier between you and your partner, but it reduces the amount of pillows needed to get comfortable. I like placing a heating pad between myself and the Snoogle to get additional relief for my back. When I need to sleep sitting up because of indigestion, I roll it up like a cinnamon bun to prop myself up. I’m even using it right now as I type — rolled up partially behind my back with part of it on my legs so I can rest my laptop on it. I look like I could be in an infomercial.

What were some of the things that helped you cope with pregnancy?

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