Every pregnancy is different. Every woman is different. Every list of five must-haves is different but I’m doing one anyway.
1). Ritz crackers
If I started to feel a little off, my go-to food item were Ritz crackers. They’re buttery and salty and kept me going until I could get my hands on proper food. I had a box of these and cheerios next to my bed. Nibbling actually helped prevent morning sickness from being a thing for me. I threw up a couple times but it was only when I’d try to brush my tongue. Otherwise, I was fine. I’m grateful I was able to cope, but without having something to snack on, it’s possible I may have ended up in a bad way.
It’s SO important to stay hydrated in pregnancy. For me, I couldn’t imagine grabbing for a drink other than water early on except some juices. I believe I read somewhere that orange juice is also supposed to be the next best thing for staying hydrated. Plus it has extra vitamins that you can’t get from water. So if it wasn’t water I was sipping on, it was orange juice I was after.
3). BabyCentre pregnancy book and the Bounty app (why I didn’t go with What to Expect)
I read a lot of reviews on Amazon on various baby books. I ended up purchasing the Baby Centre book. It doesn’t seem to be available in shops anymore so I bought it from a random seller on Amazon. You can get most of the same information on the BabyCentre website but I like having a book to look through. The Bounty app was recommended by my NHS midwife. Each day you’re given a piece of information, advice or something to think about. There are educational videos and there is a ‘bump booth’ so you can take photos of your growing bump each week. The only thing I don’t like is the colour scheme (dark green) with the avatar you have to create. It seemed like weird juxtaposition of mature, yet childish fun. I’d prefer one or the other–not both.
Many people like the What to Expect series. I don’t. I realise I am American but it’s very ‘American focused’. It’s not particularly useful if you’re having a baby on the NHS in the UK. Obviously the biology of it all will be the same but I wanted a book that would speak to me from a UK based perspective. I wanted to hear about birth centres, midwives, appointment schedules, etc. Also, one cringe aspect of the series is that they refer to sex as ‘the baby dance’. This puritanical description of sex made me cringe every single time I read it. I threw it out in the end.
4). Nap time
If you’re tired and you can rest, do it! Naps helped me a lot. I never took naps before I got pregnant. Now that I’m pregnant, they are oh so glorious.
5). Google docs and spreadsheets
Even if you want to wait until after the 12 week scan, you still have two more weeks of your first trimester, so this planning still applies as a suggestion. There is so much to remember and plan for. I’m not even going to try to sugarcoat this one. Make lists. Figure out what you need first. Once that is sorted, you can think about extras. Obviously, if you have loads of money, then it doesn’t matter how you budget so much. For those of us who have to budget, plan ahead would be my advice. If I had done what I wanted when I wanted, we would’ve easily spent a small fortune. Planning made it really easy to figure out what is and isn’t necessary when having a baby. There are also products not worth purchasing straightaway because you don’t know how your baby will take to them. I’d also say, don’t feel ashamed or embarrassed about spreading out the costs and buying things ‘early’. I can’t imagine waiting until later in pregnancy to purchase everything. It adds up so quickly and then there’s no guarantee the items you would like will be on sale when you need them to be. The only thing I believe we paid full price for was an IKEA malm chest of drawers and probably an item of clothing for the baby. Otherwise, literally, everything was on sale.