Purchases For Mum - Pregnancy and Beyond
There are many lists dedicated to what baby wants and what baby needs. Obviously this makes up the bulk of the shopping before your little one arrives. What about Mum though? Pregnancy, birth and the time immediately afterwards can be wonderful and exciting; it can also require some significant preparation and for Mum, it’s a time to take care of herself, as well as baby!
Shoes and Clothing During Pregnancy
Generally speaking there’s no reason to run off to your nearest maternity boutique the second you get two lines on a home pregnancy test. Some women don’t need to buy maternity clothes, some do. Some get away with wearing their joggers or stretch jeans under their petite belly whereas other will tell you they are ready for an airy tent to wear from seventeen weeks onwards.
Wait it out, budget for some key pieces such as work and home trousers, a few maxi dresses and tops; whatever you would usually wear that will inevitably become too tight. Also consider your internal thermostat. Many find themselves easily overheated when pregnant so layers could be a good idea.
As for shoes, bear in mind your balance may be affected as your bump grows and so trading in your stilettoes may be a good idea. You too might find that your feet change sizes (yes really!) and that overall you will be more comfortable with something if not flat, certainly a little lower than your usual six inch heels.
Sleep is for the week, and those who are not pregnant. Many women suffer from insomnia thanks to a number of pregnancy-related reasons. Some get leg cramps, some find themselves being too warm or uncomfortable and when they do finally settle down…. baby gives their bladder a good swift kick and off to the loo we go. Sadly, there’s no magic gadget for guaranteeing sleep during pregnancy however many women swear by wedge pillows or the large pregnancy pillows / cushions which may be fashioned any way you want to support you, for you to cuddle, punch or indeed use any way you like to help you get some sleep!
Food and Drink
You don’t need to buy special food or drink during pregnancy. Your midwife will alert you to anything you might want to think about avoiding however otherwise you’re good to go (not good as in you have a green light to eat for two, three or four as that really isn’t necessary!). It might be useful to invest in a nice water bottle that encourages you to stay hydrated. Ones with a freeze-able core or a way to insert fruit are often popular.
Pregnancy is both an exciting and sometimes apprehensive time. Keeping yourself cool, calm and collected is good for you and baby (or babies for those of you carrying multiples) however not everyone has the cash for regular spa days! Taking care of yourself when you’re pregnant is important and is easy to do on a budget. Taking time out for you can be a great idea, and gives you time to unwind. Some relaxing music playing or a fancy bubble bath for a luxurious soak in the bath can be a wonderful, and cost effective way to chill out.
*Not all aromatherapy oils, burnt or in bath products are suitable for use during pregnancy. Do ensure you check in advance.
Pregnancy can take a toll on the body (not surprising given what it’s very cleverly growing and keeping safe) and how it might affect each person can be different. Look out for dry skin, hemorrhoids (piles), greasy skin, thinning hair, stretch marks and the list goes on.
If you suffer with piles get a good quality cream in, talk to your hairdresser about thinning or particularly greasy hair and they may advise a new shampoo or conditioner that may help. If dry skin is an issue look at a nice moisturising cream and for stretchmarks, many people swear by a popular Cocoa Butter brand and even store or chemist’s own version over premium branded pregnancy products. Do your research when buying body and hair products to make sure that what you buy is safe to use and does what it says on the tin. Asking for recommendations is a great way to work out the best products at the best prices.
Every pregnancy website at some point will publish somewhere a list or guide dedicated to the hospital bag(s) and what should go in there. There is a vast list for baby and a smaller one for Mum. We’ve expanded on the Mum Bag as we feel that generally speaking, they deserve more, having just had a baby.
- Maternity Knickers – Whether you choose the disposable kind or some good old-fashioned, cheap and cheerful cotton belly grabbers make sure you have plenty. You also want them to have a decent gusset as those all-important maternity pads are not known for being petite. No thongs required here!
- Maternity Pads and Breast Pads – Here’s some pregnancy trivia for you, did you know that even if you have a C Section that you will still bleed and therefore need to wear maternity pads? It seems unfair we agree however it’s best to be prepared so make sure you’re stocked up. The same applies to breast pads. You may be breast feeding, you may not but either way there’s a chance that if you didn’t need them towards the end of pregnancy that you will post-birth.
- Loose and Cool PJs – Maternity wards are notoriously well-heated. It makes sense really as all of these little babies do struggle to keep warm otherwise but be aware when packing that your fleece nighty, even if it’s snowing outside might not be the wisest choice. If you’re buying new go for comfy, cool and bear in mind whether they will be suitable for breastfeeding if that is your plan.
- Slippers – You’ll need these for coming and going to the bathroom, moving around and what not. Sturdy and comfy is the way forward with slippers for your hospital stay.
- Phone Charger – Once your bundle of joy arrives you’ll be aching to 1) take hundreds of first photographs, 2) tell the work, or at least your close family and friends that all is well. A dead phone battery can be a real downer though so pack a charger in your bag just in case.
*Top tip! If taking photos in the hospital make sure you back up your photos to the cloud straight away. There are lots of free and easy ways to do this. It would be awful to lose those first few pictures. It might be worse considering a cheap film camera as a back-up.
You haven’t been able to eat properly for days, you just gone through labour or a C Section (neither or which is an easy option!) and you are presented with a milky tea and two slices of toast. What you could do with is a big juicy steak or a huge bowl of pasta! Obviously everyone is different but on the off-chance you could eat a small country make sure your bag is backed with plenty of healthy, energy boosting snacks (also helpful during longer labours).
The Feel Good Bag
This is an essential bag with the feel-good stuff Mums need during labour and beyond. We’re talking favourite music CDs or a digital player (one of our team here at ParentsNeed HQ listened to the Glee soundtrack during her C Section, perfect for staying upbeat and calming the nerves), a book or something to entertain you (not everyone can sleep in an unfamiliar bed on a noisy ward having just given birth) and make-up. Yes, make up! If you are a make-up wearer and it makes you feel good, even when you are shattered, bring your make up bag along. Whatever it is that makes you feel good is as individual as you are so think carefully about this one.
Exercise and Physical Preparation
There is no reason why, once you’ve realised that you are pregnant that all physical activity should cease. If you were physically active before you fell pregnant it is fine to remain so during pregnancy. Just discuss with your midwife which activities are best suited to your new not-always-great-at-balancing body.
Birthing balls and stretching bands are both very popular for use in gentle exercise throughout pregnancy, keeping you healthy and preparing your body for birth. Walking is also a great way to
You may have never written a diary, put together a scrapbook or filled a keepsake box however once you’ve had a little one there are so many memories you want to preserve. Treating yourself to a pregnancy journal, somewhere you can write about how you’ve felt at each stage, what your worries are, what you have been excited about and more is good for stress-busting as well as giving you something to look back on in years to come. You don’t need to buy a swanky journal; any good quality hardback notebook will do.
A keepsake box is also a great idea however once again there is no need to splash out on a fancy engraved box. Anything that may be properly sealed and is of a decent size will work perfectly as the things you want to keep will come in all shapes and sizes. First there’s the hospital bracelet, then the first curl….. the list is extensive!
This isn’t necessarily a purchase as such however a great idea would be to invest in a laminated big red cross to put on your front door. One thing that new parents often find very overwhelming is the onslaught of excited friends and family knocking on the door (and inevitably waking up everyone after they’ve just fallen asleep). A seriously good tip is to put a note on the door and to make sure everyone knows in advance when you will be accepting visitors (it doesn’t need to be in the first day or two) and that all calls, texts and messages will be responded to when you can. A note on the front door alerting delivery people and similar callers to the fact you have an easily woken young baby can often help as even a soft knock is appreciated after 24hrs awake with a new baby.
Your pregnancy pillow will also come in handy post-birth. Many use theirs to support them and their little one during feeding and you may still want to use it when sleeping as you might still find sleeping uncomfortable, particularly after stitches (vaginal or C Section related).
Gifts for Mum
If rather than looking for items for your own pregnancy and post-birth weeks you are here looking for gift inspiration for a mum-to-be there should be plenty of ideas above! Sometimes the most practical gift (babysitting other children so new Mum can have 5 mins alone with baby) or a treat such as a new chic lit novel and box of chocolates can mean the world and more. Even with the easiest of pregnancies and births Mums do a lot (they create and grow a little person!) and it’s nice to gift them something that is just for them to say “Wow, you did/ are doing an awesome job!”.
There are 101 gadgets and “must-haves” for pregnancy and beyond however when it comes to buying for Mum the practical, the comfortable and the “just for you” items are what are really needed (and deserved!).