Cocoa Butter - It is supposed to keep stretch marks away which so far (touch wood) it has which is great. Although I didn't really mind too much anyway and I rarely get my stomach out so it didn't really bother me too much. It had been amazing at keeping my skin supple. All the stretching your stomach has to go through can leave your skin feeling really dry and the skin on my stomach got really bad around 20 weeks. Cocoa butter and the combination of the dry oil spray helped to cure my flaky skin. I've been using Palmers Cocoa Butter.
Dry Spray Oil - I reviewed the No7 Pampering Dry Oil Spray when I was 20 weeks pregnant and like I said above it really helped with my dry skin. I've been using after every bath and shower and then the cocoa butter at night. The combination of the two has worked really well for me.
Pillows, lots of them - At 18 weeks pregnant I started to feel uncomfortable sleeping, little did I know how much more uncomfortable I was going get. I started off using an extra pillow for my back to rest on and then one that could go between my legs and support my bump. I've found this the most comfortable way of getting to sleep. That was until a month or so ago, when I had heartburn and acid re-flux kick in (oh how lovely the symptoms of pregnancy are!) my mother-in- law suggested propping myself up at night with more pillows. Oh how right she was. It works so well. I even tried a night without the extra pillows and by midnight I had put them back in. Extra pillows are a must!
Snacks - You need them at the start to stave of morning sickness. I found biscuits and those dried fruit sweets you can get, the ones meant for kids. They really helped with my nausea, although I was pretty lucky and only suffered with it for a few weeks. You then need them to get you through the day. Growing a baby is hungry work and I can't get past 10:30 without a snack or maybe a second breakfast, sometimes a third breakfast in entirely necessary! Healthier snacks are obviously better but sometimes you just need a biscuit to settle your stomach.
Face Masks - My skin has been pretty awful. I'm still waiting for that glow although I think I'm way past that now! According to old wives tales if you are expecting a girl they steal your beauty which means spots, dry skin and hair. I know it's just a coincidence but I've had all them. This baby girl has taken all my beauty (and energy). Face masks have been great for giving my skin that boost of hydration. My favourites have been from Avon and No7 others can leave my skin raw so I have to be careful about what ones I use.
Hair Bands - Not just to tie back annoying long hair in the hot summer weather but to extend the life of my jeans. I got pretty far with a hairband around the button and buttonhole on my jeans, just make sure your top covers it!
Things I Didn't Need or Buy
Maternity Clothes - Midi dress, stretchy tops and leggings have worked just fine for me. I was tempted to get maternity jeans but most of my friends said they didn't really use them and I didn't want to waste my money. I'd much rather spend money on clothes once she's here and I can fit in to things again. Kimonos are amazing, they make your leggings and vest top combo look a hell of a lot better!
Heartburn Relief - I've suffered these last few weeks but water has helped to cure my acid re-flux and the pillows propping me up. I've been trying to avoid to take medicines unless I absolutely have too and so far I've been pretty lucky at avoiding taking anything!
Body Pillow - They can be pretty expensive and I just used spare pillows we had. If you don't have spare pillows then it might be worth investing in one. You can get them pretty cheaply and if you plan to breastfeed you can use it to support baby too. I'm just going use my stack of pillows!
I hope this blog post has helped if you're expecting a baby or planning for pregnancy. I'd love to hear what your essentials are/were!