Since I’m 39 weeks pregnant, I thought now is as good a time as any to share a few of my favorite pregnancy finds. I read several articles, blogs and received advice from others, so I will do my best not to repeat the obvious pregnancy must-haves. I wish I had known about a few of these items a lot sooner, so here it goes.
I’m also sharing a new-to-us recipe that has quickly become a favorite. Like many pregnant women, I had a strong aversion to meat early in pregnancy, so a hearty vegetarian dish is my (current) kind of comfort food. Don’t worry – I’ll be enjoying a rare steak and a nice glass of wine by next week, but it’s nice to incorporate more meatless meals into the mix.
Pregnancy Pillow. I have no idea why I waited so long to use this particular pillow ($40), but around 30 weeks I finally put it on our king size bed. I think I was worried it would take up too much space (and it does), but it is a game changer for finding a comfortable position to sleep. I have also found that it discourages you from moving to your back or right side since the left side is preferable during pregnancy. If you want something a little less obstructive, I used this little wedge ($23) between my legs for the first few months until our dogs enjoyed it a little too much.
Lululemon Align Yoga Pants. Hands down the best yoga pants I’ve tried. I didn’t buy any new Aligns ($98) since I had heard from friends that your current size will grow with you and then go back down to size. I have five pairs and wore them constantly until two months ago.
Maternity Clothes. I hit the jackpot and received bags of adorable maternity clothes from a former PR client that no longer needed them. I filled in the gaps with several inexpensive pairs of leggings (Motherhood Maternity and the Gap), a pair of Blanqi bike shorts for the summer, and a few Hatch (overalls, pants) finds via Poshmark. Hatch is my favorite maternity brand, but I can’t imagine spending upwards of $200-300 per item. I also relied on over-sized oxford shirts and Nick’s boxers as pajamas.
Comrad Compression Socks. Once I finally looked pregnant, around 7 months, I had horrible sciatic. I blame baby girl’s position on the sciatic nerve. I limped around for weeks and when I told my OB, she recommended compression socks. Just when you thought pregnancy couldn’t get any sexier, add knee high socks. I bought a three-pack ($69) because I’m a sucker for anything with stripes and they are surprisingly comfortable. They’d also be good for long plane rides to help with circulation.
Vanicream Ointment. Being pregnant during a pandemic means washing your hands countless times a day. My hands took a beating and I had eczema for about two weeks. I experienced little red bumps from over-washing and I wanted to itch my hands off. Vanicream ($8) was the only thing that worked. It’s free of all the bad stuff, so I knew it was safe to use during pregnancy. I still keep it by my bed and put it on my hands every night.
Prenatal Vitamins. I don’t have an endorsement deal and I’m not a doctor, so take whatever prenatal you prefer. However, I know I over-analyzed which prenatal was the “best” and I spent way too much time researching all the brands. I alternated between two during my pregnancy. One is a chew-able without iron, Seeking Health ($40), and the other is Ritual ($35). Ritual is a minimalist prenatal – only the vitamins that you really need and they’re transparent about where they source each supplement. Seeking Health has a much longer list of vitamins and is good for days when it was easier to chew my prenatal than swallow two pills. Ritual has iron, choline, and DHA, so I was mindful to take a DHA supplement on days I took the Seeking Health. Both have subscription programs, have methylated folate, and are easy on the stomach.
Orgain Protein Powder. I love smoothies and once our kitchen sink was finally installed (six months later), I could not get enough of my Vitamix. The Orgain ($30) protein powder was recommended by my OB and it is an easy way to add protein and some extra calories. It also has iron, so I often took the non-iron prenatal on days I drank a smoothie.
LARQ and Hydroflask. I have never been so hydrated in my life. Adult beverages and most teas are off limits, so a water bottle goes with me everywhere. The LARQ ($118) is more of an investment, but it is a self-cleaning water bottle, which means you never have to worry about the last time you cleaned it. I also fill the Hydroflask ($44) throughout the day and it’s easy to keep tabs on your water intake. Nick has one too and we fill it before bed to keep on our nightstands. Both keep the water ice cold overnight.
Face masks. Who would’ve predicted that face masks would be a pregnancy must have? After buying two face masks from Etsy that barely covered our faces, I ordered six from Tuckernuck ($50 for 3). They’re well-made, cute, and for every mask purchased, Tuckernuck donates a mask to a healthcare worker.
Now for the paella!
Nick’s Vegetarian Paella, inspired by The Kitchn
- 1 cup brown rice
- 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 bell peppers, diced
- 3/4 cup crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 tablespoon hot paprika
- Tabasco and red hot pepper flakes (optional, but we like it spicy)
- 1 cup chickpeas
- 1/4 cup peas, frozen
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Bring 3 cups of water to a boil, add the rice, and cook until the rice begins to soften. Drain and set aside.
- Sauté the onions in olive oil until soft. Add the garlic and peppers. Next, add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and hot paprika. Add the chickpeas.
- Add the par-boiled rice and three cups of broth. Bring to a boil and simmer until the liquid has evaporated. Finally add the peas and parsley.