Did you just find out you're pregnant? Baby isn't the only one you need to go shopping for. Celebrate your news with a shopping spree, and lavish yourself with these top pregnancy gifts.
Your growing belly can put a lot of strain on your back and abdominal muscles, but wearing a tummy band can help relieve some of that pressure. Tummy bands, or abdominal support belts, wrap around your lower abdomen right below where your baby will sit and help take weight off of your back. These support belts used to consist of single straps, but now you can find bands attached to jeans, cradle belts that wrap up over your shoulders, and even belts that resemble underwear for a more discreet lift.
Hip Preggo Clothing
If you're worried that wearing maternity clothing means you'll have to forgo style, have no fear; the days of wearing muumuus that make you look like a whale during pregnancy are gone. Nothing looks more hip these days than beautiful baby bumps, which are highlighted in the newer maternity styles. You can find a wide range of jeans, tees, sweaters and dresses that not only will make you look stylish but also give you a confidence boost to feel comfortable in your changing body. Instead of oversized shirts and dresses, modern maternity lines feature more fitted, svelte looks to show off your curves. If you don't want to give up your favorite pair of jeans, you can use belly-belt extenders to enable you to wear your jeans during pregnancy.
Sleeping can be a challenge when you have a growing belly, but wise mamas avoid this nightmare by using body pillows. Body pillows support your abdomen and decrease pressure on your hips and back as you lie down. The result: a more restful sleep without joint and back aches in the morning. Old-school body pillows used to be long rectangles, but more innovative body pillows feature angles and curves that cradle your pregnant body in just the right way.
Belly Cream to Keep You Stretch-Mark-Free
Your skin will expand a lot in the next several months in order to accommodate your changing pregnant body. Sometimes this means pink or brown lines will appear around your belly button, along the sides of your breasts and at the top of your hips. Keeping your skin properly hydrated and elastic can help prevent and minimize the appearance of these stretch marks. Invest in a deeply hydrating moisturizing cream designed for pregnant women, and massage the cream into your skin daily.
You deserve to feel pampered during pregnancy, and nothing makes you feel more pampered than a prenatal massage. Did you know that getting massages while you're pregnant might improve your delivery and the health of your baby? New research suggests that women who get regular prenatal massages may decrease their chances of preterm labor and often experience less pain, less water retention and easier deliveries. Plus, getting massages can really alleviate all of those pregnancy-related muscle aches and pains. Consider making regular appointments with a registered massage therapist who specializes in prenatal massage. Your body and your baby will thank you!
Yoga Mama DVDs
Regular exercise during pregnancy can help you feel more energized, maintain a healthy weight, sleep better and experience a less painful and more productive delivery, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Choosing low-impact exercises like yoga can give you a great workout without putting too much pressure on your joints and abdominal muscles. Make sure to stick with prenatal yoga, a safer form that eliminates certain moves that you should avoid while you're pregnant. Get yourself a colorful yoga mat, a funky water bottle and a few prenatal yoga DVDs so that you can get your preggo workout on in style.
Although it may seem like time stands still when you're pregnant, it will feel like it passed in the blink of an eye after your baby arrives. Treasure every moment of your pregnancy and baby's milestones by scrapbooking your experience. Visit your local crafts store or scrapbooking shop and pick out a few supplies that you can use to create a beautiful memory book. You can often find specialty stickers and papers that really capture the moment, such as 3-D baby bottle stickers or paper decorated with jars of ice cream and pickles.
Nausea and vomiting plague many pregnant women, so be prepared for it. Assemble a morning-sickness kit stocked with both old-fashioned and newfangled remedies. Grab a small plastic container or decorative tin and throw in old standbys, such as saltine crackers, peppermint tea and ginger ale, as well as some newer quick fixes, such as acupressure wrist bands, pregnancy lollipops to ease a queasy stomach and morning-sickness sprays to reduce strong smells in the room.
You can truly appreciate pregnancy-themed movies when you have a bun in the oven. Here's a plus if you watch comedies: Vanderbilt University suggests that laughter releases endorphins that decrease pain. Try pregnancy-themed comedies like "Father of the Bride, Part II," "Fools Rush In" and "Away We Go" to get you laughing and keep you excited about having a baby of your own.
Did you know that your growing baby can hear what's going on in the outside world? Relax your little one with the ethereal sounds of a belly chime, also called a Mexican bola, by wearing it on a long necklace that allows the chime to dangle near your belly. The soft sounds may also soothe the pregnant mama.