7 preg must-haves

I’d been waiting to write this post until the end of my pregnancy, and before I knew it, here I am.

me (2)

Just shy of 37 weeks, baby will be full-term this week, and can make her arrival whenever she’s ready! It’s usually more common for first-time moms to have a longer pregnancy, but my stepmom told me that my brother was 3 weeks early and he was her first child. You never know… I still have a feeling she’ll be here early.

It’s funny because I heard so many horror stories about being pregnant, and I’ve really enjoyed it. Some days are harder than others –like today when I was having contractions and couldn’t put my shoes on- but most days are really, really good.

Here are some of the things that helped make this pregnancy a little bit easier:

1) Emotional support. I’m so blessed to have been surrounded by my family during this time, have an amazing birth team, and especially fortunate that Tom has been here with me. If he were deployed, I would have made it work, but getting to share all of this with him has been the best thing ever. He’s been even more incredible than I could have imagined, and I can’t wait to see him as a dad to our baby. I think that emotional support, someone that you can talk to about anything –my friend Jeni has been such a valuable resource for all of my random questions- helps bring comfort to such a new and uncertain experience.

Belly has a love-hate relationship with the belly… sometimes it’s a pillow, other times, it’s a landing pad or jumping-off point.


2) Physical support via the belly support belt and nursing bras that fit. There’s no way I would have been able to stay as active as I have during the pregnancy (especially with teaching cardio classes), and the support belt ended up being a godsend. Same goes for the nursing bras. I bought a few of these Bravado ones, and they’re quite possibly the most hideous and most comfortable bras I’ve ever owned. I’ve conveniently prevented Tom from seeing me in one by changing in the closet, or while he’s downstairs. The girls have remained the same size throughout the rest of the pregnancy, but word on the street is that they’re going to blow up any day now? I think I’m going to wear nursing tanks until I figure out the post-pregnancy bra situation.

Props to the support belt :


3) Fit Pregnancy. This magazine has been fun to read and super informative over the past 9 months. It’s a mix of everything (fashion, workouts, recipes, nutrition, medical advice/tips) and has been my standard walking-around-the-track reading material.magazine

4) Snoogle pillow. I know I keep mentioning it, but if you’re pregnant or it’s on the radar, you need a Snoogle- it’s a life-changer. Tom said he’s burning it as soon as the baby gets here, though 😉

snoogle (2)

I’ll miss you, Snoogle.

Random: I had a dream last night that two friends took the baby swimming, and the Snoogle was the baby’s raft. I can’t swim, so I was doggy-paddling behind them and trying to catch up.

5) Babycenter app.


I really liked the weekly updates with the baby’s progress (and what fruit or vegetable its size could be compared to), along with medical reminders, links and stories. Some of the things on there kind of freaked me out (like reading about all of the things that could go wrong), but for the most part, made me feel a little more prepared.

6) Lotion bar. This is all that’s left of my sad little lotion bar I picked up at the Patagonia market.

lotion bar

I’ve been using it every other day since then, and it’s the best stretch mark prevention I’ve found. The L’Occitane was good, but I got sick of the smell pretty quickly (it’s beautiful, but strong), and I liked the ingredients in the lotion bar more: cocoa butter, shea butter, beeswax, essential oils. I can’t get ahold of the woman who makes them, so I may venture into making my own this week. I think they’d be fun stocking stuffer ideas, too! You just warm a piece of the lotion bar with your hands until it becomes smooth, and use it like a body lotion. I rubbed it on my belly, hips and boobs, and am 100% belly stretchmark free. (I think some of that has to do with genetics, but I figured it couldn’t hurt to use something to prevent them, and I really think it helped)

7) The little things. Just like pre-pregnancy, I had my days where I felt great, and others where I felt totally gross. I think all girls have those “I feel blah and not-pretty days” and I found that during pregnancy, it felt worse if my eyebrows weren’t waxed or my toenails needed some help. Keeping up with my normal routine and the little things that I enjoy really made a difference. Spa days, daily walks, hanging out with friends, snuggling with Bell, a little power nap, regular hair cuts and wax appointments, a little tinsel strand, all made me feel not-so-blah on my otherwise blah days.

What was your pregnancy must-have?

Friends sans kids, what’s your pick-me-up on a blah day?

A crier: Mom’s Hug Revives Baby (Thanks to Karen for the link!)

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  1. Jill on December 12, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    Number one…I think you meant Bella?? hehe

    Have you seen that Jennifer Lopez movie where she does things backwards (gets pregnant, finds a guy, etc.)? They sleep in the same bed and she gets one of those pillows and it’s hilarious how frustrated he gets over her love for it!

    Can’t wait to see baby!!

    • Fitnessista on December 12, 2011 at 5:08 pm

      haha did i make a ridiculous typo? i proof-read twice, too. my brain!

      • Fitnessista on December 12, 2011 at 5:08 pm

        ohh ok- i actually call bell “belly” which makes even less sense in that sentence, haha

        • Jen on December 12, 2011 at 7:17 pm

          My cats named Bella and I call her belly girl lol!

  2. RachelG on December 12, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    <–sans kid and not a very good napper, so gross days=yoga days. 🙂

    • Fitnessista on December 12, 2011 at 5:12 pm

      yoga cures all 🙂

      • RachelG on December 12, 2011 at 5:16 pm

        AMEN!! 🙂

  3. R @ Learning As I Chop on December 12, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    I agree with these choices and would add: 1) a prenatal yoga class card. 2) flattering maternity clothes that closely resemble your own style. for example, very happy with my maternity “skinny jeans” 3) time to put effort into your hair/nails/make-up etc. whatever makes you feel pretty so that you avoid feeling like a pregnancy frump 4) Friends who are moms that can give you advice/reassurance etc 5) DEFINITELY the Snoogle. I know you already listed it but that thing has saved my life for the past 9 months

    • Fitnessista on December 12, 2011 at 5:13 pm

      i can’t agree more about the clothes! getting maternity jeans that fit and some tops helped SO much

  4. OntarioGirl on December 12, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    I’m so happy you posted this! I just found out yesterday that I’m pregnant! I’ve learned so many things from your family page and can’t wait to use some of your suggestions during my pregnancy 🙂
    Going on my Christmas Wish List right now…a snoogle and a subscription to Fit Pregnancy 😉

    • Fitnessista on December 12, 2011 at 5:13 pm

      whoo hoo!!! congratulations to you! <3
      here's to a happy and healthy pregnancy!

  5. Stacey on December 12, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    You’re adorable!! Please do post the lotion bar how -to when you figure it out!! Also, are you planning on wearing a belly band post pregnancy? I have heard good and bad things about them.. I know Kourtney Kardashian wore one.. haha (my husband is rolling his eyes as I write this lol)

    • Fitnessista on December 12, 2011 at 5:17 pm

      i definitely will- i’m hoping to make some on wednesday and get the post up on thursday
      i told my mom i wanted a hip shrinker and a belly bandit for christmas and she said “the elves don’t make that!” and then when we were at babies r us, i was going to buy them and she told me not to because i asked for it for christmas. so yes, i will be wearing them 🙂 i think it’s a great idea and something women have been doing for decades- my great grandmother said that she would wrap her stomach after each of her children, too.

      • Amy on December 12, 2011 at 5:37 pm

        bc I had a C-section, the Hospital gave me a binder (or belly wrap). IT IS FREAKING AMAZING! I’m a year post pregnancy and when I’m having a bloated day I strap that baby on and by bedtime I can fit into my jeans again!

      • Sarah Crowder on December 12, 2011 at 5:56 pm

        My midwife is big on not buying things you don’t really need, and she still said she’s convinced that postpartum belts are a good buy: http://www.amazon.com/Loving-Comfort-Postpartum-Support-Size/dp/B002BUPXDQ

        I probably wouldn’t have even thought about getting one, but she said even if you don’t have a c section it can really help with comfort and awareness to get your core back in shape.

        • Rita on December 12, 2011 at 7:59 pm

          Both me and my sister-in-law tried that particular belly band and I wouldn’t recommend it. We both felt like it rolled down and didn’t stay in place. I would recommend one that is longer. I had two c-sections in two years so belly bands were amazingly supportive for me. My sister-in-law didn’t have a c-section but still used a belly band for that extra support. It really helps.

          • Sarah Crowder on December 13, 2011 at 8:15 am

            Oh good to know…is there a particular one you liked?

          • Rita on December 13, 2011 at 2:16 pm

            Sarah, I heard that these are good – http://www.target.com/p/Couture-Belly-Bandit-Black-Pink-Heart/-/A-13190115 but I just used the ones from the hospital. They provided one for me both times because of the c-sections but all you have to do is ask your doctor for one. As I started to lose weight and it became too big, I modified it by cutting and sewing it to fit better. Worked perfectly. I gained over 60 pounds both times (yikes).

  6. Maria on December 12, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    The lotion bar sounds very similar to the bars I’ve purchased at Lush. All natural and wonderfully moisturizing!!! I have one that smells like banana and goes on like silk! You should definitely check them out. Their skincare line is amazing as well…

    So glad to hear that pregnancy CAN be enjoyable! Congrats! 🙂

    • Fitnessista on December 12, 2011 at 5:24 pm

      i wish we had a lush SO badly. i’ll see if you can order online 🙂

  7. Mela Tircuit on December 12, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    I’ve really enjoyed reading all your pregnant blogs! You and Pilot are such great parents!!! So excited for y’all!! 🙂

    • Fitnessista on December 12, 2011 at 5:23 pm

      thank you! <3

  8. sabine @ some-like-it-raw.com on December 12, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    I really love that magazine and the app- never heard of them before so thank you. (umm, not preggo, but cant wait, teehee 😉 )

  9. Karinda on December 12, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    Hey Gina! I am pregnant and really intrigued by the lotion bar you mentioned above. I googled it and found this, with the exact same ingredients….thought I would pass it along. http://www.etsy.com/shop/turtlegrassbody
    – Karinda

    • Fitnessista on December 12, 2011 at 5:23 pm

      it looks like it’s similar! the only thing with etsy is that i’m almost out and i don’t know how long it will take to get here, so i’m going to try and make my own

  10. MMiller on December 12, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    I also enjoyed my pregnancies! And my first was a few days early! My second was actually ON my due date!

  11. Katy on December 12, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    On my blah days I just talk to my Fiance about whatever is bothering me-he has a way of making me feel better about myself =o)

  12. Haley on December 12, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    Love your seven essentials…you are so cute pregnant and I can’t wait to see pictures of your little lady when she arrives

  13. Lindsay @ Lindsay's List on December 12, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Pregnancy must have? hmm…my Bible! I prayed A LOT over these kids, for them to be healthy, for their futures.

  14. Lauren on December 12, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    I enjoyed being pregnant too. And I enjoyed the first few months even though I was exhausted, my baby was a pretty good sleeper. Still is. I hope the same for you! It’s when they walk that’s the real trouble! Mine turned into a different little girl! Lol! Fun post! Have you shared your due date? I wasn’t sure when you were due. I hope your little one comes early! Can’t wait! Holding her for the first time is heaven! Best feeling I have ever had. I tear up thinking about it. It’s such an euphoria!

  15. Sonia (the Mexigarian) on December 12, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    Sans kids and not prego, but seriously book marking this for the future. You look amazing and I bet you two will be awesome parents 😀

  16. Rachel on December 12, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    You said contractions! Are you in labor?

  17. Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather on December 12, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    Love this list :). Maternity pants are a must for me! I’m only 16 weeks along but already loving my stretchy waisted pants. I figured I might as well get my money outta them!

  18. April on December 12, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    I also had an awesome pregnancy and would have to say my “must have” was my sevens maternity jeans, they made me feel so sexy! I never got a snookie cuz I was always able to sleep well. I agree, keeping up with the “beauty stuff” is a must…and I am sad to report it isn’t easy now to fit it in with a little one.
    My baby came 10 days early (my first) and dr said most likely because I worked out. I was totally caught off guard:- you are smart to be do prepared can’t wait for the post when you announce it…your blog has been SO much fun Gina!!!!!

  19. Megan on December 12, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    I absolutely second the maternity pillow! I have a Boppy one, and I don’t know how I would’ve gotten through pregnancy without it.

    My other must-have: learning to let go a little bit. One thing I’ve learned in pregnancy is that you have to just relax a bit and let things happen as they should. You can’t plan for everything!

  20. healthy ashley on December 12, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    Awesome post, friend! I’m so happy pregnancy has been so good to you.

    • Fitnessista on December 12, 2011 at 9:12 pm

      thank you, friend! hope you’re doing well <3

  21. Heather on December 12, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    I too will be 37 weeks this week. Yay for full term baby girls 🙂 The snoogle was def my number 1. I couldn’t survive without it. I’ve also LOVED my maternity tank tops for under my shirts, having those have kept me in most of my regular shirts without exposing myself!

  22. Stephanie on December 12, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    I will have to come back to these posts once I’m pregnant lol. But I don’t think I would forget about the Snoogle – ever ;-).

    Just wanted to let you know, I was my mom’s first baby and was almost 4 weeks early – so you just never know!

  23. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga on December 12, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    “I bought a few of these Bravado ones, and they’re quite possibly the most hideous and most comfortable bras I’ve ever owned” <– AGREED!!

    I lived in them for the pregnancy and for the many years after the fact that I nursed. Yes, the best things ever. And after those, I have 'graduated' to living in Target Champion $16.99 bras. I may never again wear an underwire. It's been..umm…6 years almost? (whoa, my kid is getting old!)

    Love this post, love everything you've mentioned..and my pregnancy must-have was saltine crackers 🙂

    • Fitnessista on December 12, 2011 at 9:11 pm

      i never want to wear something with underwire ever again, haha

  24. Kate on December 12, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    Having proper, well fitting maternity clothes & underwear kept me happy and looking somewhat myself over my first pregnancy. I’m expecting #2 and we are coming into summer in our neck of the woods, so I’m investing in proper maternity swimwear this time around 🙂

  25. Chelsa on December 12, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    You look so adorable in that top picture. Cutest baby bump ever!

  26. Maria on December 12, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    I will be bookmarking this page for when I actually need it 🙂 I can’t believe you’re so close!!!

  27. Chelsa on December 12, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    I wish your family blog could be turned into a book so that I could have it as inspiration for when I am preggers one day.

    • Fitnessista on December 12, 2011 at 9:11 pm

      thanks, girl! it will still be here 🙂

  28. Michaela on December 12, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    I cannot believe your little one will be here so soon!!! Isn´t it amazing how time flies?
    Your belly looks so tiny in that belly support pic, compared to what it looks like now!
    Perfect pick me up: a nice and sweaty workout while listening to upbeat music!

  29. kristina on December 12, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    Don’t be too eager to chuck the pillow – I used a body pillow throughout my pregnancy (never used one before and it took forever to feel comfortable) and now, post-babes I cannot sleep without my body pillow!
    A word re: nursing tanks – GET A WHOLE BUNCH! They are the best thing ever, I used Bravado. I wore them under a zip up hoodie and it was so easy to nurse. You’ll def need several as you will wear it 24/7.

    My baby came 30 minutes before his due date (1st baby, last February) but this was the due date according to my 1st ultra sound, not the due date according to the ‘first day of my last period’ (if I went by that, he came 4 days late). If you haven’t already, pick up some cute nursing pyjamas. Mine included pants, nursing tank top, and a zip up top, so it was great to wear in the hospital. The tank had a shelf but wasn’t supportive enough for my bowling balls, so I had to wear a nursing tank underneath. Nice to have something cute on (for vistors) yet functional.

  30. mi-an d. on December 12, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    So funny…i was just watching the back up plan the other day. and j.lo’s bf was so sick of the snoogle pillow that he tossed it out of the window into the garbage! and now your husby plans on burning it! hahahha! is it really that bad for them?? lol

  31. Nicole on December 12, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    The snoogle!! Ha ha ha! Hilarious picture!

  32. Robyn (GirlonRaw) on December 13, 2011 at 12:04 am

    Aww I cannot believe your pregnancy is almost done. I, like you, really enjoyed being pregnant and I kinda wish it had of lasted a little longer, but having said that was really happy to see the little man when he finally arrived. I, too was really lucky to have NO stretch marks at all too, and yes I do believe that is genetic, as my mum was the same. But I was also told that the stretch marks can appear once you lose the weight and your skin becomes a little looser? What do you think? My weight loss has been slow post pregnancy and now that he is 9 months old I am finally getting back to pre pregnancy weight, and I’m kinda glad it took a little longer as I’ve had friends that have returned to their previous weights very quickly and now have issues with lose skin. Ahhh who knows!

  33. Ali on December 13, 2011 at 12:33 am

    I think you make such an awesome point about the little things really making a difference. I am the same way, and I am not even preggers. Keeping my work out routine always makes me feel better on a blah day.

  34. Ilana on December 13, 2011 at 8:17 am

    gah it’s SO fascinating to me how every woman experiences pregnancy different. i got pregnant in college (miscarried first term, totally totally for the best omg) but the way that I knew something was weird is that my boobs BLEW UP. also I didnt know it then but I went to get a manicure at some point during those weeks an the chick gave me one of those quick shoulder rubs at the end when you’re drying your nails and I actually CRIED over how good it was. because of that, I believe all pregnant women should get massages-not necessarily pregnancy belly massages, but shoulders, feet, back, just you know, relaxing, tension relieving! Whenever a pregnant mama comes to my yoga class I make sure to give her an extra special massage at some point.

  35. Ana on December 13, 2011 at 8:43 am

    I also used a cocoa butter-based cream for my belly when pregnant and did not have stretch marks! 🙂

  36. Jess on December 13, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    My #1 was my water bottle. I’d never been so thirsty in my life, that was until I started nursing. My medicine ball was also amazing! I loved it so much that I took it to work to sit on during the day. I look ridiculous dragging it back and forth every day but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

    I just used normal lotion, no stretch marks. It’s totally genetic. You can lotion yourself up all day, but if you’re going to get them, there is nothing you can do to prevent them. It also helps to gain weight slowly.

  37. Jess on December 13, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    My #1 was my water bottle. I’d never been so thirsty in my life, that was until I started nursing. My medicine ball was also amazing! I loved it so much that I took it to work to sit on during the day. I look ridiculous dragging it back and forth every day but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

    I just used normal lotion, no stretch marks. It’s totally genetic. You can lotion yourself up all day, but if you’re going to get them, there is nothing you can do to prevent them. It also helps to gain weight slowly.

    P.S. I had my daughter at 38 weeks, 3 days.

  38. Bree on December 13, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    So far it’s definitely the clothes. The day I gave in and wore maternity pants was the greatest. I feel so much more comfortable now.

    I asked for a Snoogle for Christmas – so excited!

  39. Erin on December 13, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    I LOVE the pants you’re wearing in the photo with the snoogle. I’ve been looking for something similar – where did you get them from?

  40. Deanne on December 13, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    HAHA! I literally laughed out loud at the Snoogle comment that the Pilot is throwing it away once baby arrives. I’m 32 weeks, and my husband tells me the exact same thing every.single.night. He can’t wait to have this mysterious third thing out of our bed. I’ll miss it.

  41. Jamima @ Sweat Style on December 13, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Great post! My must-haves (my two girls are now 3 years old and 7 months!) were Mama Mia Tummy Rub Stretch Mark Butter (smells great and worked wonders!) and Moving Comfort bra’s (Fiona & Rebound Racer). Best of all, the bra’s aren’t hideous and are GREAT for breastfeeding as well. I am still wearing them.

    Best of luck with your little one, when she comes. It is so much fun!

  42. Debbie on December 13, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    I was a big fan of my snoogle pillow too…my husband also made me throw it out 🙁 Funny thing though, I got so used to having it that I still use a small pillow between my knees.

    I loved both of my pregnancy’s…most woman I talk to say they hated being pregnant. I am happy to hear that you had a good experience too. I believe that living a healthy lifestyle before and during pregnancy helps a lot.

  43. Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie on December 13, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    That’s awesome to know Fit Pregnancy magazine exists! I hope its still around in a few years when I’m looking for fitness pregnancy inspiration!

  44. Avery on December 13, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    I’m only engaged to be married, but I feel like I need to tuck this post away for future reference! Such great advice! 🙂

  45. Dominique on December 13, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    My eldest brother was born 3 weeks early. He was quite the surprise for my parents. None of us, my two brothers nor I, were born on time. I was youngest and I was born a week late.

    My pick-me-up on a bad day (whether it be work or personal) is sushi. I’m really going to miss it when I’m pregnant.

  46. Katie on February 17, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    Hello! I’m searching for a great gift for a friend of mine and I am wondering where you got your pink snoogle! Is it a cover or is it the pillow itself? I’ve been searching all over! 🙂

    • Fitnessista on February 17, 2012 at 6:01 pm

      it’s the cover for it 🙂 that is an AWESOME gift!

      • Katie on February 27, 2012 at 1:48 pm

        I’ve found ones that indicate the color as “mauve”, and they look pink-ish. I’ll keep looking to see if I can find any true pinks, or maybe I’ll just decide on the mauve. Thank you! 🙂 I think she’ll be very grateful!

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