I'm just barely over the halfway mark of pregnancy (note the 21-week belly pic in the sidebar!), but I thought I'd post some things I've found most useful thus far.
It's important to drink lots of water, so get a bottle that you like, and that makes you happy to use. Also, while some women experience increased saliva, my mouth has actually dried out, and I wake up in the mornings with a sore throat and my tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth, so it's nice to have some water on hand. Pros: Healthy! Cons: Just another thing to carry around.
This is for the first trimester. I kept a bag of it by the bed and in my purse. I just mixed peanuts, raisins and pretzels together, and the protein and carbs help keep your stomach calm (and full). Pros: Cheaper than buying a pre-made mix. Cons: The pretzels got stale from the moisture of the raisins.
I never did a demo of this, but I ended up wearing it almost every day until I graduated to maternity. Pros: The white went with almost everything. I got to wear my normal clothes longer than otherwise. Cons: It extends down to your hips (past the zipper of your pants, if you've unzipped them), which also closes off pockets. Sometimes it got bunched up and felt tight around my stomach.
Arbonne Rejuvenating Cream:
This cream is the absolute best for your belly. It's expensive, so I tended to use it so sparingly that it wasn't serving its purpose. However, Arbonne offers a membership discount, as well as opportunities to build your own business, making more than enough money to pay for your cream. Pros: All-natural, no smell, not sticky, absorbs quickly. Cons: Expensive ($35 for 2.2 oz)
Mama Bee Belly Butter:
This cream has been my fall-back cream. It's still very nice, but has a smell and tends to be sticky for awhile after putting it on. I like that the ingredients are things like sunflower oil. And I've actually gotten used to the smell, now, and it goes away, so you won't be smelling it all day. Pros: All-natural, inexpensive ($12.99 for 6.6 oz in Motherhood stores) Cons: Sticky and has an odor.
You will go through a lot of belly cream. Despite its name, you put it a lot more places than just your belly. I started too early, but I've probably gone through 12-14 oz of different products.
I have a love-hate relationship with this thing, but it does help keep me on my side, which the books say is better. It also helps keep my hips aligned because I hold it between my knees. A friend of mine recommended the Snoogle. I didn't get it because I already had the body pillow, but I think it would be a good purchase. Pros: Keeps you where you should be. Cons: Acts like a heater and a third body in the bed.
Fiber is a prego lady's friend! Fruits, vegetables, and Benefiber. Last night I added it to pomegranate juice, and there really is no extra taste, and it really did dissolve all the way. I've added it to OJ many times, and I seem to have more trouble with it dissolving in that, but maybe because I was trying to put too much in too little juice. Pros: Really makes a difference, no added taste or texture. Cons: Kind of expensive, but worth it.
Prenatal Pilates 10-Minute Solutions:
Granted, I have not been as good about doing this as I should, but it's still really great. There are several different 10-minute workouts, so you can do 2 or 3 at a time, or just one when you get a break. It's all fairly simple stuff, but challenging enough to make you feel like you're doing something. Pros: Fits in your schedule, inexpensive. Cons: No one next to you to actually make you do it!
I've always been a bra snob, and I buy my bras at Victoria's Secret. I realized that I would be going through several sizes of bras through the pregnancy, and I wasn't sure what to do. I was pretty sure my first "upgrade" wouldn't need to be a nursing bra, but I didn't want to buy some expensive bra that I'd only wear for a month or two. A trek to Wal-Mart found this Hanes bra for $10. It's style G601, wireless and padded. It fits great, feels almost as good as my VS bras, and will work just fine until I need a new one. Pros: Inexpensive, comfortable. Cons: It might have ousted VS from my dresser drawer!
While your cup size will get bigger on your bras, the measurement around your chest will, too, as your lungs and belly expand. So, to make your bras last a little longer, get a bra extender! They're less than $2 at Hobby Lobby in the sewing notions section. Pros: Inexpensive way to spread out your bra purchases. Cons: Pretty specific sizes (number of hooks and width between hooks), so you might need to get a couple different ones.
Well I think that's enough for one post! If you're just starting on the pregnancy road, or maybe you're thinking about it in the next year or so, maybe these suggestions will help you when you get there.