Nothing Fits And My Body Feels Like Sand: Five Pregnancy Essentials To Help You Gestate In Peace

February 18, 2016

As a side effect of working on some real, serious, pain-in-the-ass writing elsewhere, this blog has become a place for pure nonsense. It’s so relaxing, I love it.

You would think that by now I would have mastered the art of dressing a large, pregnant mammal with dignity—but alas, I have not. In fact, this may have been the hardest pregnancy to date in terms of finding things that fit over my couch-like body. Yesterday I went back through my online orders and calculated a total of $325 dollars worth of maternity clothing that I’ve bought and then returned because it was either unflattering, uncomfortable, or like trying to squeeze a sausage back into its casing. 325 dollars. That may be a tank top for Gwyneth Paltrow, but in this house that’s a whole lot of crappy Old Navy activewear.

Today I’m passing along five pregnancy essentials I’ve found through trial and error that make me feel more human during pregnancy (and coincidentally in real life too). Something for everyone.

Godspeed on your quest.

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1) MATERNITY LEGGINGS

Out of all the things, good maternity leggings are probably the most important thing I’ve bought to keep up morale. Not only are my Motherhood Maternity jeans uncomfortable (I don’t even want to talk about the Old Navy pairs I bought and returned), they just don’t stay up. Bad leggings do the same thing. Over the span of three months, I’ve bought and returned leggings from H&M, Old Navy, Gap, Motherhood Maternity, and Kohl’s. None of them did their job. They either made me feel sloppy, itchy, weird, or like a sad sloth. 0/5 stars. Every single one.

Things were looking bleak until I found these Blanqi maternity leggings. Comfortable, flattering, and did I mention I never take them off? Dressed up or down, you can wear them for anything. I’ve worn them out to dinner, then to bed, then off to preschool drop off the next day. I have no regrets. They have a built-in belly support band and a moisture-wicking finish that makes them breathable and practical to wear in all weather. Best of all, they hold everything in. Worth every penny.

Tip: If you are in-between sizes, they recommend sizing up to keep your backside covered.

Another tip: They have a pair for after the baby, too.

These highwaist support leggings were made for mamas trying to dress a post baby body that just won’t cooperate. Same look, same breathable and easy material, but formed to flatten your front and make your butt look like Beyonce while you’re trying to care for a newborn. Win.

The search is over. RELIEF.

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2) COMFORTABLE SHOES

Birkenstocks

Social media and pop culture have led me to believe three things about women and their feet:

1) All women have small, narrow, beautiful feet
2) All women enjoy wearing heels if they just get used to it
3) The key to a woman’s happiness lies in her shoe closet

These facts may be true for some, but they are not true for me. Especially when I’m pregnant. Like many gestating females, my feet swell and grow with each pregnancy–making it 100% essential to stop walking around in hand-me-down Gap flip flops I got from my college roommate.

Enter Birkenstocks.

My love affair with Birks started with my pregnancy with Eva and I haven’t worn anything since. Some people might say they’re kind of ugly (me), but so are Uggs and Crocs. Two other shoes I’m happy to wear because THEN MY FEET DON’T HURT. And honestly, Birkenstocks have come a long way since the days of yore. There are so many different styles now that don’t make it look like you’re auditioning for a role in a biblical film that it’s hard to choose which to bring home. I’ll never wear anything else.

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3) FLATTERING TOPS

Pink Blush

I don’t have many clothes left over from the first two pregnancies, so when I found out I was pregnant this fall, I started from square one. Much like the leggings search, my quest for well-fitting maternity tops was mostly futile. I cannot tell you how many times I drove to and from Old Navy to return things I ordered online that didn’t fit or were poorly made. Department store and outlet shopping led to similar results. Apparently my particular body shape does not do well with anything that drapes or requires complicated zippers. I need stretchy pants, flowing cardigans, and form fitting tops to go underneath. Otherwise I might as well just wear a trash bag and call it a day.

Enter Pink Blush!

I first heard about Pink Blush Maternity when I won a giveaway on Instagram to their store. Imagine my surprise when my order arrived and everything was perfect. Not only were the clothes well made, they were flattering and affordable. I can now move on with my life.

Favorites include this kimono, this cardigan, this dress, and this gorgeous maternity robe I’ll be packing in my hospital bag this June.

Tip: They also have regular human clothes! I can’t wait to shop their non-maternity line this fall.

Another tip: Use the code “katebaer” for 15% off your first time purchase! Cannot be combined with other promotions or used on sale or clearance items.

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4) ALL THE PILLOWS

Screen Shot 2016-02-14 at 7.18.37 PM

You thought this was going to be a section about a ten foot body pillow, but the joke is on you. I don’t use one! I know pregos everywhere really enjoy wrapping those stuffed snakes around their bodies like a support wall, but I am just as happy with a few memory foam pillows. I like one under my head, one under my arm tucked into my chest (hey required side sleeping), and one in between my legs to support my back and cut down on round ligament pain. This system of memory foam pillows has worked so well that I sleep the same way when I’m not pregnant. Sleeping on a memory foam topper doesn’t hurt either. In fact, it’s pretty critical to this process. It’s like sleeping on a cloud. Experiencing a pregnancy with and without memory foam is like night and day…day being the pregnancy I never slept.

There are a million shapes and kinds of memory foam pillows, you just have to find one that works for you. Here is one with great reviews on Amazon. These pillows from JC Pennys look similar to what I use, too.

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5) BATH SOAPS

Do you hate baths? Does the idea of sitting in your own filth also disgust you? I get it. I never take baths when I’m not pregnant. But there’s something about growing a baby that makes me want to rip off my clothes and marinate in some hot, soapy water.

The key to a good bath is good lighting, good music, and a good book. None of which are pictured above. The other key ingredient is good soap, something I apparently have a hard time regulating. Right now my favorite is this bath soap by Dr. Teal. It smells really good and tricks me into believing its essential oils are going to give me the best night of sleep ever. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

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10 thoughts on “Nothing Fits And My Body Feels Like Sand: Five Pregnancy Essentials To Help You Gestate In Peace

  1. Katie

    Have You tried ASOS maternity? I loved a lot of their stuff, lots of form-fitting with cardigan style…not quite as cheap as H&M, but not pricey

    Reply
  2. Emily

    Ohhh, I will have to remember the BLANQI leggings. I wear Nordstrom’s zellas when not pregnant, and managed to make them work through month 7 before I caved and bought some Pea in the Pod leggings that I hate so much I went back to my non-maternity zellas even though they cut tight in the belly a little. At this point (33 weeks), I feel like I should just suffer to the end, but totally pinning this for any future babes!

    Reply
  3. hungryforbalance

    Super useful!!! Thank you for sharing this! I’m hoping to get pregnant with number 2 shortly and will be in need of some new maternity wear.

    Reply
  4. Katie

    I’m wearing my (maternity) blanqui leggings right now….11 days postpartum :P They still work. They are heaven. (but don’t bend over in the sunlight) :)

    Reply
  5. Megan

    Totally needed this a few months ago, haha. I’m 7 months preg wearing the same 4 shirts and 2 leggings. But I am so not spending any money on the last 8 weeks with my last baby. You look seriously cute!

    Reply
  6. Shantel

    So do those leggings help with round ligament pain? I’m almost 20 weeks and the pain is new to me and not pleasant one bit. Just curious if it is helping yours. Thanks!

    Reply

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