3 Must-Have Pregnancy Products

I feel an overwhelming amount of gratitude to the friends, family, and even the inanimate objects that have made my pregnancy bearable.


This week, I crossed an incredible finish line: my fetus is officially considered "term."

When we thought I'd miscarried at six weeks, I thought we'd never pass this marker. Now I feel an overwhelming amount of gratitude to the supportive readers and editors of this blog, the friends and family who fed and cared for my children while I suffered from tough pregnancy symptoms such as bleeding and fluid leakage, and even some inanimate objects that have made my pregnancy bearable.

Thank you, nasal dilator strips, medicated wipes, and anti-chafing gel, for helping this pregnant lady through her darkest hours.

Nasal dilator strips let me (and my husband) sleep
Snoring more than I have in my whole life is one of the less glamorous sides to pregnancy. Snoring is a side effect of narrowing upper airways that can wake us up while shocking and alienating our long-suffering husbands.

My 50-pound weight gain might have something to do with it. This sonorous effect could be directly related to a pregnant women's weight, according to a study published in European Respiratory Journal.

A good night's sleep is the ticket to a healthier pregnancy, as well as combating postpartum depression. But this is much easier said than done, with multiple trips to the bathroom, heartburn, back pain, and now sawing logs all night.

After three pregnancies, however, I've found that a carefully applied nasal dilator strip stops my most egregious snoring and makes it easier for me to fall asleep after a bathroom trip—minus all the honking and sniffling.

Medicated wipes: a pregnant girl's best friend
A big stack of flushable medicated wipes has been stationed in our bathroom for many months now, and they've been a lifesaver.

A pregnant woman's chance of developing hemorrhoids peaks in the third trimester, according to the March of Dimes.

So yes, we glowing mothers-to-be have special problems "down there." On top of this, many of us suffer from alternating constipation and diarrhea (the glamor just doesn't stop). This was the problem that led me to an emergency ultrasound at 14 weeks—when my constipation caused vaginal bleeding. And it's still lurking around to vex me, 23 weeks later.

Additional urine leakage and vaginal discharge can also characterize the third trimester, so you can imagine that the constant application of these witch hazel pads has become a necessity in my life. They are simply gentler and more "thorough."

The little gel that makes strolls bearable
Another lifesaver for my summer pregnancies has been anti-chafing gel. This little secret is passed down from pregnant lady to pregnant lady, and I'm happy to share it with the world at large. Monistat makes a Soothing Care Chafing Relief Powder Gel that eliminates the friction between a pregnant lady's legs when she walks.

The extra 50 pounds I've gained isn't all sitting on my gut—I can feel the effects all over my body, most unpleasantly on my thighs. In the months following my new daughter's birth, I will lose this growing layer of extra fat: the extra chins will disappear, the chunky legs will shrink, and I will be able to wear my watch and wedding ring again. But for now, when I am wearing one of my massive, tentlike maternity dresses, my thighs chafe when I walk unless I use anti-chafing gel.

It makes life so much more comfortable to have this gel on hand and, if I have any left after the pregnancy, I hear that it doubles as a makeup primer. (Although I can't imagine having much time for makeup once the baby is born!)

With just two weeks until the day of my C-section, time seems to be moving quickly and glacially at the same time. I'm getting a little more sleep (with help), feeling more comfortable (also with help!), and enjoying the last moments of pre-infant "quiet" in our home.
Erica Kain
Last Updated: June 01, 2009

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