When you are pregnant there is a huge focus on the end goal – i.e. your baby, and what you might need to prepare for their arrival. Apart from your baby shower when you might get a few mummy pampering bits {and by then it is quite late in the day!} I found there isn't really much emphasis on what you might need to survive the whole journey? So, I thought I would round up some of the things I found I couldn't be without. Everyone is different of course, but here's what worked for me.

1 // Dreamgenii pillow

This pillow was the very first thing I acquired in pregnancy {bought for me by my husband, cute}. I've heard that the V-shaped pillows are good too but the Dreamgenii is a shaped a bit more like an elephant's trunk {LOL} so that you can snuggle it around your bump and back. I gave it a whirl quite early on and it just made me hot and uncomfortable, but later on it was a real comfort – it kept me laying on my side {which is apparently far safer than on your back, which can put pressure on your spine and restrict blood flow to the baby. Who knew. } This pillow is quite expensive, but it is worth every penny. When I was recovering from birth in hospital and Adam brought it in {because yes I'd forgotten to pack it!} I felt like a child who had been reunited with her comfort blanket, and slept much better because of it.

2 // M&S Flexifit bras

So you're supposed to ditch wired bras as soon as you get into pregnancy {as they can damage your developing milk ducts}. At about 14 weeks I trotted off to M&S to see what I could find – at this early stage I wasn't quite ready to go straight for a nursing bra, I mean you totally could do, but think about how much you wear bras and how knackered they get! I ended up buying three of these Flexifit bras – they are super soft, comfortable and stretchy – all of things you will greatly demand of your breast upholstery as your body changes. Towards the end of pregnancy I then went back and bought my nursing bras. I have 6 of them in different colours, I personally find these ones amazing as they are plain, stretchy and comfortable enough to wear day and night. I am constantly washing them, I would say you need 6-9 nursing bras if you are breastfeeding exclusively/not wanting to be a totally minger and wearing the same ones over and over. Final word of advice which you may already have heard so soz, but don't buy your nursing bras in your pregnancy bust size. My milk came in and my boobs doubled in size, no word of a lie! 

3 // NYX Gotcha Covered Concealer

I've always had annoyingly troublesome skin. Never seriously bad acne – more a succession of regular breakouts, especially around my periods and usually on my chin or cheeks. When I was about 17 weeks pregnant my spots just went batshit MENTAL. It was the worst they've ever been – even worse than my teenage years {and boy, they were bad}. At one point I had about twenty {yes I counted them, was so horrified} massive boil-like painful spots on my face. UGH. It was absolutely horrible, and I felt so self-conscious and uncomfortable. The NYX Gotcha Covered Concealer was a lifesaver, as I endured full pregnancy pizza face for a good 5-6 weeks.

GOOD NEWS THOUGH. Things calmed down and went back to normal, and then, at about 35 weeks my skin became the best it's ever been as in 100% clear! It's still hanging in there too, I think I've had three teeny tiny pimples since Amelia was born. {Might also have something to with the fact I changed my skincare routine from Liz Earle to Elemis in late pregnancy, but not convinced as have never before noticed such a dramatic difference between products and my skin's behaviour.}

4 //  H&M MAMA skinny jeans

A friend of mine recommended the H&M skinny jeans. When you fall pregnant, you don't really need to buy anything tops-wise for a little while, maybe until you start getting a proper bump {this was about Week 16 for me} but you can get straight into some nice stretchy-banded Mum jeans because, er dreamy comfortable. I bought three pairs in different colours. Oh and, if you are curvy like me and you've always found H&M's regular jean sizing totally unhelpful for your shape, these bad boys will probably change that. They are roomy and stretchy yet stylish and still skinny. My only slight beef is that they were quite long, I had to roll the bottoms up and I'm 5"8!! Maybe I accidentally bought the long leg size or something. Or H&M think all pregnant women grow like trees?

5 // Gaviscon

At some stage in pregnancy you will get heartburn. If you don't we cannot be friends. I will forever envy you. In my case, it was totally miserable and persistent to the point where I celebrated if I didn't get it for a few hours. If you asked me about the worst part of pregnancy this would totally be it. I really hated taking it, but the only thing that really helped my heartburn was Gaviscon Advance {the other varieties didn't really work}. I had one on my desk at work and one in my night stand, because the worst time of day seemed to be about two hours after eating and at night. I also carried about 800 Rennies or Tums about with me everywhere, which are pretty good at killing it when you're out and about. As well as the constantly nagging burn in my oesophagus, I also suffered with awful acid reflux. This is particularly bad when you bend down to do some cleaning or put the lead on the dog. Or when you go to bed on a full stomach. Waking up in the middle of the night choking on acidic juices is one of the most painful and unpleasant experiences you can have – I tried to eat dinner no later than 7pm and also avoided lots of rich foods.

6 // Bio Oil

Probably a bit obvs, but I slathered on plenty of Bio Oil throughout pregnancy. Still got stretch marks, mind, but, I think it helps reduce the damage to your skin overall. I was a bit fearful of stretch marks in early pregnancy, now I guess I see them as part of the adventure and my 'battle scars' of growing a baby. They will also fade in time. I got loads on my legs and boobs when I hit puberty and you can't see any of those now!

7 // H2O

Okayyy, so strictly speaking this is an essential for survival as a human being but seriously – I have never drunk so much water or been so thirsty as I have been growing a baby. I guess it might be something to do with the fact that your blood volume doubles and you are automatically building a whole person's worth of cells, organs and intricate biological structures {mind blown} which takes a whole lot of energy and hydration. Being plastic conscious I tried to not buy allll the bottled water and just top up from the tap, but in hindsight I would probably have done well to invest in a filter jug so I could glug away happily all day long, especially at work. In the latter stages of my pregnancy there was a heatwave, so I became addicted to iced water/ice in all my cold drinks and used to sit and suck on the ice cubes too – full on crazed hot pregnant lady behaviour.

8 // Apps

I had about four pregnancy apps on my phone and they were amazing. When I fell pregnant I had been using Glow to track my cycles so I simply switched to Glow Nurture which is specifically for pregnancy. Of all the apps I have it was my favourite, it tells you how many days you have left, what size the baby is and useful articles to read about the baby's growth and development each day. Probably the best thing about this app is the Community section which, whilst filled predominantly with women in the US, has a healthy UK following too. Most of the information is relevant and helpful to any pregnant person – there are groups for all sorts of things including First Trimester, Due Date Buddies, Moms in Their 30's. Altogether a great app for asking questions/finding out answers to things you want to know in pregnancy that you can't glean from googling mumsnet articles. Which you will also do A LOT, by the way.

9 // Books

I don't read enough as it is, so pregnancy was a great excuse for me to start devouring books. What to Expect When You Are Expecting is a classic and filled with traditional but helpful tips for each month, plus advice on labour. I loved How To Grow a Baby and Push it Out by Clemmie Hooper and the hilarious Sleep Is For The Weak. For something a bit off-piste and historically interesting, Bringing up Baby was a fun read. I was given this by my Step-mum and it's a great little read to dip in and out of. I also purchased The Penguin Book of Baby Names which was a bit more digestible that painfully flicking through a gazillion baby name lists and articles online.

10 // Journal

Ten months is a long time {newsflash, nine months of pregnancy is a myth} to remember every little detail or development, so being the little note-taking, list-making weirdo I am, I thought I might nab myself a journal to jot it all down in. I have a confession – I haven't actually filled in some of the weeks, because let's face it there's only so many things you can say about having exactly the same symptoms and cravings for several weeks in a row. But, it was a really nice way to document milestones such as the first kick, scans, any thoughts or fears etc. There are some lovely journals around these days to choose from, including the Clemmie Hooper one and Mama Journals. Mine is this Busy B one from Amazon.

What essentials did you find/are you finding great throughout your pregnancy?

Ceels x