8 pregnancy essentials – Basic and Important

Besides being a Doctor, like every other pregnant woman I too had a lot of confusion regarding what essentials I should have to make my pregnancy journey comfortable. I went through a lot of blogs, articles , videos and also took advice from experienced mothers like what worked for them and what not? My motto was very clear. I needed the things which were really essential and not anything fancy just by following some influencer. Here I am listing the most important and much-needed pregnancy essentials through my experience and Ayurveda knowledge.

A stretch Marks Fighter

Who would not like to stay beautiful always? Each one of us wants that, right! I was always a big fan of Abhyanga i.e. a self-oil application. As it has huge benefits for physical and mental health. I read regarding abhyanga during pregnancy and its safety. When I got sure that one can do abhyanga during pregnancy from the 14th week then I decided to go with this for stretch marks care. Already the fancy and expensive creams were out of my list till then. I knew that additives like retinoids, retinol, hydroquinone, benzoyl peroxide, and salicylic acid are usually contraindicated for pregnant women which are present in the stretch marks creams. In general, it is best to choose a moisturizer that is as natural and chemical-free as possible. Then I was left with natural options: oils, ghee, and butter. Among these, I decided to go with oil as it was easily available and comfortable for me. As my second trimester started in the rainy season, I opted for sesame oil. (coconut oil is best for summers). Ghee could be messy for daily work so I was not in favor. The last and one nice option was shea butter which is natural nut butter. You can select any of these: sesame oil, coconut oil, and shea butter for the best stretch mark care anytime over the market products. 

Now the question comes why to start this oil application from the 14th week itself. There are no stretch marks at that time, even the tummy is so flat. So the intention here is to moisturize the skin and reduce the dryness. Dry skin tends to damage and stretch earlier. This reduces the occurrence of stretch marks which is more intelligent care I guess rather than panicking after the appearance of stretch marks. So just keep applying oil to your whole body daily before bath, this will not only help in stretch marks but also soothe your skin, reduce dryness and itching, and release endorphins in your body to help you to stay joyous, provide deep relaxation, and burst your stress. So add oil to your list mums.

A breast Supporter

My early pregnancy symptom was the breast heaviness and tenderness. The tenderness and pain were on the higher side which used to make me feel very tight in the chest. I used to breathe superficially sometimes due to that underwire and get the marks of the straps on my shoulders and back. I realized a bit late that I need to change my regular bra. Then the search started and I went through a lot of maternity clothing sites. I wanted a bra that should be soft enough to take care of my breast tenderness, the straps should be stretchable, no underwire, and of course the good fitting. I ended up choosing a cotton sports bra. 

Believe me that these bras are so very comfortable and easy to go with during pregnancy. I even used the sports bra during breastfeeding as I was not comfortable with the buttoning and unbuttoning of the nursing bras. Sports bras were very easy to put on the breast pads during the leaking of the breast milk. The cotton fabric was very comfortable and good for my skin to take care of rashes and allergies. Never make the mistake of choosing a one size bigger regular bra. And the most pathetic thing is many women stop using bras as soon as they get pregnant. This is the wrong way chosen. Your breast and back need proper support while growing in shape and size. Not using a bra might land up into back pain issues, change in the posture, and losing tone and shape of the breast. So a cotton sports bra is the second essential on my list.

A pregnancy friend

I am not talking about any of my friends but the books. Yes! Books were my all-time companion during pregnancy keeping me motivated, updated, and excited. Pregnancy is a great opportunity for each woman to be a better version of herself. Utilize this time for refining knowledge, redefining life concepts, and learning new things. When I wanted to choose new books at that time I decided on 3 types of books to purchase. The first category was pregnancy information and guide in which I chose Rujuta Diwekar’s Pregnancy Notes and Dr. Balaji Tambe’s Ayurvediya Garbh Sanskar. The reason behind this was I also wanted to study and understand how these people have shared their wisdom. It’s always good to educate yourself and stay updated in the delicate phases of pregnancy. 

The second category was Inspirational books in which I chose Sambhaji by Mr. Vishwas Patil (Being born into a Maharashtra and Marathi family I am a big fan of Swarajya history) and The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. These books always gave me the courage to take bold decisions and follow my heart. I was practicing Garbh Sanskar on my baby in a true sense as my hormones and thoughts used to flow in the qualities like honesty, dedication, leadership, loyalty, honor, love, and care ( i can see the reflection of all these qualities in my child’s growing personality now). And the third category was Spiritual books in which I chose Krsna consciousness by Swami Prabhupada and Bhagwad Geeta (Being a Hindu and I believe in spirituality, you can choose anyone as per your belief and religion or culture) and these books helped me to open up different dimensions of life and the human soul. Suddenly I started feeling more enlightened and mature. Besides these, I use to read affirmations and consume Sadguru’s content. Affirmations helped me during severe mood swings and low phases.

So basically you can decide and choose your own categories and books of favorite authors. Ensure that books should keep your spirit high, inspire you to be creative, and keep you enlightening. My third pregnancy essential is books on the list.

Footwear and Foot care

I walked, walked, and walked a lot in my whole pregnancy. That was the safest and my favorite exercise. During the last trimester, I traveled to my mother’s place (as the delivery was planned there) and forgot my running shoes to carry along. Without realizing I put on the slippers and went for a walk. As my bump had grown big enough at that time, I used to waddle and the slippers put me at more risk of slipping. I had a mild twist in one of my ankles as the roads were also bad. Due to that pain, I stopped walking and that gave rise to pedal edema. So this was the time I badly felt the need for good shoes and I arranged the same.

Don’t overthink that good brand shoes are not a very good investment. This in fact is the most important pregnancy essential and worth investment. Your feet bear the whole body weight during pregnancy which is huge than regular so it needs to be cared for and managed properly with good support. Choose a good brand and appropriate size. The fourth on my list is a good pair of running shoes.

Comfort Clothing

I was using my regular clothes till the first 12 weeks in the clinic but after that, I started feeling tight with my pants and jeans around my waist and also not so good with jeans as it was not allowing my groin area to breathe properly with fresh air (i used to sit for consultations the whole day). So I stopped using jeans. Then I opted for cotton maternity leggings which were very comfortable and breathable for my skin too. Later after 20 weeks again I needed a change in the clothes as the earlier tops and Kurtis were tight at the tummy and chest too. I bought loose cotton Kurtis and tops then. After 28 weeks I switched to cotton A-line pregnancy dresses and skirts. Don’t forget to change the panties every 3 months during pregnancy. Opt for cotton garments. 

Many women have hot flushes, more sweating, skin irritation, and breathlessness during pregnancy. Here comfortable clothes with appropriate fabric will give much relief and help to face the symptoms in a better way. So the 5th essential is clothing which contributes to maternity leggings, maternity dresses, and underpants.

An Ayurvedic Nutrition Booster

Each of us has prenatal visits with our ob-gyn regularly. My doctor started folic acid and iron calcium supplements in the first and second trimester respectively which I was taking without fail. I am not a fan of protein powders or over-the-counter nutritional supplements (being an Ayurvedic professional I follow Ayurveda and hence started taking Shatavari Kalpa since I conceived). Shatavari Kalpa is an ayurvedic preparation that contains Shatavari powder (asparagus racemosus), sugar or jaggery, and cardamom. This Shatavari Kalpa strengthens the uterus, helps in the lactation process, keeps the body cool, reduces acidity, and morning sickness, and also works on stress.

The women who lose weight in the early months of pregnancy can definitely take this instead of any fancy protein powders. One who has gestational diabetes or has a diabetes history can take plain Shatavari powder instead of Kalpa. The dosage is 1 tsp Shatavari Kalpa in one glass of milk daily at bedtime. This wonder drug made my pregnancy journey smoother and delightful. So the 6th pregnancy essential is Shatavari Kalpa on my list.

Healthy Appetizers

Carrying a tiffin with healthy options daily is not an effortless job. I had a lot of food aversions in the first trimester. I would vomit the tender coconut water too. Craving for salty foods which used to trigger vomiting and eventually headaches. Salads which were my all-time favorite used to lie in the corner of the fridge. There were days when I slept without any food. It was really a bad phase with severe fatigue. Gradually I forced myself to drink more and more cold water which started helping me to overcome headaches.

Then I tried homemade snacks like peanut jaggery balls, Murmura Bhel (puffed rice), Rajgira Ladoo (amaranth sweet balls), makhana Chivda (lotus seeds mixture), Fennel seeds and rock sugar mixture and it worked like magic. I started feeling energetic and my appetite also improved. Traditional recipes have a wonderful combination of nutrients and ingredients. These snacking items not only just pass the time and fill your tummy but provide macro and micronutrients taking care of the conditions like anemia, and vitamin deficiencies assuring the mother’s good health and proper growth and development of the baby. So the 7th essential is traditional homemade snacks.

Hydration Reminder

I am not talking about any app here but a water bottle that when on your table continuously keeps you reminded about hydration which is the major factor contributing to a healthy pregnancy. You might feel it silly while counting water bottles in your list but it does make a difference in your water intake when you keep the bottle in front of you. Now the question comes of which bottle I need to select. Our markets are all loaded with so many varieties of bottles claiming positive ions in water, minerals in the water, and what not. Plastic bottles are big No-No and every one is wise enough to understand that now.

Next comes glass bottles which are very good to choose from but not handy when you need to travel daily carrying them and also risky to handle daily at the workplace. Then comes copper bottles. So this was my choice as Ayurveda suggests drinking water stored in a copper vessel. Why so? Copper has the capacity to balance all three doshas – Vata, pitta, and Kapha. It ignites the digestive power i.e. Agni. Copper-charged water has cooling properties i.e. Sheetal guna which helps to reduce pitta dosha (acidity) and also copper purifies water. Note- do not store warm or hot water in copper vessels. I used a clay water bottle during summer (it was made in Gujarat and gifted by one of my doctor friends). The aroma of that water itself was so refreshing and the water was cooling, keeping me calm on those hot sunny days. Mud again is a natural coolant and purifies water. So the last on my list is a clay and copper water bottle.

The above-given list is not influenced by any famous blog or article but gathered by the real need and experiences that most Indian women have.  This is the basic list, over this you are free to add as many essentials as you want for your comfort and lifestyle. I hope this write-up was helpful. Thanks

2 Responses

  1. Dr. Trupti thank you for sharing such helpful things and making mom’s to be happy with the best tips

    Glad to know you

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