Expecting? These are all the things you definitely DON'T need to buy right now
Peed on a stick and got two lines instead of one?
CONGRATULATIONS! You are about to have a baby (obvs!) – and also be bombarded (seriously; totally inundated) with stuff you just need to buy!
The thing is, though, and take it from someone who has gone through it twice, a lot of the stuff all the shops/marketers/baby magazines are telling you you HAVE TO GET when you are pregnant, is just total and utter rubbish.
As in, you can easily do without it – and, in the process, save yourself a ton of money you can then spend on other things. Like a pair of really nice shoes for you – trust me, when you have trudged through nine months in boring flat footwear, you going to want to embrace your inner Carrie Bradshaw!) Or, you know, really, really cute outfits for your baby...
Anyway, digression (and shoe obsession) aside. If you are currently pregnant and want some honest advice on what you really can cross off your to-buy list (and still sail through pregnancy), here you go:
1. Maternity clothes
I know you think this sounds a little odd, but really; you do need to invest in pregnancy clothes (that you will wear for a couple of months, then never again). The main reason being that maternity clothes are for the most part fairly expensive. Secondly, and most importantly, they are also usually, despite the hefty price tag, really, really ugly.
(Disclaimer: If you do have money to spend, and you really long to throw them at some pregnancy wear that you will LOVE forever more, try Hatch – the clothes here are so gorgeous I have actually purchased bits from here to wear even long after I had the baby!
Normal clothes works just fine. Invest in some t-shirts you can layer, just choose a size or two larger than you normally wear, and you'll be fine. Wrap-dresses, tunic tops and layered vests are great. Jeans that won't button? Try using a hair bobbin to keep it in place, and then cover your little secret with a long t-shirt or top.
Another great tip is to raid your partner's wardrobe for some over-sized shirts - they will look great paired with your own jeans, and will easily cover the fact that the button won't close! Ponchos are great for winter weather, as are coats that can be belted over your bump.
2. Anti-stretch mark creams
Stretch marks are caused by the collagen beneath the skin tearing as it stretches to accommodate your enlarging body. Whether you get them or not is largely down to genetics, and not what you rub on to prevent them. There are numerous anti-stretch mark creams on the market, but despite what the manufacturers would have us believe, no cream applied to the surface of your skin can have much effect on what is happening to the deeper layers of collagen that lie well below the surface.
That said, it is a nice evening wellness ritual to slather yourself with something, and as dry skin can be an issue during pregnancy, why not buy yourself a jar of organic coconut oil, and use this. Not only will you smell like a Bounty bar (which is NEVER a bad thing), but you will also be using a beauty treatment that has no chemicals, additives or perfume added. Oh, and it leaves your skin super-soft too.
3. The VAST majority of pregnancy and baby books
All these books will do, is wreck your head about what you HAVE TO avoid or HAVE TO do or NEED TO buy. They will make you stress out about feeding and sleep routines, long before the baby is even due. Seriously; spend your pregnancy reading 50 Shades of Grey (or whatever else tickle your fancy), and worry about napping regimes and nipple ointments when the time comes. Also, questions and worries are what Google is for, girls. It will give you much more specific answers to all your questions, and you don't have to pain yourself with an entire book of Gina Ford and her crazy military regimen.
4. Car seatbelt extender
Pointless. Just put the lap part of your seatbelt below your bump and make sure the other part sits between your boobs.
5. Home doppler
In many cases, these gadgets cause more stress for expectant mothers than relief. It can be difficult at times to find the fetus' heart rate since the fetus moves around a lot. Also, the fetal heart rate normally has some variation to it, so why would you want to play doctor at home when you, if you are really concerned, can just nip into your GP or community midwife for some reassurance? Remember this: They had babies back in the day too - no home doppler required...
6. Fancy hospital gown
I know, I know, you want to look your best meeting your baby for the very first time, but remember this: Your hospital gown is a lot like your wedding dress, in that you’ll only wear it once, for a few hours, and by the end of the day it’ll just get covered in bodily fluids. (Sorry!)
7. Designer sick bags
The fact that these even exist is just insane if you ask me. Like, there are some things you just can't pretty up, no matter how hard you try, and puke is one of them. I mean, yes, sure, it’s a good idea to keep a bag in your handbag if you’re prone to bad morning sickness, but I doubt a bamboo-patterned bag is going to make you feel any more zen about getting sick in public.
8. Devices that play music to your (unborn!) baby
Two words: Just sing! (My God, how crazy can you get!)
If you fancy giving birth to the next top blogger (are you aware how much Chiara Ferragni earns, by the way?!), or social media sensation, you will need to invest in this device. With the Kickbee, which is a fabric belt for your belly that hooks up to your Twitter account (not kidding), your baby can actually send a tweet every time he or she kicks. Oh. My. God.
OK, I am aware that wallpaper is technically not a pregnancy product, but when that nesting instinct kicks in and you find yourself dangling from the top of a stepladder like a massive, pregnant lunatic, just stay clear of wallpaper. Instead, go for paint when it comes to decorating the nursery walls. Children’s tastes develop pretty fast, and it’s a lot easier to repaint a room rather than re-paper it. Trust me.
OK, guys. Your turn: What did YOU buy when YOU were pregnant that you then figured out you could have totally done without?! Let us know in the comments or send me an e-mail at Trine.Jensen@Herfamily.ie