My 16 Pregnancy Essentials: From a Budget-Conscious First-Time Twin Mom

It’s hard to believe we’re just weeks away from finally meeting the twins! Half the time it feels like it can’t have been long enough already and the other half the time I feel like I’ve been pregnant forever. I told TwinDad today that it somehow still hasn’t sunk in and it probably won’t sink in until we’re bringing the babies home…or maybe not even then!

I’ve come almost to the end and I wanted, while I still had time, to compile my list of pregnancy essentials for a low-budget minimalist first-time twin mom. I’ll try to be as organized as possible, but these days I’m lucky just to get things done. Just a note: there are some obvious things I’m leaving out, such as a good prenatal vitamin, but that’s something you should discuss with your doctor to make sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need!

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Skin/Hair Care

1. Simple facial wipes, available at most retail/drug stores for about $5. They’re free of harsh chemicals, great for sensitive skin, and so quick and easy for daily cleansing (especially when it’s late and I’m super tired and just want to crawl in bed). I’ve got a pack in my hospital bag, ready to go!

simple

2. Organic coconut oil. You can find jars in most grocery stores for between $7-10. I picked mine up at TJ Maxx at the beginning of my pregnancy for $6 and it’s only half used! I rub this on generously during every shower to keep my skin hydrated to combat stretch marks and itchiness. I’ll be using this post-pregnancy too to help fade stretch marks.

coconut oil

3. Tea tree oil conditioner. I stole this little bottle from TwinDad, but you can find it at most retail stores like Target or WalMart for around $10. One of the perks of pregnancy is fast-growing, thick locks, but my hair has always tended to be on the dry side. Massaging on a good coating of tea tree oil conditioner has kept my hair shiny and hydrated!

tea tree oil

4. Herbal Essences Naked dry shampoo, at Target for $4. I’ve tried other dry shampoos and have been unimpressed until I met this little white bottle. I love the new Naked line since it’s free of parabens and other chemicals. Natural tapioca in this dry shampoo works to absorb excess oil and to add a little texture to your hair, making it easy to style. I’ve got a bottle in my hospital bag since I can’t imagine being without it.

herbal essences dry shampoo

Clothing Items

5. BeMaternity seamless camisoles, at Target for $16.99. I’ve mentioned these in past posts because they’re so great. They are long enough to completely cover even a 32 week twin bump which is awesome, and they’re not bulky or bunchy. I wear one under pretty much everything! They come in white, nude, black, and gray in stores and even more colors online.

bematernity

6. Dr. Scholl’s firm, graduated compression socks. TwinDad found mine at CVS Pharmacy for about $10. I’ve been suffering from some painfully swollen feet lately, and these compression socks have been great; I wish I’d gotten some sooner! They come all the way up to my knee and provide firm compression to promote good circulation and reduce swelling in my feet, ankles, and calves. They’re also smooth, light, and breathable which is great for summer!

compression socks

7. Secret Fit Shaper Panty, at Motherhood Maternity for $20. I’m 32 weeks along and just bought a pair…and I regret not having bought some sooner! I had very low expectations, but wanted something to smooth out my bump under my Easter dress (a gorgeous A Pea in the Pod wrap dress I got on clearance). These are soft, comfy, smoothing in all the right places, breathable, and machine washable to boot! As if that wasn’t enough, they also provide great hip and back support.

My one complaint is the lack of options when it comes to sizing. Two sizes are offered: S/M and L/XL (and there’s no sizing guide). I’ve been wearing S/M in maternity clothes throughout the entire pregnancy, but I decided to get the L/XL to make sure it wasn’t too snug on my twin bump and it ended up being perfect. It’s definitely not too tight, but also not so loose it defeats the purpose.

secret fit shaper

8. Sanuk Yoga Sling 2 sandals, found at a number of shoe stores for around $25-35. I’ve also mentioned these before in a previous post about dealing with foot edema during pregnancy. I cannot stress how awesome these shoes are and what a lifesaver the Sanuk brand has been for me. My swelling has been really bad and my Sanuk Yoga Sling 2 and Slinger sandals are the only shoes I can wear. The soles are made of yoga mat material and the straps are breathable, stretchy fabric…put those together and your feet are cushioned and supported and happy (which is fitting since Sanuk is, apparently, the Thai word for “happy”). The Sanuk sandals are cute and come in tons of patterns/colors, and for $25 you might as well buy more than one pair.

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Healthy Foods

9. Bolthouse Farms Protein Plus Chocolate drink, found at most grocery stores for around $4 for the large bottle. Twin moms need a lot of extra protein. Bolthouse Farms happens to be my favorite protein drink because it’s not thick and gritty, and it’s made with soy and whey proteins. There are lots of other options out there for protein drinks, but this happens to be my favorite.

bolthouse

10. Flaxseed. I buy a big bag of organic flaxseed at my grocery store for about $8. Not only is flaxseed high in fiber, but it’s also high in omega-3s which are essential to Baby’s brain development. I buy ground flaxseed and sprinkle mine in morning Greek yogurt and fruit smoothies, blend it in with banana nut muffin mix, add a dash to a bowl of cereal, use it as a main ingredient in making chocolate peanut butter oatmeal energy bites…the ways of adding flaxseed to your diet are endless.

flaxseed

11. Harney & Sons Organic Peppermint Tea. My amazing sister found this tea for me online so I’m not sure of the cost. There are lots of other brands of peppermint tea out there, but I think this one has the best flavor. Peppermint tea has a ton of benefits including reducing bloating and freshening breath. During my early queasy days, peppermint tea settled my stomach like nothing else could.

peppermint tea

Other Necessities

12. The Snoogle. This was a gift from TwinDad’s cousin, a seasoned mom of 8 beautiful children who said I could not live without it and she had it rush delivered to my door in 2 days. You can find the Snoogle pillow at Motherhood Maternity, Destination Maternity, Buy Buy Baby, Amazon, etc. for various prices. This pillow really has been a lifesaver. It has helped support my back and my belly so I can sleep more soundly. TwinDad has been jealous of how much I love my Snoogle 🙂

snoogle

13. Wet Ones Aloe Hand Sanitizer Wipes. I got a small pack for my purse from Target for $1.30. Frequent ultrasounds with twins are exciting because we get to see our babies so often and watch their interaction (they’ve been caught sitting on each others’ faces and kicking each other in the kidneys), but it’s hard to clean up all that ultrasound goop. These wipes make clean up quick and easy so I don’t have to squirm from goop-dampened clothes the whole drive home.

wet ones

14. A Tervis water bottle. Mine is a pretty poppy pattern that I found at Bed Bath and Beyond for $15. Staying hydrated is important for anyone, but especially for twin moms. I know I never drink enough water, but keeping my Tervis cup full and within arm’s reach constantly has really helped. I like my water cold and the Tervis cup provides just the right insulation to keep my water the perfect temperature.

tervis

15. Netflix. Hulu Plus. Amazon Prime…whatever your favorite tv show/movie watching platform is, make sure you have a subscription to something (or all). Whether you’re laid up on the couch from morning sickness, bed rest, or just exhaustion, you’ll be happy to have so much entertainment at your fingertips. And I’m always in the mood to watch The Office 🙂

office gif

16. I found “The Caveman’s Pregnancy Companion” on Amazon and it has been TwinDad’s go-to book. He patiently listens to me go on and on about all the mommy-blogs I read and interesting things I learn, but this book is written by men for men. The doctors and other professionals who authored this book put together a ton of nicely organized information about pregnancy for the dazed and disoriented first-time dad.

TwinDad has learned some lovely massage techniques, tips on how to pamper his pregnant wife, and recipes to help him master the kitchen. While it’s a wonderfully informative and humorous book for the men, it’s also a treat for the moms since we benefit from the skills our men learn. I’ve got to admit it’s pretty sexy watching my man in the kitchen making a delicious mango salsa or a roast chicken and pine nut risotto with all the confidence and bravado of a newborn calf trying to walk.

caveman

Well there you have it…my 16 pregnancy essentials! What are some other twin moms’ essentials? Anything else to add?

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