Being pregnant during the coronavirus pandemic can only be described as the best of times and the worst of times. On the plus side, there's hardly any need to dress up or interact with society in a normal capacity (helllllooooo sweatpants every damn day!) On the negative side, there is increased risk, uncertainty, and isolation, combined with woefully few distractions from the annoyances and anxiety that pregnancy frequently entails (boo). But let's focus on the positive stuff -- namely you just don't need as much stuff if you're currently pregnant!
Exhaustive lists of maternity must-haves abound on the internet, but let's be honest, many of the items (ahem, "cute" maternity clothes) just aren't that relevant in today's strange times. That's why I've compiled a list of what I consider to be the most essential items for maximizing comfort, health, and sanity during a pandemic pregnancy.
Ritual Essential Prenatal Vitamins In my experience, most prenatal vitamins resemble horse pills. These don't. They have a lemony scent that actually makes them quite pleasant to swallow. Additionally, they have the all the Omega 3's (DHA) required during pregnancy, thereby negating the need to take a separate pill. As an added bonus, Ritual is super transparent in describing what all is in the vitamins, what it's for, and where it's sourced from. Oh! And I hear Karlie Kloss is taking them during her pregnancy, so there's that...
Unisom SleepGels I spent the first several weeks of this pregnancy wide awake with a racing mind that I could not shut off thanks to the double whammy of pandemic-related stress and nausea. Thankfully I soon discovered that these little blue gems were considered safe to consume during pregnancy, and were strong enough to get me to sleep but gentle enough to not make me feel like I had been drugged the next morning. They've been part of my nightly routine ever since and I feel like I'm getting all the rest I will so desperately need when the baby arrives.
I can't guarantee that any cream will help prevent stretch marks, but 1. I used this religiously during my last pregnancy and didn't get any and 2. Wouldn't you at least want to try something?? This particular cream is a winner because it is almost entirely made from natural ingredients, is fragrance free, and coats your belly in a light, non-greasy layer. It's also made by the French, whom I trust to take vanity seriously. I mean that in the best way possible.
BLANQI Everyday Maternity Belly Support Tanktop Supportive garments aren't a necessity during pregnancy, but it sure does feel nice to give your belly a little hug and lift as it starts to expand. These tanktops have become my go-to maternity base layer and they are even suitable for the rare pandemic dress-up day (ie. a nice pair of leggings/maybe even jeans + an oversized cardigan). I concede they are a bit expensive, but it's worth the splurge if you are going to wear them multiple times a week and BLANQI frequently has some sort of deal going on to boot.
"The Amazon Coat" Need a warm winter coat for your expanding form but don't want to buy a frumpy maternity jacket? Enter the Orolay Women's Thickened Down Jacket, otherwise known as the Amazon Coat of 2019. Wearing this baby is like wearing a cozy, but somehow still somewhat flattering sleeping bag. The coat is also expandable with side zippers and snapping panels down the front, although with just two months to go I haven't had to undo anything yet. I actually think at least half of my neighbors can't tell I'm pregnant when I stroll by in this thing. It also has a nice functional butt flap for extra cold weather coverage, and at ~$150 it's quite the steal! Recommend sizing up.
Kindred Bravely Under-the-Bump Bikini Underwear I never thought I would endorse anything that could be considered granny panties, but what can I say, comfort reigns during pregnancy. These are super soft, they stretch but also stay put, and they seemingly accommodate a belly of any size. If these granny panties are wrong, I don't want to be right.
Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom is Wrong -- and What You Really Need to Know This is the modern day pregnancy bible, folks. Forget everything you've been told you can't do until you read this book and make an informed decision for yourself. Economist Emily Oster presents the studies on everything from coffee, alcohol, and sushi consumption to OTC medications to epidurals in a digestible and occasionally even humorous way. Read this early in pregnancy and revisit it often to keep your anxiety at bay.
40ish Weeks: A Pregnancy Journal We've all been a little lonely (and a little crazy) during the pandemic, amirite? I would recommend a pregnancy journal for anyone in their first pregnancy because it's great way to capture the excitement when everything is new and magical, but I feel it's just as useful for subsequent pregnancies given the odd times we currently find ourselves in. With the dual stressors of pregnancy and the pandemic, I've found it comforting to pore out some feelings to a non-judgmental notebook. I like this particular pregnancy journal because it's cute and funny without being cheesy.
Peloton Yes, I realize it's annoying and pretentious to have Peloton on this list. Even with the recent price drops of the "baseline models," their equipment is still expensive AF. But here's the thing -- for a growing number of customers, pregnant or otherwise, it's entirely worth it. Exercise during pregnancy is of the utmost importance and with gyms and studios closed and winter upon us, the options are fairly limited. The wide variety of Peloton content has kept me healthy and mostly happy during this doubly difficult period, with a helpful dose of camaraderie from my fellow #pelopreggos. Moreover, fan-favorite instructor Robin Arzon is pregnant and has started to produce prenatal strength classes to help us all safely and effectively prep for the big event.
That's really all a pandemic preggo really needs, IMHO. Now go have fund blowing all the money you didn't spend on dumb maternity clothes that you would've needed at any other time in history on legit cute outfits for your baby!