You're Pregnant! Now What?
To get you started, here is your first list of recommendations from me! Nothing too heavy, just a couple of apps I like(d) using and a few other things I picked up along the way and that I'm still referring to today.
Tracking Your Pregnancy Progress : The Bump
We're all stuck to our phones and mine was handy for many many reasons, mostly as a reference point and for tracking how I was doing. The first thing I did after retiring Clue (where I was tracking my cycles) I downloaded a baby advice site app and I tried What To Expect (hated the UX/interface) and went with The Bump. Aesthetics are very important to me when using an app and The Bump's graphics and even their very current advice articles were extremely helpful. I still refer to it now that my baby is here because it keeps up with his growth and is a nice guide.
Registry : Babylist
The Husband and I shop online a lot and though he left picking things out to me (because he knows me well and knows I'm a control freak that way) I started registries on Amazon, Target and Buy, Buy, Baby that we both had access to. However that got a little confusing and I ended up adding two of the same things to separate lists. What I needed was one base list that I could then share with family and friends who asked. Enter: Babylist
This app is great because you can grab links from Amazon/Target/Overstock/whatever site you're shopping from and add them into one list. All people have to do is click on the item, reserve or buy it and have it sent to you. You can either view and see who sent it or keep it a surprise too.
If you doth protest because you like GOING shopping (Girl, same) I will tell you that you can totally still go to Target and register for things there. From the Target app, you can export your list and import it into Babylist. SO great.
Babylist.com itself has great "Best Of" guides and they compile, review and compare everything from diaper bags to strollers to bassinets.
Oh side note: If you really do enjoy shopping I can't stress what a godsend Buy, Buy, Baby is for new parents. The salesperson was SO great with their recommendations on car seats for us when we went and we could also try out different strollers (highly recommend you do this) to see which one we liked best.
When the baby's here: BabyFeed Timer
Track your nursing (left boob, right boob) or bottle feeds, track sleep, track diapers (yes, you will be tracking diapers, it's how you can tell if the baby is hydrated/fed/constipated etc) and also track the food you're giving your little one. It's not the sexiest app but it got the job done and I shared a login with The Husband so he could help track when it was his turn to change diapers and feed.
Why do you do need an app for this? Can't you just write it down in a journal? If that's what you enjoy doing go for it. I thought I would too but the odds of me having my phone within reach were higher than a notebook and pen.
I loved: Bringing Up Bebe
There are sooooooooo many books out there from the every popular "What To Expect When You're Expecting" (I didn't even touch that one) to "Happiest Baby On The Block" and so on and so on. Confession: I didn't read any books when I was pregnant, that's what The Bump's app was for and I'd call my OB if I had a question.
On hindsight, I wish I'd started on this book sooner but nine months in, it's still REALLY helpful and provides a lot of comfort and motivation. "Bringing Up Bebe" is for you if you want to raise a well-adjusted, independent and well-behaved child. In theory, it promises that by following the methods and ways written in the book that I'd have that child. And it lays things out very simply and I am not at all intimidated by any of it. It all just makes sense! I'd recommend you at LEAST add it to your stack of reads and consider its methods.
Another book I've heard good things about is the Moms On Call books - a friend followed it and sleep trained her baby at, like, four months! She's the second person I know who extols this book and what it teaches. Plus the women who run Mons On Call are in the US and I think you can even consult with them!
Sleep: Body Pillow
A friend of mine was very very kind and let me use her body pillow. She had used it through her pregnancy and this thing helped me sleep so comfortably through every trimester then came in extremely handy when nursing after Theo was born.
Stretch Marks: Clary Collection Renew + Repair Oil
Sure, some people may argue that getting stretch marks is really more of a hereditary thing and you either get them or you don't but I was not taking any chances. Without breaking the bank, Clary Collection's Renew + Repair Oil was a nightly treat for me - I would, after my pre-bedtime shower, take a couple of minutes to massage the oil on my belly. I kind of loved my belly and its contents and it was also my way of giving myself a moment with the person I was growing! Yes yes, I know that every moment in pregnancy is a moment with that baby but this was my intentional moment. Anyway... the oil is all natural and contains rosehip, lavender and chamomile and was super calming and smelled nice. And, what do you know, I don't have stretch marks on my body from my pregnancy!
They also have a nipple balm you can use that's all natural and totally safe for nursing.
I hope this is a good start for you! Thanks for reading, and please please don't hesitate to email me if you have any questions or specific information on which you'd like me to share my experience!