I'm a luxury family photographer serving families who desire a stress-free & joyful photoshoot by providing an experience that allows my clients to enjoy each special season & receive jaw-dropping, joy-filled photos they'll pass down for generations to come.

Hello, friend! I'm Caitlin.

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Caitlin’s Pregnancy Favorites: First Time Mom Pregnancy Essentials


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February 17, 2021

Pregnancy must haves for first time mom

You know it’s the off season when we have time to share things like this πŸ˜‰ I love putting together posts with fun content like this for you guys, and our off season is a perfect time! I also found posts like these SO helpful throughout my pregnancy, and if I can pass anything along to help other mamas, I’m all for it!

Here are a few things that I’ve loved and found super helpful throughout my pregnancy! Some are genuinely useful, some are just plain fun, and some I have no idea how I would have survived without! Some of these links are affiliate links, which just means we receive a small commission if you shop with these specific links. Doing so doesn’t cost you any extra money whatsoever- it just helps us to continue to be able to share resources like this one for you guys! πŸ™‚ Here we go!


I have no idea why, but I was so determined to make it through this pregnancy without needing to buy a pregnancy pillow. I made it until about 27 weeks along before my back pain started preventing me from sleeping almost all night long, and Luke literally went and ordered me a pregnancy pillow! He did tons of research and read a million reviews, and I LOVE the one he found. This is the only reason I get a good night’s sleep now! I also use it if I’m sitting on the couch, as it helps with my back pain! I do best when I’m sitting straight up, and this provides the perfect amount of support!

HINT: Do not sleep with your neck on a pregnancy pillow. I found that hurt my neck a lot! Now, I sleep on my normal pillow {which I also highly recommend!} with the pillow propped up around me for back support. It’s the perfect combination!


I am SO aware of what I’m using on my body while pregnant- I want to make sure that anything that absorbs through my skin is as safe as possible for baby Grayson! I have stuck with all my tried and true Beautycounter favorites for skincare, makeup, and even deodorant. It was so nice to not have to switch any products after finding out I was pregnant! You can see the exact makeup I use here, and the exact skincare I use here!

Right here, I’ll link the best safe deodorant you’ll ever try- pregnant or not! Clean Rose is my favorite scent, but they’re all amazing. Honestly, I think I just like Clean Rose because it comes in a hot pink package πŸ˜‰ What I love about this deodorant is that you buy it once, and simply buy the refills after that! It saves packaging and money. Win-win!


I tell Luke all the time that as soon as we have Grayson, all I want is a Jimmy John’s sandwich and a large Diet Coke from McDonald’s! So healthy, I know!! I haven’t been having caffeine while pregnant, and it’s recommended to avoid lunch meat- so right now, those two things sound AMAZING! To help with my Diet Coke craving, I’ve been loving treating myself to a Zevia soda every once in a while! They have plenty of caffeine-free flavors, and their ginger ale flavor really helped me with all the nausea during my first trimester of pregnancy! My absolute favorite flavors are root beer and cream soda. So delicious!


Once I hit my third trimester, I decided to stock up on some comfy clothes that would get me through until Grayson comes! I have some maternity tops that I LOVE from Motherhood Maternity, and these Aerie tops are obviously not maternity-specific. But their comfy sweatshirts and pullovers have been perfect for helping me feel comfy and also a little put together this winter! They’d be great no matter if you’re pregnant or not! I rotate between my Aerie tops and my Motherhood Maternity ones, and it’s worked out great!


This stretch mark cream is totally safe and natural, and I love how it smells! I’ve used this since my first trimester.


I’m so thankful that I had taken the time pre-pregnancy to find clean, safe products to use for our home! It would’ve been hard to have to do that in the midst of how you feel during the first trimester. For almost everything in our home, I’ve been really impressed with EWG’s ratings on Attitude cleaning products! We use their laundry detergent, cleaning sprays, etc. Always be sure to check EWG’s ratings on any product, because you never know what random product might not be as safe- but I’ve generally had really good luck with Attitude as a brand!


You have to drink a ton of water while pregnant, which is not a habit I was in pre-pregnancy! With my pink Yeti, straw lid and a ton of ice, I can very easily drink my goal of 100 ounces of water per day now… it’s a piece of cake!


I was gifted a similar necklace to this one a few months ago, and I love it! I plan to wear it during labor and have worn it all throughout my pregnancy. It would make such a sweet gift!


I have a major sweet tooth in general, but during pregnancy, it’s just been on another level! Ha! These have way less sugar than other typical candies, so they’re a better alternative when you have a sweet tooth.


We’ve received so many sweet, generous gifts from friends and family during my pregnancy- and especially at our drive-by baby shower recently! I bought this to help make sure I didn’t miss any thank-you notes. I know it will be helpful after Grayson comes, too, so that I can keep track of who I need to thank for their help, meals or gifts!


We had our baby names picked out early on in my first trimester! So, as soon as we found out we were having a baby boy, I immediately ordered a bracelet with his name on it! I love wearing it and seeing the little reminder of my sweet son on my wrist every day.


A friend gifted this to me right after we found out we were pregnant! It will be so fun to look back in a few years and see the notes about when I felt him move for the first time, his milestones, and other fun moments. This would also make such a great gift!


Yep, this is probably the first and only time I’ll ever talk about bras on the Caitlin & Luke Photography blog πŸ˜‰ That should tell you that these are WORTH mentioning! These are, hands down, the world’s most comfortable bra- especially during pregnancy. Try them and thank me later! {PS: Wedding photographers, these are a must-have for wedding days. Trust me!}


I’ve almost completely avoided gel manicures while pregnant, but I hate not having my nails done! I just don’t feel like me. When I really want them to look pretty but don’t want to use gel, these are my fun little secret! They don’t require any glue, won’t damage your nails and can be trimmed to your ideal length after application!


We were gifted this book for Christmas, and it’s been such a helpful resource! It’s very objective and shares multiple sides of research about a million different topics. It’s very honest, funny, and most of all super informative for us as brand new parents!

I hope you guys enjoyed this little list of the things that have both brought me joy and gotten me through the harder parts of pregnancy! Comment below if you have any favorites I should add to my list of things to try! πŸ™‚

Caitlin and Luke | Bloomington, IL Wedding Photographers

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Pregnancy must haves for first time mom

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I'm now a full-time mama and a part-time photographer, but all messages will be responded to as soon as I'm able. Thank you for your patience! My average email response time is currently 3-5 days.

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Cue the confetti! I've officially received your inquiry, and we couldn't be more excited to start this journey with you.

I'm now a full-time mama and a part-time photographer, but all messages will be responded to as soon as I'm able. Thank you for your patience! My average email response time is currently 3-5 days.

I cannot wait to chat soon!