Pregnancy Essentials Every Mom To Be Should Have
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This post contains affiliate links. Please see our disclosure for more details.
If you are newly pregnant- I’m sending you so much love, momma! What a crazy and exciting time. Being pregnant the first time is truly magical. Subsequent pregnancies are exciting too, but nothing quite like the first time.
When I first found out I was pregnant, I really didn’t know what I was in for. Between the morning sickness, sleepless nights, endless bathroom trips and throwing joints out of place (yeah… that can happen), it’s no wonder us pregnant moms might be googling
“what pregnancy essentials do I actually need?”
- Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
- Prenatal Vitamins
- Morning Sickness Relief
- Pregnancy Books
- Pregnancy Journal
- Pants and Bra Extenders
- Pregnancy Leggings
- A Good Prenatal Class
- Belly Oil
- Belly Band
- Maternity Clothes
- Pregnancy Pillow/Wedge
- Ways To Stay Fit
- Maternity Support Belt
- Magnesium C
- Compression Socks
- Time for Pampering Yourself
- Hospital Bag Checklist
You might be wanting to buy all the things. There are a LOT of cool gadgets and things you can buy to help you through your pregnancy! Unfortunately, that can cost a fortune. This pregnancy essentials list is for moms who might be on a budget or just not wanting to spend a lot! And of course, it’s up to you to buy what you think will serve you best-
For instance, some moms may look at a pregnancy support belt and scoff because their belly isn’t giving them much trouble at all!
Be realistic for YOU and YOUR needs ☺
First Trimester Must Haves- What should I buy for my first trimester?
The first trimester is surprisingly hard. Between the nausea, extreme fatigue and the whirlwind of emotions, you also need to figure out pregnancy essentials- first trimester edition!
Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
Something that I have used and loved for 2 out of 3 pregnancies is red raspberry leaf tea. It has been known to shorten labor, reduce risk of c-section and help tone the uterus for a shorter pushing time.
Before consuming red raspberry leaf tea, please consult with your doctor.
Start with 1 cup per day in the first trimester, 2 cups per day in the second trimester and up to 3 cups per day in the third trimester.
When I gave birth to my son, the whole birth was 6 hours and I pushed for 3 MINUTES.
With my daughter, the whole birth was less than 4 hours and I pushed for 5 MINUTES.
I can’t tell you for sure that red raspberry leaf was the sole reason for this but I will tell you that I’ll never go through another pregnancy without it!
Prenatals are a pregnancy MUST HAVE. Do not mess around here- they’re ultra important. Prenatals have been shown to decrease your risk of birth defects as well as make sure your nutrient bases are covered if you are throwing up a lot or only able to eat limited types of food.
I specifically started buying this kind because they’re for sensitive stomachs- I found other kinds made my stomach upset no matter when I took them. Or, if you really can’t stand swallowing pills, try these yummy vegan prenatal gummy vitamins!
Pro Tip: Don’t take your prenatal first thing in the morning on an empty stomach as that can make you queasy. Take it later in the day when you’ve eaten! I thought I had morning sickness for the first 2 months of being pregnant until someone asked if I was taking my prenatal on an empty stomach- lesson learned!
Morning Sickness Relief
You might be lucky and not get morning sickness, or you may have a mild case of it. Or, you might be like my sister in law who literally could only eat plain noodles up until she gave birth (true story!)
Best morning sickness remedies:
- Ginger- make some ginger tea, eat a Ginger Chime or make some homemade ginger ale!
- Sea Bands
- Preggy Pop Drops
- Small frequent meals
- Eating crackers first thing in the morning
- Staying hydrated
- Lemons- squeeze some lemon into a glass of water or make a hot lemon tea! Lemons have been known to help nausea. (source)
If there’s one thing I wish I would have done with my first baby- it’s read up all things pregnancy, baby, childbirth and beyond. I really read much and just thought “I’ll go with the flow!”
Well, that’s a good attitude to have, but why not go with the flow while being informed on as much as you can? It will help you make stronger decisions around you and your babies health.
- What To Expect When You’re Expecting – this book has over 2700 reviews (which you can read here), and for good reason! It will answer questions like
- Can I keep up my spinning classes?
- Is fish or soft cheese safe to eat?
- What are my rights on the job?
- And so many more!
- Ina May’s Guide To Childbirth – I recommend this book to any newly pregnant momma. It’s normal to be afraid of giving birth. This book will help alleviate some of those fears by focusing on real, positive birth stories and helpful advice that you can USE. So many birth stories focus on horror stories- they’re not all like that!
Some people love to write things down and some people (me) ain’t got time for that and like to type things into their phone!
So! If you love to write, a pregnancy journal is such a cute idea to document your journey. Or, if you’re like me, download a journal app (there are lots for free!) and document things in your phone. Choose whichever you’re most likely to follow through and use.
Keep hydrated, seriously! Your body is working incredibly hard at growing a new human and with that means you are using the bathroom more frequently. Treat yourself to a beautiful reusable water bottle that you can carry around with you everywhere. I freaking LOVE Contigo water bottles with a spout– they’re so easy to drink out of.
Or, if you really aren’t that keen on drinking plain water, try these fruit and herb infuser water bottles. You can put whatever combination you want inside to flavor your water. Sometimes I would even freeze the fruit to make fruit ice cubes and keep my water cool.
Pants and Bra Extenders
Even though you’re not showing yet or big at all, things are still growing and even being bloated can make it hard to get your jeans zipped up.
I found with all my pregnancies that I pretty much needed an extender for my pants right away because it just felt so uncomfortable to have jeans done up.
I personally never used a bra extender because I bought a super comfy/stretchy nursing bra right away.
Bra extenders can be helpful if you find your cup size isn’t changing much in the beginning but it’s getting tight to do up at the back.
If you feel like bra extenders would help you, these ones have the highest rating on Amazon.
For myself, my cup size started changing almost immediately with my second baby so I opted for this bra, which I have told every pregnant person I know about! (My first pregnancy I was handed down some old nursing bras that didn’t fit properly, then bought some that were insanely big on me. When I finally discovered this nursing bra, I loved it so much I bought two and would buy it again in a heartbeat.)
This bra will grow with you throughout pregnancy and still be able to be used throughout nursing- in fact, I’m wearing mine right now and it’s the comfiest bra ever- you can check it out here.
You might find that pregnancy leggings make more sense in the second trimester- I’ll leave that up to you! I found that my absolute favorite leggings were the ones with spandex sewn onto the top of the leggings.
These over belly maternity leggings are sooo comfortable and I found they almost gave some support to my growing belly! In the first trimester, they might be nice to have on hand just because they’re so comfy and you’ll grow into them anyway.
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Second Trimester Must Haves
Honestly, the second trimester is usually the best time (for me) of the whole pregnancy. Yes, you’re getting a bit bigger BUT you have your ENERGY back!!!
That in itself is such a pleasure after the horrifying tiredness of the first trimester. It’s the high before the general decline of the third trimester where you are uncomfortably big, unable to sleep and full of general aches. (not that every pregnancy is like that or that the third trimester is all negative- it’s just generally more uncomfortable.)
So what are some second trimester must haves??
A Good Prenatal Class
Hilary has been an OB nurse since 2001. She’s offering a free online prenatal class that is meant to empower you and put your mind at ease about labor and delivery.
You can check it out here.
It’s getting serious, momma! Your belly is growing and sometimes that makes for some itchy skin. Not to mention the possibility of stretch marks.
Bio Oil is a big one that most people know about but I find it pretty ridiculously overpriced. Burt’s Bees has a really nice one that is way more reasonably priced. OR you can just scoop some coconut oil right out of the jar from your cupboard and rub it on your belly.
These are SO helpful. A Belly Band is a stretchy piece of fabric that fits over jeans or pants so you can leave them unbuttoned and unzipped while having things look seamless. They usually come with a silicone non slip ring so they don’t slide around. I used my belly band from the end of the 1st trimester until well into the third until I was too big for it to make a difference!
You can grab a belly band for free using my code NEWMOMMA20❤
Here’s something I wish someone would have told me- normal clothes in bigger sizes can double as maternity clothes! For so long I bought into thinking that I needed clothes that came with a maternity label while I was pregnant but guess what? Maternity clothes are expensive af! For my third baby, I went and bought some exercise tanks, shorts and stretchy pants 2 sizes too big and they worked great 🙂
I think it’s practical to get your hands on a nursing tank or nursing tee (especially in the beginning with a newborn who eats all the time), actual maternity leggings and some maternity jeans. Other than that?
Grab some clothes from the thrift store that are stretchy and a couple sizes too big that you can wear for your pregnancy and the next little while after baby is born.
I did not personally use a pregnancy pillow or a wedge! Instead, I made do with an old body pillow that never bent the way I wanted it or supported my belly like I needed. It sucked.
After reading reviews and talking to some pregnant friends who DID use a pillow or wedge- I can see why they are a thing.
You can get a pregnancy pillow for $50 dollars off if you use my code MORESLEEP50
Pregnancy wedge pillows are cool because you can wedge them under your belly, your back or in between your knees to help stay comfy while trying to get some sleep while pregnant. They’re a great budget friendly alternative to a full blown pregnancy pillow.
Ways To Stay Fit
Staying active doesn’t need to be hard core activities. Go for walks, practice yoga if you like it or whatever you like.
Being fit during pregnancy and through childbirth is really, really awesome. Your muscles will stay toned and birth will be a lot easier.
I pretty much don’t stop eating when I’m pregnant and I don’t know about you but I want good stuff to eat, dang it!
Fruit is a great snack to reach for, same with veggies and hummus. Or if you’re short on time, these Kind Bars are soooo good and don’t have a single bad ingredient.
Try to sneak some good nutrients in for you and baby but don’t beat yourself up over indulging here and there 🙂
Third Trimester Must Haves
The third trimester can be brutal. You’re back to peeing a million times a day (and night), your joints are looser, you’re running as hot as a furnace and it’s hard to freakin breathe from baby pushing on your ribs. Not to mention- you’re actually getting close to HAVING A BABY! EEK!
These third trimester must haves include things you need to be comfortable and some knowledge you might want to stock up on:
Maternity Support Belt
My chiropractor recommended a maternity support belt when I had an SI joint go out of place near the end of my first pregnancy. I’m going to be honest with you- I really didn’t give it much of a chance. I think I wore it maybe 3 times and just felt like it was too weird and bulky.
For some moms experiencing awful lower back pain, a maternity support belt may help you more than cause you annoyance.
Have you experienced a pregnancy muscle cramp yet? They are HORRENDOUS.
I was getting them so badly at the end of third pregnancy that I would literally start crying and saying no no no if I could feel one coming on. Sometimes they would wake me up from a deep sleep. Awful.
When I was reading about what to do and came across magnesium as a solution I was pretty skeptical but willing to try pretty much anything.
I now recommend a magnesium supplement to ALL pregnant mommas- it is a dang miracle for pregnancy muscle cramps!!
Compression socks stimulate blood flow and improve oxygen delivery to your muscles. They help with swelling and muscle cramps!
By the end of my first pregnancy, my feet had swelled up so bad that you couldn’t see my ankles. Not pretty! I didn’t even know compression socks were a thing- I think they really could have helped me!
Check out the reviews for compression socks here.
Pamper The Hell Out Of Yourself
I cannot stress this enough- as a busy mom of 3 kids under 6- PAMPER THE SHIT OUT OF YOURSELF BEFORE YOU GIVE BIRTH.
Take time for yourself, go out to eat, go to a movie, do whatever it is you want to do! It’s not that you won’t ever be able to do those things again, it’s that you’ll be kind of locked down for the first little while with a newborn. And after that, it’s not as easy as just walking yourself out the door. So soak up what time for yourself you can and don’t apologize.
Find Out What To Pack In Your Hospital Bag
It took me 3 pregnancies to realize… you’re not moving into the hospital when you give birth! Pack what you need and leave what you don’t.
Girl, arm yourself with some serious wisdom! Having a baby is no joke. The more you know, the better you’ll feel when situations arise that you KNOW about instead of being like ‘whaa the fuu??’
Here are some free resources for you:
- Epidurals- Should You Get One?
- Free Beginning Prenatal Class
- The Best Natural Birth Tips For First Time Moms
- No Bullshit Breastfeeding Essentials
- No Bullshit Newborn Essentials
- How To Breastfeed (tips for first time moms!)
- The Only Things You Need For An Quick Postpartum Recovery
- Prenatal vitamins
- Healthy foods rich in vitamins and minerals
- Ways to stay actives
- A good support system
- Education around pregnancy, labor and birth
- A good birth plan
- Making sure to drink enough water
- Keeping germs at bay
- Indulging in cravings
- Read about postpartum depression
- Know when to call the doctor
Prenatal vitamins are important because they contain folic acid which can stop birth defects from forming. They also help to cover your bases if you have morning sickness or have really bad food aversions and aren’t eating a lot of variety.
Healthy foods rich in vitamins and minerals
You don’t need to obsess over every single thing you eat- try to eat a wide variety of fruits, veggies, dark leafy greens, nuts and healthy protein. If you’re having trouble eating meat, try some plant based protein like lentils, beans, tofu, quinoa, chia seeds, hemp seeds, etc.
Ways to stay active
Keeping active and fit is so important but don’t think you need to do anything drastic- walking, swimming, stretching or yoga are all great options if you don’t want to lift weights or practice cross fit.
A good support system
Have friends, family and especially other pregnant women or women with kids. You need people you trust that you can lean on- being pregnant is hard!
Education around pregnancy, labor and birth
Don’t go in blindly- take a free prenatal course, read some books on pregnancy (or watch some Youtube videos!) and be confident in your knowledge.
This will help you to advocate for yourself. Knowledge is power.
A good birth plan
If it’s your first baby, you may want to fill out this birth plan template. It is NOT meant to be a do or die plan- it’s meant to have the things you’d really, really like to see happen. In the end, you need to be okay with trusting in your health care providers.
Drinking enough water
Your body can produce up to 50% more blood while pregnant- this means that you’re working harder to pump that extra blood, heating up easier and therefor sweating more.
Get a fun water bottle you love and stay hydrated 🙂
Keep germs at bay
Wash your hands often and be proactive about your health- it’s not fun to get sick at the best of times but getting sick while pregnant is especially not fun.
Indulge in cravings
If you’re eating fairly healthy, there’s no reason not to indulge in some cravings.
Read about postpartum
There is so much that happens postpartum that isn’t talked about. When you get there, it can be a total shitshow.
I ended up going back to the hospital when my first baby was 7 days old because I still couldn’t sit down to pee, it hurt so bad.
The doctor kindly told me that was normal and I was just really bruised… oy vey.
What feelings are normal vs postpartum depression? How much blood should there BE? Is breastfeeding actually this difficult?
Know when to call the doctor
What products to not use while pregnant?
I’m sending you so much light and love on your pregnancy journey and beyond. Having babies and raising kids are some of the hardest and most rewarding things you’ll ever do. Stay strong, trust your intuition.
Don’t forget to get your free pregnancy must haves checklist emailed to you- sign up below!
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- Should I Have a Third Baby?