Pregnancy is certainly a time for a ton of change. From your body and mind to priorities and relationships, you will realize the immense changes that occur for a pregnant woman.
You’ll want to do everything you can to maintain normalcy and make sure you look and feel good throughout this whole journey. There are several products that are must-haves for pregnancy that I could not have gone without.
I’ll also be sharing some items that may not be pregnancy essentials for everyone, but are nice to know about in case you experience some of these issues.
Do I Really Need to Splurge on All of These Items?
Truthfully, you don’t need all of these pregnancy items. There are a lot of items on this list that may or may not help you in your specific situation.
Pregnancy + Motherhood is a huge industry. The number of targeted ads I have seen on social media for is insane that it’s easy to lose track of what is a need and what is a want, really fast.
Ever heard of the baby tax? It’s the extra charge that companies add to these “pregnancy and baby essentials” that parents otherwise would not be buying.
I’m all for treating yourself but I did buy a few things early on in my pregnancy that I definitely did not need. Cheap Amazon maternity dresses that fit horribly, not-so-comfy nursing bras, belly oil that didn’t work, and ‘magic potions’ to help with nausea.
You’ll probably buy something that doesn’t work for your pregnancy so make sure that you keep your receipt!
You Honestly Don’t Need Much
Sure, every pregnancy does need some basic stuff, but you don’t need much. Aside from the essentials to keep you and your growing baby healthy, you don’t need to fall into the trap of these “must haves” for pregnancy.
These items are merely to make you aware of everything on the market that can help you ease symptoms, be comfortable, and have a fun, safe, and healthy pregnancy.
Table of Contents:
- Must Have Items for Pregnancy
Must-Haves for Pregnancy
Although each pregnancy is different, there are certain tried-and-true products that every pregnant mama needs to know about. Whether you’re in the first trimester, second trimester, or even super close to giving birth, here is an essentials list for any stage.
From morning sickness hacks to serious self-care, here are several must-haves for pregnancy that you don’t want to go without.
For Your Health:
It’s so important to maintain your health for both yourself and your baby. Here are some ways to make sure that you feel good and stay healthy with these pregnancy essentials:
1. What to Expect Pregnancy App
Although you may intend to get all of your medical information from your healthcare provider, that’s just not the way it goes. Your provider only has limited time to spend with you and will probably not go over every symptom, emotion, body change, or baby growth that is happening.
Free apps, like What to Expect, give you insight on what your baby is doing, how it is growing, and how your body is changing throughout your pregnancy. I love the What to Expect app specifically because it provides videos instead of just reading a bunch of articles.
They are so helpful at telling you everything you need to know week-by-week. It’s so important to stay informed and knowledgable so you can provide the best care for you and your baby.
Share the information and insight with your partner, or better yet, have him download it too! This way he can be knowledgable about everything you’re experiencing, as well.
Related Post: How to Prepare for Childbirth in Your Third Trimester
2. Large, Insulated Water Bottle – Simple Modern
Not only will you be SO thirsty during pregnancy, but you should be drinking water constantly throughout the day.
Water is a pregnancy essential that helps your body absorb essential nutrients, and transports vitamins, minerals, and hormones to blood cells. It also helps to preserve an ideal level of amniotic fluid and even helps fetal kidney function.
Always keep a bottle of water close by so you can drink when you need it. I enjoy having a pretty water bottle that I’m excited to carry around and show off. It makes a great accessory!
So if you’re a person who doesn’t drink a lot of water, try investing in one that keeps your water extra cold and maybe a pretty design that you love. This could honestly help you drink more!
I love my Simple Modern Tumbler Flask with Straw Lid because it keeps my water ice cold and the straw helps me drink more.
Also, this is a great water bottle specifically for pregnancy that helps you track every ounce you drink to ensure that you’re meeting the recommendations. However, it’s not insulated so if you don’t mind your water not being freezing cold, it’s a great idea to watch your water intake throughout the day.
3. Prenatal vitamins
The vitamins and nutrients that your body needs to fuel a growing baby are much more than you’re probably getting in your everyday diet. All of the vitamins and minerals are important, but specifically folic acid and iron are crucial for both you and your developing baby.
Humans cannot produce folic acid inside their bodies, which is why they need to consume it in their diet. At least 400 grams of folic acid is required daily for a pregnant woman and that dosage is typically in your prenatal multivitamin.
First trimester may come with a lot of nausea or loss of appetite. Taking a prenatal vitamin helps to ensure you’re getting all the nutrients your baby needs even if you’re not able to eat well.
Vitamin and Me is a brand that uses a unique matching technology to pair customers with a personalized vitamin plan based on their individual needs, including custom prenatal vitamins. They offer a range of brands and have made sure to curate the highest quality vitamins on the market, only the best for women and their babies.
Vitamin and Me offers deals on packages for those supplements when you maintain a subscription. You’ll need to take prenatal vitamins throughout the 9 months of pregnancy and into postpartum so maintaining a subscription is a great idea.
4. Safe medications
During pregnancy, whatever you consume, your baby consumes.
There are some medications out there that can be harmful to a developing fetus, so it’s best to avoid those. Here are the safe medications to keep in your medicine cabinet for a variety of pain and illnesses that may arise during pregnancy:
- For pain: Tylenol (acetaminophen)- All other pain relievers are not considered safe
- For constipation: Metamucil, Milk of Magnesia
- For indigestion & heartburn: Tums, Maalox, Mylanta, Pepcid
- For cold/allergies: Benadryl, saline nasal spray, Claritin, Vicks, Halls cough drops
- For upset stomach: Kaopectate & Imodium
- For congestion: Saline nose spray
Talk to your doctor in detail about anything you’re currently taking or plan to take in the future.
5. Safe beauty & skin-care products
Anything that you put on your skin has the potential to reach your unborn baby. This is why it is wise to be cautious about the products that you use and that you come in contact with.
Among your must haves for pregnancy, opt for products that don’t contain chemicals, BPA, fragrance, formaldahyde, etc.
If you’re finding it tough to part with your normal skincare routine, don’t stress! There are now many wonderful products that are natural and non-toxic that you might love even more than the old chemicals you were putting on your skin.
C2 Clean Beauty skincare is an award-winning eco-luxury skincare line focused on green chemistry and plant-based ingredients.
Their products are safe and effective for everyone in the family, focusing only on safe and healthy ingredients that give powerful and effective results. C2 Clean Beauty® products are free from ingredients made from Animal Testing, Parabens, Phythalates, Artificial Fragrance, Petrochemicals, and Phenols plus over 5,000 other potentially harmful toxic ingredients.
Other natural products for shampoo, conditioner, and body wash include the Plain Products line. They’re very affordable, contain only safe ingredients for pregnant women, and actually work! They even help to reduce the plastic waste the world by using recycled products! It’s a win-win.
10 Free Chemistry is a great brand offering safe nail polish and nail care, as well.
6. Safe cleaning products
Keep in mind using natural cleaning products in your home now that you’re pregnant and a baby will be living there. Consider products with no fragrance, chemicals, or artificial ingredients so your baby is safe from toxins.
Inhaling dangerous chemicals from cleaning products can be harmful for both you and your baby. If you’re unable to get natural cleaning supplies, be sure to use a face mask and make sure the area is well-ventilated, especially while pregnant.
I love the Better Life line of natural cleaning products that you can find at Amazon or Target. Eco Strips are also a line of laundry cleaning products that is Fragrance-Free, hypoallergenic, vegan friendly, paraben-free, and eco-friendly! They’re ultra concentrated to provide maximum cleaning power in one small little strip that works in all type of washing machines.
7. Soft toothbrush and floss
Some women get swollen, sore, and sensitive gums, which may bleed, during pregnancy. Bleeding and inflamed gums are caused by a build-up of plaque on the teeth and hormonal changes.
A soft or extra soft-bristled toothbrush and floss are must haves for pregnancy to prevent serious dental complications.
8. High-energy snacks
While you may or may not be limiting your caffeine intake during pregnancy, you’ll still need that bit of energy fix.
Pregnancy is going to practically knock you out with exhaustion so try to choose some healthy snacks that will give you that extra energy boost, like Kind Energy Bars.
9. A Good Understanding of your Health Insurance Policy
As amazing as it is to have health insurance, it can be a very confusing and stressful process. Understanding your policy is important to make the best financial decisions about your prenatal care.
Always find out if the doctors, labs, and hospitals that you’re going to are covered under your policy. It’s not the office’s job to tell you if they are not covered before the appointment, it’s yours.
Many expecting moms have bad experiences in regards to health insurance not being accepted at certain hospitals or for routine labwork/ultrasounds.
After you’ve seen the doctor and realize the service wasn’t covered, you’re still liable to pay. So do yourself a favor and always triple-check that they are accepted as an in-network provider!
Make sure all your maternity and delivery expenses will be covered by in-network providers, including ultrasounds, labs, and prenatal visits.
You also can’t assume that just because your OB takes your insurance, that the ultrasound tech, blood labs, and other specialists do too (even if they referred you). Your insurance is your responsibility and unfortunately, the doctors and administration are not looking out for you.
10. Fetal Doppler
This is not a pregnancy essential (nor is it actually recommended), but I actually enjoyed having one.
An at-home fetal doppler or heart rate tracker is used to detect your fetus’s heartbeat and hear it through the headphones. The reason that this is not advised by medical professionals is that it can cause unnecessary anxiety and worry if you can’t find the heartbeat.
Also, you should not expect to find a heartbeat during the first trimester of pregnancy because it can only be detected using the medical-grade doppler at your provider’s office.
This baby heartbeat tracker should not be used in substitution for attending your regular prenatal appointments or calling your physician if you notice anything out of the normal. However, I used it in between appointments for peace of mind and to hear my baby’s heartbeat as often as I could.
11. A High Quality Mask
In light of the recent pandemic, masks are now widely used for everyone across the globe. It is especially important for pregnant women to protect themselves from Covid-19 as the virus can place you and your baby at high risk.
A must-have for pregnancy is a high-quality, N95 mask when out in public or social settings. Air Queen is a medical grade mask that uses a highly advanced nano-fibre material to provide extreme protection (in excess of 96% particle filtration) while simultaneously allowing for advanced breathability and comfort.
This provides maximum protection even in day-to-day activities, such as working out. The Air Queen Masks are high quality masks that are sure to keep the virus from penetrating anywhere near you and your baby.
12. A Fitness Plan
Whether or not you exercised before pregnancy, you’ll want to start or maintain some kind of exercise plan during pregnancy. It doesn’t have to be anything strenuous or tough, but any way that you can keep active will be helpful.
If you stop exercising during the beginning when you’re exhausted and nauseous, that’s fine, just get back into it! Adding back in exercise will make such a huge difference in your mood, energy and just all-around sense of self and wellness!
Simply walking, low-impact exercise, or cycling classes are perfect. Check out some pregnancy exercises here.
Always ask your doctor what is approved for your pregnancy and body, but if you can MOVE, with your doctor’s approval and guidance, do it.
For Your Comfort
No one said that growing a human inside of you would be an easy and comfortable experience. However, luckily there are ways to give some normalcy back in your life.
13. Symptom relief
As your pregnancy progresses (or even in the first trimester), you’ll find the need for more ways to manage your symptoms.
It’s not necessary to buy these things ahead of time because you may not need them. However, just know that these products exist because you’re not the first pregnant woman to go through it!
In addition to the safe medications listed above and the other must haves for pregnancy symptoms, here are some common products that will help to relieve the aches and pains that come along with pregnancy.
For the first trimester, nausea may be your worst symptom. As pregnancy progresses into the second and third trimesters, other symptoms such as insomnia and lower back pain may arise.
There are definitely things out there that may work for some, but not all. So if you’re experiencing pain or nausea, it’s worth a try!
- Nausea: Sea-bands, Preggie pop drops, Ginger Tea
- Insomnia or Restless Leg Syndrome at Night: 8 Sheep Organics Sleepy Lotion, Diffusing Essential Oils
- Itchy Belly: Coconut Oil
- Congestion: Vicks Vapo-Rub
- Varicose veins or ankle/leg swelling: Motif Medical Compression socks
- Lower back or belly pain: Motif Medical Maternity Support Band
14. Coconut oil or Belly Cream
You will hear a lot of people tell you to get stretch mark cream, but there is no science that says those creams work. Stretch marks are genetic and if you are prone to them, there is no way around it.
So while I don’t recommend belly creams for stretch marks, coconut oil can help with the itchy belly that you will experience. Coconut oil is a natural substance that will cure the itch while giving your belly a soft feel.
15. Pregnancy pillow
Many pregnant women swear by a large U-shaped pregnancy pillow (above). They help to support your belly and position you comfortably while you sleep.
I actually thought these pillows were a bit bulky for me and my bed and I didn’t need all that extra fluff to stay comfortable. I found that just placing a regular bed pillow between my knees was all that I needed for a good sleeping position.
16. Exercise/Birthing ball
Sitting on an exercise ball did wonders for me and I definitely believe that it is a third trimester essential item for pregnancy. It can relieve back, hip, ligament, and groin pain associated with your growing belly as you get later in pregnancy.
Sitting on the birth ball and lightly bouncing or rotating your hips can help to stretch out the ligaments and dilate your cervix. The birthing ball also gets your baby in the optimal position for birth by helping them descend into the birth canal from the pressure of bouncing.
You even experience tightness in your hips, groin and legs, and there are many exercises to do on the birth ball to help relieve those symptoms.
17. Bath soak
To manage all the aches and pains that come along with pregnancy, a calming bath soak can be the perfect remedy. While I wouldn’t say that this is a must have for pregnancy, it can certainly help mama’s self-care routine.
18. Essential oils
Essentials oils can be a great way to help expecting mamas manage their symptoms and find some relief.
There are some essential oils that are safe for pregnancy and easy to use for beginners. These brought me relief throughout my pregnancy as well as throughout my labor.
Many women are leary to try essential oils (as they can be dangerous if misused), but there are a few that are safe for pregnant moms to diffuse and use for aromatherapy.
If you are new to essential oils and wanting to know an easy, safe way to get started, while at the same time benefit from them throughout your pregnancy, read this post for more information about essential oils.
Simply Earth is a company that makes all-natural essential oils with no fragrance, no fillers, just 100% PURE essential oils. They are also a fraction of the price of those high-end companies like Young Living and DoTerra.
19. Prenatal Massage or Chiropractor Appointments
Seeing a chiropractor during pregnancy was amazing for my body and well-being. If you start to get aches and pains, I highly recommend finding one who specializes in prenatal chiropractic care.
Pregnant women have physical and hormonal changes that happen rapidly. Because of the pressure of the fetus and a shifting center of gravity, women have issues with their posture. Chiropractors can help prevent misalignments to the spine and pelvis.
When the pelvis is aligned, the growing baby has room. With misalignment, intrauterine constraint happens and this problem can cause birth defects. Proper alignment in the pelvis and spine also help ease delivery.
Maternity Clothing Items
As your body grows, you’ll need to invest in a few items for comfort and style. However, don’t go overboard because you will only need this clothing for a limited time!
Do your best to borrow whatever items you can because these are not long term items.
Related Post: Tips to Survive a Summer Pregnancy
20. Larger bras
Your breasts will continue to grow as your pregnancy progresses and you will soon outgrow your bras. You’ll definitely want to invest in larger, more comfortable bras.
My suggestion is to go with bras that don’t have an underwire. More of the t-shirt/cotton bras will make you feel good as your breasts grow.
If you’re planning on breastfeeding, it’s also smart to buy nursing bras instead of regular bras if you plan on nursing your baby. This way you can use these larger bras after the baby comes instead of buying new nursing bras post-delivery.
Nursing bras are only different because they either have a snap closure on the strap or easy access to your breasts while breastfeeding.
You’ll want a comfortable sleeping bra (or just one for around the house if you don’t wear a bra to bed), like this Kindred Bravely French Terry cross over bra (above). Also, a nursing bra with a little more structure like this one below.
It also may be beneficial to try a bra extender first. This can elongate the elastic at the band to accommodate for your growing trunk, however it doesn’t make the cup size any bigger.
21. High-Waisted or Maternity Leggings
High waisted leggings are not only a pregnant woman’s lifeline but a mom’s too. From pregnancy through postpartum, these are a staple!
These leggings are my FAVORITE budget leggings and a must have for pregnancy. They are stretchy enough to cover and hold up your growing bump and also that postpartum belly that likes to stick around for a few months after delivery.
Although these are not maternity leggings, I love them because they’re buttery soft, stretchy, and “one size fits all” – they literally fit me from non-pregnancy until the time I gave birth! These are a great investment and you’ll live in them, so stock up on a few pairs!
22. Long shirts
You may not need maternity shirts for awhile, simply a long shirt will cover you in the early stages of pregnancy when you don’t have a large bump. You may be able to get away with regular shirts that are just longer in length.
The extra fabric can help to cover your small bump better as it grows.
The problem with most regular shirts are just that they are too short when your belly gets bigger. So keep in mind the length when you’re shopping and invest in some shirts with extra room at the bottom.
I love when I can find items that work for pregnancy, postpartum, and then everyday mom life. So while these styles aren’t “maternity,” you can get use out of them until close to the end of pregnancy, as well as afterward.
Also, stock up on this maternity tank (in every color!) because they are perfect for pairing with a cardigan or vest any time of year. They are so soft and my favorite part is that there is no rouching on the sides so although they are “maternity shirts,” you can wear them after you’re pregnant!
23. Stylish maternity jeans
As much as it’s perfectly, socially acceptable to live in leggings while pregnant, you may want a nice pair of jeans to wear as well.
You don’t have to look homeless just because you’re pregnant! It’s possible to get stylish maternity jeans, you just have to look for them!
There are two types of maternity jeans/pants. One has a full panel that goes over the belly for extra support and the other just has a more flexible waist-band that will sit under your belly.
To be honest, there are pros and cons of each.
The full panel can get hot if you’re pregnant during the summer and can sometimes fall down which is annoying. However, it provides extra coverage and comfort for your belly and below your shirt.
The stretchy side waistbands also don’t stay up as well, in my opinion, but they give you more air if you’re prone to get hot.
Related post: 9 Totally Normal Symptoms During the Last Month of Pregnancy
24. Belly band
Not ready for maternity jeans, but still can’t fully button your pants? Belly bands give your bump some coverage so you can wear shorter tops without worrying about your belly showing.
A Bella band will cover up the waist of your pants, allowing you to wear them unbuttoned (you know you want to!). I actually never used one of these and skipped right to maternity jeans, but some women swear by them.
Related post: Tips to Survive a Winter Pregnancy
25. Slip-on shoes
As you get in the later stages of pregnancy, you’re not going to be able to reach your feet very well.
One of my biggest must haves for pregnancy is a pair of slip-on shoes. If you’re lucky and have a summer pregnancy, a pair of flip flops will do just fine!
During the colder weather months, these slip-on shoes will do just fine.
26. Comfortable sneakers
If you’re thinking about taking a long walk or standing for a prolonged period of time, sneakers with good arch and ankle support will be the most helpful. You’re carrying around a lot of extra weight that your legs are not used to, so good sneakers are best for your whole body.
27. Comfortable panties
As your body gets larger, those sexy thong panties that you used to wear won’t cut it anymore. Once your third trimester hits, you may want to start wearing comfortable, full-coverage underwear.
Start getting used to them now because we’ll be wearing them for the first couple of months postpartum, as well!
These underwear are soft and comfortable and have a mid-rise waist. You can get higher ones if you’d like more coverage over your bump.
Related Post: Essentials for Your Postpartum Recovery Kit
This is a great staple item that you probably already have in your wardrobe. You don’t need a special maternity kimono, but a regular-sized one will do.
29. Comfortable Nightgown
You’ll want to live in comfy clothes, especially when you’re lounging around the house. If you’re pregnant in the warmer months, you’ll definitely love relaxing in a big t-shirt or long night gown to accommodate your growing bump.
This Kindred Bravely night gown is so soft and comfortable that you won’t even want to take it off. It also doubles as a nursing nightgown, and you know I love buying things with multiple uses to save money!
Just for Fun
Here are some fun must haves for pregnancy to make memories, gain knowledge, and just have fun through this wild ride into motherhood.
30. “Expecting You” Pregnancy journal
A pregnancy journal would be great to document your journey through pregnancy. Most people get baby books to keep track of their baby’s milestones, so why not get one for your pregnancy?
I really regret not having a pregnancy journal for my first pregnancy, mostly for the second pregnancy when I couldn’t remember everything that I went through! I would have used it to compare symptoms, feelings, emotions, doctor’s notes, etc.
Once I was pregnant with my second, I thought about getting one, but the novelty of pregnancy definitely wore off by that point. Plus I didn’t have any time for that while taking care of a baby at home.
So get a pregnancy journal to keep track of those important milestones, doctors appointments, questions, feelings throughout pregnancy.
31. Photo-worthy milestone markers
Take photos every week if you’re so inclined, or even once a month! Even if you may feel bloated and uncomfortable, you’ll regret not taking more photos of your bump down the line.
32. A Great Resource for Pregnancy
It’s important to have all the knowledge you need and the best advice from experienced moms. The Rock Your Pregnancy Ebook is an excellent resource to give you information and confidence throughout your pregnancy.
33. A Great Childbirth Course
As childbirth approaches, it can be a pretty scary thought. However, the best way to own your birth is to educate yourself. Your doctors will not give you nearly enough information about birth and leave you feeling not in control.
Loving Your Labor Academy is a childbirth course that lets you feel empowered as you prepare for labor.
After taking this course you will feel so much better prepared for your labor experience. This course is entertaining, informational and you can take it in your PJ’s relaxing in your own home.
Loving Your Labor Academy course covers the essentials of pain management, whether through natural techniques or medication, it supports and educates you on your choice. Your confidence will grow and you will appreciate and understand labor in a new way.
34. A complete baby registry
When you’re ready to start your registry, Amazon is unmatched for the benefits it provides.
Along with getting all of your most-loved baby items that you registered for, you will get a free welcome box, discount on any unpurchased items from your registry (which you can continue to add on until you use your discount), and the world’s largest selection of items that there is.
Start your baby registry with Amazon to have access to millions of products and be able to use gift cards or credits on any purchase across the whole site!
A good support system is a must have for pregnancy. Whether it’s your husband, partner, mom, sister, or friends, it’s essential to have someone to talk to during this period.
If you don’t have a close knit support system, join some Facebook groups like Pregnant Moms Due in 2021, What to Expect due date groups, or local mom support groups on Facebook. You’ll be able to get questions answered and feel well supported by other moms who are in the same position.
36. Maternity Photos
It’s not essential to take maternity photos, but you’ll definitely want to document your pregnancy journey. Whether you hire a professional photographer or just a family member to take some sweet photos of you and your partner, don’t forget to do this!
37. Non-Aloholic Beverages
One of the worst parts about being pregnant is abstaining from having that fancy cocktail at a party or even just the glass of wine on your couch. However, you don’t have to completely deprive yourself!
Ritual Zero Proof is a non-alcoholic substitute that tastes just like alcohol! This way you can make cocktails with imitation whiskey, tequila, or gin, that doesn’t just taste like cranberry juice! Ritual Zero Proof actually has the bite and taste that normal alcoholic beverages do, but without the liquor!
Related Post: Festive Mocktail Ideas for Pregnancy
The most important must have during pregnancy is confidence and love. It’s essential to have faith in your body that everything will go smoothly from the first trimester through childbirth.
Pretty soon you’ll be holding your sweet baby in your arms and you’ll have everything that you need!
If you’re later on in pregnancy, consider thinking about the pregnancy essentials that belong in your hospital delivery bag and postpartum care kit.