Every trimester of pregnancy offers its own unique and uncomfortable challenges but this list of 10 things a pregnant woman needs will make a huge difference!
These pregnancy essentials were must-haves for all of my pregnancies and include ideas for:
- comfort in pregnancy
- pregnancy safe sleep aids
- maternity clothing essentials
- what to buy according to your trimester
Make the first trimester to the third more manageable with goodies every expectant mama needs to have.
Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links and I could earn a commission at no cost to you if you make a purchase using them.
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10 Pregnancy Must Haves All Expectant Mamas Need
How do I make pregnancy more comfortable?
At the time of writing, I’m 39 weeks and 1 day pregnant with our second baby – it’s both uncomfortable and incredibly exciting, especially considering we had back to back losses before getting here.
We’ve wanted this for so long and are SO excited to meet our new baby!
With our due date less than a week away, I also feel compelled to share the products I’ve used daily in this pregnancy and previous pregnancies – right up to the bitter end.
List of things to buy when pregnant
I’ve written this list in order of items you should pick up in the first trimester to the second and third trimesters so you can prioritize the goodies you need NOW – especially if you’re on a budget!
First Trimester Pregnancy Must Haves
These first trimester essentials are perfect for the day you find out you’re pregnant all the way up until the day you bring your baby home.
1. Quality Prenatal Vitamins
Choosing a prenatal vitamin with real folate was extremely important to me because folate and folic acid are NOT the same things.
Folate is the naturally occurring form of vitamin B9 that you eat every day in whole foods like avocados, asparagus, and leafy greens.
Folic acid is a synthetic man-made version of folate that’s commonly added to processed foods and cheap vitamins.
Megafoods Baby & Me 2 was my go to prenatal vitamin for my entire first pregnancy.
I love that these vitamins are non-GMO and made with REAL FOODS like organic broccoli, cabbage, oranges, and carrots.
This time around, I’ve had horrible nausea since the first trimester.
New Chapter Perfect Prenatal vitamins are a great choice for morning sickness sufferers – they contain a clinical dose of organic ginger to ease nausea!
They’re also organic and non-GMO just like Megafoods – win!
That being said, my nausea was SO BAD this pregnancy that there were days where I could barely keep any food down never mind the thought of taking gigantic prenatal tablets.
So I tried Smarty Pants prenatal gummy vitamins and they were a LIFE SAVER on days where I couldn’t stomach anything.
Which leads me to our next pregnancy essential…
My number one choice for prenatal vitamins is Megafoods Baby & Me 2.
It offers the highest quality nutrition amongst all of these prenatal vitamins and only requires moms to be take 2 tablets a day.
Megafoods actually makes a few different versions of prenatal vitamins – I’ve tried Baby & Me 2 and the original Baby & Me.
The only difference is that Baby & Me 2 requires taking just 2 tablets while Baby & Me means taking 4!
If you don’t have horrible nausea, choose Baby & Me 2 to make things simple.
2. Nausea remedies
Looking back at my first pregnancy, I can’t believe how lucky I was to hardly experience any nausea.
This time around, it’s been a different story!
Gin Gins Drops are AMAZING – they really help with morning sickness and provide quick and soothing relief.
I also love that I can keep these in my purse!
Morning sickness getting the best of you too? Some other remedies that have helped me include:
- Earth Mama Morning Wellness Tea – perfect for day or night, I had more nausea in the evening
- Gingerale – I love the Zevia one since it’s sugar free!
- Fresh ginger tea
- Saltine crackers – I kept a ziploc bag of these in my car’s console
- Carbonated water – Perrier was my go to
3. Decaf coffee, tea, and other beverages
It’s best to curb your caffeine habit even before you get pregnant – take it from me!
As a busy mama who would sometimes drink four cups of coffee a day, I suffered from crazy headaches when I switched to two cups of decaf daily at the start of this pregnancy.
But you can still enjoy your favourite beverages while you’re carrying your little one.
Lately, I’ve been drinking Kicking Horse Dark Decaf and love it!
In the late afternoon, I switch to tea – Earth Mama Peaceful Mama Tea (for the first and second trimesters) and Earth Mama Third Trimester Tea have both been great for unwinding after a long day and falling asleep more easily.
I love Earth Mama products – half of my hospital bag essentials (this pregnancy and my first) are all Earth Mama!
4. Insulated tumbler
You are going to be attending a lot of appointments, mama – and most of them are going to require a full bladder, blood work, or a urine sample!
From experience, let me tell you that it SUCKS to have to come back to get your bloodwork done when they can’t get a enough of a sample.
I had a very early morning appointment in my first pregnancy and kind of forgot to drink anything other than coffee that morning – doh!
I hate getting bloodwork done to begin with and having to return again later to get poked and prodded some more was absolutely dreadful.
So make sure you stayed hydrated.
I drive a European car, so I went with an 18 oz YETI Rambler to fit in my cup holder!
The chug cap is amazing and prevents clumsy pregnant mamas like me from spilling all over themselves before an appointment.
This rambler also keeps cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot – for up to 12 hours!
Perfect for slow drinkers and busy moms – or both, haha!
Second & Third Trimester Pregnancy Must Haves
This list of second and third trimester pregnancy essentials is arranged in the order I purchased everything.
I ended up needing some of these things a lot sooner during this pregnancy than my first!
Let’s start with one that’s a game-changer for pregnancy comfort.
5. Snoogle pregnancy pillow
If you are going to buy anything on this list, PLEASE make it the Snoogle!
I’m currently writing this post wrapped in my Snoogle and have lived in this thing since I was around 17 weeks pregnant.
It is incredible for pregnancy related aches and pains in your back, hips, neck, and tummy.
For back sleepers like me who have a difficult time staying asleep on their side, it’s also a great way to keep you asleep and in one of two optimal pregnancy sleep positions – on your left side or on your right!
This pillow is incredible for comfort and posture during pregnancy.
I had horrible back and muscle pain below my breast bone during both of my pregnancies – I don’t know how I would have survived without this thing!
6. Nursing bras
My back pain started when I was around 17 weeks pregnant this time so I guess what they say is true – your belly does grow faster the second time around!
Making the switch to wire-free nursing bras had a dramatic impact on my back pain and comfort.
I splurged on Bravado and Kindred Bravely nursing bras for this pregnancy and I am SO happy with them – for reference, I wear a 36DD and went with size Large!
They’re true to size so ordering was a synch and the fabric is higher quality and more form fitting than the nursing bras I purchased for my first pregnancy.
Don’t stress too much about sizing – if you’re like me, you’ll probably only go up one size (from M to L for instance) and if need be, nursing bra extenders are a great addition for that time where your milk supply is highest.
7. Maternity tanks
Who doesn’t want to feel beautiful even on their most challenging days?
I swear by maternity clothes – why invest in baggy clothing that doesn’t make you feel good and can’t be worn after the fact?
Maternity clothes are perfect for pregnancy and postpartum because they’re comfortable and make you feel good!
They have a beautiful way of accentuating your tummy while you’re expecting and giving you enough breathing room to recover once you’re postpartum.
I tend to get hot flashes in pregnancy, so I like maternity tanks over t-shirts and long sleeve shirts.
Pair a tank with a cardigan and your good to go – or stay in!
I’ve lived in Motherhood Maternity sleeveless scoop neck tanks and cami tanks during all of my pregnancies.
After my first pregnancy, I kept wearing maternity and nursing clothes for about a year and a half after my pregnancy ended – I like the compression these clothes provide and how easy they made it to nurse my little girl.
You’ll likely wear maternity and nursing clothes for at least two years (with each child) – so they’re definitely worth investing in!
8. Maternity pants – leggings and pyjama bottoms
I filled out my tops before my pants in both pregnancies but now that I’m at the end, the right pants are ESSENTIAL!
I wear leggings or pajama bottoms about 99.9% of the time since I work at home and am the full-time caregiver of a busy toddler.
Personally, I’m all about the full panel!
For me, inset panel pants stopped being comfortable once I hit about 30 weeks pregnant – insets just feel WAY TOO TIGHT and I don’t think 10 weeks of pregnancy remaining is enough time to justify purchasing more and sizing up.
ALL MAMAS NEED these GAP Maternity Modal Sleep Pants!
At 39 weeks pregnant, they are the most comfortable maternity pants I have EVER owned and they don’t hurt my belly.
I also know I’ll keep wearing them long after this pregnancy is done so 100% worth the investment!
I bought a pair specifically for my hospital bag and others for around the house.
For going out, I still rock Lululemon Aligns!
Since I like cropped pants all year long, I wear the 25” length at 5”6.
I wore size 8 pre-pregnancy and am still wearing this size now!
They’re super stretchy and comfortable for running errands in but once I’m home, I’m all about the GAP modal sleep pants!
9. Bio-Oil Skincare Oil
Bio-Oil is a must have for fighting stretch marks!
Using it just once in the morning and once in the evening is great for preventing the long term effects of a growing belly and dry skin.
It dries quickly enough that you can apply it after a shower or when you’re getting ready to head out.
I used this during my first pregnancy and feel SO luck to have had no stretch marks!
Bio-Oil is also great for:
- uneven skin tone
- and dehydrated skin
I love that it’s not greasy and my skin drinks it up like water!
10. Pregnancy & Parenting Education
What to Expect When You’re Expecting is a must read for first time moms.
I loved this book so much that I even went on to buy the subsequent books for the first and second years!
Being a parent is the most amazing and challenging thing you’ll ever do, so preparing yourself with an education in pregnancy and childrearing is definitely an essential.
It’s crazy that people spend hundreds and thousands of dollars plus years of their life preparing for careers and yet, some don’t invest anything at all into learning how to become a parent – a lifetime obligation!
A few other parenting books I’ve read and LOVED include:
Here are some additional pregnancy must haves that I relied on during my pregnancies but they may not be necessary during yours.
1. Shoes that are comfortable and easy to put on
I didn’t struggle with putting my shoes on during my first pregnancy but since we were due in late spring, I wore a lot of sandals.
This time around, we’re due in winter and I’ve been completely hopeless since I was about 28 weeks pregnant.
The easiest footwear to put on and take off has been UGG boots, slippers, and sandals.
I’ve also had a lot of swelling in my legs so wearing sandals and slippers around the house instead of socks prevents constraining my feet.
2. Hot and cold gel pack
I experienced horrible pain under my right breast during my pregnancies.
During my first pregnancy, I suffered from fractured ribs after the horrible flu that resulted in bed rest for three months.
Better luck this time though – the doctor says it’s a pulled muscle and that baby has been favoring my right side.
When the pain gets really bad, I use a cold gel pack for relief.
I keep two in the freezer at all times and when one starts to warm up, I switch them out.
3. Bra extenders
These are a fantastic way to extend the life of maternity bras – when your milk supply is at its highest, you might need a larger band size and bra extenders can prevent you from having to buy more bras.
4. Maternity belly band
I bought one of these at around 17 weeks pregnant when I started to get bad back pain.
It’s simple to use and is easily hidden under maternity clothing.
It did help with pain relief as well but now that I’m at home most of the time, I wrap myself in my Snoogle instead.
If you’re on the go into the third trimester, a maternity belly band would be really useful though!
5. Maternity underwear
This was a bonus in my first pregnancy and a must-have in my latest – regular underwear started to give me a muffin top at around 28 weeks pregnant and it was completely unbearable by 34 weeks.
Maternity underwear is cut differently than regular underwear and fits looser around your growing tummy with highcut styles or underneath your tummy with below the bump options.
Personally, I like both styles.
6. Natural skincare and cosmetics
There are a number of skincare and cosmetics ingredients you should avoid during pregnancy.
- Oxybenzone (common in chemical sunscreens)
- High-dose salicylic acid
- Formaldehyde releasing chemicals like:
- DMDM hydantoin
- diazolidinyl urea
- imidazolidinyl urea
My two go-to skincare brands for pregnancy and nursing are Drunk Elephant (kind of ironic!) and Omorovicza.
Both of these lines feature high-quality ingredients and the majority of their products are pregnancy and/or nursing safe.
Here are a few of my maternity favorites:
Free Pregnancy Resources Online
There are a ton of FREE prenatal educational resources online!
I used The Bump app during my first pregnancy.
I loved checking in weekly to see how big baby was measuring in comparison to well-known fruits! It was also fun to look ahead and see how things would change in a month or more’s time.
This app also features a personalized article feed that’s perfect for mama’s who love staying up to date and constantly learning new things about pregnancy – from recipes to expert answers.
When I was on bedrest during my first pregnancy, my husband and I watched these videos from BabyCenter since we weren’t able to enrol in a birth class before my due date.
From an experienced mom, trust me when I say that a free education like the one provided by BabyCenter is all you need.
The friends I spoke with who went to prenatal classes all said the same thing – it was more of an opportunity to meet and mingle with other expectant parents.
On the day you’re giving birth, things may or may not go according to plan – I wanted a natural birth and ended up being induced and having an epidural!
Trust your instincts and demand support from your partner and healthcare providers.
You got this, mama!
How are you enjoying pregnancy?
Which of these items could you not live without during the first, second, and third trimesters?
I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below!
Wishing you the warmest congratulations on your new adventure, mama 🙂
Blessed mama of two beautiful little girls. I’m a full-time blogger and social media content creator who teaches moms and boss babes how to start an online business. Follow me on social for clever ideas to make money using the platforms you already love!