If you’re pregnant or trying to become pregnant you’re likely wondering which pregnancy essentials you need to survive the next nine months.
Sure, you can get by with items you have around the house for the first few weeks, but once your clothes start getting tight and you hit the second and third trimesters, you’ll need some essentials to feel more comfortable, help you get the sleep you need, and look and feel your best.
To make it easier on you (and your wallet) I’ve broken down the pregnancy essentials I found most useful to me during each trimester of my pregnancy.
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First trimester pregnancy essentials
Don’t feel like you need to run out and buy everything at once– between buying pregnancy essentials and prepping for baby, there’s a lot to buy.
Here’s a list of first-trimester pregnancy essentials:
Roughly around two weeks after I found out I was pregnant morning queasiness set in. A good friend shared with me one of her favorite home remedies, lemon water to help quell the queezies.
Each morning, I’d stumble into the kitchen and cut a lemon in half and squeeze into 24 ounces of warm water. If you’re feeling extra squeamish I suggest adding some fresh ginger root to your concoction, too.
Right around the 8th week of my pregnancy all-day nausea set in. I would wake up, drink my lemon water, have a little bit of a break from my nausea and then get another wave of nausea right after lunch.
Sea bands helped so much. I’m still not quite sure if it was mostly mental or not, but regardless, the product worked. Sea bands are worn on each wrist and help to ward off nausea by using acupressure.
Before you’ll need bigger shirts, you’ll need bigger bras. Do yourself a favor and invest in some comfortable bras early on in your pregnancy.
I lived in these bras. They were so comfortable, and didn’t have any wires, which was a total plus for me. These bras are one-size, so they carried me through the end of my pregnancy, too.
What to Expect When You’re Expecting
As someone who likes to know as much as possible about a new subject, as soon as I became pregnant I ordered this book.
Not only did it help me figure out what was going on with my body month-by-month, but it was also really fun to read. If you’re on a budget, this is really the only book you need.
Each month is broken down for you and you learn about what’s happening in your body and with the baby. There’s also a buying guide for baby, a ton of great info on nursing, a chapter on eating healthy during pregnancy, and so much more. Trust me, this book is the best.
Second trimester pregnancy essentials
At this point, the cat’s out of the bag and everyone likely knows your pregnant. Your tiny bump–once easily hidden behind your favorite blazer or cardigan– is now rounder and more pronounced.
If you’re like me, by the time I hit the second trimester most of my clothes stopped fitting, and one of my biggest hurdles was finding clothes to wear for work. Here’s my list for second trimester pregnancy must haves:
Cardigans and blazers
This is one item you likely won’t have to run out and buy (but don’t feel bad about treating yourself to a new cardigan or two, either).
My coworker was pregnant about a year before I became pregnant and she looked so put together during her entire pregnancy. I watched her pregnancy style and noticed the key to her looking so put together was simply adding a cardigan or blazer to each outfit.
The cardigan/blazer trick instantly slims you and quickly elevates the look of a basic pregnancy top.
If I heard it once while I was pregnant, I heard it a thousand times: “Better get all your sleep now, because when the baby comes you won’t be sleeping.”
I rolled my eyes each time I heard those words, but looking back I can safely say that advice is golden.
You need sleep to grow a human, and by the time the second trimester knocks at your door it’s likely getting harder to find a comfortable position at night. Do yourself a favor and get a pregnancy pillow.
Comfort is key during the later part of the second trimester, and an absolute given during the third.
You don’t want to run out and invest a fortune in clothes you’ll wear less than a year, but you do want to be comfortable.
Since I was still working full-time during my pregnancy I was adamant about being comfortable during the work week. These work pants were amazing. Seriously, I considered wearing them post-baby they were that great. And so slimming! Plus, they went with basically everything.
Make sure to stock up on tank tops like these. You’ll live in these tops, and they look really cute on a growing bump. If you’re feeling super lazy, (and who can blame you) throw a blazer over your tank and voila, you’re instantly ready for work, date night or the weekend.
I also invested in a few key tops that worked well for work and weekends. If you haven’t already, check out Destination Maternity. It’s basically your pregnancy wardrobe headquarters.
Here’s a pro tip when shopping for maternity clothes: Yes, you don’t want to spend a ton of money on these pieces, but you do want them to last. I found the high-end brands (Pea in a Pod, etc) to last and look the best. But I don’t want to spend $78 on a designer top, you say. You don’t have to, I say! Just shop the sale. Here’s how:
Sign up for Destination Maternity’s emails and whenever you get an email about a sale on top of a sale go check out their clearance section. I scored so many designer tops and bottoms for the same price as discount pieces!
Yay, another free item! Seriously, though. Water is so crucial during pregnancy. My doctor told me to aim for around 80oz or more of water each day.
For a while I didn’t keep track of how much water I was drinking, but after a while I really started seeing the benefits– if I felt nauseous or had a headache or just felt blah, often times the culprit was not drinking enough water.
I invested in this and made it a point to fill up at least three times each day. Plus, it’s super cute, too.
Having a hard time drinking a ton of water a day? Here’s a good article on the benefits of water during pregnancy and here’s another article listing out several creative ways to make sure you’re consuming enough water each day.
Third trimester pregnancy essentials
If you’re reading this and you’re currently in your third trimester, I see you, Mama. These weeks are rough. You’re tired, crabby, (at least I was) getting comments from strangers left and right, and just ready to be done.
Since most of your go-to pain medications are off limits, you’re left with natural remedies. Don’t dismay, some natural remedies work really well.
Heat is my favorite period cramp remedy and it worked wonders during pregnancy. My upper back was always killing me and it was so nice to lay on the couch, binge New Girl and use this heating pad for my aching back.
Side note: Check with your OB/GYN before you use a heating pad. I checked with mine and he said it was fine to use on a lesser heat setting for smaller increments of time, and definitely not on my tummy. Just ask your doc!
I’ve never been a huge bath person but that quickly changed once my third trimester arrived. I’d literally countdown the hours at work until I could rush home and soak my aches and pains away in an epsom salt bath. I even moved a small TV in my bathroom to up the relaxation factor!
Did you know prenatal massages work to significantly reduce all the lovely swelling that comes with the third trimester woes? In my last several weeks I treated myself to a couple prenatal massages that made a world of difference on my enlarged feet and ankles.
Remembering to elevate my feet above my heart each day really helped, too.
Strong ab muscles really come in handy during delivery. Swap out your desk chair for an exercise ball several times a day and strengthen your ab and back muscles.
Bonus: Keep the exercise ball around for labor to help open up the pelvis and encourage the baby to drop. Once we started taking our labor and delivery classes at the hospital the instructor encouraged everyone to start using an exercise ball to really help speed up the process.
Here’s a great article I referenced a lot when using my exercise ball to prepare for labor.
Stretch mark cream
If you’re one of the lucky ones that sneaks by without so much as one little stretch mark, bless you.
Stretch marks during pregnancy are no fun, but can be prevented with a modest weight gain and a lotion like this one.
Perhaps this is TMI, but stock up now. Trust me, once the second trimester hits you’ll thank me. Stock up now so you don’t have to send your husband to the store in a pinch… although you’ll likely be in for a treat when he calls you from the store desperate for help!
Ready to shop for baby? Check out my top 20 baby registry must haves!