The Best Pregnancy Must Haves for Your Growing Baby

When you first find out you’re expecting, it’s easy to get overwhelmed thinking about all the pregnancy must haves available these days. 

Fear not, we’ve got you covered. 

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We’re going to talk about all the items you actually need. And for your convenience, we’ve divided it into manageable, easy-to-digest sections. 

Plus, we’ll also discuss some of the most popular and effective products. 

Disclaimer: This page contains affiliate links. See our disclosure policy for more details.

Pregnancy Must Haves First Trimester

Here are items needed during the first trimester of pregnancy:

Let’s break down some of these first trimester pregnancy must haves and give you the specifics: 

Prenatal Vitamins

Prenatal vitamins are so important to ensure mom and baby are getting everything they need during pregnancy. They’re so crucial that it is often recommended to start taking them before you are even pregnant if you’re trying to conceive.

It can be challenging to get all of the recommended nutrients from your diet alone, especially if morning sickness has you queasy. According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, it’s vital that pregnant women get enough folic acid, calcium, iron, and vitamin D for healthy baby development. 

Luckily a variety of different prenatals are available over the counter so they are easy to find. But if you’re unsure which vitamin is right for you, check with your doctor.

These prenatal vitamins are super popular and highly rated. If nausea has you struggling to swallow pills, many moms find that gummy vitamins go down easier.


Preggie Pop Drops

Probably the worst aspect of the first trimester is the morning sickness. For nausea relief, these Preggie Pop Drops are our favorite. These all natural hard candies with essential oils and plant botanicals help curb queasiness. They make a great, portable remedy to keep on hand for whenever nausea strikes. 

Here is our list of 19 more ways to alleviate morning sickness that actually work.


Pregnancy Books

There is no shortage of books about pregnancy available. Being nerds, we read several. Most contained a lot of the same information, but the formats can be very different. 

For just the facts, you can’t go wrong with the Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy. It has all of the up to date and doctor-approved information and is very straight forward, possibly even a tad boring.

On the other end, The Girlfriends’ Guide to Pregnancy has a lot of personality while still containing the pertinent information. It makes some of the more medical and science-y aspects very accessible.


Pregnancy App

Pregnancy must haves - apps

Like everything else in our lives, when it comes to pregnancy, there’s an app for that. In fact, there’s lots of them and many are free.

Most pregnancy apps have pretty similar information and capabilities so download a few which you like the best. 

Our top pregnancy apps are What To Expect and The Bump

While the What To Expect app seems the most comprehensive and possibly the most popular, The Bump has a really fun and easy to use interface.


Comfy Leggings

Before your tummy starts to show, you’ll likely feel puffy and bloated. Do yourself a favor now and get some buttery soft leggings

You know the kind we mean, the ones that are as soft as pajamas. The ones that make it easy to take a midday nap when that first trimester fatigue hits. 


Bra Extender

Often the first place you’ll notice your clothes getting tight is your bra. Your breasts can change several sizes over the course of your pregnancy and beyond. To keep from having to buy new bras all the time, get a bra extender!

These are a cheap and simple solution to get more wear out of your bras as you grow. You will likely still need to get some new bras at some point, but these will hopefully cut down how frequently you outgrow them.


Belly Band

As your pants start to get tighter, you can extend their wear by using Bellaband. These are fabric bands worn around your lower stomach to hold your pants up. This comes in handy when you can no longer button or even zip them your pants. They can also come in handy holding up your maternity pants that may start out a bit loose.


Pregnancy Journal

While not necessarily something you need, if you’re sentimental or simply want to be sure you remember the details of your pregnancy, you’ll want a journal.

Honestly, any journal is fine for writing about your experiences. I actually made my own for my first child, but for the 2nd and 3rd it was really helpful to have a journal designed specifically to document pregnancy memories. It was harder to devote time to writing and a journal with prompts and reminders helped me stay motivated and record memories regularly.

I really liked The Belly Book. It had lots of space for writing weekly with lots of prompts and questions. 


Bump Countdown Blocks

Documenting your growing bump, week by week, is super fun during pregnancy!

Holding wooden countdown blocks during your weekly photos lets you keep track of what week you’re on as well as provides a  constant size comparison. After your baby is born, you can use them to photo document how big your baby has grown!


Tylenol

Headaches and other pregnancy-related aches and pains often begin during the first trimester. Tylenol is one of the only pregnancy-friendly pain relievers available

Be sure to stock up on some Tylenol so you have it readily available when needed. 

For a full checklist of all everything you should do during these first twelve weeks, check out our first trimester to-do list!

The Best Third Trimester to Do List for Moms-to-Be

Pregnancy Must Haves Second Trimester

Here are things a pregnant woman needs during the second trimester of pregnancy:

Let’s break down some of these second trimester pregnancy must haves and give you the specifics: 

Heartburn Meds

Unfortunately heartburn is a very common finding in pregnancy. Your first line of defense should be antacids like Tums and Rolaids, so be sure to have those on hand. 

If you’re still suffering, you can talk to your doctor about other over-the-counter options. 


Belly Butter 

The jury’s still out on whether or not belly skin care and prevent stretch marks. That being said, I do know one thing for certain – it definitely doesn’t hurt. 

Jo used belly exfoliation scrubs and this belly butter almost daily throughout all three of her pregnancies and survived without a single stretch mark. 

Belly butter is also amazing relief when your growing belly starts to get super itchy! 


Maternity Belt

As your belly grows, aches and pains are very common. A maternity belt is a support band that wraps around your lower stomach helping relieve pain and p

ressure. Not to be confused with a Bellaband described above, these are typically more structured (aka less comfortable), provide more support, and often close with velcro.

While these may feel a bit bulky, they are great for helping with round ligament pain, pelvic pressure, and back pain. It is frequently recommended to use the belt for shorter periods of time as too much wear can actually weaken your muscles by making them dependent on the support. Many women find a maternity belt allows them to do certain activities like exercise more comfortably.


Maternity Pillow

Sleep can become elusive during pregnancy. As if it’s not bad enough that you wake up often to pee, finding a comfortable position gets harder and harder as your belly grows.

It’s generally recommended to sleep on your side during pregnancy, however, this may not be your natural sleeping position and even if it is your changing body can make it uncomfortable. This is where a pregnancy pillow will save your sleep.

These pillows are designed to help relieve pressure on your hips, back, knees, or belly. There are several varieties of maternity pillows, for instance this C shaped pregnancy pillow gets great reviews.

While pillows are essential, they don’t necessarily have to specifically meant for pregnancy. You can use several pillows to achieve the same effect. You may find that you need one between your knees, behind, your back, and even possibly under your bump. If you struggle with heartburn, raising your head with several pillows can also help alleviate that discomfort. 

Personally, I got through 3 pregnancies with an elaborate setup which included a body pillow, bedrest pillow, plus 4 more of assorted sizes and fluffiness 

For a full checklist of all everything you should do during these first twelve weeks, check out our first trimester to-do list!

The Best Pregnancy Must Haves for Your Growing Baby

Pregnancy Must Haves Third Trimester

When you’re feeling huge in your last trimester, these pregnancy must haves will get you feeling as comfortable as possible. 

Let’s break down some of these third trimester pregnancy must haves and give you the specifics: 

Compression socks

Swollen feet and ankles are an extremely common complaint during pregnancy especially if you’re on your feet a lot. This swelling caused by hormones, pressure, and increased blood volume is normal but it can still be pretty uncomfortable.

Compression socks can help prevent this swelling by promoting blood flow. There are different levels of pressure that you can buy, and even stronger prescription socks if necessary. Socks should fit tight, but not too tight that they’re uncomfortable.


Panty liners

An embarrassing reality for many pregnant woman that we rarely talk about is that between hormones and pressure, things downstairs can get a bit leaky.

While discharge can start just a few weeks after conception, it generally only gets worse as pregnancy progresses.

That baby on your bladder means that a simple sneeze can be a big problem. Plus, many woman experience more discharge during pregnancy as well.

All in all, wearing a panty liner is an easy fix to make sure you feel dry and confident.


Exercise Ball

If you don’t already have one, we highly recommend getting a round exercise ball.

During pregnancy, it’s great for sitting and bouncing on while you watch TV, work at your desk, or even just at random times. 

Sitting on an exercise ball can improve posture, relieve back pain, and when you straddle it with your legs open it helps open the pelvis for labor. The bouncing motion can even help get baby into the downward position!

However the fun doesn’t stop after you’re no longer pregnant. You can use it for yoga or pilates, both are great for weight loss and stress relief. Or keep bouncing away to improve your posture and core strength.  

If you’re wondering about which size to get, know that it’s based on height. For those 5’5” and under, stick with a smaller size around 22″. Individuals 5’6” to 5’11 should purchase the medium 26″ size. The largest sizes around 30″ are for those 6′ and taller.


Massager

Back pain and sore muscles are super common during the trimester as your balance is thrown off by your swollen belly. 

For lower back and sciatic pain, nothing beats the easy-to-use and highly effective foam roller

A great overall massager is the RENPHO Hand Held Deep Massager. It’s easy for either you or your partner to use and works on pretty much any area of the body.  Pro-tip – pack this is your labor bag, you can thank me later. 


Postpartum Corset

Buy a corset for postpartum now. Our personal fav is the Bellefit, which is great for providing abdomen and back support as you recover from delivery. 

From a cosmetic standpoint, it also takes away that deflated belly pooch all moms get after giving birth.

(Pssst… it’s never too early to start getting ready with other postpartum essentials)


Clothing Pregnancy Must Haves

Now let’s talk about these pregnancy must haves in a little more detail…

Stretchy Bras

Get some soft and stretchy bras for sleeping, lounging, and nursing. Your nipples will start to get tender so you’ll appreciate some “give” in a bra. 


Maternity Underwear

You need comfortable underwear. It doesn’t necessarily need to be maternity underwear specifically, though you can find both above and below the bump varieties, but it absolutely must be stretchy and comfy.

Depending on your weight gain, you may find that you can get away with regular low rise underwear just fine or you may even go up a size as you grow. I found that lace waistbands are particularly forgiving.


A Cute Maternity Dress

Some days you’ll want to lay around all day in the world’s more comfy pregnancy leggings, but other days you’ll want to look super cute in a chic (and equally comfortable) dress. 

Forget the muumuu, find a style that’s flattering and shows off that bump. The Mama Dress and Ruffle Off-Shoulder are some of our favorite looks. 


Maternity Jeans

A good pair of maternity jeans can get you through most casual situations. Find some that are stretchy and comfy and you’re golden.

Maternity jean waistbands come in over the bump, under the bump, and occasionally a mid rise option. Personally, I prefer the over the bump full panel ones since it gives a smoother look under shirts and overall just felt most comfortable.

Get something stretchy that will grow with you.


Shoes

Pregnancy is hard on your feet. The swelling and extra weight mean that comfortable and supportive shoes are must have especially if you spend a lot of time standing.

Even for dressing up, make sure you have sturdy, supportive shoes to limit your risk of falling. Keep in mind that many women actually go up a shoe size during pregnancy, sometimes permanently.

Also, shoes that you can slip on without having to tie can come in super handy late in pregnancy when bending becomes very challenging.


Bra Extender

Often the first place you’ll notice your clothes getting tight is your bra. Your girls can change several sizes over the course of your pregnancy and beyond. To keep from having to buy new bras all the time, get a bra extender!

These are a cheap and simple solution to get more wear out of your bras as you grow. You will likely still need to get some new bras at some point, but these will hopefully cut down how frequently you outgrow them.


Pumping Tops

Go ahead and get some maternity tops that double as nursing/pumping tops. Your future self will smile back at your preparation. Suiek and Ekouaer make some of our favorites. 


Long Camisoles

Get some stretchy and comfy maternity camisoles (we love these!) that stretch far down over your belly.

Layering is an easy trick to make the most of your current wardrobe during pregnancy as many of your “regular” tops won’t reach down past your bump. Your cami, however, will keep you covered. 


Slippers 

Grab some comfortable slippers for those days when your feet are swollen and uncomfortable. Make sure they have grips on the bottom so you don’t slip!


Pregnancy Food Must Haves

Healthy Snacks

Grab some healthy snack options like nuts or protein bars to have on hand when you’re hungry between meals. 

Eating small, frequent snacks is a great way to combat morning sickness. Also, if you have healthy options you’re less likely to turn to the high-sugar temptations. 


Saltines

Saltines, graham crackers, or other bland snacks are great for morning sickness just to put something in your stomach before you roll out of bed. 


Pregnancy Tea

There are some yummy and healthy teas out there than can relieve morning sickness, give you healthy energy, soothe aches/pains, and even get your body ready for labor


Coffee

When pregnancy fatigue hits, don’t be afraid to turn to coffee for a little pick me up. Most doctors will advise you that one cup per day is safe for you and baby. 

Mommee Coffee makes a great coffee for expectant parents. It is low acid and you can get it in different percentages of caffeine too. Win-win!


Water Bottle 

It’s very important to stay well-hydrated when pregnant. We found it incredibly helpful to have a water bottle that helps you keep track of how much water you’ve consumed during the day. 

While drinking water out of glasses may taste the same, a water bottle like this serves as a great visual reminder to get your drink on. 


Fiber

Unfortunately, constipation is a really common problem during pregnancy. You can help alleviate it naturally by getting plenty of fiber.

A fiber rich diet can keep things moving smoothly. Some great foods to get your fiber from include apples, pears, raspberries, bananas, avocados, broccoli, carrots, lentils, beans, whole grains, and nuts.


Pregnancy Beauty Must Haves

Here are some absolute musts to keep you feeling pampered during pregnancy:

Let’s talk a little more in detail about why these beauty items are pregnancy must haves. Plus, we’ll give you the inside scoop on the best products. 

Belly Butter 

The jury’s still out on whether or not belly skin care and prevent stretch marks. That being said, I do know one thing for certain – it definitely doesn’t hurt. 

Jo used belly exfoliation scrubs and this belly butter almost daily throughout all three of her pregnancies and survived without a single stretch mark. 

Belly butter is also amazing relief when your growing belly starts to get super itchy! 


Safe Face Wash

Acne and skin treatments during pregnancy can be kind of tricky. Some gentle cleansers are perfectly safe, but you definitely want to stay away from products with benzoyl peroxide, retinol, and salicylic acids.

Attitude makes a great line and we really like their Foaming Face Cleanser.


Pregnancy-Friendly Nail Polish

While pregnant, it’s best to avoid as many toxins as possible. Check out ella + mila for some safe nail polish options. 


Relaxing Bath Products 

Look for moisturizing and calming soak options for your bath. Your skin and mind will thank you later. 


Sunscreen 

Sunscreen is incredibly important for pregnant individuals. Your skin is so much more sensitive that you’re more likely to get sun damage and burn. 

Supergoop! makes a great sunscreen that’s safe for pregnancy – plus it’s effective and non-greasy. Great combo! 

READ ON  Guaranteed Ways How to Feel Beautiful While Pregnant

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About Author

Jo & Rachel

Jo and Rachel first had the idea for 'The Moms At Odds' in 2016 when our babies were turning 2 and we realized that we were very different parents.

As a mom, Rachel immediately felt this strong connection to her son and instantly decided she wanted to become a stay-at-home mom. Though Jo obviously loved her son as well, she counted the days until she could go back to work and interact with other adults.

They both struggled over getting their babies to sleep and while Jo believed in sleep training, Rachel looked for alternatives like dream feeding and no cry methods. As time passed and their children grew older the differences started to really add up – pacifier use, drinking during breastfeeding, organic foods, screen time, diaper brands, and on and on.

During this day and age, it’s so easy to look at our parenting differences as a bad thing. After all, we’ve all seen jokes and articles about “Mommy Wars” over one subject or another. Instead, we choose to embrace our differences and show you that in many areas there is no wrong answer. What works for one family may not work for another, and that’s perfectly fine. We can still all get along and raise perfectly healthy, beautiful children.

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