Find out which items are must haves for your pregnancy. Here’s our pregnancy essentials list with the top 10 items pregnant mamas need!
This post was written by Hilary, the Founder of Pulling Curls.
Being pregnant puts your body into a whole new phase of life, and you may need to consider purchasing a few things you hadn’t needed previously. As a nurse who has seen thousands of pregnant moms, I am going to share four things I think all moms need, and why they’re important.
But first, who am I—and why would I have any clue what’s important?
Hi, I’m Hilary, I’m the curly head behind the website Pulling Curls, but most pregnant moms know me more as The Pregnancy Nurse. As a nurse since 1997, with 20 years of bedside experience in labor and delivery I’ve seen a lot of pregnant moms. I am also the creator of The Online Prenatal Class for Couples.
Today, I want to share some of my favorite pregnancy must-haves. You may be wondering when to start buying baby stuff. Most baby items can wait, but grab these pregnancy essentials soon!
10 Things Every Pregnant Woman Needs
Especially as you head into your third trimester, the ligaments that hold your uterus are going to begin to strain quite a bit as the baby grows. Think of it as your arms extended as you hold out a watermelon. One of the very best things you can do is help it out with a pregnancy support belt.
The good news is that these can be found in a lot of places—and Amazon has a few very affordable support belts you can test out to see if it works for you.
As a note, you don’t want to restrict the baby from moving with this belt. It’s there to just support your belly as you move—almost like a back brace you would use when you’re heavy lifting (except that it goes below your belly vs over it like non-pregnant humans).
This can also help quite a bit if you suffer from symphysis pubis separation. It just helps your hips stay together as your body pumps out relaxing hormones.
Hydration is totally the key during pregnancy. As you grow this tiny human, your body is increasing the blood flow to the uterus and your blood volume can as much as double to support them, which means you need a lot of fluids.
You could 100% just take a drink as you walk by the water cooler or sink. BUT, I think a lot of people drink more when they have a cup they like, and are willing to take with them.
A few tips on this type of cup:
- Wash it frequently. It’s tempting to just dump out yesterday’s water and put in new water, but take some time to wash it out and let it dry every now and then.
- Get a big one. You’re not looking for the smallest cup on the market. I prefer a 24 oz cup so I can get 2 cups of water plus a good amount of ice in it.
- I said water, and I meant water. Yes, you can add a Crystal Light every now and then, but water is truly the best thing. You can still have soda or coffee, but count it separately. One of my best tips is to alternate a cup of water with something else. I use Crystal Light as a reward if I get through the first cup of water.
- Add fruit. If straight water isn’t your thing, there are a lot of infusible water bottles you can use to make the water taste different.
Don’t forget one of the pregnant women’s favorite pastimes of chewing on ice is another way to stay hydrated. I know a lot of pregnant women love Sonic Ice, and now you can get it at home with a pebble ice machine (the cost has kept me from getting my own though).
3. Body Pillow
Pillows are your friend as joints and ligaments are stretched during pregnancy more than they’d prefer.
Sometimes women use a body pillow just like a regular pillow, but here are a few pregnancy hacks to make sure it supports you right:
**Most providers recommend women sleep on their side after about 20 weeks to make sure their body maintains good blood flow (the baby could pinch off your largest blood vessel by laying on it). I’ll be talking about how the body pillow can help that.
- Use in conjunction with your regular pillow. I have a regular pillow placed “normally” on the bed, and then have the body pillow under just the side of my head. This helps keep my neck in proper alignment.
- Stuff the pillow under your belly. Once your’e into your third trimester, your belly’s weight will start to stretch those ligaments during the night. Shoving a pillow under your belly will help support it (and give those ligaments a break during the night).
- Pillow between the knees is crucial. Sometimes I’d even add an extra one along with the body pillow to make sure that my pelvis was keeping good alignment.
If you prefer to sleep more on your back, the body pillow can also be used as a wedge to keep you from being FLAT on your back while you sleep (and doesn’t move as much as a regular pillow).
Also, before you worry about the times you wake up on your back, I have been assured that your body will let you know that you’re cutting off blood flow, and most often moms just turn on their own.
Symptoms you might experience would be a flushed face or ringing in your ears. You have to remember that it’s not just the baby who’s not getting blood flow—so your body will want to protect you to get stuff like your brain blood flow also.
I used to think prenatal classes were a bit of a waste, maybe because the one I went to was a bit of a waste back in 2000. However, the longer I kept asking the question “did you take any prenatal classes” in the admission assessment, the more I noticed how much happier those families were with the entire process.
I always compare it to riding a roller coaster in the dark. There isn’t any class that can stop the possible turns your labor could take, but by knowing what to expect and what pitfalls you might encounter, it’s just so much easier to enjoy the day.
The good news is that prenatal classes are SO much easier to take than they used to be. I taught prenatal classes for my hospital from 6-9 on Tuesday nights and I knew how uncomfortable and tired my students were from such a long day.
So, in 2014 I started my own class online, and thanks to some huge updates along the way, I believe I have one of the most popular and well-rounded prenatal classes on the Internet. Students love it, and I guarantee you’ll love it too. Come join me to get your confident birth in just three hours!
I know it’s a lot of time and money to waste if we’re not a good fit, so I also have a free prenatal class that gives you a taste of what to expect in the full thing!
So, those are my big must have items during pregnancy. The list isn’t long, because much of a positive pregnancy comes through education and a good attitude. However, these items can make it a lot more tolerable!
I (Amy) wanted to add a few items to Hilary’s list that I found especially helpful when I was pregnant. Here are six additional must-have items for pregnancy from my own experience!
5. Nursing Bra
I know you aren’t nursing yet, but as your belly grows, so will your breasts. Grab a pack of nursing bras now and you’ll get the maximum use out of them. This pack also comes with bra extenders so you’re ready if you need to add some room.
6. App to Track Pregnancy
This is one of the first things you can do when you find out you’re pregnant! Get a pregnancy app to track how big your baby is and see how they grow each week. It’s so fun to see which parts of them develop week-by-week! Here’s a list of some great pregnancy apps to choose from!
7. Good Books
When pregnancy insomnia strikes, have a few good books on hand to help you relax and wind down. Books like Belly Laughs and The Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy will help prepare you for motherhood and help you pass the time!
8. Snacks for Morning Sickness
If you’re dealing with nausea in your first trimester, you’ll want to manage morning sickness with remedies like Preggie Pop Drops, hard candies, and Sea Bands. Test different remedies to see which works best for you!
9. Belly Lotion
A growing belly can be an itchy belly! Keep it hydrated and help prevent stretch marks with a good massage lotion. Reviewers love the low price tag and extra moisture that Palmer’s Cocoa Butter provides!
I’m sure you’ve heard all the horror stories about newborn sleep but I know that it doesn’t have to be that way! I created my online Newborn Sleep Course to help educate and empower parents when it comes to your baby’s sleep.
I walk you through how to set up your baby’s days and nights so you can establish good sleep habits from the start. Learn more about my Newborn Sleep Course here!
What were some of the must have items you loved during your pregnancy? Sure, there are endless things you can buy to make it through the next 40 weeks, but these 10 items are some we found the most essential!