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Best and Worst Maternity Products For the 1st and 2nd Trimester

There are SO many maternity products out there it can be overwhelming! But, in some ways it makes sense. We all experience pregnancy a little differently, so we all need different tips, tricks, and products to help us through these 40 weeks.

Today I’m going to round up the products I’ve used in my 1st and 2nd trimester and share with you if they worked for me or if they didn’t. Of course, some things that worked for me won’t work for everyone. And, some of the things I didn’t like, others will love! I’ll try to share as much about each thing to help you decide if it’s something that might work for you or not. Make sure to let me know your FAVORITE maternity products in the comments, and why you love them.

Maternity Underwear

Ya’ll, things you don’t think of. Underwear during pregnancy is kinda a hassle.

First, I totally wasn’t ready for regular underwear to stop being comfortable so early in my pregnancy. But, by about 18 weeks I was SO over it. I ended up ordering some under-the-belly underwear and it’s so much more comfortable.

Secondly, it’s really hard to manage panty lines in maternity clothing – specifically maternity dresses. And let’s face it, the itsy-bitsy thongs I used to wear with these types of dresses are NOT comfy on growing hips. So, I ended up getting two pairs of these maternity shapewear. They are actually insanely comfortable on my growing belly. And, because they are around my legs I don’t have to worry about any panty lines! It also just kinda smoothes everything in your midsection, which is great for those dresses that show off the bump! These are definitely a lifesaver.

Stork Tea

I talked about this briefly in a prior post, but I suffered wicked morning sickness (more like all day sickness). I was nauseous pretty much all day for about 8 weeks with just a few days of relief. I tried a lot of things to manage the nausea but as far as “products” went, this morning sickness tea was one of the only things that really worked for me. I could make a cup and sip it throughout the morning to help keep the nausea at bay. And, when I started to feel really sick, a cup would usually help temper it back to a place where I didn’t feel like I was about to hurl at work.

Pregnancy Pillow

I’m really torn on this item. I bought my preggo pillow when I was around 19 weeks because I started suffering from pretty bad pregnancy insomnia. Most of my friends RAVED about their pregnancy pillow so I thought it would help. So far, I can’t say it has been all that helpful for me. I do find it helps me fall asleep because you kind of get swaddled between it which is relaxing. But, as I move throughout the night, it becomes claustrophobic and I end up getting rid of it.

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It also doesn’t help me stay on my sides either (as I’m supposed to be sleeping mainly on my sides now). I find whenever I use it I end up waking up on my back, exactly how I’m NOT supposed to sleep. All that being said, I’m the only person I know who didn’t love their pregnancy pillow. And, I still have some hopes that in a month or two – when the belly is REALLY big – I might find a love for this pillow. I also think I’ll get a lot of use out of it for late-night nursing. But, being that I’m a restless sleeper, it hasn’t been the best product purchase for me so far.

Belly Band

I ordered a Ingrid & Isabel belly band early into my pregnancy thinking it would help me push out having to buy maternity jeans (and would allow me to wear some of my regular bottoms during pregnancy.) If you don’t know what these are, they are basically just bands of elastic fabric. You wear your jeans unbuttoned, and then slide the belly band up over your waist. It helps to hold your jeans up, allowing you to wear them without zipping/buttoning them. The idea seemed really smart to me. But honestly, this product just fell flat for me. Firstly, having your jeans unbuttoned under the band is actually kind of uncomfortable. Not to mention, having your jeans unbuttoned means you end up with awkward, bunched up fabric under the belly band which just looks strange.

While this did get me through a couple weeks before I bought my first real maternity jeans and it did allow me to wear a few of my non-maternity bottoms, I can’t say I highly recommend it. I would suggest you bite the bullet and go straight for the maternity bottoms (or rock jeggings for a few weeks) instead.

Belly Oils and Lotions

I use the Palmer’s Stretch Mark Cocoa Butter lotion at least once a day and love it. I have NO idea if it really prevents stretch marks. I’m still assuming my belly will be covered in them by the time this little guy comes. But, what I love is how much it improves the elasticity of my skin, making my growing belly feel a lot more comfortable. I even started using it on my legs and it makes them look SUPER smooth and taut.

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When I ordered my last pack of it on Amazon and it also suggest Bio Oil, which I had heard of but never tried. I figure it was worth trying out. I apply it once a day to my belly. It’s supposed to help heal stretch marks more than really prevent them, so I could just be wasting my time. But, I figure it doesn’t hurt to keep my growing skin well moisturized and hydrated!

Bra Extenders

Everyone’s body changes differently during pregnancy. One big change for me has been that my rib cage as grown. Who wudda known? I’ve gone from a 32 bra size to about 36! Instead of buying all new bras a friend suggested bra extenders. I bought a 6-pack of a variety of colors/thicknesses. These are GENIUS. They give you just a little extra girth around your rib cage without having to buy all new bras.

Maternity Clothing

Ok, this last one might seem like a no-brainer but overall I underestimated how little of my normal clothing I would want to wear. I figured I’d be wearing my flowy tanks and dresses until 30 weeks and using my regular leggings and pajamas. HA! Many of my normal tops stopped fitting due to my wider rib cage or they were too short and wouldn’t cover my belly bump. The same happened with a lot of dresses. They were either too tight around my chest or the extra girth of my belly hiked them up so that they were too short. And, at the end of it all, maternity clothing is just A LOT more comfortable on your pregnant body. I’m planning an upcoming post with my best tips for shopping for maternity clothing, as well as a round-up of where I have found the best stuff.

I’m curious what maternity products you loved (or are currently loving) and what products were duds for you. Let me know in the comments below!

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