In this post I’m sharing my pregnancy must-haves. Everything from must-have clothing, underwear, belly lotion, and more.
Do I really need all this pregnancy stuff?
The pregnancy industry is huge. Once the internet finds you’re pregnant you’re going to get HOUNDED with SO MANY ADS for every dang pregnancy product available. Let me tell you, I’ve bought lots of things I didn’t actually use or need (I share some at the bottom). The issue is, we all experience pregnancy so differently. What I need and love, might not work for other people. So, at the end of the day you’ll probably end up buying SOMETHING for your pregnancy you don’t like or don’t use. While this list is my essential pregnancy products, it doesn’t necessarily mean each thing will work amazing for you. But, hopefully my list and my explanations of each one, will help you sift through some of the never-ending products and make some choices that are good for you.
- Under the belly underwear
- Wire-free bras
- Maternity leggings
- Maternity basics tank and tee
- Comfy nightshirt
- Maternity joggers
- Stretch Mark Lotion
- Real Food for Pregnancy
- Prune Juice
- Ginger Ale
- Panty Liners
- Quick healthy snack
Pregnancy Must-Haves To Wear
Under The Belly Underwear
Your baby bump will thank you for these under the belly underwear so you can stop trying to squeeze into non-pregnancy underwear. My runner-up is these seamless undies from Aerie, but definitely size up one size for the third trimester.
I will never stop being amazed at HOW MUCH my rib cage expands during pregnancy. Even Michael was hugging me the other day and was like “your rib cage is so much bigger!” Around week 28, pretty much any bra with a wire, or even a clasp for that matter, is unbearable. I’ve even tried sizing WAY up. I find instead opting for more sports bra type bras are SO MUCH BETTER. I have these ones which are also nursing friendly so they are multi-purpose for post-baby (I own every color). I also LIVED in this bra most of my pregnancy which isn’t a nursing bra but still insanely comfy.
My favorites. I size up one size in all bras for maternity/postpartum
I’m definitely team no pants after about 30 weeks. So, if I MUST put something on leggings are where it’s at. I can’t say I’ve found ONE pair of maternity leggings to rule them all. But here are my top three:
- GAP – These are a good thicker legging I feel like I can wear as a standard legging like I would my other non-maternity leggings. The ones I have are under-the-belly which I really like, but I will say once you get past 35 weeks, even it can feel a bit tight. I’ve been able to wear my smalls through this whole pregnancy, but it wouldn’t hurt to get one pair in a size up.
- Old Navy – These are just a great, affordable, lounge around the house legging. You can get them on sale for less than $15 a pop. Not life-changing in any way. They don’t have special panels or compression, or bells and whistles. But, they are simple and comfortable, which is really all the bells and whistles I need most days.
- Blanqi – These are the most “fancy” of the leggings on my list. These come with some mild compression and a special panel that grows with your belly. I do really like these leggings. I liked that they were comfortable from the first trimester to the third, and will even be able to be used postpartum (which my other two will not). The material is a little more like an athletic legging material, as opposed to the Gap/Old Navy ones, which are more standard cotton-blend leggings. The only thing I will note is I find after about 34 weeks, I haven’t loved these as much just because, the be honest, the compression makes them too much of a hassle to get on. But, again, since I can also wear them postpartum I will definitely get my use out of them.
Maternity basics tank and tee
I pretty much live in basic maternity tanks/tees the majority of my pregnancy. These are my favorite ones:
I love nightshirts for pregnancy because you don’t even have to think about anything uncomfortable around your belly while sleeping. I buy nursing friendly ones so I can then use them when baby is here, too. Here are my favorites:
This actually wasn’t a product I used with my first just because I was pregnant mostly in the summer. But, with a winter pregnancy, these maternity joggers have been awesome. I can wear them to lounge around the house but they are also great to run errands in, too (because I’ll be honest, after 32 weeks I said farewell to all my maternity jeans).
A final consideration:
- Maternity jacket – With this being my first winter baby, I debated a winter maternity jacket for awhile. Obviously, you can just size up in a jacket, wear one unzipped, look for something used…But, I finally ended up deciding to make the splurge on a Seraphine 3-in-1 Maternity Jacket. I mainly made the splurge because this jacket is “3-in-1” like the title says. It is maternity but is also designed to be worn non-maternity as well, so I knew I’d get a lot of use of it. It also comes with a zip-in insert that makes it work for baby-wearing, which I figured would be very helpful with a newborn and toddler.
Pregnancy Must-Haves For the Body
Palmer’s Massage Lotion For Stretch Marks
This is the lotion I’ve used for both pregnancies and I think it does a great job moisturizing the bump and helping to prevent any stretch marks. There are a lot of really pricy lotions out there for pregnancy but this one is a very reasonable price point and does the job.
I LOVE my Microdermamitt whether I’m pregnant or not, but I specifically have loved it this pregnancy. It’s basically a glove you use in the shower that buffs and exfoliates away dead skin. It leaves your skin SO smooth and soft. During pregnancy, I’m more diligent about moisturizing but I find lotion is only really effective on well-exfoliated skin. Not to mention, just as my skin stretches and expands, being able to get a proper exfoliation in really makes a difference.
This is a lotion you use directly out of the shower while your skin is still wet. Then just towel dry as usual. I can’t tell you how much softer and more moisturized this lotion makes my skin, especially in the harsh winter months. I struggle with the skin on my bump feeling dry and itchy (especially with this winter baby) but using this after every shower has almost completely eliminated any itchy belly!
Real Food For Pregnancy
I read this book in the first trimester this time around and it really helped me a lot in choosing what were the best foods to eat.
Pregnancy Must-Haves To Deal with Symptoms
Between morning sickness and just general stomach discomfort and heartburn that comes with sharing your body with a growing baby, I found ginger ale to be one of the best overall cures. I would sip it with morning sickness and definitely noticed a difference. I also find that sipping a little can help calm heartburn or other general stomach discomforts.
If you know you know…..LOL. We’re getting TMI here but I’m here to bestow my wisdom and bestow I will. With my first pregnancy, I had to take double doses of iron because my iron levels were SO low. The problem is iron tends to slow things down in the digestive tract region if you catch my drift. And, iron supplements or not, women, in general, tend to have some issues with constipation during pregnancy because, well, there’s an entire human being shoved up in your belly squashing and squeezing. And, I found that HANDS DOWN having a 1/2 cup of prune juice a day (along with trying to eat good whole foods) was the best and most effective cure that there is. Tastes like a cup of raisins, which is gross, but you won’t be backed up so…worth it.
Again…if you know you know. Especially into the late 2nd and 3rd trimester, there can be quite a bit of discharge, which is totally normal. Super thin panty liners swapped out a few times a day keep things comfortable down there.
Quick Healthy Snacks
With pregnancy, I find I can go from totally full to utterly starving in under 20 minutes. So, a big key for me to eating well is making sure I have simple, easy, healthy snacks to choose from. Because 75% of my choice is usually based on convenience. Here are a few of my favorite quick healthy snacks for pregnancy:
- Roasted nuts
- Fresh fruit
- Cottage cheese or plain Greek yogurt with chia seeds
- Energy balls (I make them and store them in the freezer, I follow a recipe similar to this one but usually add in more things like flax, chia, sunflower seeds, hemp hearts, etc.)
- Avocados (either to eat alone or on multigrain toast)
- Eggs – scrambled or hard-boiled
- Ants on a Log
- Carrots and hummus
Pregnancy Products I Didn’t Use
This list is going to be very personal because obviously many of these products are things people love. And, this totally 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. So, this is just my personal insights on things I didn’t use and why.
Pregnancy Pillow: Most of my friends RAVED about their pregnancy pillow so I thought it would be great. But I just never took to one with either pregnancy. I never found it comfortable nor did it ever help me sleep better.
Belly Band – 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 I actually just found them sort of awkward and uncomfortable. I found that just upgrading into maternity pants either instead of forcing non-maternity pants was a better option.