Why read: This list of pregnancy must-haves will help alleviate the pregnancy discomforts for you so that you can enjoy your pregnant life more.
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Isn’t it interesting how different women have different pregnancy experiences?
Some get nauseous or crave a certain food. While others hardly see any difference in their eating habits.
But whether it’s an easy or difficult pregnancy, at some point or another we all go through certain types of discomfort.
I’m a rather petite girl and weigh 105 pounds. Toward the end of my first pregnancy, I gained 45 pounds – almost half of my original weight!!! No wonder my feet looked like pig trotters. If only they could, my poor feet would definitely rebel against this injustice.
And my back pain made sleeping so uncomfortable that every time I went to bed I’d praise the person who invented the body pillow. What a genius and a woman admirer! Whoever you are, I am sure every pregnant woman thinks of You with great gratitude.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably also starting to experience pregnancy discomforts and entering survival mode.
But if you’re a total newbie you might have no idea what’s actually helpful vs what’s good marketing. So I know you need recommendations for tried and true support gear for holding what seems to be a ginormous baby belly up.
That’s where I come in to share all the pregnancy must-haves that I’m myself reusing second time around.
To be honest, I wouldn’t give up any single one of those. Moreover, I’m adding to the list some others that I hadn’t used before due to inexperience. And I regret I didn’t. I now have to deal with some bad consequences. More on that, as I go through the list.
1. Maternity Belly Band
A soon as your belly starts to grow at the end of first trimester, you’ll need to have some support for your lower back and pelvic floor. This is one of the absolute pregnancy must-haves which you’ll wear well into postpartum.
Depending on the way you’re carrying, it might even become hard for you to walk or go from sitting to standing position. Not to mention, if you need to walk or stand for an extended period of time.
There are a lot of options but I myself like AZMED Maternity Belt. It’s very lightweight, made of breathable material and goes almost unnoticeable under the clothes. And because it’s so basic and small I like it more than other belts. I don’t even have to take it off to go to the bathroom.
Another great option that provides even bigger support for the back is NEOtech Care Maternity Belt. I used this one with my first pregnancy and loved it.
2. Body Pillow
This is by far the most popular can’t-live-without pregnancy essential for expectant moms. Sleeping becomes especially uncomfortable during 3rd trimester. But I started to use this magic body pillow as early as 10 weeks.
If squeezing a giant body pillow in your bed seems something out of ordinary this pregnancy wedge is the perfect alternative. One way or another, you’ll need something to support your growing belly and take the weight off your back as you sleep.
3. Seat Cushion
If you’re having a bad hip/back and sciatica pain with your pregnancy and sitting gets uncomfortable – especially the first few steps after standing – try this seat cushion. It can make a huge difference. You can carry it around in your bag and bust it out everywhere – your workplace, restaurants, playgrounds, wherever.
4. Birthing Ball
Birthing balls are widely used by pregnant women for an overall better pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum experience. Early on, it can alleviate pain in your spine, hips and lower back and are great for mild exercises. Sitting and bouncing on a birthing ball is also a great natural way to induce labor. Just use a birthing ball or a yoga ball as a chair so you could swap in and out throughout the day.
When choosing a birthing ball, make sure your knees are about 4 inches lower than your hips when you sit on it. So if you’re up to 5ft 8in (1.73m) in height, it’s best to get a 65cm ball. If you’re taller than that then it’s best to get a 75cm ball.
5. Compression Socks
It’s very common to have swelling in your feet and ankles to the end of the pregnancy. Some women also experience varicose veins.
6. Foot Bath
You can take your foot care to another level by investing in a foot bath massager. Nothing can be more relaxing than soaking your tired swollen feet in a hot bubbly bath with a massager.
Add some lavender Epsom Salt for the calming scent and soothing effect and you don’t need to go to a salon. You can have a spa day at home any time you want.
7. Epsom Salt
On some days you’ll feel like not just your feet but your whole body aches. Your head, your back, your legs, and feet – everything will just feel tense. A warm magnesium bath with Epsom salt is a surefire way for me to release tension and feel relaxed. Plus a bath with Epsom salt is detoxifying, boosts immunity and helps you stay healthy which is also important for when you’re an expectant mom.
8. Neck and Shoulder Massager
Another great way to relieve tension in your body is by investing in neck and shoulder massager. You can use it in your car, in your office or at home to relax and relieve stress after a long day. So it’s a cool thing to have even when not pregnant.
9. Sleep Headphones
Is falling asleep and actually staying asleep becomes a big challenge for you? Whether it’s your husband’s snoring, neighbor’s loud music or even moonlight being too bright now, I have a great solution for you.
Check out these Sleep Headphones. This is a comfortable eye mask (for blocking light day or night), noise-canceling headband and music player in one. It’s no secret the best sleeping position in pregnancy is on the side, and this won’t hurt your ears like regular headphones. Plus, you can connect it to your phone and listen to your favorite audiobook, or relaxing tune, or meditation routine when in bed. Your sleep quality will be greatly improved. Trust me!
This is not so much to bring you comfort but I couldn’t skip including sunscreen on my list of pregnancy must-haves. You need protection for your skin as never before. One (of some) unpleasant side effects of being pregnant is that our skin becomes more sensitive to the sun.
I myself wasn’t experienced enough to wear sunscreen every day during my pregnancy. As a result, I now have to deal with pigmentation on my face.
Look for mineral or physical sunscreens (with zinc oxide as an active ingredient) as opposed to chemical ones. Physical sunscreens stay on the skin and are not absorbed.
Comfortable Maternity Clothing As Part of Pregnancy Must-Haves
It’s so important to take care of your feet when pregnant. I learned this the hard way. With my first pregnancy, I worked till the end until I was 9 months pregnant and wore heels all that time. What was I thinking?! The result – I got calluses all over my feet that I have to deal with up until now.
So take my advice and ditch all your uncomfortable tight shoes. Wear flats, sneakers, sandals, comfortable flat boots if it’s winter – just go up a size from your normal size and give your feet some room and comfort. They deserve being treated nicely when carrying all that extra weight.
Even if you work and need to look classy and professional, still try wearing flats as much as possible. Tieks look great with casual and professional attire alike. They are very soft and comfy. But yes they’re expensive.
13. Maternity Sleepwear
14. Maternity Bras
Sooner or later your ladies won’t fit in your regular bra anymore. For me, it wasn’t as much the matter of size – although my breasts did get bigger, of course – but rather how sensitive my breasts became when I was only a few weeks pregnant. I couldn’t stand to wear my regular bra right from the beginning. I knew I needed something soft and comfy so that I could hardly feel wearing any bra at all.
I ordered this pack of maternity bras and was very happy. Unlike other maternity bras which are normally very thin they are padded so your nipples won’t show through everything you wear. Plus, these are nursing bras too, so they very well served me for breastfeeding. Or check out this bamboo and silk option.
15. Maternity Tanks and Leggings
And lastly, you’ll also need some basic maternity tanks and leggings as part of your maternity wardrobe. I live in those now since the first trimester. Nothing makes me more comfortable than a pair of good leggings and a comfy tank.
If you’re carrying low, the Blanqi tank is way more comfortable than the belly belt. This is especially true if you work in an office and sit a lot. When seated you get too much downward pressure on your pelvic floor. While the Blanqi tank is more expensive, you get a belly band and a stylish tank in one. In hot weather, you can wear it as is and you won’t feel too hot. With my first pregnancy, I was 6 months pregnant in June and with the hot weather wearing belly band was too uncomfortable for me. I’d constantly sweat and my belly would itch like crazy. So Blanqi tank was a real lifesaver. I wore it almost every day. Try it! I’m sure you’ll love it.
One Last Thing
Pregnancy is such a magical and at the same time taxing period in a woman’s life that we owe it to ourselves to make it comfortable.
So I hope my list of pregnancy essentials can help alleviate the downsides of pregnancy for you…
… and bring you back to the fact that it’s so worth ALL the inconvenience.
What About You
Do you have favorite pregnancy must-haves that make your life way more comfortable? Please share with us in the comments.