There are so many pregnancy products out there, but you don't need them all. When I was launching the mommy section on our website, I decided to limit the selection to what women need during pregnancy. So here are my must-have pregnancy essentials based on my own experience that got me through all three of my pregnancies with ease.
The Essential Pregnancy Products
This should be an obvious one right? Experts recommend taking prenatal vitamins like folic acid as early as when you are trying to conceive.
Safe skincare products
Your skin absorbs what you put on it, which can affect your baby, so I became more aware of the products I used, and it's at this time that I switched to natural skincare products. I found the Erbaviva and Original Sprout brands great for mamas and babies. An absolute must-have product is a good stretch mark cream. You can start using it as soon as you find out and continue after giving birth.
I believe all women who have gone through pregnancy will agree that cozy pj's are something you need throughout your pregnancy. You'll spend a lot of time resting in your first trimester because of the hormonal changes, and in my case, extreme nausea. Once you get past the first trimester, your body starts changing, and you may need PJs that are a size bigger. I did not want to buy pregnancy clothes. So with my first baby, I got away with PJs that were a couple of sizes big in my last trimester. But with the second and third baby, my bump was bigger, so I ditched the pants completely and just wore night dresses.
Bras and Undies
Your body changes fairly quickly during pregnancy, and I wasn't prepared for it the first time around. It's a good idea to invest in stretchy underwear that won't dig into your belly. You will most definitely need to size up on your bra as well. I found breastfeeding bras to be a good option during pregnancy, but I would advise to hold-off until the last trimester to get these.
I stopped wearing heels as soon as I found out I was pregnant and invested in a few pairs of flats and sneakers. This was the best decision ever as I didn't have backaches later on in my pregnancy.
Women either love it or hate it. I bought a maternity belt in my first pregnancy, but I barely used it; I didn't see the point of it. This was because I had a very small bump in my first pregnancy. However, with my second and third pregnancies, I became a lot bigger, and that's when the maternity belt came to use. The maternity belt supports your growing belly and improves your balance. The belt evenly distributes your baby’s weight over your abdomen and lower back, alleviating pressure on your muscles and joints.
You may want to invest in a good pregnancy pillow in your second trimester if you are having trouble sleeping. To be honest, I wasn't sure about this essential in the beginning, but when I started having trouble sleeping due to the size of my belly, I decided to give it a try. The investment was worth every penny as I was able to sleep so much better, and the pregnancy pillow lasted through all my pregnancies. I recommend the bbhugme pregnancy pillow, an award-winning product for its design.
Helpful Tips for Pregnant Women
While every woman’s pregnancy is different and what may work for one may not for another. So here are some tips that helped me that may (or may not) work for you.
- Get ahead of nausea. See what food or drink makes you feel better, and always keep it handy. I found flavored water, mint lemonade, and salt crackers helped me. Believe it or not, the only food I practically lived on in my first trimester was Nestle Cerelac for babies. Ask your doctor for medicine if nothing is helping.
- Eat what you crave. You're pregnant, cut yourself some slack and enjoy it. Do try to keep an overall healthy diet though, it'll pay off later.
- Drink lots of water (about 8-12 glasses) and fresh juices. Apart from keeping you hydrated, it decreases the chances of hemorrhoids/constipation, reduces swelling, softens the skin, keeps you cooler, increases energy, and decreases the chances of urinary tract infection.
- Educate yourself. I had all sorts of questions, so I bought the infamous book "What to Expect When Your Expecting" and it was totally worth it. In my first pregnancy, most of my questions were answered just by reading the book. Here's a pointer if you plan on buying the book: read ahead so that you're not surprised when something happens since you already ready about it before you hit that part of the pregnancy.
- If you don't want swollen feet in your last trimester, then keep your feet up as much as possible from the second trimester
- Do not bend, squat instead. Bending generally doesn't have an impact on your fetus in the first or even the second trimester, but it's better to avoid it altogether. In this way, you reduce your chance of falling and straining your back.
- Keep heartburn medication handy. I never had heartburn but during pregnancy, this went next level. Having heartburn medication at home that was ok to have during pregnancy got me through those random times.
As you can see, my list of pregnancy essentials is quite simple and straightforward. If there are any essentials you couldn't do without during your pregnancy or helpful tips, we'd love to know.