Are you pregnant and looking for a list of pregnancy must-haves?
As a recently pregnant woman, I have got you covered!
In this post, you are going to learn:
- What you should buy when you find out you are expecting,
- The most important things to have throughout the prenatal period, and
- The top essentials your baby will need after birth.
Let’s get started.
Although I am a doctor, I am not your doctor. This information is for informational purposes only and should not substitute the advice from your healthcare professional. All kinds of exercise and dietary changes are potentially dangerous, and those who do not seek counsel from the appropriate health care authority assume the liability of any injury which may occur. Please read my full Disclaimer for more information. Also, this post may contain affiliate links: meaning I may receive a commission if you use them.
What Should every pregnant woman have?
First off, congratulations on your pregnancy!
The next 35+ weeks are going to be full of surprises and excitement.
To help you out, I have created a list of 10 pregnancy essentials every pregnant woman should have to make the journey more manageable.
My Top 10 Things A Pregnant Woman Needs
Okay, so here is my list of the top 10 things every pregnant woman should have.
The most important thing a pregnant woman needs most is support!
Pregnancy is an experience unlike any other. Your emotions will be at an all-time high due to the hormonal fluctuations in your body. You will laugh, you will cry, and you will probably feel very, very overwhelmed.
Having a person or group of persons around you will be crucial to your emotional and mental wellbeing.
If you do not have someone to support you, consider joining some pregnancy groups online to have other pregnant women to talk to virtually!
2. Prenatal vitamins
Prenatal vitamins are essential during pregnancy for you and your baby since many of us don’t consume every micronutrient we need in our diet.
When purchasing a prenatal vitamin, make sure it includes at least:
- 400IU of vitamin D,
- 30mg of Iron,
- 250mcg of Iodine,
- 400mcg of Folate (you may need 4000 mcg if you had a prior baby with a neural tube defect),
- 200 mg of DHA, and
- 1000mg of Calcium.
Here is the amazon link to the prenatal vitamins I used during pregnancy.
Do your best to take your vitamins after eating breakfast to decrease the likelihood of feeling nauseous and vomiting.
Check out this post for more information on what to eat during pregnancy.
3. A trusted provider
A physician or midwife is essential in caring for you and your baby throughout your pregnancy and guiding you in the right direction.
If you are not low-risk or have any medical or fetal complications, you will need to see an OBGYN physician.
Make sure to attend all your prenatal appointments as your provider can ensure everything is going well!
4. Pregnancy pillow
As your pregnancy progresses, your uterus and abdomen will grow and expand to a size you didn’t think possible!
Unfortunately, sleeping flat on your back or directly on your stomach is out of the question.
The reason is that as your uterus grows, it will compress the blood vessel returning blood to your heart, which could compromise the blood circulation to your baby.
So, your safest option is sleeping on your side.
This is where a pregnancy pillow comes in.
They are super soft, act as a cushion for your uterus, help keep your body in alignment, and alleviate pressure from your hip and pubic bone.
It is worth the buy!
Here is the pillow I bought and used from Amazon until the day I delivered.
5. Comfortable clothing and shoes
The next thing you must buy during pregnancy is comfortable clothing and shoes.
I love activewear, which I wore throughout my entire pregnancy.
The nice thing about workout clothes is that they stretch and will accommodate your growing body.
With that said, find what works for you.
Lastly, do your best to wear sturdy and comfortable shoes. Your feet will swell, and you mustn’t fall and cause trauma to your abdomen.
6. A good pregnancy book and journal
A pregnancy book is a great way to learn what is happening inside your body and get answers to some of the most common questions throughout the gestation.
Also, you can use your pregnancy journal to track your symptoms, write down your thoughts and feelings, document your medical appointments and ultrasounds, and even keep a photo diary of your growing baby bump.
I loved having a pregnancy journal to look back to see how my belly grew over 40 weeks.
7. Pregnancy app
A pregnancy app is another helpful tool that I believe all pregnant women should have.
The app can help you:
- determine your baby’s gestational age
- describe the symptoms and changes you can expect each week
- inform you of the weekly growth and development of your baby
- and document notes
There are SO MANY different apps available, and each is different in one way or another.
Make sure you find an app that works for you and your needs.
If you do not have access to a smartphone, get this pregnancy book from the Mayo clinic.
9. A large water bottle
A large water bottle is critical throughout pregnancy as you will need to drink plenty of water to maintain your hydration.
When you reach the second trimester, your blood volume increases by 30 to 45%!
Remembering to drink water throughout the day can be challenging, but you must stay adequately hydrated. Dehydration in pregnancy can lead to cramping and preterm contractions.
I found this 64 oz water bottle from Amazon helpful as it told me exactly how much water to drink per hour.
10. Go-to snacks (ideally high in healthy fat or protein)
While feeling hungry between meals is perfectly normal, making healthy choices when selecting snacks is essential.
First, you should consider snacks that contain protein and healthy fats.
These snacks will help keep your energy levels up, especially if you develop significant food aversions.
Next, you should look at the sugar content. It’s a good idea to avoid snacks with a ton of added sugar, especially if you are at risk of gestational diabetes.
To learn more about healthy pregnancy snacks, check out this post.
10. Belly moisturizer
Lastly, I think all pregnant women should get a belly moisturizer.
I loved using this moisturizer on my belly after a long hot shower!
I think my baby liked it too as he would often kick as I would massage it onto my belly.
Remember, when applying anything topical during pregnancy, be sure you check the ingredients as your skin is a very absorbent organ!
Lastly, moisturizers or creams may help prevent stretch marks. But in the end, stretch marks largely depend on your genetics, your skin’s elasticity, and how much weight you gain during the pregnancy.
What are the first things you should buy when pregnant?
Okay, so you just found out you were pregnant. What are some things you should consider buying?
The first things you should buy during early pregnancy include:
- Prenatal vitamins with folic acid (ideally, you should have already been taking these for 12 weeks)
- A pregnancy app (most are free)
- Anti-nausea lollipops (if you get bad morning sickness as I did, these are a lifesaver)
- A pregnancy book/journal to start documenting your pregnancy journey
- A large water bottle
- Comfortable footwear
Now, let’s talk about what you should and should not do in the 1st month of pregnancy.
Do’s and dont’s in The 1st month of pregnancy
During the 1st month of pregnancy, there are a few things you should and should not do.
- start taking or continue taking your prenatal vitamins,
- schedule an appointment with an OBGYN physician,
- exercise (as long as you have no contraindications to doing so),
- drink plenty of water,
- avoid alcohol,
- avoid smoking cigarettes,
- avoid illicit drug use,
- avoid these foods:
- unpasteurized milk
- soft cheeses
- lunch meats
- certain types of fish
- unwashed produce
YOU SHOULD NOT:
- start eating for two,
- exercise until you are fatigued or exhausted,
- lay in bed all day,
- be in extreme heat for prolonged periods.
What About in The First 3 Months (12 weeks)?
In the first three months of pregnancy, you should:
- Continue taking your prenatal vitamin that contains Folate
- Start prenatal care with a healthcare provider you trust
- Have your first ultrasound to confirm the gestational age
- Eat a healthy diet full of a wide variety of foods
- Get enough rest
- Limit caffeine intake
- Speak with your doctor about any medication you are taking or any medical conditions you have
- Start applying a belly moisturizer
Are There Different Things I should buy for each month of pregnancy?
When you’re pregnant, you might feel like you need to buy everything under the sun to be prepared for your new baby.
However, there are just a few essential items every first-time mom needs to have.
Let’s first talk about the first trimester, months 1 to 3.
1st trimester must-haves
In the first trimester of pregnancy, you will want to have the following:
- A prenatal vitamin that you can tolerate
- A positive attitude as the first trimester can be tricky (you will likely be exhausted and nauseous)
- Anti-nausea lollipops (like preggie pop drops) and ginger.
Now let’s break down what you should buy each month.
Month 1 (0-4 weeks)
You won’t know you are pregnant until after your missed period. Thus, it is best to start taking a prenatal vitamin as soon as you start trying to conceive.
Month 2 (5-8 weeks)
In month two, you will likely have a positive pregnancy test and start to feel very tired and nauseous.
This is the time to buy anti-nausea lollipops and ginger candy.
You may also want to buy a pregnancy journal to start documenting your prenatal journey.
Month 3 (9-12 weeks)
If you are waiting to tell your loved ones you are pregnant, this is an excellent time to plan how you will announce your baby’s arrival.
Maybe a cute onesie or a picture frame with your baby’s sonogram photo and estimated due date.
You should also look into buying a belly moisturizer and start applying it daily.
Now that you have almost passed the first trimester let’s discuss what you should buy in the 2nd trimester.
must-Haves for the 2nd trimester
In the second trimester, you will want to have the following:
- Comfortable and supportive clothing
- A pregnancy pillow
- A baby registry
Let’s discuss each month in more detail.
Month 4 (13-16 weeks)
Hopefully, your nausea has resolved, and you are starting to see your belly grow!
Did you buy yourself a pregnancy body pillow yet? If not, start looking into one as your baby grows rapidly in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters.
Month 5 (17-20 weeks)
At this point, you might consider some comfortable maternity clothes.
Maternity leggings and pants were my favorite piece of clothing during pregnancy. They were super stretchy, comfortable, and supportive throughout my 40-week pregnancy and even postpartum!
I was not a fan of maternity jeans.
Now is a good time to set up a baby registry as well.
Month 6 (21-24 weeks)
Have you noticed your bras no longer fit? Your breasts will enlarge as you enter the third trimester.
This month, you should try and find maternity bras that are comfortable and supportive.
But do not buy too many as your bra size will likely change again postpartum, especially if you are planning to breastfeed.
Now is an excellent time to get comfortable footwear if you haven’t already.
must-Haves for the 3rd trimester
In the third trimester of pregnancy, you will want to have the following:
- Somewhere safe for the baby to sleep
- A stroller and car seat
- An outfit for you and your baby to go home in
Let’s discuss each month in more detail.
Month 7 (25-28 weeks)
Some women may start to develop aches and pains in their low back due to the weight of the growing bump.
If so, you might benefit from a pregnancy support belt or belly band.
Also, if you would like to take maternity photos, make sure you secure a spot now.
Typically your photo shoot will be scheduled for around 34 weeks, so you don’t want to miss your opportunity.
Month 8 (29-32 weeks)
You will want to look for a stroller and car seat in month eight. Looking for a stroller can be an overwhelming experience as there are many to choose from.
You might consider going to the store and taking each one for a ride, so you get a feel of what you want.
You will notice key differences between each stroller. I decided to go with this one as it had great reviews on Youtube and other websites.
Month 9 (33-36 weeks)
You are almost there!
If you have not bought a crib or bassinet, now is the time to do it!
Most cribs will require some assembling, so try to get this out of the way before next month.
Month 10 (37-40 weeks)
Finally, you made it to full term!
At this point, you might notice significant swelling in your lower legs and ankles. Compression socks are a must if you do, and these socks from Kindred Bravely are my favorite.
Also, ensure you have an outfit or two to take your baby home in, especially if you want to take newborn photos in the hospital.
What essentials do you need for a baby?
Now let’s talk about some must-have essentials for your baby.
The essential items to get for your newborn include:
- Somewhere safe for the baby to sleep, whether in a crib, bassinet, or co-sleeper. Determine what works best for you and your family.
- Bottles- be sure to buy a few types if your baby prefers one over another.
- A stroller or carrier
- Diapers and wipes
- 5 to 10 outfits for your newborn.
Place as many of these items on your registry as possible!
What should you not buy for a baby?
You should not buy a ton of clothing for a baby, as you will likely be gifted a ton, especially if you have a baby shower.
Moreover, babies grow out of clothing fast!
You should also not buy too many toys since your baby will likely just eat and sleep for the first several weeks, and these toys will collect dust.
What are the 10 tips for a healthy pregnancy
Our goal is a healthy mom and a healthy baby.
To have a healthy pregnancy, you should follow these ten tips:
- Get early prenatal care and educate yourself
- Get enough rest
- Eat a well-balanced diet and consume one serving of healthy fat daily
- Exercise 150 minutes per week as recommended by ACOG
- Don’t gain an excessive amount of weight during pregnancy
- Continue to walk every single day
- Drink enough water
- Take your prenatal vitamin every day
- Take care of your emotional and mental health
- Avoid risky substances
Exercising during your pregnancy may also help speed up your postpartum recovery!
Final Words on Pregnancy Must Haves For 1st-Time Moms
Okay mamas, you now have a list of pregnancy essentials you will need during pregnancy and postpartum.
Was it more than you expected?
Comment below and let me know what your favorite pregnancy item was.
To see my recommendations for postpartum essentials, check out this post!
Get Four Free Workouts To Help Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor & Heal Your Mommy Tummy!
Brittany Robles, MD, MPH, CPT
Brittany Robles is a full-time OBGYN physician, a NASM certified trainer, and a prenatal and postnatal fitness specialist. She holds a Master of Public Health degree in maternal health with a special interest in exercise and nutrition. She is also the co-author of The White Coat Trainer. Learn more about her here.
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