No Fluff Pregnancy Essentials Every Mom To Be Needs

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If you are newly pregnant- I’m sending you so much love, momma! What a crazy and exciting time. Being pregnant the first time is truly magical. Subsequent pregnancies are exciting too, but nothing quite like the first time.

When I first found out I was pregnant, I really didn’t know what I was in for. Between the morning sickness (click here for some awesome home remedies!), sleepless nights, endless bathroom trips and throwing joints out of place (yeah… that can happen), it’s no wonder us pregnant moms might be googling “what do you need when pregnant?”

You might be wanting to buy all the things. There are a LOT of cool gadgets and things you can buy to help you through your pregnancy! Unfortunately, that can cost a fortune. This pregnancy essentials list is for moms who might be on a budget or just not wanting to spend a lot! And of course, it’s up to you to buy what you think will serve you best- 

For instance, some moms may look at a pregnancy support belt and scoff because their belly isn’t giving them much trouble at all!

Be realistic for YOU and YOUR needs

pregnancy must haves for first trimester/pregnancy must haves

First Trimester Essentials

Red Raspberry Leaf Tea

Something that I have used and loved for 2 out of 3 pregnancies is red raspberry leaf tea. It has been known to shorten labor, reduce risk of c-section and help tone the uterus for a shorter pushing time.

Before consuming red raspberry leaf tea, please consult with your doctor.

Start with 1 cup per day in the first trimester, 2 cups per day in the second trimester and up to 3 cups per day in the third trimester.

When I gave birth to my son, the whole birth was 6 hours and I pushed for 3 MINUTES.

With my daughter, the whole birth was less than 4 hours and I pushed for 5 MINUTES.

I can’t tell you for sure that red raspberry leaf was the sole reason for this but I will tell you that I’ll never go through another pregnancy without it!

You can purchase individual bags but that does get expensive if you want to drink it throughout your pregnancy. I ended up switching to bulk leaves from here and using a tea strainer.

Prenatal Vitamins

Prenatals are a pregnancy MUST HAVE. Do not mess around here- they’re ultra important. Prenatals have been shown to decrease your risk of birth defects as well as make sure your nutrient bases are covered if you are throwing up a lot or only able to eat limited types of food.

I specifically started buying this kind because they’re for sensitive stomachs- I found other kinds made my stomach upset no matter when I took them. Or, if you really can’t stand swallowing pills, try these yummy vegan prenatal gummy vitamins!

Pro Tip: Don’t take your prenatal first thing in the morning on an empty stomach as that can make you queasy. Take it later in the day when you’ve eaten! I thought I had morning sickness for the first 2 months of being pregnant until someone asked if I was taking my prenatal on an empty stomach- lesson learned!

Morning Sickness Relief

You might be lucky and not get morning sickness, or you may have a mild case of it. Or, you might be like my sister in law who literally could only eat plain noodles up until she gave birth (true story!)

Best morning sickness remedies:

RELATED: 14 Natural Morning Sickness Remedies

Pregnancy Books

If there’s one thing I wish I would have done with my first baby- it’s read up all things pregnancy, baby, childbirth and beyond. I really read much and just thought “I’ll go with the flow!”

Well, that’s a good attitude to have, but why not go with the flow while being informed on as much as you can? It will help you make stronger decisions around you and your babies health.

  • What To Expect When You’re Expecting – this book has over 2700 reviews (which you can read here), and for good reason! It will answer questions like
    • Can I keep up my spinning classes?
    • Is fish or soft cheese safe to eat?
    • What are my rights on the job?
    • And so many more!
  • Ina May’s Guide To Childbirth – I recommend this book to any newly pregnant momma. It’s normal to be afraid of giving birth. This book will help alleviate some of those fears by focussing on real, positive birth stories and helpful advice that you can USE. So many birth stories focus on horror stories- they’re not all like that!

Pregnancy Journal

Some people love to write things down and some people (me) ain’t got time for that and like to type things into their phone!

So! If you love to write, a pregnancy journal is such a cute idea to document your journey. Or, if you’re like me, download a journal app (there are lots for free!) and document things in your phone. Choose whichever you’re most likely to follow through and use!

Water!

Keep hydrated, seriously! Your body is working incredibly hard at growing a new human and with that means you are using the bathroom more frequently. Treat yourself to a beautiful reusable water bottle that you can carry around with you everywhere. I freaking LOVE Contigo water bottles with a spout– they’re so easy to drink out of!

Or, if you really aren’t that keen on drinking plain water, try these fruit and herb infuser water bottles. You can put whatever combination you want inside to flavor your water. Sometimes I would even freeze the fruit to make fruit ice cubes and keep my water cool!

Pants and Bra Extenders

Even though you’re not showing yet or big at all, things are still growing and even being bloated can make it hard to get your jeans zipped up!

I found with all my pregnancies that I pretty much needed an extender for my pants right away because it just felt so uncomfortable to have jeans done up. You can purchase pants extenders if you want or you can do the hair elastic hack (which works just as well.)

I personally never used a bra extender because I bought a super comfy/stretchy nursing bra right away.

Bra extenders can be helpful if you find your cup size isn’t changing much in the beginning but it’s getting tight to do up at the back.

If you feel like bra extenders would help you, these ones have the highest rating on Amazon!

For myself, my cup size started changing almost immediately with my second baby so I opted for this bra, which I have told every pregnant person I know about! (My first pregnancy I was handed down some old nursing bras that didn’t fit properly, then bought some that were insanely big on me. When I finally discovered this bra, I loved it so much I bought two and would buy it again in a heartbeat.)

This bra will grow with you throughout pregnancy and still be able to be used throughout nursing- in fact, I’m wearing mine right now and it’s the comfiest bra ever!

RELATED: What The Heck Does Labor Feel Like?

Pregnancy Leggings

You might find that pregnancy leggings make more sense in the second trimester- I’ll leave that up to you! I found that my absolute favorite leggings were the ones with spandex sewn onto the top of the leggings.

These over belly maternity leggings are sooo comfortable and I found they almost gave some support to my growing belly! In the first trimester, they might be nice to have on hand just because they’re so comfy and you’ll grow into them anyway.

Again, this might be a case where you really dislike something covering your belly- in that case, tryin some of the under belly maternity leggings, like these ones!

Second Trimester Essentials

Honestly, the second trimester is usually the best time (for me) of the whole pregnancy. Yes, you’re getting a bit bigger BUT you have your ENERGY back!!!

That in itself is such a pleasure after the horrifying tiredness of the first trimester. It’s the high before the general decline of the third trimester where you are uncomfortably big, unable to sleep and full of general aches. (not that every pregnancy is like that or that the third trimester is all negative- it’s just generally more uncomfortable.)

So what are some second trimester must haves??

Belly Oil

It’s getting serious, momma! Your belly is growing and sometimes that makes for some itchy skin. Not to mention the possibility of stretch marks!

Bio Oil is a big one that most people know about but I find it pretty ridiculously overpriced. Burt’s Bees has a really nice one that is way more reasonably priced. OR you can just scoop some coconut oil right out of the jar from your cupboard and rub it on your belly!

Belly Band

These are SO helpful. A Belly Band are a stretchy piece of fabric that fits over jeans or pants so you can leave them unbuttoned and unzipped while having things look seamless. They usually come with a silicone non slip ring so they don’t slide around. I used my belly band from the end of the 1st trimester until well into the third until I was too big for it to make a difference!

Belly Bands also add a nice bit of support for your growing belly!

Maternity Clothes

Here’s something I wish someone would have told me- normal clothes in bigger sizes can double as maternity clothes! For so long I bought into thinking that I needed clothes that came with a maternity label while I was pregnant but guess what? Maternity clothes are expensive af! For my third baby, I went and bought some exercise tanks, shorts and stretchy pants 2 sizes too big and they worked great 🙂

I think it’s practical to get your hands on a nursing tank or nursing tee (especially in the beginning with a newborn who eats all the time), actual maternity leggings and some maternity jeans. Other than that? Grab some clothes from the thrift store that are stretchy and a couple sizes too big that you can wear for your pregnancy and the next little while after baby is born.

Maternity underwear are also something I recommend splurging for. Oh my goodness, the relief of loose and comfy maternity panties are worth every cent.

Pregnancy Pillow/Wedge

I did not personally use a pregnancy pillow or a wedge! Instead, I made do with an old body pillow that never bent the way I wanted it or supported my belly like I needed. It sucked.

After reading reviews and talking to some pregnant friends who DID use a pillow or wedge- I can see why they are a thing.

This pregnancy pillow has excellent reviews– but make sure you click here to read the negative ones too. You always learn something from reading negative reviews!

Pregnancy wedge pillows are cool because you can wedge them under your belly, your back or in between your knees to help stay comfy while trying to get some sleep while pregnant! They’re a great budget friendly alternative to a full blown pregnancy pillow.

Ways To Stay Fit

Pregnancy no. 1- shamefully eating Macdonald’s in my car almost every day, no exercise, horrible swelling and numerous injuries. Long labor, tearing during delivery and hard recovery.

Pregnancy no. 2- eating completely vegan, running/lifting weights and no injuries (aside from a bout of pneumonia… fun!). 6 hour labor, no tearing and a recovery that seemed like a dream.

I don’t want to shame you for how you’re living your life. Obviously I’ve been on both sides of the fence and I’m telling you- it’s EASIER and KINDER to yourself to maintain some level of activity and eat some healthy food during pregnancy!

You do not have to be as extreme as I was. Going for a walk every day and doing some squats is GREAT! Find something safe that you love and do it!

Snacks

I pretty much don’t stop eating when I’m pregnant and I don’t know about you but I want good stuff to eat, damn it!

Fruit is a great snack to reach for, same with veggies and hummus. Or if you’re short on time, these Kind Bars are soooo good and don’t have a single bad ingredient!

Try to sneak some good nutrients in for you and baby but don’t beat yourself up over indulging here and there 🙂

Third Trimester Essentials

The third trimester can be brutal. You’re back to peeing a million times a day (and night), your joints are looser, you’re running as hot as a furnace and it’s hard to freakin breathe from baby pushing on your ribs. Not to mention- you’re actually getting close to HAVING A BABY! EEK!

These third trimester must haves include things you need to be comfortable and some knowledge you might want to stock up on:

Maternity Support Belt

My chiropractor recommended a maternity support belt when I had an SI joint go out of place near the end of my first pregnancy. I’m going to be honest with you- I really didn’t give it much of a chance. I think I wore it maybe 3 times and just felt like it was too weird and bulky.

However-

For some moms experiencing awful lower back pain, a maternity support belt may help you more than cause you annoyance.

Magnesium

Have you experienced a pregnancy muscle cramp yet? They are HORRENDOUS.

I was getting them so badly at the end of third pregnancy that I would literally start crying and saying no no no if I could feel one coming on. Sometimes they would wake me up from a deep sleep! Awful.

When I was reading about what to do and came across magnesium as a solution I was pretty skeptical but willing to try pretty much anything.

I now recommend a magnesium supplement to ALL pregnant mommas- it is a gall dang miracle for pregnancy muscle cramps!!

Compression Socks

Compression socks stimulate blood flow and improve oxygen delivery to your muscles. They help with swelling and muscle cramps!

By the end of my first pregnancy, my feet had swelled up so bad that you couldn’t see my ankles. Not pretty! I didn’t even know compression socks were a thing- I think they really could have helped me!

Check out the reviews for compression socks here.

Pamper The Hell Out Of Yourself

I cannot stress this enough- as a busy mom of 3 kids under 6- PAMPER THE SHIT OUT OF YOURSELF BEFORE YOU GIVE BIRTH.

Take time for yourself, go out to eat, go to a movie, do whatever it is you want to do! It’s not that you won’t ever be able to do those things again, it’s that you’ll be kind of locked down for the first little while with a newborn. And after that, it’s not as easy as just walking yourself out the door. So soak up what time for yourself you can and don’t apologize!

Find Out What To Pack In Your Hospital Bag

It took me 3 pregnancies to realize… you’re not moving into the hospital when you give birth! Pack what you need and leave what you don’t.

The No Bullshit Hospital Bag Checklist has a free printable you can use and download to keep things in check! You can find that here.

Knowledge

Girl, arm yourself with some serious wisdom! Having a baby is no joke. The more you know, the better you’ll feel when situations arise that you KNOW about instead of being like ‘whaa the fuu??’

Here are some free resources for you:

If you are planning to breastfeed, I highly recommend doing a lot of reading and research. It’s so easy to be like ‘well, it’s natural and it’ll just work!’

Oh, if only. Breastfeeding is a hell of a thing. I read through a course called Breastfeed Like A Boss by a woman who’s been a lactation consultant since 1994! She’s kind but firm, funny and real. Her advice and tips are PURE GOLD. I would recommend this to any new mom to be. It’s invaluable information that will set you up to succeed from the get go! Check out her course here.

She also has a Breastfeeding Planner that is unbelievable. I don’t know what kind of person you are- maybe you don’t love the idea of a planner. This one is a bit different in the sense that it is completely. practical. NO FILLER.

Her planner includes:

  • Breastfeeding Preparation Checklist
  • Breastfeeding Class Research Checklist
  • Pediatrician Interview Checklist
  • Insurance Benefits Checklist
  • Hospital Tour Questions
  • Breastfeeding Plan For Hospital
  • And SO MUCH MORE.

Just knowing the right questions to ask or HOW to even begin preparing for breastfeeding is worth so much. You can check out the Breastfeeding Planner here.

Other things that will help you:

I’m sending you so much light and love on your pregnancy journey and beyond. Having babies and raising kids are some of the hardest and most rewarding things you’ll ever do. Stay strong, trust your intuition. Enjoy your time with your newborn baby 💕

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