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Congratulations, mama-to-be. You’re pregnant!
You’re about to embark on an adventure like no other. The next nine months will be some of the most exciting of your life, filled with new experiences, anticipation, and so, so much love. But they’re going to be filled with lots of questions, changes, and unknowns, too.
Not to worry, mamas. We’ve so got you covered. Although each pregnancy is different, there are certain tried-and-true products that every pregnant mama needs to know about. From morning sickness hacks to serious self-care, here are the 38 essentials that you just can’t live without!
For some (lucky, lucky) women, the first trimester will fly by with hardly any pregnancy symptoms at all. Unfortunately for lots of moms-to-be, though, the first 12 to 14 weeks bring with them not just the excitement and anticipation of what’s to come but a few pretty unpleasant side effects as well, like bloated bellies, swollen breasts, and lots of nausea. Here are the must-haves to make your first trimester as pleasant as possible.
1. A Reprieve From Morning Sickness
Morning sickness—or all day sickness? If you’re one of the (un)lucky ones to suffer from morning sickness, you know just how miserable it can be. But for some mamas, the thought of putting anything in your body—even something that may help you feel better—turns your stomach even more.
Enter the Sea-Band Mama! wristband, the natural, drug-free alternative to easing your morning sickness during those early months of pregnancy. Working with your body’s natural acupressure points on your wrist, this soft, comfy fabric band can be worn all day or whenever you’re in need of some immediate relief. It’s safe, washable, and, best of all, effective.
2. An Easy (and Beautiful) Way to Stay Hydrated
Even when you’re not growing an entirely new person inside, it’s important to stay hydrated throughout the day. So when you’re pregnant, it’s even more important!
We heart S’well insulated water bottles for so many reasons. Aside from being the sleekest, most beautiful water bottles we ever did see, they’re also insanely functional. They’re constructed from BPA-free stainless steel, making them safe, sturdy, and shatterproof. They’re also vacuum insulated, which means they’ll keep your beverage cold for 24 hours or hot for 12. They’re easy to drink from, simple to clean, and hold plenty of water to keep you hydrated throughout the day. And did we mention how beautiful they are? (I think we did, but it’s worth repeating.)
3. For a Little Extra Breathing Room
That gorgeous baby bump hasn’t quite popped yet, but getting the zipper up on your regular pants is not happening. What’s a mama to do? Grab a Bellaband, that’s what—the perfect solution to that in-between phase that all pregnant mamas will face.
The Bellaband, “holding pants up since 2001,” is exactly what you need when you’re transitioning from your everyday clothes but aren’t ready for those maternity pants just yet. This soft, stretchy fabric band can be worn folded over to hold up unbuttoned pants or pulled up full panel to keep sagging maternity pants in place. And don’t throw it out after baby arrives, either—it’s the perfect postpartum piece for when you’re returning to your pre-baby body.
4. For Your Growing Girls
There are few things more uncomfortable than a too-tight bra, especially when you’re pregnant. And since one of the first symptoms of pregnancy is often swollen breasts, it’s likely that you’ll be experiencing a larger than normal chest size sometime during your first trimester.
Brah! Extender to the rescue! These comfortable microfiber extenders hook easily onto any bra, providing you a little extra breathing room when you need it the most. They’re perfect to wear throughout (and after) your pregnancy when your bra size is fluctuating. And they come in a set of white, beige, and black, so they’ll match almost any bra design.
5. A Lifelong Keepsake
Although 40 weeks of pregnancy may feel like a lifetime when you’re going through it, someday you’ll look back at this time in your life and want to remember every single magical detail. Promptly journals can help you do just that, even if you’re not someone who is naturally drawn to journaling.
With their simple and elegant linen-wrapped design, these heirloom-quality handbound journals are a stunning way to record one of life’s most precious journeys. Beginning with pregnancy and going all the way through your little one’s eighteenth birthday, the journal is filled with easy prompts that make recording your pregnancy and birth super simple. Promptly offers a beautiful and easy way to remember your most treasured moments.
6. A Healthier Pop of Color
For lots of women, pregnancy is a time to step back and take a closer look at what you’ll be putting in (and on) your body for the next nine months. Many moms-to-be don’t want to sacrifice their regular beauty routines, so they’re looking for a safer, more natural way to do it.
Zoya nail polish can help. With its 10 Free Formula, this pregnancy-safe nail polish is made without some of the most common chemicals found in other brand-name polishes, including things like formaldehyde, phthalates, lead, and parabens. Plus, it’s vegan-friendly, goes on smoothly, doesn’t chip easily, and is available in a wide array of gorgeous shades.
7. A Better Tasting Prenatal Vitamin
Taking your prenatal vitamin probably doesn’t rank up there as one of the highlights of your day, am I right? But what if it could?
Olly Essential Prenatals are some of the most delicious vitamins around. With a mix of awesome citrus-inspired flavors including ruby red grapefruit, clementine, and meyer lemon, you’ll wonder if you’re taking your vitamins or just enjoying some tasty gummies. (Just remember to brush those teeth afterward to keep your dentist happy, please!)
And, of course, they’re filled with more than just great taste. Ollys contain vitamins A, C, D, E, B6, and B12 along with folic acid and omega-3 fatty acids to make sure your pregnancy journey is a healthy one.
8. Pregnancy-Safe Skincare
The first trimester of pregnancy can often bring with it a whole lot of fatigue, which may not leave you feeling like your best self. If you’re looking to brighten your complexion and revel in that pregnancy glow but you’re concerned about using pregnancy-safe ingredients, make space in your medicine cabinet for Acure’s Brilliantly Brightening Facial Scrub.
Derived from plant-based ingredients, this energizing scrub gently exfoliates your skin with ingredients like sea kelp and French green clay. It works on all skin types and is free of all the things you may want to avoid during (and after) pregnancy like sulfates, parabens, and phthalates. It also smells amazing, which makes us love it even more.
9. An Insta-Worthy Milestone Marker
Documenting your growing baby bump is one of the most fun parts of pregnancy. To take your Instagram feed to the next level, try these sweet Pregnancy Belly Stickers from Lucy Darling.
Each pack comes with 12 floral-inspired peel-and-stick decals. At 4 inches wide, they’re easy to see in a photograph, and the muted color palette and pops of florals look great with any filter. We recommend printing out a few of the photos and including them in your baby book so you’ll always remember your growing bump.
10. A Worry-Free Natural Cleaner That Actually Works
The last thing you’re going to want to do during your first trimester of pregnancy—or any time, for that matter—is to inhale harmful fumes from household cleaning products. If you’re looking to shake up your usual cleaning regimen for something more natural, this Multi-Surface Cleaner from Puracy is a great place to start.
This affordable, effective plant-based cleaner does a great job on almost any mess (think grease, fingerprints, grime, adhesives, and more) and is safe to use on all surfaces. It’s also safe for you. It’s hypoallergenic, non-toxic, and child- and pet-safe. And each bottle has 250 applications, so a little will go a long way.
You’re in the sweet spot now, mamas! For lots of moms-to-be, the second trimester is when all the fun parts of pregnancy begin. Your bump is growing. So you can rock all your new maternity clothes, you’ll soon feel your little one’s first kicks, and hopefully the morning sickness you may have dealt with during your first trimester is now a thing of the past. Soak it all in and enjoy!
Here are our picks for rocking that second trimester bump.
11. The Belly Cream of Your Dreams
It’s time to get your self-care on, mama. Your baby bump is growing, bringing with it stretching skin in need of a little TLC. Keep your bump hydrated, smooth, and nourished with this ah-mazing Belly Butter from Burt’s Bees.
We love starting and ending our day by rubbing this thick, luxurious body butter all over our ever-expanding bump. Will it prevent stretch marks? The jury’s still out on that one. But what it will do is moisturize and soften your skin with a healthy dose of cocoa, shea, and jojoba butters. It’s fragrance-free, which we love, and 99 percent naturally formulated, which we love even more.
12. A High-Energy Organic Snack
By now your morning sickness should be yesterday’s news. (Or at least not a regular occurrence, we hope.) After feeling nauseated during your first trimester, you may be surprised to find that during your second, you are hungry all.of.the.time.
Fight that pregnancy hanger with Pure Organic Fruit and Nut Bars. They’re quick, mess-free, and easy to toss into your purse or gym bag. And they are delicious! Each bar is made from sweet fruit, nuts, and spices, and they come in a great variety of flavors like banana coconut, wild berry, and dark chocolate berry (um, yum). They’re also certified organic, non-GMO, and vegan, and don’t contain any gluten or soy.
13. A Mama-to-Be’s BFF
If there’s one thing we learned from 40 weeks of pregnancy, it’s this: Leggings are a pregnant mama’s best friend. We can’t say it enough. Leggings are the best, most comfortable and most versatile piece of maternity wear you can invest in during pregnancy, postpartum, and beyond. (Who are we kidding, mamas? We’re still rocking our leggings and we have a toddler!) You can dress them up, dress them down, and even work out in them.
We recommend investing in a few pairs, but start with these buttery soft and stretchy Mothers Essentials Maternity Leggings. They’re seamless, which we absolutely love for the all-around comfort factor. They offer just enough—but not too much—compression support, and they’re moisture wicking to keep you cool during those pregnancy sweats. They’re also affordable, so you can totally stock up. What’s not to love? (Pro tip: We found that these leggings run a bit large, so you may want to consider sizing down.)
14. Support for Those Sleepless Nights
Even though there are so many things going right during your second trimester, there are a few challenges along the way. The sometimes elusive sleep is one of the most common. As your belly grows, it may get harder and harder to find a comfy sleeping position, especially if you were a stomach sleeper in your pre-pregnancy life.
The Snoogle may have a funny name, but there’s nothing funny about this awesome pillow. It’s basically a support for your entire body. You won’t have to construct a pillow fort around yourself to find some relief. (We’ve tried it, and it’s not pretty!) The Snoogle is large enough to wrap around and support whatever parts need it most, including your back, neck, hips, and belly. It even has a removable cover that you can easily throw in the wash when it starts getting a little funky.
15. Your Own Personal Blackout Shade
While we’re on the subject of sleep, we also recommend another must-have for getting the most of your eight hours. Even if you’ve never had a problem falling asleep, pregnancy may change all that. This silky sleep mask can help.
Sleep masks are great for blocking out light and providing the darkness your body needs to enter into sleep. If you’re tossing and turning throughout the night, this might be the easy, affordable option you need to get more rest. We love this one because it’s made of all-natural silk and comes in a few cute colors and patterns, so you won’t scare your partner too much.
16. A Wear-Anywhere LBD
What leggings are to athleisure, the LB(maternity)D is to pregnancy fashion. Every pregnant mama should have a simple, comfortable little black dress in her closet. It’s a versatile staple for work, a night out, or even an afternoon in the park.
We love this ruched style from Liu & Qu for its fashion and its function. The tailored but stretchy fit will hug your bump in all the right places, and the simple ruching gives it a bit of detail without being too overwhelming. It’s incredibly affordable, so you won’t even need to splurge. And if you’re looking for a pop of color, there are 18 to choose from!
17. A Little Light Reading—French Style
Since you may not feel like diving headfirst into parenting books quite yet, the bestselling Bringing Up Bébé is the perfect combination of narrative and advice, written in a funny, warm, and engaging voice. (Plus, we are always on board for learning more about how the French make everything seem so fabulous and effortless, even when it comes raising kids!)
We loved this book for opening our eyes to how another culture tackles parenting and how that stacked up against our American ideals. Whether you’ll agree with the French parenting philosophies isn’t the point—it’s more about having fun taking a peek into what it’s like to be a mom somewhere else in this great big world.
18. A Worthwhile Splurge
If you’re going to splurge on one item in your maternity wardrobe, we think it should be denim. Less is really more here; instead of buying three or four cheaper pairs that may wear and stretch before baby even arrives, we recommend investing in one good pair of jeans that can go the distance.
These skinny jeans from Paige are some of the most amazing we’ve tried. The dark wash and slim legs make them perfect for a day at the office or a night out with friends. We love the way the full-coverage panel shapes and supports our bump, and the denim holds up really well even after lots of washes. We know these are a bit of a splurge, but we truly think they’re worth it. Treat yourself, mama!
19. A Maternity Wardrobe Must-Have
There are a few pieces of maternity wear that we absolutely cannot live without, and this is one of them. Ingrid & Isabel’s Everyday Cami will quickly become a go-to during your second trimester. Think of it as a hug for your growing belly! It has just the right amount of stretch to smooth and shape your bump, providing the all-around support you need during your second trimester and beyond. (It’s perfect for postpartum wear, too.)
We love layering it with other tops, throwing it on under a cardigan, or even wearing it on its own while we’re lounging around the house. And the seamless design and soft fabric mean you’ll never have to worry about it being uncomfortable.
20. Comfy Coverage Down Under
Your belly isn’t the only thing that grows during your second trimester. Lots of women experience other body changes, especially in the hip and thigh area. And these changes may mean your regular undies just aren’t doing the job anymore.
If your underwear starts bunching, riding up, or rolling down, it may mean it’s time to invest in some maternity-specific styles. These 100 percent cotton Giftpocket Under Bumps are some of our faves. The crossover V design fits perfectly under your growing belly, and the back provides ample coverage for your rear without feeling like you’re wearing granny panties. We also love the cute assortment of colors and patterns. The sizing is pretty specific for these, though (and may not match up with your pre-pregnancy size), so be sure to check out the size chart and measure to ensure you get the right fit.
21. Overnight Support Where You Need It Most
If it seems like your chest is growing just as fast as your baby bump, it’s probably time to start thinking about a sleep bra. For some women, going to bed without a bra isn’t an issue. But for lots of us—and especially as pregnancy progresses—a little extra overnight support for the ladies goes a long way.
The Kindred Bravely French Terry Sleep Bra is the ideal combination of softness and support. It’s not too tight, but it’s just tight enough. The wide shoulder straps and stretchy elastic band keep the bra securely in place without it being constrictive. And if you plan on breastfeeding, the low cut, v-style design makes this the perfect overnight nursing bra, so you’ll be able to continue wearing it after you welcome your little one.
22. Relief for Your Aching Back
You knew it was too good to be true…there had to be at least some downsides to the second trimester of pregnancy, right? You may be loving your growing bump, but your back probably isn’t. The unfortunate reality of carrying around more weight on the daily often leads to sore hips, pelvis, back, and belly.
Maternity belts can offer lots of relief but are often bulky and cumbersome. That’s not the case with the Azmed Maternity Belt, which is why we love it. Its streamlined design and simple wrap style means it’s easy to pop on under your clothes, soft and breathable, and still does a great job of providing just enough compression to support your bump. We can almost hear you breathing that sigh of relief from here.
You’ve made it to the home stretch! Only a few more months to go until you’re cuddling your newest addition. The third trimester is a time filled with excitement, anticipation, and probably some anxiety and discomfort, too.
You’re carrying around a lot of baby at this point, so it’s totally normal to feel tired and sore. Now’s the time to take care of you, mom-to-be, so we’ve chosen some of our favorite self-care products to get you through these final weeks. You’re also likely thinking ahead to your delivery by now, so we’re also sharing what we loved to help you have your best birth.
23. For Your Special Day
It’s easy to get caught up in everything your little one is going to need—but what about you? If you’re having a baby shower, a sip and see, or just need to remind yourself of how cute you look rocking your baby bump, it’s about time you treat yourself to this maternity maxi dress from Mother Bee.
Easy to wear, super comfortable, and ultra flattering on any body type, this flowy maternity dress definitely deserves a spot in your closet. (Or two spots, since it’s incredibly affordable.) We love the colorblock design and all the different styles (there are tons of colors and florals to choose from). It’s just right on its own on warmer days or paired with a cardigan when it gets a bit chilly.
24. For Those Aching Feet (and Back…and Hips…and Body)
We never said the third trimester was easy, did we? (But we can assure you it’s worth it in the end!) For the ultimate in relaxation, add some Pink Stork Flakes to your next bath or foot soak. We promise you’ll thank us later.
Made from organic magnesium, these bath flakes help your body relax and give it the added dose of energy and hydration it needs, especially during those last few months of pregnancy. Also, do you really need an excuse to sit in the tub or to soak your feet for a half hour or so? We didn’t think so.
25. For a Little Me Time
Since you’ve now remembered how rejuvenating a bath can be, fire up some Netflix and drop a few of these delicious Oliver Rocket Bath Bombs in the water the next time you hit the tub. With six scents to choose from, including cucumber melon, grapefruit tangerine, and black raspberry vanilla, they’ll add just the right about of fizz—and fun—to your next soak.
We love that each bath bomb is handmade and is larger than some others we’ve used before, meaning more fizzy soaking time for you. And you won’t have to worry about harmful chemicals, either; all the bombs are completely natural and made from ingredients like baking soda, sea salt, and shea butter.
26. Soothing, Nourishing Stretch Mark Relief
We like to think of our stretch marks as proof as to just how awe-inspiring our bodies can be during pregnancy. Sometimes, though, they can get a little itchy due to quickly expanding skin, and you may need a little relief.
Earth Mama Belly Oil to the rescue. This herb-infused oil not only feels luxurious on your skin, but it also moisturizes to provide a reprieve from any itching you might be experiencing. And it contains no artificial fragrance, parabens, or anything else that you wouldn’t feel okay about using on your skin. We love it for our bellies, hips, thighs, and chest.
27. For When Nothing Else Fits
Tight, restrictive clothing is the last thing you’ll want to deal with during those final few months of pregnancy. Finding clothes that are comfortable and flattering during your third trimester can be a bit of a challenge, but this floral kimono checks both of those boxes in a super stylish way.
Available in four gorgeous prints, this lightweight covering pairs well with just about anything in your closet, from leggings to jeans and beyond. The flowy design will keep you cool and comfortable all day long, and it makes a great postpartum piece, too—it’s perfect for nursing or as part of your hospital going-home outfit.
28. A (Fun) Way to Relax
Remember when you used to use an exercise ball for doing sit-ups? (Insert your pre-pregnancy self laughing hysterically here.) Turns out these versatile exercise balls are great for a whole lot more than just crunches.
Short of floating in a pool all day (which also doesn’t sound like such a bad idea), exercise balls are the best way we’ve found to relieve all the lower body pressure that comes along with pregnancy. Bouncing on one slowly is not just fun; it does an amazing job of taking all that belly weight off your back and joints. This one is available in a range of sizes and comes with a foot pump for easy inflation. It also makes a great birth ball if that’s something you’re interested in trying out during your labor.
29. Not Your Grandma’s Compression Socks
Nothing says third trimester like swollen ankles, huh? One of the less glamorous side effects of pregnancy, swelling is an uncomfortable way your body deals with all that extra fluid you’re now carrying around, especially during those last few months. Time to rock some compression socks, mama!
Although they may not be the cutest fashion accessory you’ll wear all season, we love these Physix Gear Compression Socks because they actually work. Compression socks help with blood circulation, varicose veins, and leg swelling. Especially if you’re going to be on your feet a lot during the last trimester of pregnancy, these socks are a must.
30. A Multipurpose Accessory (That You’ll Actually Want to Wear!)
As soon as you become a mama, you’ll soon see that products that do double—or even triple—duty are totally the way to go. That’s why we love this 5-in-1 cover from Copper Pearl. For now, it makes a great scarf, adding a fun pop of detail to any outfit. But once baby arrives? It’s also a car seat cover, nursing scarf, shopping seat cover, and high chair cover. Genius!
The rayon fabric is soft and stretchy, and there are so many great patterns and prints to choose from that you’re going to have serious trouble picking just one.
31. For When You Really Need to Catch Some ZZZs
If you haven’t figured it out already, sleep—or the lack thereof—is a common struggle during pregnancy. By the time you hit your third trimester, you may be having a lot of trouble falling asleep and staying asleep throughout the night.
The Dohm sound machine can help. It creates a rushing air noise like no other sound machine we’ve ever heard—and we absolutely love it. It’s just what we need to help us relax, especially after a long day. And you’ll want to keep it on hand for after baby arrives, too; sound machines are great for helping to recreate the sounds of the womb and soothe little ones to sleep.
32. To Help You Breathe a Little Easier
While we’re still on the topic of sleep, you may be noticing that you’re feeling especially congested throughout your pregnancy, especially in the final weeks. It’s not uncommon, and it’s nothing to worry about, but it can make sleeping especially difficult.
Start running the Pure Enrichment Cool Mist Humidifier each night for some immediate relief. This quiet, easy-to-clean ultrasonic humidifier will safely moisturize the air for up to 16 hours, helping you breathe just a little easier. It even has a built-in nightlight for those all-too-frequent nightly bathroom trips!
33. For Soft, Glowing Skin
We know what you’re thinking, “A snail facial? Nope.” But just trust us on this one, okay? We promise your pregnant skin will never look better!
Known for its natural restorative properties—and beloved in South Korea for centuries—snail secretion will work wonders on your complexion, especially if you’re feeling extra tired during those last few weeks of pregnancy. Try this bestselling Snail Jelly Facial Mask and treat yourself to a little self-care!
34. For a Stylish—and Comfortable—Delivery Day
If the thought of giving birth in a stiff, oversized hospital gown doesn’t sound like something you want to test out, you’re not alone. Lots of mamas-to-be are rocking their own delivery gowns lately, and we’re totally behind the trend.
Gownies are not just stylish; they’re also comfy and practical. They snap down the back for complete coverage and open easily from the front for skin-to-skin time or breastfeeding. They also help you look great in photos, which we realize probably isn’t the most important part of your delivery day, but it can’t hurt, right?
35. A Portable Massager
If you have a partner who likes to give massages, now is the time to ask for one, mamas. (And even if you don’t, you should still ask for one!) Third trimester aches and pains can be rough, but a little massage goes a long way. These Kieba Massage Balls are game changers.
These balls are just the right firmness to work out knots and soothe tired muscles. We love them on our lower and upper back, outer thighs, and of course our very pregnant feet. Simply lean on them and massage away. Ahhh…
36. For Smoothing and Shaping
If you’re needing a bit more support heading into your third trimester, we totally feel you. Your body is going through so many changes, especially as your due date approaches, and sometimes, a little extra smoothing and shaping helps you to feel more confident throughout the day.
For light compression and smoothing support, we love Belevation Maternity Shapewear. It offers just the right amount of compression and comfort, and it’s great under form-fitting clothing and for preventing thigh chafing. The stretchy fabric leaves plenty of room for your growing bump, too.
37. For Those Chilly (and Slippery!) Hospital Floors
Hospitals are notorious for having cold, slippery floors—and the last thing you need to worry about on delivery day is taking a spill! Cozy, grippy socks will not only keep you warm, but they’ll also prevent you from slipping when you’re walking around your room.
Goodwyn Goods Non Skid Socks are our choice not just for your hospital stay but for lounging around at home too. They’re made from a blend of cotton, spandex, and polyester, making them stretchy yet sturdy. The non-slip bottoms do a great job of gripping the floor and keeping you on your toes (literally).
38. A Mega Time Saver
The last must-have on our list is a product that you’ll be able to use now and for years to come. And it will save you time and money, two things that are often in very short supply once you have little ones!
The Instant Pot is a culinary game changer. It’s a slow cooker, pressure cooker, rice cooker, and saute/steamer all in one. And even cooking isn’t your thing, there are so many easy recipes available that are virtually impossible to mess up. We recommend powering through a few freezer-friendly meals pre-baby so you’ll be all stocked up during those first few months.