Pregnancy is an incredible experience that you need to enjoy. Yes, there will be some ups and downs.
There will be some mornings you want to stay in bed, but at the same time, you’re feeling sick.
You can’t always control the change in hormones or your body’s reaction to certain smells.
But when it is all said and done, the metamorphosis your body goes through during pregnancy is something special and specific just to you.
And, at most, it is something you’ll take part in only a few months of your entire life. So enjoy it and fully embrace the changes.
Of course, there are some ways to help improve your personal experience.
These are ways that help reduce the level of pain you might be in, soothe your stomach, and just make your life a little bit more comfortable.
While you should always remain open to suggestions from other mothers and their own experiences, here are 14 essential products you should invest in to help get you through your pregnancy (and make it more comfortable).
Things to Consider
Every pregnancy is different, and so your experience will not only be somewhat different from other mothers you know but every time you become pregnant will bring about changes you didn’t experience the last time around.
You might experience pains in your knees one pregnancy and then pains in your lower back during another.
It’s difficult to forecast how your pregnancy experience might go, but when it comes to picking up these 14 essential products to help get you through your pregnancy here are a few things to consider both ahead of time and when purchasing the items.
1. How Was Your Mother’s Pregnancy Experience
If possible, talk to your mom. At least if this is your first pregnancy. Once you have one under your belt you can go a bit more on what you experienced the previous time. However, the experience your mother had while pregnant might foreshadow much of your own upcoming experience.
She can fill you in on certain pains she had and how it went. If your mother said she had major swelling in her knees with every pregnancy, you should plan ahead and pick up items that will reduce swelling. This way, should it start to happen, you’ll be prepared.
When looking at these 14 essential products you will often find a wide price point. More expensive does not always mean better, but it often means it comes with more features. You’ll want to consider the cost before buying just about anything when you’re pregnant.
After all, pregnancy is not cheap and it’s possible to blow through a large chunk of money if you’re not careful. Thankfully you can buy just about every item on this list for a fair price.
3. Personal Allergies
Do you have any personal allergies? Keep these in mind whenever buying something during your pregnancy. The last thing you want to deal with on top of the aches and pains and discomfort is an allergic reaction.
Some of these items, like shoes and support belts, won’t have any impact on your allergies (unless you’re allergic to wool or synthetic materials), but when using moisturizer for your belly or vitamins to help with morning sickness, you will want to look at the ingredients before making a purchase.
4. Product Reviews
Your body will go through changes. Many of the products on this list are designed to keep you comfortable as your developing baby grows along with your belly.
Look at product reviews from other mothers who have used the product and pay close attention to whether the elasticity of certain items remained throughout the pregnancy, or if there were issues with the item maintaining its shape and stretch.
If you read more than a handful of reviews talking about the loss of form and the need to replace the item during the same pregnancy than you’ll want to consider a different manufacturer.
Table of Contents
- Comfortable Maternity Underwear
- 95% refined cotton, 5% spandex
- Low front, full back design
- Low-rise waistline
- Comfortable Maternity Underwear
- 95% refined cotton, 5% spandex
- Low front, full back design
- Low-rise waistline
- Back Saving Maternity Mattress
- Helps relieve back and shoulder pain
- Reduce C-section pain
- Easy to inflate
- Back Saving Maternity Mattress
- Helps relieve back and shoulder pain
- Reduce C-section pain
- Easy to inflate
Sleeping is one of the biggest issues you’ll likely run into while pregnant. At first, it won’t seem like that big of a deal. But as you move into the latter stages of your second trimester and your third you’ll begin to feel the effects of the added weight on your chest.
You can’t sleep directly on your stomach with a standard mattress as this puts unnecessary weight on your belly. And sleeping completely on one side will feel as if a weight is pulling at your side and stretching you down. At times, you might feel as if you just can’t sleep at all. This is where a maternity pillow comes in.
The maternity pillow is a long, worm-shaped pillow. Think of it as a body pillow, only longer and more flexible. You can make it curve around you, so your head leads against it and the rest of the pillow helps prop up your belly, taking some of the pressure off of your side.
You need your sleep, so purchasing a maternity pillow is a must (and something you should consider buying early on in your pregnancy). If you want to find out more, don’t forget to check our 10 Best Pregnancy Pillows selection.
- Easily adjusts around your body to fit your contours and shape
- Often made of soft, flexible material
- Some come with removable covers that are easy to clean
- You can use the pillow post-pregnancy
$30 – $100
Morning Sickness Vitamins
There are a few ways you can help reduce your morning sickness. You’ll need to keep yourself hydrated throughout the day (yes, this means you’ll need to use the bathroom more frequently, but if it can save you from rushing to the bathroom in the morning it’s well worth it).
You should also munch on bland snacks at night, such as crackers. The crackers will keep you full and help absorb some of what will make you feel like throwing up in the morning. So always keep a few boxes and sleeves of crackers around.
Just make sure you go with the bland crackers and not the extra flavorful kinds, as the smell of those might have an adverse effect.
With all of that said, you’ll still likely run into morning sickness at some point during your pregnancy. When this starts to happen you’ll want to have morning sickness vitamins on hand. These vitamins are designed specifically to help calm your stomach and to reduce the sick feeling.
The supplements are designed with mild flavors and smells as to not aggravate the feeling.
This is one kind of vitamin you’ll likely need to experiment a bit with. Different companies use different ingredients, so what works for you might not work for the next expecting mother. The vitamins are all-natural, so you don’t need to worry about it harming the fetus.
Typically, most vitamins will come with a combination of B6, as well as some other tummy soothing ingredients. Some morning sickness vitamins are built right into prenatal vitamins, so you’ll want to check the ingredients label on your vitamins to double-check.
- Easy to digest and easy on your stomach
- Vitamins are available in gummy, “hard candy” and traditional pill form so you can pick which option works best for you
- Affordable option for reducing your morning sickness
- A number of gentle flavors are available
$6 – $50
Pregnancy Pant Extenders
There’s no denying your tummy will begin to expand as you progress through your pregnancy. However, that doesn’t mean you need to run out and buy dozens of new pants. That’s a quick way to blow through any budget. You will be able to continue wearing your normal pants for months.
Now, there will come a time where you can still fit into certain pants but they just won’t button up. When that is the case you don’t need to put the pants away until you’re able to fit back into them. Instead, what you need is a pregnancy pant extender.
These are cheap ways to prolong your need to begin wearing maternity pants. Pregnancy pant extenders are loop attachments that fit around the button of your pants and then hook onto the opposite end of the button. It’s like an extended arm for your button, which will instantly give you a few extra inches to your waistline.
These button extenders can help keep you in your current pants for weeks, if not a few months longer. You might not be able to continue slipping into those skinny jeans, but if you wear dress pants for the office these buttons will make sure you can keep rocking those same pants.
When purchasing the pant extenders most will come in a pack. This way you’ll have a handful at your disposal. It is a good idea to keep one or two with you at all times, just in case something happens to the one you’re wearing. It’s always better to be safe than sorry in these situations.
- Easy to attach to any pants with a button
- Come in multi-packs so you’ll have extras to spare
- A number of color options are available
- Inexpensive way to keep you in your same pants, which may save you money in the long run over buying more maternity pants
$5 – $20
Maternity Support Belt
It’s one thing to put on weight spread throughout your body. It’s another thing entirely to have all of that weight placed right onto your belly. That’s a hefty addition to what you’re used to carrying around and that added weight can make things uncomfortable.
It also places additional strain on your back, because you have the weight in the front of your body (when you discover you’re pregnant, it’s a good idea to begin performing some back strengthening exercises to help prepare your back for this and to potentially reduce the strain you experience).
The added weight on the front of your belly may also increase the potential for stretch marks as your belly and gravity may pull the stomach in a downward angle. To help reduce this kind of strain and cut the pain in your back, you may want to consider investing in a maternity support belt.
The maternity support belt has a wide base that wraps around your lower back (similar to a power-weight-lifter’s belt), it will then slip under your belly and help keep it lifted up.
When it comes to maternity support belts there are several styles. Some are styles that are more “Spanx” than belt, as the material is a stretchy fabric that will help not only reduce the strain on your lower back but smooth outlines, which can be beneficial if you’re going to an event, are wearing a dress and want to show off your baby bump without it looking bulky.
On the other hand, the larger maternity belts with additional straps often are not as smooth or streamlined, but these typically do a better job of helping support the weight. In a way, these are more harness than belt. These can be good the further along you go with your pregnancy and work well under t-shirts and more casual clothing.
When using the larger, harness-style belts, you should wear something in between the belt and your skin, just to prevent the fabric from cutting into your skin. After all, you’re trying to reduce discomfort, not add to it.
- Most maternity belts are adjustable and can fit any body type
- Several styles make it possible to select one that looks good with formal wear and others that will work better with casual clothing
- Helps lift and assist with the weight of your tummy
- Reduces strain on the back
- May reduce the potential of stretch marks as the belts cut down on gravity pulling down on the belly and the skin
$15 – $50
Pregnancy Belly Butter
As you progress through your pregnancy your belly will begin to grow. As it grows it may cause the skin to stretch, which can eventually develop stretch marks. While some stretch marks may be unavoidable (this often has more to do with genetics than anything else) there are ways to reduce the stretching.
As mentioned above the maternity belt can help reduce some pull on your belly caused by gravity. However, beyond this, you will want to help improve the collagen and elasticity of your skin. Doing so will improve your body’s ability to repair the stretching skin, which in turn allows it to more easily return to its original state post-pregnancy.
There are collagen supplements available. These all-natural supplements are made from plants and can easily be added to your daily diet.
However, before adding any kind of new supplement to your diet you will want to consult your doctor to make sure it is safe for you (there are no known issues with taking a collagen supplement, but you should always talk about any dietary changes with your doctor).
A pregnancy belly butter sometimes referred to as tummy butter or belly oil, is typically a thick, extra-moisturizing combination made of all-natural ingredients designed to help keep your skin hydrated and to topically deliver collagen to your belly.
You will want to read over the ingredients used in the belly butter when selecting one as you should go with something that is 100% all-natural. Common ingredients in these belly butters include cocoa butter, almond, Argan oil, and others.
The thicker nature of the butter helps with delivering the nutrients and collagen to your belly without drying up too quickly. With all of this in mind though you should generally avoid applying belly butter to your face. It simply is too thick for your facial pores to handle and may result in skin breakouts.
Before buying a pregnancy belly butter you will want to consider any aromas it produces. Think about smells that cause you to gag and do what you can to avoid these aromas. Most belly butters are light on the fragrance for this very reason, but it is something to keep in mind.
- Helps improve hydration of your belly while delivering collagen to your skin to help prevent stretch marks
- Extra thick and specifically designed for your belly during pregnancy, instead of standard moisturizer
- All-natural options can be found for an inexpensive price
$6 – $50
Best Shoes To Wear During Maternity
The right pair of shoes will go a long way toward improving your overall comfort level. Eventually, your feet will likely begin to swell, which can make wearing tight, confining shoes aggravating. Additionally, the wrong kind of shoes may cause pain in your knees. So finding the right pair of shoes will go a long way in improving your overall wellbeing.
Realistically you’ll want to invest in a few different shoe types. For starters, you should consider a slip-on shoe. These slip-on flats are inexpensive and are easy to slide on and off. Now, these kinds of shoes are not the best when it comes to offered knee support, but when you need a pair of shoes to quickly slide on and off these are an excellent option.
On the flip side, the slip on-off flats are not the best kind of shoes to wear throughout the rest of the day when you need to be active. There isn’t a ton of stretch to the shoes and there’s almost no support for your ankles and knees. Instead, you’ll want to go more with an athletic pair of shoes designed for maternity.
These athletic maternity shoes have the rubber souls for more support (although you may want to consider an insert to help with proper arch support). The tops of these shoes use a stretchy fabric, which is desired by runners as it allows not only the feet to breathe but also provides additional stretch.
Maternity athletic shoes have some added room to allow for some swelling in your feet without pinching. Many of these shoes also are slip-on so you don’t need to worry about tight laces over the top of your foot.
- Easier to slide on and off your feet
- Flats are easy to toss into a bag when you just need shoes for a short length of time
- Athletic maternity shoes offer more stretch around the feet
- No laces are an excellent option if the top of your feet swells and experience discomfort from laces pressing down on your feet
$20 – $100+
Essential Oil Diffusers For Improved Breathing and Morning Sickness Relief
Pregnancy is stressful. There’s no other way to put it. While it’s a wonderful, life-changing experience, it isn’t going to change the fact that your body will hurt, your brain will travel a million miles a minute at times, and on occasions, you’ll want to just lay on the bed and never leave the house again. One way to help with this is to take advantage of essential oils and diffusers.
Now, it is important to not just go out and purchase all the essential oils on the market. You will want to avoid using any essential oils during your first trimester (no matter how much you enjoy them or how soothing you find them).
In some instances, essential oils have to lead to uterine contractions during the first trimester. This changes at the second and third, so early on, stay clear of essential oils and diffusers.
When the second trimester hits you can begin using essential oils, but you’ll still want to stick with specific kinds. Chamomile, lavender, and ylang-ylang are three options to keep on hand. These are designed to soothe your body and help calm the stomach.
Using a diffuser with the oils allows you to breathe in the aromas without directly applying it to your body. According to the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy other aromas, you can consider include ginger, cypress, sandalwood, rose, sweet orange, neroli, grapefruit, juniper, cypress, eucalyptus, and mandarin.
This should give you enough options to choose from if one does not sit well with your gag reflex.
- Can help reduce morning sickness
- Several safe aromas can both help calm the body and improve the smell inside of your home
- Improve breathing if you’ve found your nose has started to stuff up
$20 – $100+
Comfortable Maternity Underwear
Sooner rather than later your current under will no longer fit. And unless you want to completely buy an entirely new wardrobe of underwear post-pregnancy you should switch to maternity underwear once you begin to show. This will prevent the elastic on your current underwear from wearing out and the fabric from stretching beyond recovery.
However, just because you’re buying maternity underwear doesn’t mean you need to ditch the cute, soft, and good-looking underwear you’re accustomed to.
Just about any style of underwear you currently own is available as maternity underwear. the difference here is the maternity underwear is designed with more stretch. This way, you can wear the underwear throughout much of your pregnancy.
You can find everything from traditional looking panties to bikini style and nearly everything else in between. Making the switch to comfortable maternity underwear will keep you from constantly needing to hike up the standard underwear while also giving you something comfortable to wear under your clothing.
- Made with extra stretchy material so you can wear the maternity underwear throughout your pregnancy
- Nearly every style of underwear is available in maternity form
- Often sold in packs so you can buy multiple pairs at once
$10 – $30+
Sleeping and Nursing Bras
Once your body begins to show you’ll experience a growth in varying areas around your body, including your breasts. As your body preps itself for milk production your breasts will increase in size, which makes wearing your current bras uncomfortable.
The elastic will press into your body and, if your current bras have underwire, the metal may poke and cause all kinds of discomfort. You may also find that sleeping will hurt your chest more as well.
Because sleeping on your back is likely uncomfortable, sleeping on your side, even with the maternity pillow, will cause some pulling on your chest. The best way to avoid this is to invest in sleeping and nursing bras.
The sleeping bras are designed specifically for comfort and not for show. While there are plenty of cute sleeping bras it isn’t all about pushing the larger bust up, which is what most traditional bras attempt to do.
These sleeping bras keep everything in place without placing strain on your body, which will help reduce soreness. Many sleeping bras are designed to be nursing bras as well, allowing you to seamlessly transition from wearing the bras at night to wearing the bras post-pregnancy to make nursing easier.
- Made with soft material that’s easy on the skin
- Provides some support from pulling down on your chest without adding strain on your back
- Helps reduce tension while you sleep
- Easier to access the nipple for nursing so you can wear the bras both while sleeping and post-birth
$15 – $50+
Back Saving Maternity Mattress
Sleeping on your back while pregnant places a considerable strain on your entire back. Even with the best mattress in the world, you’re sleeping with a weight pressed down on your body, which can also throw off your spinal alignment, causing everything from muscle fatigue to tension and even a pinched nerve.
If you’re struggling with sleeping on your back and a maternity pillow isn’t helping you should consider a back-saving maternity mattress.
A back saving maternity mattress is a blow-up mattress that has a hole cut in the middle for your belly to slip into. In many ways, it looks like a massage table with a headrest on top. This way you can comfortably lay on your chest without placing pressure on your belly.
Some of the maternity mattresses also have indentations for the breasts, allowing you to fully rest on your chest. Even if you don’t use this for your entire night’s rest it is a nice option to have during the day when you want to get off your feet but your back is hurting.
- Inflatable options are easier to travel with and inflate similar to a travel air-mattress
- Cutaways for your tummy, breasts, and face make it possible to lay flat on your chest and reduce all pressure placed on your back
- Varying material options do exist, with other mattresses made out of more traditional mattress foam. These are more expensive but may provide you with more support
- Some configurations can be placed on top of a current mattress so you can sleep in a bed like this if you prefer
$70 – $300+
Pregnancy Compression Socks
Swelling is a very real issue you’ll likely deal with during pregnancy. In some instances, you may also have varicose veins pop up with the increased blood flow, which can be especially painful. Swelling in your feet and legs is one of the more common complaints, but thankfully there is something you can do about it.
With pregnancy compression socks (also referred to as compression maternity socks), the socks are made out of a material that slightly squeezes your legs. The compression helps regulate blood flow and keep swelling in check.
Compression socks are worn by several people including those who experience swelling while flying, or individuals who’s legs swell following athletic activities. Pregnancy compression socks are similar, although the pregnancy socks come in fun designs that will look good with your daily outfit or simply when lounging around.
It is recommended to keep your legs shaved (or at least don’t go long periods of time without shaving). The compression socks may pull on leg hair when worn for long periods, which itself becomes uncomfortable.
- Comes in varying sizes and colors
- Help reduce swelling in the legs and feet
- Reduces pain caused by varicose veins
$10 – $50
Comfortable Maternity Leggings
Let’s face it. You’re not going to always stay in jeans or business attire. And while sweatpants are comfortable it’s sometimes just too hot to wear those things outside. This is why you need to invest in comfortable maternity leggings.
Chances are you already have at least one pair of leggings in your closet. You can still wear these leggings early on, but eventually, you’ll want to switch out to maternity leggings.
Maternity leggings had extra fabric around the midsection, making it possible to stretch and adapt as your body changes. It also helps prevent the annoying elastic right around the middle of your belly. Some maternity leggings have high-waisted designs for optimal comfort and to stretch right above your baby bump.
The beauty of these leggings is you can wear them in just about any weather condition (some winter leggings are fleece lined if you are feeling chilly).
- Comfortable pants that can be worn in nearly any situation
- The high-waisted design fits above your belly
- Variety of color options to choose from
- Easy to care for and inexpensive compared to other maternity clothing
$25 – $90+
Trying to find answers online for all your pregnancy questions isn’t always a good idea. You may end up on WebMD and read all the worst possible situations. It’s happened to us all. Instead, you should invest in pregnancy books to read through.
These books will help explain what your body is going through and ways to improve your experience. For many women, pregnancy books are the first real “pregnancy” purchases they make, which can be pretty exciting. Just make sure the books you pick up to provide you with helpful, and accurate, information.
- Most pregnancy books can be purchased in hard copy or are available for download on your tablet, phone, or computer
- Can guide you through each week of your pregnancy, showing you how your baby is developing and how your boy changes along with it
- Helpful for any spouse or significant other. They don’t know what you’re going through, so the book at least helps them understand it a bit better
$0.99 – $30+
Throughout your pregnancy, there will be small events you want to document. It can be anything from your belly beginning to show the first time you feel your baby kick. These are small instances that can excite you and bring about new feelings and emotions.
Having a pregnancy journal to write this information down on gives you an outlet to express your emotions. This way you can look back years later at the experience you had during your pregnancy. You may even decide to share it with your son or daughter or use it as the basis of a scrapbook.
It’s a small purchase but one you’ll look back favorably on.
- Great way to write about your feelings and to date specific events
- Keeps your feelings and emotions private
- An excellent way to document your pregnancy
$5 – $50+
This Is a Beautiful Time In Your Life. Enjoy It
The time you spend pregnant represents such a small portion of your life. Blink and it will be all over. Whether you have one child or several, in a few years you’ll look back at this time of your life with fond memories. That is why you need to make the most of it while you can.
With each of these 14 essential products to help you get through pregnancy you’ll discover ways to make life more comfortable while expecting. You’ll also find ways to better document the changes.
So whether this is your first pregnancy or your fourth, there is always something new and wonderful to experience and each of these items will help make your time pregnant a little better.