I totally cringed at writing this title, because “must have” is extremely relative. I mean, women gave birth in caves for millennia and now that we’ve evolved we think we need special creams for stretch marks, fancy supplements, and pillows and accessories and blah blah blah!
But a lot of these things certainly make pregnancy more comfortable than it must have been WAYYY back when, so I’ll indulge in some of these modern comforts just a little 😉
My personal list looks a lot different than many others. I’m not a true minimalist, but I REALLY value my space and have been adamant about it not being taken over by baby & mommy stuff. I’m also passionate about not throwing money away, so there’s also that 😆
So here’s a few things I’ve found SUPER worth every penny and minor sacrifice of space over the last 8.5 months…
Side note: this list does not include obvious things like medical care & a good prenatal vitamin. This list is for the extras that make pregnancy more comfortable, but NOT inclusive of stuff that ensure your safety & health.
+ Bae The Label Dresses.
Probably the priciest thing I bought but have gotten the most use out of. SUPER comfy, flattering, and even something I’d wear if I wasn’t pregnant. Plus, they’re great for nursing too so you can get longer use out of them. + H&M Basics.
Non-maternity tanks, tees, & basic underwear (because WHOA, I did not realize how quickly I’d outgrow my freakin’ underwear 😆! I seriously sized up twice through pregnancy!)+ A couple pairs of maternity bottoms.
I resisted. I resisted a lot. But I scored an AMAZING deal on 2 cute pairs of maternity jeans at Ross (each were $14), and I picked up a pair of maternity joggers and linen shorts at H&M for $18 and $29 respectively. Lots of lists encourage you to buy designer, but there’s no need. I buy designer jeans for my non-pregnant body, but why spend all that $$$ for a space of time that is SO short-lived when looking at the big picture? Makes no sense to me unless you plan to be pregnant many times over! + Leggings that’ll go the long haul.
There’s 2 types I’ve been living in: the Align Legging from Lululemon (no exaggeration– I have 8 pair now because they’re THAT good) & Belly Bandit’s Maternity Leggings.
Aligns are NOT officially maternity wear, but my pre-pregnancy size is still working perfectly for me at 8.5 months pregnant. They’re the comfiest things I own and my daily uniform. So not only are you getting your bang for your buck during pregnancy, chances are you’ll be able to wear them before and after, too. The Belly Bandits were a gift and I fully anticipated being neutral about them. But honestly, these are a godsend. They’re insanely comfortable. The belly band itself is super soft & stretchy so you don’t feel like you’re being compressed, but you also don’t feel like it’s sliding down. Highly recommend.
+ Bi-Oil & Burts Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter.
I’ve talked about these before, but I’m still using them and enjoying them. No one really knows if you can *truly* prevent stretch marks, but I’ll tell you I haven’t had any yet and use these products daily. + Electric Razor.
This one is kind of funny but actually essential if you’re anything like me 😅 One interesting aspect of pregnancy is that there comes a time where you can’t see anything under your belly. That includes your entire vagina. So if you’re used to keeping things nicely trimmed and groomed down there, it becomes quite a challenge! I usually do my own waxing but this gets tricky… eventually you’ll need to get someone else to do it, but between appointments, using one of these is SUPER fantastic because you can’t cut yourself! Best $20 I spent. (Also, yes, you can also go totally natural & I respect that if you do, but I am not that woman 😂…this post became TMI really quickly… )
I got a bunch on Amazon in a size large. Once I got into my 18th week or so, my boobs stopped growing, so I’ve been able to use the same size throughout. I stocked up on these!
+ The Bump App.
I downloaded several (including What to Expect, Ovia, and Pregnancy+) but The Bump was my personal favorite. It was the nicest to use from a user experience perspective and informative without being alarmist. Lots of fun facts to enjoy here!
+ Birth Ball/Exercise Ball.
I’ve been sitting on this as often as possible because it’s one of the few places I actually feel comfortable. The larger you get, the harder it is to feel comfortable on the sofa or in a chair, so if you can roll this up to your desk, it’ll make a huge difference. It’s great for toning AND releasing the pelvic floor, plus it really relieves back pain just sitting here versus a chair. Definitely wouldn’t want to live without this now!
Stuff I didn’t want/need/use:
– Body pillow.
Every pregnant woman will tell you you’ll need one of these, but for me it was just too impractical. It’s massive and I’ve been managing just fine with this very small, travel friendly version. I put it between my knees to sleep, slide it under my belly when lying on my side, and have also used it to prop myself up in bed. It also tucks nicely behind your other pillows on your bed so you don’t have this giant thing that screams “I AM PREGNANT” when you walk into your room.
– Separate belly band.
I got one as a gift which was really nice quality, but I ended up not using it. I personally felt secure enough in high waisted leggings, BUT I could definitely see how this is more helpful if you carry a bit bigger up front.
This is weird, I know. But I saw a lot of people talk about needing this to feel sexy during pregnancy, and honestly, SHRUG. What made the biggest difference for me was making sure I did a few things every day: (1) didn’t stay in pajamas/sweats all day, (2) showered, and (3) put on a little makeup & did something with my hair. I haven’t always felt glamorous, but wearing sexy lingerie made me feel more like a joke than like a beautiful woman. Simply taking 15-mins to take care of myself made me feel sexier than anything else.
Over to you! If you’ve ever been pregnant, what were your person must-haves? I’m gonna do a whole separate post of the most valuable resources I’ve used to prepare myself for birth & motherhood, too! I wanted to devote a whole post to those books & courses because I have a handful of good ones that I can’t wait to share. They’re just incredible. So stay tuned for that 🙂