18 Pregnancy Must-Haves For You!

Trish ~ Labor Nurse Mama
January 22, 2023

Pregnancy can be an amazing time, but it can also be overwhelming. Many moms-to-be find themselves feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of things they need to do and buy in preparation for the baby’s arrival. To help make the experience more enjoyable, here are some pregnancy must-haves that every mom will need during pregnancy.

Here is a list of 18 pregnancy must-haves every pregnant woman needs.

Why I am here and who I am:

Hey mama, I am Trish— AKA Labor Nurse Mama. I am a labor and delivery nurse with over 15 years of high-risk OB experience. I am also a mama to 7 kids and have given birth to 6. I have labored thousands of mamas and delivered many, many babies. I am the online birth class educator for Calm Labor Confident Birth and The VBAC Lab birth classes. You can find me inside my private pregnancy and postpartum monthly membership, Calm Mama Society! I am passionate about your birth and motherhood journey!

We make a small commission from some of the links (you don’t pay any more for using our links); however some of the recommendations, we do not earn anything; we just love ’em and want you to know about them. Click here for our full disclosure. Thank you!


1. Prenatal vitamins and prenatal DHA

First place goes to your choice of prenatal vitamin and prenatal DHA! These two pregnancy must-haves are definitely on my essential list because…

    • It helps keep you and your baby healthy during your pregnancy journey. 
    • It helps make sure your growing baby gets the critical nutrition they need.
    • It helps with your change in appetite.

If you're not a fan of swallowing pills (Hello, gag reflex!), get your hands on chewable gummies instead. I strongly recommend talking to your healthcare provider about what vitamins work best for you. Make sure your vitamin has folic acid!

2. Nausea Relief is a KEY Pregnancy Must-Have

My least favorite pregnancy stage is dealing with the first trimester of pregnancy because of morning sickness. Girl those hormones are OFF. THE. CHAIN!

Worse, it sometimes crosses over to the second or third trimester. It sucks, right??

I can't stand it! If you didn't know, nausea gets much worse when you're on an empty stomach, and I discovered a secret hack that kills off nausea in the morning: crackers.

Keeping snacks beside your bed will help fight off my morning sickness, so you can munch on some crackers without standing up. Take it up a notch by keeping them everywhere! In your bedroom, in your purse, and just about anywhere you go.

You can also try out other home remedies for nausea relief, like ginger and peppermint.

Find the type of ginger you can handle—fresh ginger, ginger ale, ginger candies, ginger gum, literally anything ginger!

As for peppermint, try drinking caffeine-free peppermint tea, carrying peppermint in your purse, or using a peppermint essential oil.

Here is a list of items that can help alleviate the symptoms.

3.  Belly Bands

In the first trimester, you'll feel like you're outgrowing your everyday jeans because of you're growing belly. There's a baby bump, but it's not big enough for maternity clothes yet, so you can get some belly bands. 

It sits over your pre-pregnancy pants, so you can wear them unbuttoned. It also holds up loose maternity pants. This needs to be on your list of pregnancy essentials.

4.  Water Bottle

Stay hydrated, mama! I don't care if an aesthetic water bottle will motivate you to commit to your daily water intake. Find a water bottle that's handy, practical, and durable.

I suggest getting an insulated water bottle. It keeps your water warm/hot/cold for long hours, just the way you like it. And… the bigger the bottle, the better! This way, you can chug on it frequently throughout the day without noticing you've completed the eight glasses of water measurement!

5. Pregnancy Journal

Make every moment count. Journaling through your pregnancy allows you to enter a space to reflect, get in tune with your emotions, discover how this milestone impacts your core every day, and keep track of medical information.

There are lots of pregnancy journals with templates available, like:

  • First-time mom journal
  • Pregnancy prayer journal with bible passages
  • Guided pregnancy journal
6. Reliable Pregnancy Books, Websites, and Resources

Knowledge is power!

I can't stress this enough. Do your own research. Ask around with fellow mamas and consult your doctor with pregnancy-related questions as much as you can.

The most essential item on your pregnancy must-have list or to-do is education. Seriously, you know know what you don't know!

While stocking up on pregnancy + motherhood 101, look for resources that help comfort you during your pregnancy journey. Being in a mom tribe that goes through or has gone through what you're dealing with right now makes you feel safe. Check out my list of favorite books here!

If you want a community and support like none other, you need to stop what you are doing and join Calm Mama Society. This is our powerful and supportive pregnancy and postpartum membership. Inside we host weekly education expert workshops ranging from early pregnancy to childcare. We have a library of resources that you could not find elsewhere. You will be a part of our inner circle. Labor Nurse Mama, AKA Trish, and her team doulas meet with the mama members weekly via zoom. They check in and help guide them through the unknown of pregnancy and postpartum. Read more here

7. Pregnancy Pillow

During the second trimester, your sleeping habits are often one of the first things to change. Many pregnant women find that they need extra support when they sleep, and a good body pillow can make all the difference. So this is definitely an essential to have on your pregnancy must-have list.

Pregnancy pillows come in all shapes and sizes, but there are a few things to look for when choosing one. Get the ones with the right support you need without being too firm or soft.

Trust me. Your baby bump, lower back, pelvis, hips, and knees will thank you. You can also use your pregnancy pillows for breastfeeding and postpartum recovery.

8. Belly Butter Or Lotion

When you're expecting, stretch marks are inevitable, but that doesn't mean you have to let them ruin your skin forever.

After all, stretch marks will always be a significant symbol of your baby's life. However, if you want to make it go away, use my favorite oil, It helps soften and heal the skin.

My students and members of my pregnancy membership rave about it.

Plus, it's also one of the best moisturizers on earth, so if you're looking to add a little glow to your midsection while pregnant (and beyond), we'd recommend a dab of super-rich belly butter/lotion after every shower.

9. Leggings That Look Like Pants but Feel like Butter

When I was pregnant, I hated my tummy being constricted, plus being able to move freely is key during pregnancy. So this item was def on my pregnancy must-haves list!

Leggings that look like pants are versatile and multipurpose. I suggest getting them in black, gray, or navy blue. That way, you can pair it with your favorite wardrobe fits, whether it's showing up for work, grocery shopping, or going out for dinner with friends. You can buy larger or buy super comfy maternity leggings. You choose!

They will get you through the awkward, do I look pregnant stage!

10. Maternity Jeans

For many pregnant women, maternity jeans are what they reach for when they need a pair of pants that will fit without being too tight or loose around the waistline.

Find a brand with an elastic over-the-belly panel so the maternity jeans “expand right along with you” when worn. 

Girl, if anything goes on your must-have pregnancy list, good jeans are it. Trust me; these are handy during postpartum as well.

11. Bra Extenders

Bra extenders will help you to get the best out of your bras during pregnancy!

An extender can be worn under your regular bra straps, which allows the straps to be stretched broader and more comfortably. Or, you can use an extender as an alternative to wearing padded bras, which is what many mamas I know have been doing in their early months of pregnancy.

Can't think of a baby name? Check out the top 20 baby boy names of 2021 here!

12. Compression Socks

Compression socks are a great way to help minimize swelling and keep blood circulation while pregnant. It contains air channels and compresses as it supplies oxygen to your legs, helping them stay cool and preventing clots from forming in your veins.

13. Slip-On Shoes: Pregnancy Must-Have Essential

Having a baby bump makes usual stuff seem hard… Tying a shoelace, unbuckling a strap, or fixing your shoes with a big belly in the way? Doesn't add up.

Find slip-on shoes that are comfortable enough to be worn all day, especially when walking around. Slip-on shoes are a great option because they're easy to wear and take off without reaching for your feet. (These are my go-to faves)

14. Nursing Pads & Nursing Bras

Once you enter the second trimester, your breast tissue becomes firmer and less elastic, so you may experience soreness or discomfort from leaking milk. Nursing pads are designed to absorb fluid and protect sensitive skin while nursing so that leaks harm neither baby nor mother.

Buy a couple of pairs of disposable nursing pads at any pharmacy or drugstore and keep them in your bathroom so you won’t forget them when it’s time to use them. You can also wash these pads in cold water and hang them up to dry overnight so they will be ready when needed the following day (they don’t need to be washed between uses).

You most likely will need new and bigger bras or bralettes by the third trimester. I say go ahead and buy a nursing bra or two. This saves you in the long run! >>Here are my faves<<

15. Pelvic Support Band

A pelvic support band can relieve back aches and discomfort related to Symphysis Pubis dysfunction (SPD). A woman with SPD experiences stiffness, unevenness, or overstretching of her pelvic joints during pregnancy. It literally feels like your pelvis is being ripped apart. The pelvic support band pushes the muscles back together, providing temporary relief.

The one I like to add to your pregnancy must-have list is called a Serola Belt. Many physical therapists recommend this one to my members in Calm Mama Society.

16. Prenatal Massage

Prenatal massage is one of the most important things you can do for yourself during pregnancy. Not only will it help you feel more relaxed, but it will also help your baby get into a good position during delivery.

Why? By doing prenatal massage, you'll be helping to prepare your uterus for childbirth by getting rid of any excess fluid that may be building up in there. This can help with things like back pain and hemorrhoids because the pressure of normal labor will push out those fluids and make room for the baby to come out.

If you're unsure where to start or what type of massage is best for you and your baby, speak with your doctor or midwife about the appropriate techniques. Be sure to add this to your pregnancy must-have list now!

17. A Ball

Trust me when I say this guy will most likely be your best friend by the time you go into labor. Seriously this is a pregnancy essential!

Not only will it ease the aches and pains of pregnancy, but also prep your body for labor. I teach this in my Purposeful Positioning class which is a bonus in my Birth Class Bundle!

Using a ball can be very soothing and help you find your mojo.

18. A Babymoon

Lastly, a babymoon is a must! It's when you and your partner or significant other have a quick getaway to be yourselves. It's a particular time that you and your partner can enjoy together as a couple to reconnect and have a chance to discuss issues that might be on your minds when dealing with pregnancy, birth, and the first few months at home.

No matter what stage of pregnancy you’re at – whether it’s just starting out or nearing the end – these must-haves will make sure you have everything you need to enjoy this special time without worry or stress. Investing in quality pieces now will save you money (and headaches) later on down the road! So don't forget these must-haves when preparing for parenthood! Good luck and I hope my pregnancy must-have list gave you an idea and helped you think about what to prepare for each trimester!

labor nurse mama trish ware

Just a little Disclaimer: As always, I am just writing my thoughts and what I’ve learned along the way. Although I am in fact a labor and delivery RN, This is not medical advice. You should always seek and follow the advice of your care provider.

This post may contain some affiliate links (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission, but it won’t cost you a penny more)! Thank you! For our full disclosure read here)


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