Prenatal vitamins will ensure that you and your baby are getting the vital nutrients needed during pregnancy, and it’s up to you and your practitioner to decide which one is right for you. Keep in mind that some pregnant women find the extra-large prenatal vitamins hard to stomach (especially during the first trimester, when you might be nauseous), which is why our blogger Ceridwen stresses that a healthy diet rich in folic acid might be more important than a daily supplement. The iron in prenatal vitamins can also cause constipation, for which Stevee recommends the over-the-counter Nature Made Prenatal Vitamins.
This might be the most popular can’t-live-without pregnancy product for moms-to-be, considering sleeping is almost always uncomfortable. Using a large pillow to support and cradle your growing body is especially helpful during the last trimester. Our blogger Stevee swears by the Boppy Pregnancy Wedge, but any body pillow will do.
Safe Beauty Products
You’re already watching what you put inside of your body, but do you know what you’re putting on your body? Some beauty products, like face creams and body lotions, can contain questionable (even dangerous) ingredients for a developing fetus. Find out which ingredients you should avoid and check labels when shopping.
Safe Cleaning Products
Be careful when “nesting” (ie getting that nursery ready for baby’s arrival) that you aren’t inhaling toxic chemicals or otherwise posing a safety risk. Read our tips for cleaning safely while pregnant.
Though you can find most of the information you want online, there’s nothing like a good book to curl up with at night or on the train, especially when that book helps to relieve some anxiety. Reading up on what’s to come is the best way to feel prepared when the big day arrives. Here are our top 5 childbirth books that will make you feel confident rather than terrified. (If baby, pregnancy and childbirth guides are giving you panic attacks, try easing yourself in with blogs or memoirs to understand that pregnancy isn’t a cookie-cutter, by-the-book formula that can be predicted.)
If you don’t have a pair already, find a comfy, stretchable pair of pants to rely on during those transformative months from the end of your first trimester to the beginning of your third. Your regular sweatpants might get tight and you won’t want to keep buying bigger sizes. (We’d live in these Belly Bandit pants if we could.)
Growing, stretching skin needs lubrication to prevent the unbearable itchiness that often comes along with pregnancy. And besides that, some well-meaning stretch mark prevention never hurts — even if you’re genetically doomed. Here are the best lotions for growing bellies.
A Way to Document Your Pregnancy
You might not think this is a must-have — especially not in comparison to prenatal vitamins, body pillows and maternity bras — but at the end of these fleeting, life-altering months, you’ll be glad to have some kind of documentation. Believe us when we say that these three trimesters will be some of the most memorable months of your life and you’ll want to look back on them. Finding the right keepsake is up to you, but here are 6 unique pregnancy keepsake ideas for inspiration.
Good Pregnancy Jeans
Every pregnant woman should have one or two pairs of good, comfy, stylish maternity jeans for a laid-back look. Yet many pregnant women have trouble finding pregnancy jeans that fit right (without looking baggy and dumpy), which is why some splurge on designer maternity jeans to flatter their changing figure. (The signature of most maternity jeans is a stretchable band in the front, which cradles and supports your growing belly.) Look for sales on designer jeans at sites like Gilt, Zulily and Totsy.If you simply can’t find maternity jeans that fit right (and you refuse to invest in a designer pair), here are 5 ways to expand your favorite pre-pregnancy jeans.
Seasonal Maternity Wear
If you’re pregnant during the colder months, odds are your pre-pregnancy coats won’t button throughout the third trimester. Here are 10 affordable maternity coats we recommend. On the other hand, if you’re pregnant during the summer, invest in maternity bathing suits to feel confident about baring your new body.
Morning Sickness Remedies
Pregnant women experience morning sickness at different intensities — for some it’s not an issue at all, for others it’s completely debilitating — but most pregnant women will need some kind of nausea relief during the first trimester. From ginger to Sea-Bands, here are our top mom-recommended cures for pregnancy nausea.
A Little Something Special
There will be moments during your pregnancy when you won’t feel that magic glow everyone speaks of. That’s totally normal. We’ve found that having something special on hand like sexy maternity lingerie or chic maternity dresses helps to boost our self-esteem when needed. Plus, every woman, pregnant or not, deservers to feel pretty.
Belly Support Bands
Towards the end of your pregnancy, your baby is going to “drop” down farther into the birth canal, getting him or herself into position for labor. This will make it easier to breathe — as your baby won’t be pressed up against your ribs quite as much — but it can also cause some serious vaginal pressure when you walk, as well as aches and pains from your mid-back down to your ankles. If you’re having a hard time, our blogger Stevee recommends The Prenatal Cradle Pregnancy Support, which is designed to help carry the weight, easing you muscle aches and relieving some of the pressure.
Although babies can pretty much always hear music and conversations through the womb after 22 weeks, a lot of pregnant women like to play their favorite tunes or calming, therapeutic music to their baby — and Bellybuds provide a safe way to do that. In fact, there’s evidence that babies might have some music memory retention after 34 weeks, so those songs he or she heard in the womb might be calming and comforting after your baby is born. Extra cool feature: You can record your voice and play it for baby at any time (perfect for the partner always traveling).