On this page I’m going to share tips, tricks and pregnancy must-haves that not only I but many other mamas out there found amazing to have around during pregnancy, and things we find helpful in our day-to-day life even now.
I’m a first-time mommy, which means you’re going to be getting my feedback as I experience it, fresh and new. Just to give you some background, I lean more toward simple, straightforward products that can “pack-up and disappear”. My house is a cute, 1950’s bungalow that comes with a ton of charm and hardly any storage space. For me, products that can be creatively stored away is a big deal. Simple, efficient and affordable is my style!
Update: I am now on my second pregnancy, and these items are STILL major must-haves! This list is updated according to what I’ve used during BOTH pregnancies. I still rely on them as pregnancy must-haves.
#1: Pregnancy Pillow
We’ll start with the first “game-changer” product that I purchased. I began experiencing back pain at the start of my second trimester, and it intensified by the week. It didn’t take long for me to start losing sleep as I could not get comfortable. One of my friends recommended the Leachco Snoogle Pregnancy Pillow to me. At first I shrugged it off. A snake-looking pillow? Right.
After another month of interrupted sleep and having read all the raving reviews, I gave in and bought one. The only regret I have is that I didn’t buy it sooner. The pillow wraps any which way you want it to but is designed to align your hips and support your back when you sleep. Because of its shape, I was able to twist it between my knees and behind me, giving me much more support than a regular pillow. I slept like a baby (see what I did there?)
I used it through the rest of my pregnancy and even after. It was super easy to coil around and prop my little guy up while I nursed as well. I’m all for multi-use. It actually worked for nursing instead of me buying an entirely different nursing pillow.
I had come to so depend on the relief the Snoogle gave me that I actually took it with me on a weekend trip to the coast with my husband. I even coiled it up and crammed in my suitcase for a flight up to Northern California (seriously).
There are some other niceties about the pillow. First, it’s made of fabrics that don’t get overly hot. That one was huge for me. From the start of trimester two, I was shoving the covers off of me and blasting the air while my poor husband froze. The covers went, the Snoogle stayed.
Second, the cover is totally washable. That was nice. It’s a little odd putting the fold-over cover back on (I can see where having the zip-up one is an added benefit), but it’s totally manageable.
It also coils up nicely and fits in one of those square, plastic comforter holders that zips up to be stored away. Although, if you’re like me you may find that you keep pulling it back out to use. It’s wonderful for anyone who may have back problems, not only mamas-to-be.
While I did get things I wish I hadn’t bothered with, the Snoogle was (and still is) one of those things I couldn’t imagine going without. Double thumbs-up on this one.
Click here to look at the Leachco Snoogle Pregnancy Pillow.
I’m on pregnancy #2 and the Snoogle is STILL a must-have. It’s proven to be a tried and true purchase for pregnancy AND nursing support.
#2: Birthing Ball
At the start of your pregnancy, you may not feel a need to have a birthing ball around the house. They are big and a little harder to store. However… by the time trimester 2 rolls around (pun intended), you’ll feel the benefits.
I found that exercising on the birthing ball was much easier and less stressful on my body than a lot of other exercises. I was able to focus on specific areas and gently work on those. It also provided extra back pain relief and helped me work on my posture.
And let’s not forget the most important thing. My birthing ball was my most-used item during labor. I relied on it throughout my contractions, and it even went with us to the hospital.
Check out this instructional video for laboring with a birthing ball.
#3: Epsom Salt
This one is good to have on hand all the time, but especially during pregnancy. Pregnancy is a beautiful thing, but there is no denying that some days will be plain uncomfortable. Soaking in an Epsom salt bath is a natural and easy way to get some relief–just don’t get that water too hot!
Soaking in Epsom salt is also considered to improve magnesium absorption, which you will definitely need during pregnancy. Many women (myself included) have also used an Epsom salt bath to help provide relief during Braxton Hicks.
During pregnancy 2, I’ve found that Braxton Hicks are a little more intense than my first pregnancy. When it gets downright uncomfortable, I don’t waste time. I draw a bath, add my favorite Lavender-scented Epsom salt, get a big glass of water and settle in for a soak. It helps every time.
It also helps provide relief for backaches and other pains, and helps relieve itchiness! This one, for me, ranks highly in my pregnancy must-haves.
I’ve already mentioned itchiness. As your belly (and other parts of you) grow, the itch can get pretty real. Your skin is doing an awful lot of stretching, after all. My mother hounded it into my head that the worst thing I could do is scratch those itches, insisting it’s not good for your skin.
Who am I to argue with my mother, who’s popped out 4 babies naturally?
Regardless, I found that having lotion on hand helps with the itching. My favorite to use is the simple, Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula. Besides being an amazing moisturizer, it’s super affordable. I go through a few bottles of it at least during my pregnancies.
I don’t care if it’s a blizzard outside. Once you hit trimester 3, you’re going to ramp up in body heat. You’re sharing a pretty cramped space with another human, after all.
My first pregnancy placed my 3rd trimester in the summertime. Yikes. My second pregnancy has my 3rd trimester in the wintertime. Yikes just as much. Honestly? I’m just hot at night. Period. It can get miserable. While my poor husband is bundled up in bed trying to stay warm, I’m throwing off covers and panting. No matter the time of year.
An oscillating tower fan is a must. It’s on my side of the bed, and it’s saved my sanity. Period. It’s also restored peace to our bedtime routine. While not every mama I’ve talked to has experienced that same amount of heat, most do. Just be prepared.
I hope this list of pregnancy must-haves has helped you plan out your season of growing baby. Not every item may be a must for you, but I think you’ll find at least a few things will help a whole lot.