21 Pregnancy Must-Haves – All Essentials You Should Get For Each Trimester

Are you preparing your list of things to buy when pregnant? In this article I’m going to share with you the best first pregnancy must-haves that were game-changers when I was pregnant with my first baby. Ready to find out what a pregnant woman needs most?

Pregnancy Must-Haves Pregnancy Essentials For Each Trimester

Medically reviewed by Raye Mariano – RN, BSN, BA

Congratulations, mama-to-be! The next nine months will be an adventure filled with new experiences, changes, and emotions.

When you first saw that positive on the pregnancy test, you were probably feeling a rush of emotions: happy, excited, maybe relieved or scared. Next you instantly started wondering – what next?

Once it all settles in you might be unsure if you’re actually prepared for what’s to come. You might be overwhelmed by all of the information coming your way, especially if its your first pregnancy.

You know there are lots of pregnancy essentials out there, but if you’re a new mom then you might not even know where to begin. Maybe you have been scrolling through lists of pregnancy items, wondering “what do I actually need to buy for my first pregnancy?”

Not only you want to be fully prepared, but you also don’t want to break the bank or get things you won’t even use.

Well, I’ve been there 3 times myself, and I’ve worked with many moms-to-be as a nurse, therefore I can help you better understand what a pregnant woman needs most (and which instagrammable “must-haves” you can skip!).

Here is a guide to best pregnancy must-haves that’ll make the next 40 weeks1 a whole lot better (especially if it’s your first pregnancy).

This article is not a substitute for medical advice or consultation. It contains affiliate links.

What Do Newly Pregnant Moms Need? – First Trimester Pregnancy Must Haves

What are the early pregnancy must-haves? The things you’ll need to buy early on reflect the changes that your body will experience in the early stages of pregnancy.

Remember, your body is growing a tiny human from scratch and all those hormones can cause symptoms like extreme tiredness, nausea, vomiting, skin changes, moodiness, and many, many others.

You’ll need some pregnancy essentials to ease these physical discomforts, as well as calm some of the fears that come with this new, uncharted territory. Here’s my list of must-haves for the first trimester.

1. Pregnancy-Safe Skincare Products

first trimester pregnancy must haves
Source: pharmedoc.com

It’s important to be mindful of what you’re putting, not only in your body (food, vitamins), but also on your skin.

Be sure to use safe products that won’t interfere with a healthy pregnancy or your baby’s development.

Take a look at the ingredients in your beauty products and be aware of potentially harmful chemicals or dyes. You might also have to switch up your daily skin care routine due to skin changes, like oily skin, acne, or dryness which are very common during pregnancy.

If you’re wondering what ingredients you should avoid during pregnancy, you can find out here.

Here are my favorite skincare must-haves for early pregnancy (and onwards):

  • Best Lotion

I recommend this Earth Mama Organics Belly Butter because it is vegan and made of organic herbs and essential oils with no petroleum, mineral oil, parabens, or artificial fragrance.

This belly butter goes on smoothly without feeling too greasy and really helps prevent stretch marks. If you’re interested in other pregnancy-safe body lotions check out our ranking here.

Earth Mama Organics Belly Butter
Earth Mama Organics Belly Butter
  • Best Body Wash

My absolute favorite for the whole pregnancy (and beyond) is Earth Mama Organics Castile Body Wash. This one uses all safe, plant-based ingredients. Besides, it smells so nice and deep cleans too!

PRO TIP: Getting this large 34oz. bottle is the most cost effective option in the long run. It may even last you through the whole pregnancy.
  • Best Face Wash

I love the Mad Hippie Cream Cleanser because it is safe and ultra-moisturizing, but also gentle enough for sensitive extra dry skin (which is so common in pregnancy!).

For more pregnancy-safe face washes check out this post.

Mad Hippie Face Cleanser
Mad Hippie Cream Cleanser is one of the best pregnancy-safe face washes EVER!
  • Best Sunscreen

Sunscreen is definitely an essential summer pregnancy must-have! During pregnancy it’s especially important to avoid sunburns.

Did you know that pregnant woman should avoid chemical sunscreens? Instead, you should opt for a mineral one. One of my personal favorites is this water-resistant one. I love how easy it is to apply, smells great, and most importantly, protects against UVA and UVB rays.

This mineral lotion contains main ingredients like sunflower oil, jojoba and coconut oil. Its formula is non-nano zinc-based, and it’s one of the safest sunscreens to use during pregnancy.

  • Best Face Moisturizer

My absolute number #1 is this Mad Hippie Face Cream with clean and safe ingredients. It’s super-hydrating and even has anti-aging properties thanks to included niacinamide and peptides! Another plus is that it’s not greasy so it won’t clog your pores! I recommend you to check out our full list of pregnancy-safe face creams.

Mad Hippie Face Cream With Peptides For Pregnancy
Mad Hippie Face Cream With Peptides For Pregnancy

2. Water Bottle

Water is essential for all body functions. Your body needs water to absorb nutrients and transport vitamins, minerals, and hormones to all of its organs, including your placenta2. With the increase in blood volume during pregnancy, you’ll need to drink even more water.

It’s hard to keep track of how much water you’re actually drinking, but if you get a cute/ easy-to-carry water bottle then staying hydrated won’t feel like such a chore.

When I was pregnant, I carried this refillable Yeti Rambler Bottle around with me everywhere, especially during those hot summer months.

3. Prenatal Vitamins

You should take a prenatal vitamin, especially folic acid, throughout your whole pregnancy, but it’s actually most important in the first trimester.

It’s a pregnancy essential because sometimes it’s difficult to get all of the nutrients your pregnant body needs through your diet alone2.

Personally, I opted for the prenatal gummies. It’s best to ask your doctor which ones are right for you.

4. Morning Sickness Remedies

Struggling with nausea and/or vomiting in the first trimester is all too common. Nausea relief was a big one for me throughout my pregnancies because I was throwing up every single day.

I liked drinking teas that are safe for pregnancy, like the Earth Mama Nausea Ginger Tea, to ease my upset stomach.

Organic Tea For Nausea

Also, I would recommend bringing hard candies to suck on when you’re feeling queasy while out and about.

These two things were must haves for early pregnancy in my case.

PRO TIP: Remember that it’s best to consult with your doctor or OB-GYN about medications and which morning sickness remedies are best and safest for you.

5. Books

Pregnancy books about what to expect will help you feel more prepared for all the upcoming changes.

Reading is also a nice way to unwind and relax after a long day of being pregnant.

I liked the book Expecting Better by Emily Oster. It is written in a simple and clear way yet backed by scientific facts.

6. Pregnancy Journal

While this one isn’t necessarily essential, I found it to be a nice creative outlet to organize my thoughts, record memories, and plan for the future.

It can also be a fun way to get your partner involved in your pregnancy, too.

There are some really cute journals that you can put pictures in and some have different activities for your entertainment.

7. A Good OB/GYN Or Midwife

It’s no secret that you will be seeing your healthcare provider a lot throughout your pregnancy. You’ll want to make sure you have someone that you feel comfortable with but also someone knowledgeable and competent to trust with your medical care.

I know it may sound weird, but getting a good OB/GYN or a midwife is one of the most important first trimester pregnancy must haves, especially if it’s your first pregnancy.

What Should I Buy For My Second Trimester?

You’ve made it to week 13 — the second trimester. You are officially one step closer to having that bundle of joy in your arms!

As your body is continuing to grow and change, you’ll need to pick up a few things that’ll help make this transition a smoother and more comfortable one.

So, this trimester’s pregnancy must-haves are for comfort.

Let’s see what are the best must-haves for the second trimester.

8. Belly Oil For Stretch Marks

At some point you will inevitably start to “show” more and this Earth Mama Belly Oil is always my go-to for keeping my skin soft, smooth, and stretch mark-free.

It has a short list of ingredients that are clean and safe, including pure essential oils. Here are some other oils that can help prevent belly stretch marks.

Earth Mama Organics is the best oil for stretch marks during pregnancy on belly

9. Supportive Maternity Bra

As you gain weight in your pregnancy, you’ll notice your breasts increasing in size as well. In addition to getting bigger, pregnant women also experience soreness and fullness or tenderness.

That’s why it’s important to add maternity bras to the list of things to buy when pregnant. They will provide that extra support and coverage that you’ll need. Here you can read more about when to start wearing your maternity bras.

I loved my Simply Sublime Nursing Bra – it doubles as a nursing bra during your postpartum period. It’s comfortable, thanks to elastic fabric it fits your changing breasts really well, and the quality is there without breaking the bank.

Kindred Bravely Simply Sublime
This bra provides great support for changing breasts. There’s no underwire that would dig in and put pressure on milk ducts

10. Maternity Clothes

While you won’t have to go buy a whole new wardrobe, you’ll definitely want to get some staple items.

The most important thing here is comfort but you also might want to show off that baby bump.

I could live in my leggings from Kindred Bravely. With a high and stretchy waistline, these maternity leggings are flattering and comfortable for when your belly grows too big for your pre pregnancy pants. Some moms also love maternity jeans with elastic waistband.

During pregnancy, tank tops were also something I couldn’t survive without. In my opinion, this bamboo tank is great for sleeping in or lounging around and can also be used after baby is born, because it gives you easy access for breastfeeding.

If you’re unsure if you can start buying those maternity joggers, tank tops and leggings at 14 weeks or if it’s better to wait till 20 weeks, in this article you’ll find out when it’s the right time to start wearing maternity clothes.

Kindred Bravely Leggings
Kindred Bravely Leggings have long waist panel that you can keep all the way up or fold it down for extra support under the belly

11. Belly Support Band

Your growing uterus might be putting pressure on your ligaments and causing discomfort in your sides, back, and/or pelvis.

Belly support bands can be worn to provide added support and relief. While not everyone might feel like they need one, I did use this Kea Babies Maternity Belly Band during my first pregnancy and it definitely helped a lot with my joint pain.

12. Maternity Underwear

As your waistline grows you will start to feel your regular undies getting tight. Maternity underwear are essential as they have a stretchy band on top to accommodate that growing belly.

For all my pregnancies I loved this Under-The-Bump Bikini Underwear. They are super-soft, stretchy, and don’t roll down. I like that they sit under the bump. They also come in a 5-pack of different colors.

Kindred Bravely Maternity Panties

13. Body Pillow

When you’re pregnant it can be super hard to get into a comfortable position. Since laying or sleeping on your back can restrict blood flow to the uterus, its best to lay on your side4.

Laying on your side presents its own problems like side or hip pain. Using a pregnancy pillow gives that extra support for your legs, back, hips and pelvis, and help you get a good night’s sleep that you surely need5. I loved lounging with my Mom Cozy Maternity Pillow.

Momcozy Pregnancy Pillow
U-shaped pregnancy pillow is perfect for supporting your whole body, including that big and heavy belly, when you’re sleeping on your (left) side

The best part is that it will still be super useful even after pregnancy, as you can keep on using your pregnancy pillow for sleeping or for nursing your little one.

14. Comfortable Shoes

Being on your feet with the added weight of a pregnancy can definitely take a toll on your feet.

It is important to sit back and put your feet up, especially if you have pain or swelling in them.

But let’s face it, that’s not always an option, so at least make sure you’re wearing comfortable shoes with support.

Pregnancy Must-Haves For Third Trimester

Here we go, third trimester! You are in the final stretch!

The last trimester presents new and sometimes bigger challenges. Your belly is still growing larger and your body is starting to prepare itself for labor and delivery.

You might now be having back or hip pain, trouble sleeping, heartburn, constipation, leg and feet soreness and swelling, among other things.

At this point you’ll also want to start preparing for your delivery – mentally and physically. Here is what you’ll need to get through this last trimester as easy (and prepared) as possible.

15. Tea For Heartburn And Acid Reflux

Heartburn and indigestion are common and can get worse towards the end of pregnancy.

Eating smaller meals, less acidic or spicy foods, and cutting out carbonated drinks are all ways to ease that burning feeling.

When modifying diet isn’t enough, I recommend to use natural remedies like this Organic Heartburn Tea. This one tastes great, has a calming effect, and soothes your belly and esophagus.

Tea For Heartburn third trimester pregnancy must haves

16. Relief For Constipation

As pregnancy can slow down your body’s digestion, you might find yourself unable to go to the bathroom like before. If eating more fruits and veggie doesn’t help, there are other options for you.

Gentle laxatives and stool softeners are available over-the-counter, but always check with your doctor about which are safe to use during pregnancy.

Also, make sure you are staying active and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Do you remember about one of those must haves for early pregnancy that I recommended – water bottle? It’s your best friend throughout the whole pregnancy.

17. Footstool

You already know that you may have swollen feet during pregnancy – that’s why a simple stool may be so useful when you’re lounging to prop up your feet.

It can also come in handy when you’re experiencing… constipation! Use it when you’re sitting on the potty to keep your legs a bit higher – in this position it’s way easier to poop6!

PRO TIP: I recommend getting a folding step stool like this one. You can use it not only during pregnancy but also during postpartum and beyond! It will again come in handy when your little one is ready to practice brushing teeth!

18. Nipple Cream

In addition to sore, achy breasts, you might also experience changes in your nipples. It’s common to feel sensitivity, tingling sensation, or have dry/cracked on your nipples.

I recommend choosing safe and natural nipple cream like Earth Mama Organic Nipple Butter to help with this uncomfortable side effect. You’ll be able to use it later on when you start nursing (it’s safe to ingest for babies so no need to wash it of before breastfeeding) or pumping!

For more information on how to relieve nipple discomfort read our article about crusty & sore nipples during pregnancy.

Nipple butter for dry, sore and cracked nipples
This is one of the best nipple butters for dry, sore and cracked nipples

19. Nursing Pads

Sometimes women’s breasts begin leaking before the baby even arrives! Sometimes this can be inconvenient, unexpected, and messy. You’ll need nursing pads just in case this happens to you. In my opinion these are the best padsthey are organic, made from bamboo (SO SOFT!), washable, and reusable.

20. Compression Socks

Sometimes pregnancy can cause fluid retention. If you’re experiencing leg or ankle swelling from being up and about on your feet too much, compression socks are the way to go.

They are also essential if you plan on going on that baby-moon vacation or anywhere on a plane. I wore these Maternity Compression Socks while being on my feet still working long hours during my pregnancy.

21. Well-Prepared Hospital Bag

Don’t forget that towards the middle of the 3rd trimester you’ll need to pack your hospital bag so you’re ready for when you go into labor.

Things you’ll need: comfy clothes, nursing bras and tanks, deodorant and your other self-care items, camera or phone, phone charger, chapstick, some healthy snacks, books or laptop, and an extra pillow.

Make sure you put some things in for baby too. The hospital should provide essentials but I always packed some onesies and bodysuits, swaddle blanket and hat, no-scratch mittens, and a cute going home outfit. Also, don’t forget the car seat.

If you’re having scheduled C-section, make sure to read this article about packing your hospital bag.

What Should I Do In Early Weeks Of Pregnancy?

What Should I Buy For My First Pregnancy?

If you’re about to become a mama for the first time, here is a quick list of first pregnancy must-haves:

  • Prenatal vitamins are one of the most important things you should buy for your first pregnancy.
  • Pain relief, acid reflux and heartburn relief, tea for morning sickness, constipation relief.
  • Step stool.
  • Maternity clothes, bras and undies.
  • Pregnancy-safe skincare products.
  • Nipple balm.
  • Good moisturizer or belly oil.
  • Belly support band.

What A Pregnant Woman Needs Most?

As you can see from my list of things to buy when pregnant, the most important things to get are the ones that will make you feel more comfortable when you get adjusted to all those body changes.

Of course there is no simple answer to questions: “What do mothers need when pregnant?” because each woman is different and has different needs.

I would say that a pregnant woman needs most prenatal vitamins that are chosen by her doctor or OB/GYN. Then we have the pain reliefs and medications for gas relief, heartburn, acid reflux, nausea, constipation… and all other unpleasant things you may experience. Each of these medications or supplements should be approved by your doctor, too!

For me the thing that turned out to be what I needed most during my first pregnancy was… a footstool! It’s a great help for constipation and the best thing about it is that you don’t need a prescription from your doctor for it!

Another thing that mothers need when pregnant is comfy clothing: maternity bras that support they enlarged breasts, without putting pressure on milk ducts, undies that sit below the growing belly, as well as leggings or joggers that don’t dig into your skin.

And last, but not least, are the skincare products that you need as a pregnant woman. You need to adjust your skincare routine and avoid products that contain toxic chemicals and ingredients that could cause harm to the growing fetus.

Oh and keep in mind that during pregnancy (and of course during breastfeeding) you may experience sore, dry or even cracked nipples. That’s why I think that nipple balm is one of the things that pregnant woman needs most.

What Should I Do In Early Weeks Of Pregnancy?

Now that you have my pregnancy essentials, here are some extra tips for staying healthy during your pregnancy:

  • Stay active (why not trying yoga for pregnant women?)
  • Stay hydrated (drink plenty of water and moisturize your skin – it’s a challenging time for your skin as it stretches a lot!)
  • Take your prenatal vitamins – mamas, don’t forget to consult with your gynecologists all the vitamins you’re taking.
  • Get adequate rest and sleep (comfy maternity clothes and body pillow may be essential to get that!)
  • Try to remain stress free – it’s important for your health and your growing baby.

Article By Raye Mariano, RN, BSN, BA

Raye Mariano is a Registered Nurse who worked for years as a labor and delivery nurse and mother/baby nurse. Now, as a stay-at-home mom to 3 kids, ages 4 and under, she remains passionate about all things pregnancy, postpartum, and parenting.

The purpose of this article is informative. It’s not a substitute for professional medical advice or medical care. Remember: safety first! Consult your doctor/pediatrician in case of any doubts. The author of this article does not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here. This article contains affiliate links.








All pictures in this article with LittleBabyGear logo belong to LittleBabyGear.com and were taken by the owner of this website. All these images are copyright-protected. Source of other pictures:

Pictures of teas belong to Earth Mama Organics Brand. Source: https://earthmamaorganics.com/

Pictures of maternity clothes belong to Kindred Bravely Brand. Source: https://www.kindredbravely.com/

Picture of maternity pillow belongs to Mom Cozy Brand. Source: https://momcozy.com/

Second picture in the article belongs to Pharmedoc Brand. Source: https://www.pharmedoc.com/products/belly-creme

About Me - Zooey BarnettHello Moms! I am Zooey. I am a wife and a mother of three amazing kids: almost 5-year-old Haley and 2-year-old twins Jesse and Matthew. I am a jogger, cooker and blogger.

If you have a question or a comment, do not hesitate to write to me! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *