Hey mama, I need to congratulate you on your pregnancy. Bringing forth life is a pretty awesome job. However, it comes with its ups and down.
If you’ve been in the parenting game for a while, you’ve probably understood things a pregnant woman needs.
For a first-time mom, I feel compelled to brief you on a few challenges you may encounter along the pregnancy journey, including giving you a pregnancy essentials list.
Knowing what to expect along the way may help reduce the feeling of hopelessness. After all, knowledge instills faith that it’s just a matter of time, and honestly, you will overcome.
But before I give you the list of pregnancy must-haves, let’s first examine what you may encounter daily.
On a typical day in your pregnancy journey, you may suffer from either of the following;
- recurring infections
- Dry mouth
As such, you need to be strong and well prepared for your nine months.
Ensuring that all the parameters are kept in check to facilitate a comfortable pregnancy journey while not compromising on the development of the fetus is one of the critical factors a wise mother will do.
This post provides an ultimate pregnancy essentials list for proactive mamas.
Here we go.
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16 Things a Pregnant Woman Needs
1. Prenatal Vitamins for a Healthy Baby Development
Your health and that of your baby should be a priority during pregnancy. You must ensure you get all the required nutrients to facilitate your well-being and healthy baby development.
That is why a prenatal vitamin can never miss on your pregnancy essentials list.
Prenatal vitamins are special multivitamins formulated to meet the demand for micronutrients in the body during pregnancy.
This is not to say that these vitamins should replace a healthy diet.
Prenatal supplements should come in to fill the nutritional gaps by providing extra micronutrients for increased pregnancy demands.
When should you start taking prenatal vitamins?
Ideally, you need to start on your prenatal vitamins as early as you begin planning for a baby. Then you carry on throughout your pregnancy and breastfeeding.
What are the benefits of prenatal vitamins?
According to medics, taking prenatal vitamins during pregnancy enhances the proper development of the fetus.
The micronutrients in prenatal vitamins may reduce the risk of preterm birth or prevent birth defects.
Additionally, It’s alleged that prenatal vitamin supplements may lower the possibility of developing Preeclampsia in pregnant women.
What are the best prenatal vitamins on the market?
While it’s good to consult your health care provider on the best prenatal vitamins, always consider a supplement with a high combination of micronutrients. Go for prenatal vitamins that offer;
- folic acid
- omega-3 DHA, APA
- vitamins B12
Sometimes it’s challenging to get an all-inclusive prenatal vitamin. That is why checking on your body’s needs and going for what you genuinely need is essential.
2. Ginger Tea for Morning Sickness
Ginger tea is a must-have herb in your kitchen, especially in the first trimester.
From helping to ease your pregnancy-related morning sickness to offering some relaxation, this herb will go a long way in making your pregnancy journey enjoyable.
Ginger is a herb commonly used worldwide as a spice and herbal supplement.
This herb has effectively treated nausea resulting from motion sickness, pregnancy, or chemotherapy for years.
One study suggests that ginger is safe to use during pregnancy and can help reduce the severity of pregnancy-induced nausea.
How does ginger help with morning sickness?
Ginger tea comes from ginger roots. According to studies, ginger contains two compounds — gingerols and shogaols —. These two compounds are thought to be responsible for relieving nausea feeling during pregnancy.
They act on digestive system receptors and speed up stomach emptying, which makes you feel better.
Consequently, it’s alleged that raw ginger possesses large amounts of gingerols, while you can find shogaols abundantly in dried ginger.
This means making ginger tea from either fresh or dried ginger may effectively treat your morning sickness.
Are there alternatives to raw ginger root tea?
You can use various herbs together with ginger for maximum benefits. Many women have found combining ginger with a little bit of peppermint or lemon can perfectly ease pregnancy-related nausea.
A National Library of Medicine study suggests that peppermint can significantly reduce pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting.
I like peppermint because of its aroma, and sniffing a little scent could make me feel better.
Also, ready-made anti- nauseous teas like Bigelow lemon ginger may offer additional benefits.
This tea consists of probiotics that may help reduce stomach upset, thus reducing the severity of nausea.
You can also use a band like anti-nausea ginger gum for your morning sickness remedy. This, too, is a life server and has proved effective in relieving symptoms associated with pregnancy-related nausea.
3. Probiotics for Gut Balance
With pregnancy, you’re likely to experience issues with your digestive tract or gut. And the result will be bloating, mild diarrhea, or constipation.
Similarly, you may experience a recurring yeast infection due to hormonal imbalance. The balance between the good and harmful bacteria in your vagina may be interfered with, resulting in recurring yeast infections.
That is why a probiotic must be included in your pregnancy essentials list.
Probiotics are living microorganisms that benefit women’s digestive and reproductive health.
According to studies, probiotics are safe to use during pregnancy and pose no risk to your fetus or mother.
What are the benefits of using probiotics during pregnancy?
Several studies show that using probiotics in pregnancy comes with significant benefits. This includes;
- Probiotics may improve maternal metabolic health; according to research taking probiotics during pregnancy can improve your health by regulating blood sugar and insulin levels.
- Improving your gut health; one study shows that multi-strain probiotics improve gut bacteria composition and digestive health in pregnant women.
- Reduces pregnancy-related complications; some studies suggest that taking probiotics during pregnancy may lower the risk of experiencing complications like preterm birth and Preeclampsia.
- Lowers the risk of eczema in babies; Other studies show that probiotics may help to lower the risk of eczema in infants.
Where are most probiotics found?
You can find most probiotics in fermented foods and dairy products. Examples of probiotic products include yogurt, kefir, Mala, Sauerkraut, Kimchi, and Kombucha.
Alternatively, you may choose to have a good pregnancy multi-strain probiotic that offers a wide array of benefits. These benefits may include strengthening immunity, keeping your vaginal microbes balanced, and improving gut health.
During my last pregnancy, I found using Garden of life, Dr. Formulated probiotics super effective. This one really saved me a lot from yeast infection, and I can recommend this brand to any pregnant woman to try out.
4. Maternity Clothing
The issue of clothing remains dependent on an individual’s taste. However, as your baby bump grows, you may also need to adjust your wardrobe. Typical, you will need
- Free but stylish pregnancy dresses
- Comfortably Pregnancy pants
- Pregnancy tops
- Pregnancy underwear with belly support
- A firm but soft and adjustable Pregnancy bra to support your enlarging breasts
- Flat shoes for daily use
- Stylish pregnancy jeans
5. Pregnancy Pillow for Sweet Resting Time
Finding a comfortable sleeping position is one of the tricky riddles you will have to solve from the second trimester onward.
As your baby bump grows, so does your discomfort when it comes to sleeping position.
You will wake up with aches and severe pains in various parts, like the back and hips. Not to mention not knowing where or how to place your legs during sleep.
Body pillows will become a necessity and part of your everyday life when you hit this pregnancy stage.
Are pregnancy pillows necessary?
Pregnancy pillows are specially formulated baby bump support cushions to enhance comfort during pregnancy.
Although not a must, pregnancy pillows are essential. They are meant to offer support and natural body alignment of your bump, back, hips, pelvis, or entire body when you sleep.
This improved alignment may help take the body weight and strain off your ligaments for extra comfort.
At what point do I need a pregnancy pillow?
Based on experience, you may need a pregnancy pillow as early as in your second trimester. By the time you hit your final trimester, this product will be necessary.
As your baby bump grows, you may find it uncomfortable to sleep or change sleeping positions without support.
And that is when you’ll reach out for a C-shaped or U-shaped pregnancy pillow for the much-needed comfort.
How do you choose the best pregnancy pillow?
Pregnancy pillows come in various forms. You will get C-shaped, U-shaped, wedge, or straight line Versions.
A U-shaped version like the Momcozy pillow is excellent and offers support for your back and front. However, this type tends to take up more bed space.
On the other hand, a C-shaped pillow will not offer full body support but take up a little less space.
Either way, using these pillows will help position your body appropriately, relieving pressure on specific body parts and promoting good sleep.
6. Moisturizer and Stretch Marks Oil
Pregnancy is one phase of life that makes your body stretch and expand faster than your skin regeneration. Also, hormonal changes make your body feel dryer than usual.
As such, you must be prepared to experience some itchiness, stretch marks, and a feeling of tightness.
How do you manage these issues?
A moisturizing and anti-stretch mark oil can soothe your skin and keep it healthy.
As early as during your second trimester, make it a routine to apply a good moisturizer on your bump to ease itchiness. Having an excellent anti-stretch mark will also reduce the risk of developing stretch marks as your body expands.
Over time, I’ve found using Olive and coconut oil effective in moisturizing my dry bump.
7. Pant Liners for Minor Discharge and Leakages
Panty liners are one of the must-haves in a pregnant woman’s bag. They are similar to pads only that, they are thin with paper pulps and super absorbents.
Over time in your pregnancy journey, you may experience unnecessary discharge.
Having a pant liner will help keep the discharge from staining your underwear.
Additionally, we can’t fail to mention incontinence issues during the final trimester. As your baby grows, they definitely exert pressure on your bladder. Away from frequenting the washroom, you may still experience some leakages on your underwear.
Pant liners will act as your vindicator, especially if you have to stay in public places or offices.
Always wear specially designed pregnancy panty liners to avoid the risk of urinal tract infections.
Limit scented pant liners to prevent the risk of getting a rash. Also, ensure that you change often.
8. Hot Water Bottle for Relaxation
A hot water bottle will be handy in your second and final trimester. This bottle is a lifesaver and will help ease backaches, sore feet, and abdominal cramps.
As the bump grows, so do the ligaments and muscles. These body parts tend to loosen and stretch, creating space for the growing tummy.
However, these changes do come with back aches and muscle pain. And that is why you need a hot water bottle for muscle relaxation.
If you’re wondering whether they are safe to use during pregnancy; The answer is yes.
According to the NHS, you can safely use a hot water bottle during pregnancy to ease back aches or pains without hurting your baby. Just be careful that you don.t hurt yourself.
9. Waist-high Compressor Socks for Leg Swellings
You’ve probably seen older women wearing these socks and thought, agh! Those are for old age.
Mama waist-high compressor socks are not just for old age. This product may be your lifesaver if you’re experiencing persistently swollen feet or must be on your feet most of the time.
These compressor socks can gently squeeze your legs for proper fluid circulation.
Try to avoid knee-high compression socks. This type may worsen your situation, especially if they’re too tight and constantly pressing in the middle of your leg.
Other remedies for swollen feet may include;
- Taking a 10 minute Walk around your compound
- Leg Massage
- Elevating your feet while seated
- Sleeping on your left
- Drink more water
10. Antacid for Heartburn
Most pregnant women suffer from recurring heartburn in the first trimester. Heartburn occurs due to acid reflux.
When you have a build-up of acid in your stomach, it tends to push up into the esophagus.
This creates a burning sensation along your esophagus and the middle of your chest. Sometimes you may feel it in your throat when bending over or lying down.
Away from watching your diet and lifestyle, you may also want to have a good antacid like TUMS Ultra Strength antacid close to you just in case things worsen. These chewable tablets have been my all-time heartburn reliever during pregnancy.
Additionally, taking a glass of yogurt or unsweetened coconut milk can give you relief from acid reflux during pregnancy.
Other measures you must take to lower the risk of Heartburn include;
- Watch your diet. Avoid citrus, tomatoes, and carbonated drinks
- Eat small meals at a time throughout the day.
- Try to eat slowly and in an upright position
- and avoid spicy and fatty foods
- do not drink while eating. Have your drinks in between the meals.
- Do not sleep immediately after eating
- Avoid drinking water together with the meals
- Sleep with your head elevated
- Wear loose clothe
11. Pregnancy or Birthing Ball for Exercise
pregnancy ball, also known as a birthing ball, is a must-have accessory for exercise and labor preparation.
You’ve probably encountered them in your yoga class and wondering if you should include them in your pregnancy must-haves 2022.
Birthing balls are a godsend thus, a must-have on your pregnancy essentials list. If your baby bump is getting bigger, a pregnancy ball will be your perfect support for the extra weight during exercise.
Studies acknowledge that using these exercise balls for a couple of months before birth may help to alleviate labor pains.
Similarly, pregnancy balls may help reduce pressure on the lower back and pelvis for perfect relaxation after a long day.
Ready to give it a try?
12. Quiet Space and Mat for Yoga
Practicing yoga and meditation is among the perfect and easy-to-do exercises for a healthy body and mind during pregnancy.
While you’re advised to avoid hot yoga, simple poses like cat or cow pose, balancing table pose, round angle poses, or wide-legged squats can benefit your fitness.
Do yourself a favor and find a quiet space and yoga mat for this ease to do poses.
Also, consider enrolling in a childbirth class for more engaging sessions.
Yoga will not only prepare your body for childbirth, but this slow breathing and movements are a one of its kind stress and mood swing reliever for pregnant women.
13. Pregnancy Belly Bands
I must admit that I wasn’t a fan of belly bands since I preferred staying loose all the time.
However, if you’re one of those who tend to have outgrown baby bumps, silently asking for support, then pregnancy belly bands may be for you.
These bands come in many designs that support the lower back and abdomen during pregnancy. They are suitable for active women, especially in 2nd and third trimesters.
The best time to wear your band is when performing household chores or light exercise.
When doing activities, the compression of pregnancy belly bands can help support the uterus and ease discomfort from movement.
Wearing belly bands may evenly distribute your baby’s weight, thus enhancing stability in your pelvis and improving your body balance. By distributing the baby’s weight, these bands can reduce aches and pains around your abdomen and lower back.
Word of caution.
A pregnancy belly band should not be too tight. Neither should you wear them for more than two to three hours continuously. Always consult your health care provider before using any compression garments.
14. A Pair of Active Shoes and Clothes for Exercise
Pregnancy is not sickness. And keeping your body active may do more good to your health than you actually think.
Whether you’re just taking an evening walk or going for water workouts like swimming, these exercises are great for a healthy body and mind, weight control, ease pregnancy-related discomfort or complications and prepare you for labor.
Some of the recommended pregnancy exercises include;
- Walking for a few minutes
- Strength strains
- Riding a stationary bike
- Yoga for relaxation
For a successful workout, you must prioritize your safety. Ensure you have safety gear for comfortability. This can include workout shoes, clothes, and a safe space.
For walking exercise, having light but comfortable shoes with support features like SKECHERS GO WALK will be ideal for your condition.
These slip-on shoes are Lightweight, breathable, with optimal arch support, and ideal for pregnancy. They can comfortably accommodate your added weight and flattened feet.
Additionally, you may have one or more full-stretch maternity leggings, pregnancy yoga shorts, and non-slip grip socks for your exercise wardrobes. This product’s beauty is that it stretches, and you can still use it after birth.
15. Pregnancy Teas for Refreshment
There is no way you will fail to mention pregnancy teas when listing the things a pregnant woman needs.
Pregnancy teas have gained popularity for many reasons. Some midwives claim that consistently taking pregnancy teas from specific herbs may help prevent pregnancy-related complications.
According to Dr. Otieno, a midwife at Lusiano Nursing Home, regular consumption of pregnancy tea from red raspberry may help reduce the risk of a condition like Preeclampsia, prolonged labor, and postpartum hemorrhage in pregnant women.
Here is a list of pregnancy tea for a morning or evening refreshment
- Red Raspberry Leaf tea – suitable for 2nd and final trimester. This tea can promote uterine health, promote a good night’s sleep, prepare you for milk production, decrease nausea, and ease labor pains.
- Peppermint Leaf – suitable for use in 2nd and final trimester. It may help relieve pregnancy-related nausea and flatulence.
- Ginger root tea – suitable for use in the first trimester. It helps relieve nausea and vomiting.
- Slippery Elm Bark tea– suitable when used sparingly. The bark tea can relieve Heartburn, nausea, and vaginal irritations.
- Lemon Balm tea– suitable for refreshment and calming effect. It relieves irritability, insomnia, and anxiety.
16. Pregnancy Journals and Books
Do you need a pregnancy book?
Books make us knowledgeable. And a pregnancy book is no exception. Apart from giving you an overview of pregnancy and related body changes, books also have a way of taking us into the reader’s world, experience, or point of view on the subject.
If you have to ask for my recommendation, I’ll be more than willing to send you over to Ina May’s Guide to Birth.
With over 30 years of experience as a midwife, Ina May Gaskin gives it out in black and white. In this book, She speaks about pregnancy and childbirth as though in a counseling class.
From mindset conditioning to having a more natural experience, Ina May provides tips to reduce pain and avoid drugs. She addresses common concerns I wish I knew before going into labor and childbirth.
Additionally, get some pregnancy journals and fun books to keep you busy and going. Sometimes, the nine-month journey may draaaag into a hopping two years.
Pregnancy is a season that stares mixed reactions. A day in the life of a pregnant woman can take different phases. You may wake up but go back to sleep. Crave for certain foods but vomit immediately after eating. I mean very unpredictable. And that is why having some particular pregnancy-related essentials can add a little comfort to your life.
Be sure to plan and buy things a pregnant woman needs for that extra comfort and memory.