Becoming a mother for the first time can seem overwhelming with the amount of information you can find online and the advice you receive from other mothers, but it’s important to know what essential items are needed for those nine months of pregnancy.
We have compiled a list of the absolute must-have items you need to make sure your pregnancy goes smoothly.
Pregnancy Gear: Preconception/First Trimester
If you are planning to become pregnant or just found you are now expecting, it’s important to prepare your body with the proper vitamins it needs. Choose a prenatal vitamin high in folic acid because it prevents neural tube birth defects, which affect the brain and spinal cord.
Educating yourself as early as possible with a good, trustworthy resource will help better prepare you for everything that comes along with pregnancy.
During pregnancy, as your belly grows, your skin will become dry and itchy. It’s important to get a good, specially formulated stretch mark cream to help prevent stretch marks.
Heartburn is common during pregnancy, and especially during the first trimester. It can cause a considerable amount of discomfort so putting Tums or Mylanta on your essential pregnancy gear list will be important, but always consult with your OB/GYN before taking any type of medication, including antacids.
Pregnancy Gear: Second Trimester
Maternity belt or belly band
A maternity belt is a thick elastic strap that goes under the stomach for extra support. It is meant to help alleviate back pain while you are carrying your baby. A belly band is an elastic material that goes over your pants and is meant to give you some much desired extra coverage.
Wearing the right type of shoes is important for the safety of your unborn baby. Heels can cause you to fall since your baby bump can make you feel unbalanced, so it’s best to stick to flat shoes.
Having comfortable, loose-fitting maternity clothes is important during pregnancy, especially during the second trimester, when most first-time moms start to show.
As your baby bump grows, your breasts typically will increase at least one cup in size. Having a bra that isn’t pinching you because it is too tight will help provide relief.
Having a pregnancy pillow will help make you more comfortable at night. It’s best to get one during this second trimester since this is when your baby bump will really start to grow. It will also come in handy for the last trimester when you may have a harder time falling and staying asleep.
Pregnancy Gear: Third Trimester
Having a car seat before baby arrives is necessary because you won’t be able to take your baby home without one. So by purchasing one during your third trimester, you will save yourself the stress later when it’s almost time for baby to arrive.
A crib or bassinet
Your baby will need somewhere safe to sleep. Get a crib or bassinet during these last few months.
Your newborn will need several clothing items once he or she arrives, like receiving blankets to swaddle the baby, pajamas, onesies, socks, hats, bibs, burp cloths, and towels. It is recommended to wash everything in advance with a baby detergent since baby’s skin is very sensitive.
Bottles and pumps
If you decide to breastfeed, you will need a breast pump and extra bottles to freeze and store milk. If you decide to formula feed, you will need bottles and plenty of formula.
If you plan on breastfeeding, it’s important to get a nursing bra. But you may want to wait until the end of your pregnancy since your bra size is likely to increase by an additional cup size, but it differs with each woman.
By being prepared with these must-have items, you’ll be on your way to a much smoother pregnancy.
Dr. Ashley Rizzutto is a board-certified Obstetrics and Gynecology specialist at Kelsey-Seybold’s Clinic at The Vintage. She’s a strong believer in patient-centered care and creating an environment for trust and open communication.