Growing a baby is one hell of a journey for expectant mums. It is both an exciting and terrifying time in your life and first time parents can easily get caught up in the big pregnancy money making scheme created by retailers, ending up wasting loads of money on items they believe are ‘essential’ to a happy pregnancy. In reality, you can make it through your 9 months of pregnancy without having to splash too much cash at all – on yourself I mean, shopping for your new baby is a whole different story, prepare for your bank balance to take a bit of a bashing! I am nearing the end of my second pregnancy now and although there are loads of things aimed at pregnant mums in the shops that I would love to buy, I have learnt there really are only a few ‘must have’ items you need when growing a baby bump. So for any first time mums out there, here is a list of pregnancy essentials, all the items you actually need for each trimester, it is nowhere near as much as the high street would have you believe.
The first trimester –
A comfy bed – Chances are you will already have one of these. The first trimester is EXHAUSTING, you won’t really understand the overwhelming tiredness until you experience it but, trust me, a nice cosy bed to catch some shut eye is a must.
Plain biscuits/crackers – Morning sickness is horrible, it seriously sucks. There are loads of different things you can do to help ease the nausea but I found eating a dry biscuit before even getting out of bed in the morning really helped. My biscuit of choice was the trusty Rich Tea.
Folic acid – There are loads of different pregnancy vitamins out there if you want them but the main one you really need to be taking in the first 12 weeks is folic acid. You can buy it from pretty much all supermarkets and pharmacies.
Tissues – Pregnancy hormones are a nightmare, it is a good idea to make sure you have a little packet of tissues on you at all times. Who knows what might trigger your next emotional breakdown or where you’ll be when it happens.
The second trimester –
Maternity bra – So this one may not sound essential, why not just get a bigger bra right? Well you can but you will be missing out on heaps of comfort if you don’t just invest that little bit more and get yourself an actual maternity bra. They are designed to fit you all through your pregnancy and you can really notice the difference in the comfort and support that they offer. I waited until 30 weeks and kicked myself for doing so, I didn’t know what I had been missing. Treat your new (probably amazing!) cleavage and go bra shopping.
Bigger clothes – By the second trimester your baby bump will start to take shape and it is likely you will be growing out of your usual wardrobe. Now is the time to go shopping for your maternity wardrobe, you might regret stretching out all your favourite tops once baby is born and you have nothing left to wear. You can either buy specific maternity clothes or just buy some outfits in a bigger size (I like to do both).
Body lotion/moisturiser – I know some women aren’t bothered by stretchmarks, they wear them like medals of honour and I think they are amazing for it. However if you are like me and really don’t want them for whatever reason, now is the time to start slapping some kind of oil or lotion on your growing baby bump. Stretch marks usually appear in the later weeks of pregnancy but I think there is no harm in getting in to the habit of putting some lotion on as early as possible. I used Bio Oil throughout my whole first pregnancy and am doing the same this time around, so far no stretchmarks and whenever I apply it baby boy has a good old kick around, he must like the stroking feeling.
Baby shopping spree – I would say the second trimester is the best time to go do your big baby shop. In the first trimester you are probably feeling too ill and you are likely to feel it’s too early to start shopping for baby. By the third trimester, when your bump is huge and your energy is starting to dip, you won’t want to be traipsing up and down the high street, carrying bags bursting with baby products. Fingers crossed you will be feeling pretty good in the second trimester so this makes it the perfect time for a shopping spree. I have some handy tips on saving money when it comes to doing your shopping for baby, if you want some pointers that is.
The third trimester –
Pillows – By 28 weeks your bump will be getting pretty big and getting comfy at bed time may start to be a bit of a struggle. There are lots of different maternity pillows you can buy or you can just use lots of normal pillows to support your growing bump. I have been sleeping with a pillow wedged under my belly, one between my legs and one behind my back for support. Yes it does feel like I am building a giant wall between my husband and I every night but I am comfy and managing to sleep and that’s the main thing.
Easy on shoes – Seriously, when your bump is in full on bloom tying laces or trying to pull on boots is nearly impossible. Get yourself some comfy shoes that require minimal bending to put on – flip flops are great if it’s summer and for colder months you could just get some ballet pumps, boots with a zip up the side or any shoes that you can easily just step into.
Breast pads – In the final few weeks/days of pregnancy you may start to leak some colostrum. It is not usually enough to go through and wet your clothes but by popping in some breast pads it can help keep you comfortable, a damp bra is not fun. I would buy the cheap ones as there is no point splashing out on really absorbent ones as you won’t need them yet.
Snacks – Once you reach the third trimester you will need to be eating about an extra 500 calories a day. Being pregnant and hungry is not a great combination, add pregnancy hormones to the mix and this can create one moody mummy. Stock up on snacks (ideally something healthy but no ones going to care if you eat all the sweet things – you definitely deserve them!), make sure there is always something in the fridge for when hunger sneaks up on you.
Even bigger clothes – By the time you are due to give birth it is likely you will feel huuuge. Make sure you are wearing comfortable clothes, I would say leggings are a must as even maternity jeans can get a bit snug towards the end. Cheap baggy T-shirts and vest tops are worth buying, it doesn’t matter if you’re only in them for a few weeks as you can always use them as night wear once little one is here. I hate to admit it but by the time I was 40weeks pregnant I was regularly wearing ‘nice’ pj bottoms out and about, pretending they were actual trousers.
There you have it, the absolute essentials you need for pregnancy and not a thing more. Of course it is easy to get caught up in your own little pregnancy bubble and buy lots of the cute things that are available, I have a bit but tried not to go too mad in the shops. All I am saying is you don’t need those other things, yes they’re cute and who doesn’t want to treat themselves sometimes but by just buying the essentials when you’re preggers you will have lots more money to spend on baby. You could put that extra cash towards your baby’s pram for example – those things cost a fortune!
What are your pregnancy essentials? Would you take anything off or add anything to this list? Do you like to splash out and treat yourself to all the mummy to be products when you’re pregnant? I would love to know 🙂
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