Pregnancy is such an exciting time!!! Like holy smokes, you are growing a human in your body. Is it just me — or is that totally insane?!?!
As a first-time mom, I stalked the internet, asked my friends a million questions, and got tons of advice from my amazing clients on all the pregnancy essentials and pregnancy must-haves.
I personally felt like every time I found things that worked for me, something else changed, and I was on the hunt for something new (trust me — our house felt like a revolving door of new pregnancy must-haves). If you are newly pregnant (and like it’s hush, hush, still) or you are nearly the final days of your pregnancy, this list is 100% for you. Here are my pregnancy must-haves to make your 9+ months of pregnancy fabulous!
What to get for your maternity wardrobe + everything else that saved me during my 9 months of pregnancy
When it comes to building a maternity wardrobe during your pregnancy, you don’t need a ton of maternity clothes. I really limited what I bought, and I tried to get pieces that could work post-pregnancy as much as possible. Here is what worked for me.
(2 pairs) Maternity Jeans | I am a jeans girl. It was literally the thing I missed the most early in my pregnancy before I snagged a good pair of maternity jeans. I ended up buying two pairs of maternity jeans – a ripped, distressed blue pair and a black pair of maternity jeans. Most of my pregnancy was in the fall + winter, so I really loved having jeans for when I had to be out and about. I normally only wear Paige denim + Madewell jeans, but I loved the Gap maternity jeans because they had cute styles, the denim was higher quality and they had the belt loops on the pants (such a random thing, but I swear I used them all the time to hike up the pants when they would sometimes slide down). I ordered one size larger than my pre-pregnancy size in the over the belly style and they worked for my entire pregnancy.
Tanks + Tees | Go ahead and just stock up on a bunch of these as you get into your second trimester because you will want / need them as you near your third trimester. I ordered a variety of tanks / tees / long sleeve basics from Target in both my pre-pregnancy size of xs and sized up to a small. I wish I just got everything in a small because in the last few weeks, I couldn’t really wear the xs ones.
(3 pairs) Zella Leggings | Pair working from home, COVID, and a love of yoga/barre, and I knew I would need a few pairs of maternity leggings. The Zella leggings were my favorites to wear once I couldn’t squeeze into my Align Lululemon leggings (which I was able to wear for a good portion of my pregnancy). My advice is to get a pair in your pre-pregnancy size and another pair one size up. I found by 32 weeks, the bigger size was much more comfortable over my growing bump.
Black Under the Belly Pants | When I couldn’t fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans but couldn’t really hold up the over the belly pants, I snagged these black pants, and they were a lifesaver. They are dressy enough to dress up (because unlike leggings they have pockets on the butt) or casual enough to pair with Ugg boots. I wore these late in my 1st trimester and in my early 2nd trimester and then pulled them back out at about 36 weeks when my over-the-belly- pants started to drive me nuts. Definitely grab a pair of these because they will work throughout, and you will be SO happy to have a pair of pants that go under your huge belly in the final days.
Nursing Bras | I ended up ordering these nursing bras (which are more like a bralette) in my 2nd trimester when I outgrew my sports bras / bras / bralettes vs buying all new bras. I suggest getting a few of these and a few sports bras (if you are working out). I ordered a few nursing sports bras vs regular sports bras so that I could use them post-partum in addition to during my pregnancy, and I loved these ones.
Maternity Dresses | Target + Old Navy were my go-tos for maternity dresses. I grabbed this fitted t-shirt dress in two different colors, and I also purchased it in two colors in the tank version of it. These were great to have throughout because I just layered them with a kimono in the summer and then switched to a leather jacket or sweater / cardigan for the fall and winter.
When I started to go through my clothes, I knew if I was going to invest in some new things, I wanted to have as many non-maternity pieces as possible so that I could wear them for longer. Here are a few non-maternity basics that saved me that you might already have in your wardrobe.
1 .Zella Live in Joggers | These were my favorite joggers pre-pregnancy, and I was able to rock them all the way until delivery. I have an xxs small.
2. Leith Ruched Dress | This dress is not maternity but it worked really well for me for the 1st and 2nd trimesters. I sized up one size from my normal xs to a small. I would toss a cardigan or kimino / vest over the two I had. They were a great summer basic.
3. ALO Moto Joggers | Another comfy go-to that I was able to wear pre-pregnancy through the end. I actually packed these in my hospital bag as my going home outfit because they are that amazing (and cute!).
4. Cardigans | I lived in all my non-maternity cardigans. Just pair them with some maternity jeans or leggings and a maternity tank, and you have a cute outfit. I loved this one.
5. Maxi Skirts | In the first + early second trimester, I lived in maxi skits with a tank tied up. It was the perfect look for my tiny baby bump. I loved ones that were a jersey material with a ton of stetch in them.
ALL THE THINGS
Burt’s Bees Natural Mama Bee Nourishing Body Oil | I added this into my daily self-care routine in my 3rd trimester, and I love to mix it in. I’ve never been an oil (or lotion) addict post-shower, but I was terrified of getting stretch marks, so I put this on immediately out of the shower on my belly, back, butt + chest, and I didn’t get a mark. (Keep in mind, I have been told stretch marks in pregnancy are very much genetic). This oil does have a scent to it isn’t my favorite (I love lavenders + musky smells) but I still love this stuff for how it moisturizes my bump.
Earth Mama Organic Nipple Butter | This is something you will 100% want once your baby is here, but I actually used it early in my pregnancy as well. Your bod is changing every. single. day. and my nipples were super itchy. This stuff worked wonders to kick the itch.
Snoogle Pillow | As a back sleeper, I knew I would need something as soon as I found out I was pregnant to keep me sleeping on my side for the next 9 months. This pillow was it. I LOVED this pillow oh-so-much, and I wouldn’t have survived the 2nd trimester and 3rd trimester with this baby. Do yourself a favor, and get this early on.
Hiccapop Wedge Pillow | This pillow saved me at about 32 weeks. Up until this point, I loved my Snoogle pillow to keep me on my side all night long, but as my bump got bigger, I liked popping this under my belly to sleep. It is small so it doesn’t take up half the bed, and it’s easy to move around as you switch sides throughout the night.
Earth Mama Raspberry Leaf Tea | As a non-coffee drinker and tea lover, I knew this would be something I LOVED during pregnancy. The tea helps tone your uterus and prepare it for labor. I started drinking this daily 4 weeks before my due date, and I will continue to drink it well after our little man is here. It is delicious and the perfect caffeine free drink to enjoy — especially in those winter months.
Ginger Beer | This was my go-to when I couldn’t settle my stomach or when I wanted to pretend I was having a cocktail. :) I would just throw it in a copper mule and pretend I was having a moscow mule. This was especially helpful when we hadn’t told people we were pregnant because they simply thought I was having a moscow mule. ;)
Humidifier | What I didn’t realize about pregnancy is that one big symptom is a stuffy nose / bloody nose. I experienced this throughout my pregnancy and being that the latter half of my pregnancy was during the winter (and allergy season) it was worse. I used a humidifier every night to help. I love this one from Fridababy so that you can transition it to your babe’s nursey once you are done with it — and the humidifier + essential oil combo means one less gadget.
Ginger Candy | Morning sickness was NO joke for me throughout all of my first trimester and hit me again in my third trimester. These ginger candies are great to help with nausea. I kept a bunch in my purse at home so I had something with me anytime the morning sickness hit.
A cozy blanket | I am a blanket stealer (or so Phil claims), and with all the tossing and turning in pregnancy (and body temperature changes throughout the night), it was nice to have my own cozy blanket to sleep with. I really loved this one and of course, this one is always amazing too.
Burt’s Bees Mama Butter | Umm, this stuff is amazing. I lathered this body butter all over the areas I was most worried I would get stretch marks throughout my pregnancy. I would mix this in with cocoa butter and a body oil just to cover my bases and make sure my skin was extra soft to prevent stretch marks.
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First time to the blog? Hi, I am Brittany, and I am a fine art film photographer specializing in lifestyle wedding and family photography. I travel worldwide photographing beautiful weddings, engagements, and families, and most of the time you can find me in Chicago, Naples (Southwest Florida), and Las Vegas. My light and airy editing style and candid, joyful photos are what I am best known for. Interested in working together? Contact the studio for more information.