First Trimester Must Haves: 15 Pregnancy Essentials You Don’t Want to Miss
So, this is it. The doctor confirmed it and you. are. pregnant. How do you feel? Excited? Maybe a little overwhelmed?
If you’re anything like me, early pregnancy kind of feels like you’ve been thrown in the middle of an ocean with only a floatie to get you to shore. You know the general direction you’re headed, but how to get there…totally lost.
So, let’s tackle one of the burning questions that is on your mind right now: What do I buy for the first trimester?
Luckily for you, there’s not a lot. You have several months to save up for cribs, clothes, and diapers. For the next few weeks, your main priority is laying back and dealing with all of these strange early pregnancy symptoms you’re experiencing.
Below you’ll find my first trimester must haves. These items will fight your early pregnancy symptoms, keep you sane, and help you and your baby enjoy a healthy pregnancy.
Sound good? Let’s get started!
- THE ULTIMATE FIRST TRIMESTER CHECKLIST
- FIRST TRIMESTER CRAMPS: WHAT’S NORMAL AND WHEN TO WORRY
- COMMON AND WEIRD VERY EARLY PREGNANCY SYMPTOMS YOU MIGHT EXPERIENCE BEFORE A MISSED PERIOD
First Trimester Must Haves: 15 Pregnancy Essentials You Don’t Want to Miss
This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase from one of the links I will make a small commission at no charge to you. Blunders in Babyland does not diagnose, treat, or give out any professional advice for any medical conditions.
If you’re a millennial that somehow, someway hasn’t become intimately acquainted with Amazon Prime yet, now is the time. I purchased most the of the first trimester must haves in this post from Amazon, simply because the box stores just can’t compete with the prices.
If you’ve been on the fence about joining Amazon Prime, you can access a free 30 day trial here. I also highly recommend creating your Baby Registry on Amazon as well. Once your baby shower is completed, you’ll receive up to a 15% discount on all of the items left on the registry, plus you’ll receive a welcome box with tons of free baby stuff.
RELATED POST: 17 Legitimate Pregnancy Freebies You’ll Actually Use
1 A Good Prenatal Vitamin With Or Without DHA
On the off-chance that your doctor hasn’t already told you this, you will need to take a prenatal vitamin for the duration of your pregnancy.
A prenatal vitamin supplements your growing baby with whatever nutrients you may not be obtaining from your diet. Studies have found that taking a prenatal vitamin can help prevent your baby from developing disorders, such as neural tube defects. Plus, a prenatal vitamin will keep you in tip-top shape as well.
There’s been some debate as to whether you should take prenatal vitamins with or without DHA. DHA is short for docosahexaenoic acid; it’s an Omega 3 fatty acid that has been shown to improve fetal development and decrease the chances of your baby developing neural and mental disabilities.
But, like anything else, too much of a good thing can be bad. Make sure you speak to your provider about which vitamin is appropriate for your personal health conditions.
If you’re looking for recommendations, I love the Rainbow Light Prenatal vitamin. It’s vegan, gluten-free, and the only vitamin to withstand my nausea (barely). The particular one I used did not have DHA, but Rainbow Light does sell a DHA-Prenatal One combo pack.
2 Pregnancy Course or Books
During my first trimester, I was so overwhelmed. As excited as I felt, there was just so much I didn’t know. I mean, I knew the basics (don’t smoke, drink, or eat raw eggs), but what did I do next?
If you’re really wrestling with the big unknowns of pregnancy, I highly recommend investing in some reputable resources. Below are just a couple of my favorite books that can educate you on the important facts of pregnancy.
You’ll also see a pregnancy course listed below as well. Most experts don’t recommend enrolling in a childbirth class until the end of the second trimester/beginning of the third.
Having said that, the Mama Natural Birth Course is the one pregnancy class I would recommend taking now simply because it contains so many helpful tips on how to begin your natural pregnancy right from the start. Plus, later in your pregnancy, you can explore the vast information it contains on how to have an unmedicated childbirth.
Helpful Pregnancy Books
- Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth
- Waiting in Wonder: Growing in Faith While You’re Expecting (Pregnancy Devotional)
- What to Expect When You’re Expecting
- Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy
- Real Food for Pregnancy
The Best Online Class for a Natural Pregnancy
- Mama Natural Birth Course (An online course that teaches how to have the best natural pregnancy and childbirth)
RELATED POSTS: The Mama Natural Birth Course Review
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3 Big ol’ Tumbler
Have you already had “the talk”? You know, the one your doctor gives you when he takes you aside and says, “Hey, I need you to drink TEN glasses of water a day.”
Yes, it’s true, and no, he’s not talking about a combination of coffee, juice, and tea.
Water is your strongest defense against morning sickness, pregnancy cramps, and premature labor. It’s also the main expressway for nutrients to reach your baby. And (just in case you need more convincing), it’s an excellent preventative against stretchmarks.
Even so, when my midwife quoted me that number, I just about passed out. Prior to pregnancy I literally survived on sweet tea and coffee. I tried to drink the required amount by keeping a water bottle with me at all times. I think I only managed to get in about 32 ounces in a day (I’m also the poster-child for pregnancy cramps, dizziness, and braxton hicks… all signs of dehydration).
It wasn’t until I started breastfeeding that I discovered this neat trick: buy at least a 30z tumbler with a straw.
The tumbler serves a dual purpose: it reduces the number of water bottles you carry around with you and, when combined with a straw, allows you to ingest less air and more water.
4 Caffeine Substitutes
On the topic of liquids, if you’re used to consuming gratuitous amounts of caffeine, you might want to take it down a notch. Most providers suggest reducing your caffeine intake to about 200mg a day or at the absolute maximum 300 mg.
Aside from the major concerns, like a miscarriage or birth defects, there are several reasons to cut down on the caffeine when you’re pregnant. You’ll find that drinking excessive amounts of caffeine can cause insomnia, exasperate heartburn, and produce acids that irritate your stomach.
If you’re like me and still need that little kick in the morning (or afternoon), don’t worry, you still have options.
- Mommee Coffee I love this product because it’s low acid and you can choice how much caffeine you want in each cup. They sell decaf, ¼ and 1/2 caffeine, and full. Plus, beans are organic!
- Peppermint Tea (Make sure you consult your doctor before taking any herbal teas) – Peppermint stimulates you without the caffeine. Plus, it’s an excellent remedy for morning sickness.
- Decaf Coffee
- Chai Lattes Low on caffeine, high in sugar. (My obsession is Big Train Vanilla Chai Lattes…)
5 Daily and Weekly Planner
Is your mental state a little bit foggy?
Pregnancy brain, or momnesia, is an actual phenomenon that occurs in many women. During pregnancy, your body produces excessive amounts of estrogen and progesterone that can affect your spatial memory capabilities. In other words, you might forget the small things like your doctor’s appointment, a new acquaintances name, or where you set down the milk.
If you’ve got the mom brain, it’s time to purchase a planner to help you organize your thoughts! Using a planner is a useful habit to curate, especially postpartum when things get really busy.
If you’re looking for a good planner, the Oh Baby Pregnancy Planner is a great buy. It includes 50+ pages of pregnancy checklists, trimester to-do lists, and labor and delivery prep lists.
6 Morning Sickness Remedies
Even if you’re not prone to morning sickness now, there’s a good chance it’ll hit sometime within the next few weeks. Most morning sickness remedies are pretty inexpensive, so try to stock up on a couple of these first trimester must haves before the occasion arises.
- Tummy drops
- Ginger ale (if you don’t like carbonation, there are several natural ginger tea is a good natural alternative).
- Peppermint tea
- Acupressure Band
7 Rubber Band
First, let’s talk about what you’re not going to see on this list: a waist-extender! You’ve probably seen these on Amazon or other first trimester must haves posts. Waistband extenders can be handy, but if you can get away with free, then why not?
Cheap and effective, a rubber band can be your ticket to prolonging the use of your non-maternity pants.
To start, loop the rubber band through your button hole so both ends are perpendicular to your body. Loop one end of the rubber band through itself. Then, twist the remaining end of the rubber band around your jean’s button.
Voila! Instant waist extender!
8 Bra Without Underwire
If there was one first trimester must have I regret not getting sooner, it was a wireless bra.
The next few weeks might be a little rough. Your breasts and nipples will probably feel sore as they prepare for the task of nourishing your baby. Even if it’s just temporary, there’s nothing wrong with trading a supported bra for wireless.
If you want to kill two birds with one stone and purchase a maternity bra now, then go for it. There are a couple good maternity bras on Amazon, but in my experience (unless you have small breasts or a big wallet) it can be difficult to find a good, supportive maternity bra without an underwire.
If you do take the regular bra route, I found my favorite non-maternity bra at Victoria’s Secret. I love the support and I still wear it today!
9 Pregnancy Pillow
A pregnancy pillow is essentially a body pillow with a few more curves. It wraps around your back, neck, and legs to improve your posture, relieve pressure from your back, torso, breasts, and inferior vena cava.
Most of that comes into play towards the end of your second trimester, but in my humble opinion, it’s never too early to use a pregnancy pillow. If you’re struggling with back pain, indigestion, digestion issues, or insomnia, a good pregnancy pillow may be just what you need.
You can spend upwards of $100 on a pregnancy pillow, depending on the shape, and materials. Honestly, I spent about half that and was completely satisfied with mine.
10 Coconut oil
Coconut oil is another multipurpose, inexpensive first trimester must have that you’ll use throughout pregnancy and beyond. You can use coconut oil for baby’s cradle cap, your postpartum hair loss, breastfeeding pain relief and hemorrhoids. Ah, yes.
Coconut oil is particularly known for its effectiveness in the prevention of stretch marks.
Over the next few months, your body will be rapidly expanding and stretching. Coconut oil keeps your skin hydrated, increasing its elasticity. Even now, in the first trimester, you can start rubbing the areas that will be prone to stretch marks, such as your stomach, hips, butt, and thighs.
Calling leggings a pregnancy must have is kind of a misnomer. It’s basically a motherhood essential. You will use leggings throughout your entire pregnancy, your postpartum period, and (let’s be honest), most of your early motherhood days.
Leggings are way cheaper than maternity pants and, depending on which brand you purchase, they can ease some of that pressure from your growing baby bump.
12 Phone App
Downloading a pregnancy app is totally free (most of the time) and can easily become one of the funnest parts of pregnancy. Typically, pregnancy apps will give you a weekly update on your baby’s development, as well as time-appropriate topics to consider. For example, at 20 weeks your app will let you know that your baby is the size of an apple and remind you to go to your anatomy scan.
I downloaded two apps during my pregnancy, the Ovia Baby App and Babycenter App. Post-pregnancy, I discovered the Mama Natural Week-by-Week email updates, which offers a similar service, but with a natural-oriented spin.
During pregnancy, your immune system might take a nose dive. Scientists aren’t 100% sure about the cause for this, but many believe that it’s to protect your body from rejecting your baby’s developing cells.
In any event, there’s a good chance you’ll become more susceptible to common cold or flu.
To prevent the perpetual sniffles is your prenatal vitamin and probiotics. Basically, probiotics are composed of “good” bacteria that help get rid of the “bad bacteria”. In addition, probiotics helps you maintain a healthy gut, which can eliminate other early pregnancy symptoms like diarrhea and heartburn.
You can consume probiotics naturally by eating yogurt, kimchi, or sauerkraut, or you can take a probiotic supplement.
14 Healthy Snacks
During the first trimester, you’ll only need to consume about 1800 calories. While this isn’t exactly eating for two, your body can tell you otherwise.
Fill your stomach with healthy, low-calorie foods (as opposed to Grandma’s cookies or glutinous quantities of ice cream like I did). The type of snacks you choose will depend on your individual health concerns, but most pregnant women benefit from leafy greens (like spinach), bananas, kiwi, avocados, nuts and seeds, chicken eggs, grapes, broccoli…you get the idea.
My go-tos were homemade energy bites, yogurt, and smoothies.
15 Rolaids or Zantac
If you’re struggling with acid reflux, you’ll want to keep these first trimester must haves in your bag.
All of the progesterone running through your body relaxes your muscles, preparing your uterus for your developing baby. Unfortunately, it also relaxes the flap between your esophagus and stomach acids.
Rolaids were a godsend for my pregnancy. I simply popped one in about a half-hour before I ate. For those extra difficult days, I took Zantac. Zantac is a class B drug, which means its safe for pregnancy use.
However, any pharmaceuticals probably shouldn’t be your first option. You can prevent heartburn by eating smaller quantities avoiding greasy or spicy foods, and eating meals earlier in the day. If you’re already in the middle of a heartburn episode, lemon water, apple cider vinegar, and peppermint are all great natural remedies as well.
You Have Your First Trimester Must Haves…Now What?
Once you’ve gathered your first trimester must haves, you should really bunker down on what you need to accomplish before the second trimester.
Not entirely sure what that is? Check out my First Trimester Checklist post. It highlights all of the first trimester necessities you’ll need to accomplish!
The first trimester is tough, but hopefully these first trimester pregnancy favorites will help you just as much as they helped me. Just remember, your main priority is taking it easy and letting your body do it’s thing. You will have plenty of strength in the coming months to perform all of your nesting duties.
I hope this post helped. If it did, would you consider taking my quick 1 minute survey? It will give your struggles as a new mom a voice and help me know how to best serve you!