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17 Pregnancy Must-Haves For First-Time Mums

Are you looking for essential pregnancy must haves? If you’re a new mum-to-be, you may not have any idea what to expect and wondering what do pregnant mothers need. This list of pregnancy must-haves for first-time mums gives you the pregnancy essentials you will need.

Because let’s face it, being pregnant can be hard.

From the morning sickness, and heartburn, and adjusting to sleeping in a whole new position at night to accommodate your growing belly, pregnancy can become pretty exhausting. 

So why not get the things that’ll help make it easier? Below you’ll find a few essential items that will help you get through those next nine months.

A couple excited looking at a positive pregnancy test while sitting on their bed

Pregnancy Must-Haves for First-Time Mums

Becoming a parent for the first time is an exciting experience, but it can be daunting too.

You may feel overwhelmed at the thought of getting everything ready for your baby’s arrival, but first, you’ve got to get through the pregnancy too!

So this guide is here to help with some must have pregnancy items for expectant mums.

From necessary clothing items to helpful products that will make life easier while you adjust to your new stage of life, our list of pregnancy essentials will give new mums the support they need during this special time in their lives.

Pregnancy Books

Pregnancy books can be super helpful and knowledgeable, especially for new mums-to-be who don’t have a lot of experience with newborns and birth.

They can help teach you about what’s happening to your body every month, your baby’s development, and what happens during each trimester.

There are also books that are just about the birthing process, with techniques that can help you during labour.

One of my personal favourites was the well-known ‘What To Expect When You’re Expecting’.

Sometimes it felt like the book read my mind with its explanation of some of the strange body experiences that happen during pregnancy, as your bump grows. It felt like having a really knowledgeable friend to turn to – one that you weren’t afraid to ask the embarrassing questions, like ‘Why is my body doing that?’.

Prenatal Vitamins

When you first become pregnant, one of the very first things you should do is to start taking prenatal vitamins. You may have already started taking one when trying to conceive.

Prenatal vitamins help to make sure that mum and baby are getting all the vitamins and minerals they need. And there are tons of different ones to choose from.

Your doctor or healthcare provider is the best person to ask for recommendations for which ones are best. Not all prenatal vitamins are created equal.

One important thing that first time mums should know about pregnancy though is that your prenatal vitamin needs to contain folic acid.

Folic acid helps prevent serious birth defects in the baby’s brain and spine.

Pregnancy Journal

A woman filling in her pregnancy journal with ultrasound photos

When it comes to documenting your 9-month journey, a pregnancy journal is the perfect choice!

Using a pregnancy journal can help you keep track of things like belly measurements, weight, cravings, and more. It can also help you to track changes in your body that you can raise with your doctor during appointments.

It’s a great way to hold memories that you can look back on later.

You can either buy a regular notebook or you can buy an actual pregnancy diary instead, with prompts to help you know what to write.

For a DIY idea, check out my (work in progress) pregnancy scrapbook video.

Pregnancy Tracking App

Downloading a pregnancy tracking app is a great way to learn about what’s happening during pregnancy and with your growing baby every week.

They usually give a comparison each week of how big your baby now is compared to common items, such as fruit or vegetables, to help you picture it.

They also give helpful updates about things you might expect to be feeling or experiencing during your first trimester through to your third trimester, which is really helpful if it is your first pregnancy.

Many of these apps are also linked to an online pregnancy community for expectant mums to connect with others on their pregnancy journey.

Remedies For Morning Sickness

Not everyone gets morning sickness, but it is common. You might be able to skip this section and if so, lucky you!

When it comes to pregnancy must-haves for the first trimester, remedies for nausea are definitely one to have sorted otherwise.

Morning sickness can really take its toll on pregnant women making it hard to eat and even function with your day-to-day activities if it is really severe.

Having some things on hand to help relieve your morning sickness symptoms is a good idea.

Some things that help with morning sickness include:

  • Bland foods
  • Foods that contain ginger
  • Ginger candies or ginger tablets
  • Popsicles
  • Lemons
  • Acupressure wrist bands
  • Steering clear of food aversions you might develop

If your morning sickness is very severe, you can also get prescriptions from your doctor to help with nausea relief.

It can be crazy how disruptive it can be! I couldn’t turn on my electric toothbrush for the first-trimester pregnancy stage with either of my children because it would cause instant nausea.

Body Pillows

A woman sleeping with a body pillow while pregnant

As your belly gets bigger it’s gonna become harder (and more uncomfortable) to sleep.

You probably won’t need a body pillow until near the end of your second trimester or once you start your third trimester.

But it’s definitely something to consider getting!

Pregnancy pillows can help by relieving pressure while you sleep, reducing pain, and can create better alinement for your body. It will give extra bump support and you will likely find it very useful during your postpartum period too while your body is recovering.

Belly Butter

You might not get stretch marks, but just in case, there are things you can do to help prevent or reduce their appearance.

Belly butter can help prevent stretch marks and reduce their appearance during pregnancy.

Though stretch marks aren’t always preventable, buying good quality belly butter can help among other things.

Ingredients to look for in belly butters are cocoa butter, shea butter, and vitamin E oil.

Belly Bands

Belly wraps can help better support your abdomen and low back as your belly grows.

This additional support can help decrease overall pain during activities. Belly belts can also help promote correct posture for pregnant women.

Women normally start wearing a belly band sometime during the second trimester or the third trimester, when the weight of the belly requires some extra support.

Plus they can be worn during postpartum as well to help with recovery.

Just keep in mind that these should only be worn for 2-3 hours at a time, or as recommended by your healthcare provider.

Maternity Clothes

Though there are some ways to dress without maternity clothes, eventually, you’ll likely have to buy some.

No, you won’t have to buy a whole new wardrobe but buying at least a couple of wardrobe staples will help you stay comfortable as your body changes.

Some maternity clothes are made for breastfeeding too so you’ll be able to get even more use out of it that way too.

Maternity Leggings

A pregnancy must have during the second trimester is a good pair of maternity leggings.

Leggings are super comfortable and are something you can easily wear when you go out of the house.

Just be sure that the leggings you get feel supportive and not constricting.

Maternity Jeans

A woman wearing maternity jeans with a blue belly band

One of the best investments if you are pregnant during the cooler months or live in a cooler climate is a pair of good-quality maternity jeans. If you love to wear jeans, you will miss fitting into your favourites so this can be a great investment.

Maternity jeans have a built-in belly band section and a stretchy waistband so you are getting support for your bump while having maternity pants that fit!

Maternity Bra

Maternity bras are an overlooked essential during your actual pregnancy for a lot of first-time mums.

Like with some of the other clothes in your closet, your bras are going to become too small as your body prepares for breastfeeding. Even if you do not plan to breastfeed, there will be changes that might make your existing underwire bras really uncomfortable.

So invest in a good maternity bra.

Ones with no wire underneath are going to be the most comfortable.

Plus many maternity bras work as nursing bras as well, with clasps that allow you to open the cups for easy nursing access, so if you are planning on breastfeeding, that will be one less cost for later.

Towards the end of your pregnancy, you might need a few nursing pads ready in case of leaks.

Comfortable Shoes

While not pregnancy-specific, having comfortable shoes is most definitely a must! Supportive shoes will help ease joint pain and give extra comfort for swollen feet.

The extra weight you are carrying puts a lot of pressure on your joints so supportive shoes are essential!

Compression Socks

If you are prone to swollen feet and ankles due to fluid retention, compression socks can help reduce the risk of developing venous disorders – varicose veins.

These often occur around the 4th month of pregnancy with 6 out of 10 women first developing varicose veins during their pregnancy. While they aren’t often harmful, they can be very uncomfortable and cause achy, heavy legs and swelling in the feet and ankles.

Water Bottle

Staying hydrated is always important, but it can be especially important during pregnancy.

Keeping up with your fluid intake can help support fetal circulation, higher blood volume, and amniotic fluid levels.

It’s recommended that pregnant women drink about 8-12 cups of water a day to stay hydrated. This is especially important during a summer pregnancy when you are sweating more.

So be sure to get a large water bottle that you can take with you during the day. You might even like to get one with hour markers to remind you to drink a certain amount at each time of the day.


A woman smiling while her obgyn does an ultrasound

Health care is important to have during pregnancy! And having a good obstetrician-gynecologist is just as crucial.

You want to have a healthcare provider that listens to you, someone you resonate with, and who has the same values as you.

If you feel that your current doctor isn’t a good fit for you, it is worthwhile to find a different provider. It will ease some of your anxiety about being a first-time pregnant woman if you are comfortable with your care.

You can ask some friends or a local mum’s group for recommendations for a good midwife or OBG/YN.

A Prenatal Class

First-time mums (and dads) should absolutely take a prenatal class of some kind.

Prenatal classes can help you prepare for birth, give tips, and can educate you on the labouring process.

These types of classes can help make moms feel a little less stressed about the whole event. They also help educate partners on how to best support the pregnant woman during pregnancy and birth, as well as provide tips for postpartum recovery.

Most birthing centres, hospitals and midwife centres offer their own prenatal classes, but if you are unable to attend one in person, there are also online prenatal classes available too, including this free online course.

These pregnancy must-haves will help make your pregnancy experience far more comfortable, and therefore more enjoyable too!

To help you prepare for when your baby arrives, check out this essential checklist for newborns.

Are there any other maternity must haves you wouldn’t be without?