Being a mom-to-be can be a really tough experience. There are a lot of “shoulds” you’ll hear people saying throughout your pregnancy journey. Things like:
- New routines you should start
- Old habits you should stop
- New products you should buy
- Things you should throw away
While the advice is often given with the best intentions, it can get overwhelming pretty quickly.
Above all else, it’s important to take a step back and check-in with yourself throughout your pregnancy. Ask yourself what do you need to make sure you feel healthy, prepared, informed, and comfortable through all the changes you’ll go through.
This is you and your baby’s journey together. With the right tools, you can use this time to really tune in to what your body (and your baby) is telling you.
To help you experience the best pregnancy journey possible, we’ve put together a list of 10 pregnancy must-haves for 2020 to help you feel supported throughout each trimester.
1. Solid support system
Experiencing pregnancy can feel incredible—but it can also feel quite lonely. Ensuring you have a solid support system of family, friends, and fellow moms-to-be can help you feel like you have a handle on it all.
Setting up a group chat with current and expecting parents you know can be a great way to ask questions and connect with people who are going through the same changes you are.
There are also a ton of online communities that help you feel connected, even from far away. Whether it’s a blog or a Facebook group you’re looking for, you’re bound to find one that feels like home to you.
Here’s a list of some great offline and online communities for moms:
Meetup is a really popular platform for stay-at-home mom groups. There are thousands of groups around the world so it’s most likely that you’ll find a group near you.
No matter what type of mom group you’re interested in, you’ll be able to find a community that’s the right fit for you. Groups include:
- Stroller meet-ups
- Breastfeeding moms
- Attachment parenting
- Moms of multiples
- Moms of special needs kids
Mocha Moms is “the premier voice and support group for mothers of color." Originally founded in 1997 as a newsletter, it has grown to over 100 chapters throughout the U.S.
Virtual friends can be a great community resource for at-home moms. In addition to Facebook groups, there are tons of online forums full of other at-home moms looking for advice and camaraderie. A few places to explore include Circle of Moms and Cafe Mom.
2. Digital smart scale for pregnancy
During pregnancy, many women feel the urge more than ever to keep tabs on what’s really going on in their bodies. Being able to track your health and your baby’s growth during and post-pregnancy enables you to make adjustments to your lifestyle in order to make sure you have the best experience possible.
A really important pregnancy must-have includes an easy-to-use digital smart scale. While a typical scale can tell you your weight, a digital smart scale can tell you so much more about your body vitals and can connect to your phone so that you have easy access to your information.
FitTrack has designed a special digital smart scale for pregnancy called Beebo. The Beebo maternity smart scale has a unique Pregnancy Mode that allows you to accurately measure 17 health vitals, including weight, BMI, hydration, and fat, muscle, and bone mass.
Related article: FitTrack health vitals that matter to new moms
3. Prenatal fitness workout routine
In order to make sure you and your baby stay healthy, your prenatal fitness routine is another thing that should adapt as you go through your pregnancy journey.
Many women experiencing pregnancy for the first time feel nervous about taking on a prenatal fitness routine, but thankfully, there are countless tried and tested routines and plans that fit every kind of fitness enthusiast. Look into your local fitness center’s prenatal offerings or go online to find options that appeal to you.
SarahFit is a popular fitness coach who has created a prenatal fitness workout routine based on her own experiences during pregnancy. She has lots of free content, as well as paid versions for more comprehensive routines to reach your goals.
4. Self-care essentials
Growing another human inside your own body is a round-the-clock job, so you’ll want to make sure you’re able to feel relaxed, recharged, and rejuvenated, whenever you need it.
Make a list of things that make you feel pampered, whether it’s a relaxing bath or a DIY spa night, and have an “emergency” kit ready to go.
One of our favorite things for pampering is Mama Earth Organic’s belly oil. It contains all organic oils, including calendula, jojoba oil, borage oil and orange blossom pure essential oil that help ease the appearance of emerging stretch marks.
5. Maternity clothes
Of course, as your body changes, your wardrobe will, too. A pregnancy must-have is to invest in practical maternity wear essentials. There are so many stylish brands out there now to choose from. Whether it’s a trendy pair of maternity jeans or a shirt that makes you feel put together, you deserve to feel comfortable and stylish.
One of our favorites is the super cozy maternity sleepwear by Motherhood. Their sleepwear is so comfortable that you’ll be getting a great night's sleep in no time.
6. Pregnancy shoes
With a growing baby inside you, the extra weight will definitely put pressure on your feet. You will definitely want to have some comfy shoes during your pregnancy. Experiencing swollen feet and arches is almost inevitable, unfortunately. A forgiving shoe with extra support will be one of your best friends throughout your pregnancy.
Designed specifically as pregnancy shoes, Seraphine’s fashionable ballet flats are easy to wear and ultra-comfortable.
7. Pregnancy-safe skincare
As your body grows and changes throughout your pregnancy, it’s common to experience skin itching and discomfort. Investing in a great pregnancy-safe skincare products can turn the experience of preventing discomfort into a sensory treat. Choosing a body lotion that smells great (or doesn’t smell at all, if that’s what you prefer), is made with safe ingredients, and can be used often is important.
One of our favorites is Paul Choice’s fragrance-free pregnancy skincare. They offer a wide variety of beauty products that are safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
8. Pregnancy pillow
As your due date nears, getting a good night’s sleep can become more difficult without a little extra help. Thankfully, there are a number of pregnancy pillows available that will help to support your body in a way that’s comfortable for you and safe for your baby.
One type of pregnancy pillow that we love is by Boppy. With its unique shape, it supports both your back and baby bump. The compact design features a unique stretch panel to accommodate your growing bump.
9. Pregnancy journal
Not only will your body change during pregnancy—your emotions and outlook will, too. Keeping a pregnancy journal is a great way to keep a record of it all.
While you’re pregnant, you can use your journal in whatever way you wish, whether it’s keeping notes on your health and Baby’s growth, writing down what you’re craving, how your body is feeling, or taking notes on whatever else you may be experiencing in the world.
After pregnancy, having a record of this time in your life can be something to treasure. If you ever find yourself wanting to revisit those days of anticipation, nerves, and wonder, your pregnancy journal will hold all your stories.
Whether you prefer physically writing or using an app, a journal is a pregnancy must-have. There are many options available nowadays. Here are some interesting pregnancy journals to explore:
This is a free pregnancy record and diary app. You can even share it with your spouse so they can write in it. It helps you manage your physical condition and medical checkups has fun baby illustrations that grow based on the number of weeks of your pregnancy, week-by-week pregnancy advice, and message cards!
This app comes with a bunch of pregnancy tools that make it easy to track your pregnancy and create a keepsake of memories and milestones. It includes a pregnancy journal, photo storage, appointment management, a contraction counter, and health stats tracker (like biometrics, vitals, labs, ultrasounds, screenings, vaccinations/immunizations).
This heirloom-quality printed book has been created by the author of the popular baby book As You Grow. It’s designed with a timeless look and archival paper so that you can one day pass it along to your child.
This printed journal is the trimester-by-trimester guide you can use to capture everything from when you first found out you were pregnant to the first time you held your newborn. With writing prompts, checklists, activities, and more, this book is a fun and easy way for you to create a lifelong keepsake of the joys of pregnancy and motherhood.
10. Essentials for delivery
Finally, one kindness you can do yourself is lovingly prepare your own kit of essentials for childbirth (and the days following).
No birth, or birth plan, is the same, so while you should do your research on what’s recommended, you should also ask yourself which items, comforts, and keepsakes you’ll want to have by your side while you’re welcoming your new baby into the world.
At the end of the day, your pregnancy “must-haves” are yours to decide
Remember, while you can find endless lists of what you “should” have for a successful pregnancy, the things you’ll really need are up to you.
Make sure you have the things you need that help you feel informed, supported, cared for, and in control, and the rest will follow.